What Carl Sagan thought about climate change in 1993

The concern about the environment is not new. Perhaps its approach, and especially its popularization, is what has changed. Popularizing an idea has its positive facet, because it allows it to increase its concern about itself and better mobilize resources to solve it. However, there is a negative facet: Any idea that becomes popular tends to be vulgarized so that it is understood by as many people as possible.

And, in parallel, other noxious forces take place: activists exacerbate the overwhelming sense of the news in order to attract more attention and the media feed this negative aspect because the audience increases. At the same time, being worried about the subject matter of Glosa brings social and reputational points, which triggers an arms race to show who is more worried and, above all, who assumes more changes in his life in relation to that idea, committing . Because the problem of ideas is that when they become vulgarized, they become popular, they tend to error. Just read what you thought Carl Sagan about one of these current popular ideas (climate change) to discover how things have changed in just 25 years.

Mother Nature does not exist

There have already been five mass extinctions that killed virtually all the flora and fauna of the Earth (5 times!). In none of these extinctions did the human being participate.

Other forms of life, moreover, have changed the world in ways much deeper than the human being: 3 billion years ago, life changed the color of the interior seas; 2 billion years ago, the general composition of the atmosphere; 1 billion years ago, weather and climate; 300,000 years ago, soil geology, as he explains Carl Sagan in Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors:

These profound changes, all caused by life forms that we tend to consider "primitive" and of course by processes that we describe as natural, ridicule the fears of those who think that men, with their technology, have now achieved "the end of nature". We are extinguishing many species; we may even destroy ourselves. But this is not new on Earth.

The worst enemy of nature is nature. If one day we design technologies that control their veleities, maybe, and just maybe, we will be alive. This requires activism, yes, but not so much that mother nature considers her new deity; information is needed, but no alarms to win readers; and, above all, humility is needed: the environment is subject to many variables, and each act displays a myriad of unexpected consequences.

It is not just about polluting less since we are more and more millions of people and it does not seem that the figure will stop in the short term; It is not about delaying the problem a few years through competitions on who is less polluting (such as banning plastic water bottles at an airport when each flight equals 100,000 bottles), but to solve it.

Unfortunately, now we don't have to Carl Sagan so that it continues to illuminate the path We have Greta Thunberg.

Video: Carl Sagan speaking about Greenhouse Warming in 1990 (November 2019).