Sunday, March 03, 2013

Ice Age '70s

The 1970′s Global Cooling Compilation – looks much like today | Watts Up With That?:

Every once in awhile I mention that in the '70's, scientists and academics where CERTAIN that we were moving into a new Ice Age. Of course they were equally certain that the USSR would be around forever, we were running out of oil and the price would NEVER go down again, huge portions of the world would be starving by '90, and a few other equally incorrect items. (well, apparently incorrect.  It may well be cooling in the big picture, and of course EVENTUALLY, every prediction of "running out" is probably true).

Humans are often certain, it is just that we are VERY frequently wrong. The biggest element one might think we would learn from that is humility, but of course we can never learn that, since it isn't our nature! .The leaders, the youth, the recent PHDs, the media folks, the technologists of the day, etc are nearly all certain that "the latest data shows",  "new technology / information points out", etc.

It is true that we do "advance" ... we figured out we live on a ball in space, we can build a lot of really cool vehicles and gadgets, and yes, we have the internet, but mostly, all of this is merely chasing our tails. We live about the same length lives with some version of the same problems that mankind has always dealt with. Is it better too be too fat than to be hungry? Dunno, never really been hungry, but one would have to talk pretty hard to a hungry person to make the case that they are better off than the fat person.

Our very gadgets consume our lives while we believe that we are enjoying them. But then our forebears spent more time trying to survive, where we spend more time watching the History Channel and posting on Facebook.

We all like to believe that we live "at the most pivotal point in history" ... well, maybe we just need to be happy with the "latest point in history". However, if you dig into the Theory of Relativity a bit, that isn't true either. Everything that has ever happend or will happen is ALWAYS and forever happening -- it is just in the perspective of our consciousness that  it is happening "now".

Somehow, remembering that science was just as certain in the '70s as they are now makes Relativity seem even more correct!

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