John Chuckman



“What David Attenborough told BBC viewers about this raging orangutan fighting a digger is only part of the truth… and that’s just one of the flaws in the great naturalist’s ‘alarmist’ new documentary”


Good piece.

David Attenborough is properly credited for the fine work he has done in the past. I’ve long enjoyed his work.

But even the best do make mistakes.

And it seems he did make a mistake in the tone of this new film.

I’m sure aspects of climate change are underway. Yet that has been true, off and on, for hundreds of millions of years. There is nothing fixed about climate.

Our world is one where earthquakes and volcanoes can suddenly appear, where shorelines erode, where whole seas and lakes have sometimes disappeared, where countless animal species have died off and new ones arisen, where vegetation has changed many times both in its kind and extant, where new mountains arise, where old mountains erode, where currents in the oceans shift, were the magnetic pole fluctuates, and where temperatures and winds and humidity can all vary over time.

It is wise to keep an eye on things, but that very much is what science does now, virtually around the clock. It is the first time in human history we have had such armies of expertly-trained people engaged full-time and equipped with powerful new machines of every description.

Whether humans can do anything better than adapting to change over time, I don’t know, but I tend to be skeptical. I’m open to being proved wrong, but nothing I’ve read has yet quite done that for me.

As far as joining the kind of secular religious movements around the environment and the planet earth we see from many Millennials today, count me out. These are people who have countless fad diets and alternative health practices, use Facebook and other uninformative social media, and often make heroes of scoundrels and quacks. Many of the things I read or hear being said seem contemporary secular equivalents of mumbo-jumbo from the time of religious wars after the Reformation, as about just how the Host should be held during Mass, or something you might expect from Mary Baker Eddy, who was once immensely popular.

We really do not understand the complete nature of the huge and complex machine with which we are tinkering, our planet, and it is itself a dangerous business to undertake vast projects which may themselves prove either wrongheaded or dangerous.

Perhaps, at best, useless, wasting huge resources best used for future adaptation.


Posted April 21, 2019 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized


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