Last week I wrote about the ties between religion and astrology, suggesting that perhaps we are asking too many questions pertaining to the ‘how’, and less of the ‘why’. I concluded with a loose suggestion that perhaps astrology and our pursuit of a proof-based origin story mirrors religious endeavors to instill comfort and confidence with a sense of understanding. After this week, I stand by that theory. However, I am left with a sublime sense of our aimless and haphazard existence. On the grand scheme of the cosmos, a human life span is a speck within a spec on a grain of the sands of time. Excuse my melodramatic angst, but we are nothing (relatively). But that’s not what I write about today.
Today, I write about the concept that systems, when starved/burned/ or otherwise introduced to chaos, find order. They adapt. Of course I find comfort in this, especially when I noticed this phenomenon on every scale. In the macro theatre, post gravitational collapse, space dust hurries to accumulate mass (and thus gravitational force) to overcome the pull of the collapsing star. The dust, and soon planets, are introduced to the star’s rotational axis and follow suit. On a micro scale, post big bang, the hydrogen molecules among the gaseous soup cool enough to form bonds, and soon life. Even on a human scale, after 59 individuals were shot dead at a Las Vegas music festival, hospitals fill with volunteers waiting to give blood. We organized among the chaos. The 18th century Industrial Revolution led to the organization of labor unions, the American Civil War drafted the Lieber Code, and World War II gave birth to the United Nations. While these examples are quite generalized, they serve to highlight systems bathed in chaos finding order.
Bringing it back to our lecture…
When media discusses global warming, they treat it as though the world were coming to an end (of course depending on what news program you watch), and, for many, the end of the human race is the end of the world. But, as I mentioned earlier, the end of the human race, by means of environmental shifts beyond the sufficient condition of the human species, is indeed not the end of the world. In fact, for the earth, humans are a relatively only a short blip in time. The earth has fostered the growth and reproduction of humans, and, as we upset the stability of our atmosphere by artificially releasing stored carbon, it must correct. To return to a stable state, as we discussed, the environment will make the necessary alterations to counteract the abundance of carbon-dioxide. Now this is not to say that we as humans will not find order within our new-found chaos, but will it be enough?
Will I be dead? Most definitely. Will I have left an impact or made a difference? We hope, and most likely on a local, relative scale. Will my carbon footprint have mattered? Now I dabble into question of morality. The earth will correct, that much we know. Will it do so fast enough to spare the human population? No, not unless we change our trajectory and artificially apply the carbon-hand brake. So it really boils down to one question, how does my environmental ignorance deviate from the trajectory of mankind? Is Asiimov accurate in his predictions of an everlasting, entropy-reversing walk of life, or are we destined to remain a spec within a spec on a grain of the sands of time.