When will we learn to ac­cept the cli­mate change truth?

China Daily (USA) - - COMMENT - The au­thor is a se­nior edi­tor with China Daily. [email protected]­mail.com


Since the be­gin­ning of time, the Earth has pro­vided for us in ev­ery which way pos­si­ble and opened up chan­nels through which we have not only solved our im­me­di­ate prob­lems but also planned a bet­ter fu­ture for our­selves. From the dis­cov­ery of coal and the invention of the steam en­gine to the devel­op­ment of the in­ter­net, na­ture has played the prime role. Or to travel back, the medicines and heal­ing pro­cesses we use in the post­mod­ern world all have their ori­gins in na­ture.

They were al­ways there. We just needed to dis­cover them. It took Dar­win five years on the HMS Bea­gle and sub­se­quent two decades of re­search to ar­rive at the the­ory of If you want to get even closer, fol­low on Face­book evo­lu­tion, which was met both with in­ter­est and shock. So was Ein­stein’s the­ory of rel­a­tiv­ity — but with­out it, we would not have the in­ter­net and GPS.

But Ein­stein didn’t de­velop his the­ory from thin air. He had a gal­axy of physi­cists as path-break­ers – from Max Planck to Ernest Ruther­ford and Niels Bohr. Espe­cially Planck, whose Planck con­stant helped him de­velop his pho­to­elec­tric ef­fect the­ory, for which he got the No­bel Prize for Physics.

But with­out the New­ton con­stant of grav­i­ta­tion, Planck would not have been able to de­velop his the­ory. New­ton in turn owes his dis­cov­er­ies to Coper­ni­cus, Ke­pler and Galileo. And the three pi­o­neer­ing physi­cists broke though be­cause they dis­cov­ered the won­ders of na­ture that had al­ways been there.

That brings us to an un­usual dis­cov­ery first re­ported by scinecedaily.com in Jan­uary 2017. A United King­dom, Cana­dian and Ital­ian study has shown what many sci­en­tists be­lieve is the first ob­ser­va­tional ev­i­dence that we are liv­ing in a vast, com­plex holo­gram.

The­o­ret­i­cal physi­cists and as­tro­physi­cists, in­ves­ti­gat­ing the ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties in the cos­mic mi­crowave back­ground — that is, the “af­ter­glow” of the Big Bang — found sub­stan­tial ev­i­dence to sup­port a holo­graphic ex­pla­na­tion of the uni­verse.

Re­searchers from the Uni­ver­sity of Southamp­ton (UK), Uni­ver­sity of Water­loo (Canada), Perime­ter In­sti­tute (Canada), INFN, Lecce (Italy) and the Uni­ver­sity of Sa­lento (Italy), pub­lished their find­ings in Phys­i­cal Re­view Let­ters, sup­port­ing the idea of a holo­graphic uni­verse, which was first sug­gested in the 1990s. Ac­cord­ing to the con­cept, all the in­for­ma­tion that make up our 3D “re­al­ity” (plus time) is con­tained in a 2D sur­face on its bound­aries.

The Sci­ence Daily quoted Kostas Sk­enderis, a pro­fes­sor of Math­e­mat­i­cal Sci­ences at the Uni­ver­sity of Southamp­ton, as say­ing: “Imag­ine that ev­ery­thing you see, feel and hear in three di­men­sions (and your per­cep­tion of time) in fact em­anates from a flat two-di­men­sional field. The idea is sim­i­lar to that of or­di­nary holo­grams where a three­d­i­men­sional image is en­coded in a two-di­men­sional sur­face, such as in the holo­gram on a credit card. How­ever, this time, the en­tire uni­verse is en­coded!”

The dif­fer­ence, in our 3D uni­verse, is that we can touch ob­jects and the “pro­jec­tion” is “real” from our per­spec­tive.

The uni­verse could be a holo­gram for all we know. Yet some peo­ple in­sist they know ev­ery­thing there is to know about it. And with­out even paus­ing to pon­der that we hu­mans have been ex­ploit­ing the Earth for thou­sands of years with­out giv­ing it back any­thing ex­cept toxic chem­i­cal fer­til­iz­ers and pes­ti­cides and con­tam­i­nated wa­ter, they ex­pect Mother Na­ture to con­tinue pro­vid­ing for us in greater ca­pac­ity.

It is this dilemma that those com­mit­ted to pro­tect­ing the Earth are rac­ing against time to re­solve at the on­go­ing UN Cli­mate Change Con­fer­ence in Ko­tow­ice, Poland. Which seems dif­fi­cult as the sec­ond-largest emit­ter of green­house gases, the United States, has with­drawn from the 2015 Paris Agree­ment, and as at­tempts to de­vise bind­ing rules for emis­sion cuts for all coun­tries have failed at Ko­tow­ice, ac­cord­ing to a BBC re­port on Dec 8.

The re­port said the US, Saudi Ara­bia, Kuwait and Rus­sia ob­jected to the con­fer­ence “wel­com­ing” the IPCC re­port. Which es­sen­tially means the drop­ping of the re­port by the UN In­ter­gov­ern­men­tal Panel on Cli­mate Change that says un­less global emis­sions are dras­ti­cally re­duced, we will have to pay a huge hu­man and eco­nomic cost in the not so dis­tant fu­ture.

It seems, un­like those who love our planet, some are en­gaged in a fierce race to ex­tract the max­i­mum out of na­ture with­out tak­ing even the faintest step to re­pair some of the dam­age they have caused, and all to make more prof­its and ac­cu­mu­late more power. Hubris or ig­no­rance, call it what­ever you will.

When will we ever learn to think be­yond prof­its and power!

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