Reflections on human influence


I was intending to write a blogpost about "paideia" or “humanitas” – in the sense of seeking individual ‘salvation’ not in material riches, but in an ideal of self-education, in order to participate (however modestly) to the best that human culture has produced.  I was going to reach back 2000 years to bolster my confidence in the relative permanence of this humanistic ideal.  

But I was distracted from my nostalgic musings by the red alert of the IPCC : “Human influence has warmed the climate at a rate that is unprecedented in at least  the last 2000 years.

Human influence has likely increased the chance of compound extreme events since the 1950s. This includes increases in the frequency of concurrent heatwaves and droughts on the global scale (high confidence); fire weather in some regions of all inhabited continents (medium confidence); and compound flooding in some locations (medium confidence).” (IPCC August 2021_ AR6 WGI – p41))


 May human ingenuity (technological, behavioral) now help us to mitigate our influence, and to adapt to its consequences, lest we turn into pillars of salt, gazing, transfixed, at the unfolding disaster.  

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