With the current global warming trend being a hot topic these days, a hypothetical question came to my mind that prompted me to post my first survey. “How do you think humans will react to the next global cooling period or even Ice Age?”
Ocean front property will become inland property. Hotels that once looked down upon beaches will look down upon land. People and entire towns will be forced to migrate south as advancing glaciers scour the land and destroy the homes they and their forefathers knew for centuries. Ecosystems will change dramatically. Habitats will be destroyed. Animals will be forced to migrate as climates change. Fauna will be altered. Plants that once thrived in northern latitudes will die off and/or become more common in southern latitudes. Human death tolls from cold weather will increase greatly. Rivers that now flow year round will completely freeze over in the winter months. Areas that once fed tens of millions will no longer be able to produce crops. Etc. Etc.
So, knowing that this is not science fiction but a foregone conclusion (provided humans are around when it occurs). How do you think they will react? Surely there will not be a debate on whether or not it is anthropomorphic. (Maybe they’ll complain that we, in our zeal to stop global warming, went too far and set an environmental mindset for future generations that eventually caused global cooling. ) But all joking aside, will they try to stop it, try to heat the globe by adding greenhouse gases to the atmosphere or placing massive mirrors in orbit to illuminate and heat the Earth longer than natural days?
Or will they accept it and just do what humans have always done, adapt and move on? Vacate cities. Move out with the coastlines. Start having winter festivals again on the frozen Thames every winter, like Britains did during the Little Ice Age. Grow different crops and change their diets.
This period of human history marks the first time that we as a species have the technology to not only record, analyze, and model global climatology, but also to arguably affect it. How will future generations, armed with more knowledge and technology than we now possess or may not even be able to conceive, respond to a natural, global event that just also happens to be catastrophic from a human perspective?
Just a thought.
Way to not address the topic, doppleganger. Geez.
I don't think there is any way we could realistically speculate on this topic, as so much of what would drive the choices involved depend on culture... and there's no way to accurately speculate on how culture will change and what attitudes towards the cycles of the planet's climate and personal inconvenience will be.
Classically, sure we've been pretty selfishly motivated and short-sighted as a species... and I can't see that changing, it's seemingly a fundamental aspect of, well, all organisms. We resist change and anything that might create more inconvenience than we normally expect... but that can be overcome, to a degree through culture and expectation. In short, I have no idea, but if we're anything like we are today in that distant future, I can see people trying to prevent it.
Why would I answer my own survey? And why call me a doppelganger?
People speculate on future culture, technology, and events all the time. An entire genre of fiction is based upon it.
I must butt-in here. Ankhanu was responding to a post which followed yours, and which merely cut-paste a large chunk from the NY times without proper citation or quote tabs.
I reported the posting (as per the rules) and it was removed, leaving the false impression that Ankhanu was responding directly to your original posting. A simple misunderstanding..
Gotcha. Thank you, sir!
On the specific question - I think that humans, being humans, will inevitably endeavour to change the environment to suit. We are the only species with the power to do this consciously (that we know of). Put a bunch of humans in a new scenario and they will (instinctively?) try to adapt the surroundings rather than adapt to the surroundings. You rightly point out that this has not always been the case, but I would counter that it has been the case for all of recorded history - say 10,000 years or so.
It is conceivable that a new 'mindset' will evolve over time but, given what I know about humans as they currently are, I think the answer is that they would attempt to adapt the environment, rather than adapt to the environment.
I would have to say a bit of both, but I think we'll come to realize that actually controlling the climate (not effecting it) on a global level is pretty far beyond us...at least right now.
As a group, humans have always wanted to control every last little thing. Heck, many of the most ancient religions were based on trying to control a hostile world through ritual.
Letting nature take its course and adapting would require a wisdom that not enough people have, and one way or another, the unwise majority will get its way.
1. At the World Bank in Washington, officials have posted some new "help wanted" signs. The bank is looking for a few good specialists (two, to be precise) to focus on adapting to global warming.
2.examining ways to adapt to unavoidable climate change, whether gradual changes in average conditions, rapid changes as have happened in the past, or increases in extreme weather events
That is the essence
3.Fortunately, adaptation also includes maximizing climate change benefits, such as planting new crops that can benefit from a longer growing season. Other benefits may include a longer tourist season, less heating in the winter, and increased shipping. Whether these benefits will outweigh the hardships or not is questionable.
All from the web
The message is that we should adapt if we have no other option
YOU FORGOT TO POINT OUT AN OPTION IN YOUR POLL THAT WE ALL CAN LEAVE THE EARTH AND GO TO A NEW (OLD) CONDUCIVE EARTH
Yep, "Well, we screwed up this planet good, time to go find another..."
Interestingly, this puts humans in the role of space invaders that ruin every planet they take over, then go find another...
Yep, and in the mean time, we'll leave Wall-E behind to clean this one up.
But what is important now mitigation or adaptation or just impact studies
Well, hopefully, we'll do more than just that, or it would be a wasted effort when we could just wait and see what the impact is.
I don't think it really matters what we do...I don't believe we have enough influence to make any significant changes in the course of the earth's interaction with the sun and its influence on our climate. The earth's climate has always been changing before we were here and will continue to do so long after our species ceases to exist.
global warning is really a head ace to all of us but soon we have to find some solutions otherwise we will be in a great danger
Not a headache to me... There are problems to solve that are much bigger, much more urgent, much more dangerous, and much easier to fix.
Let the temperature change a little bit, and let the oceans rise and change the coastlines a bit.
How about we focus on the root of the problem instead: runaway population increase.