Saturday, December 23, 2006

New wine for old trottels

A pleasant side effect of global climate change has been the abundance of marvelous new wines from ever-shifting lattitudes. New Zealand, Chile, Argenitina, Washington State, or Australia. Will Canadian Champagne be next? Antarctican Merlot? So, clearly, global climate change is not _all_ bad.

But it always cracks me up when rhetoric drunk people suggest that fighting Global Climate Change is important and "the stakes are the future of life on earth". Puh-leaze! Last time I checked, all sorts of life could do very well in all sorts of environments, and even the most apocalyptic radioactive nuclear winter models from my childhood did not manage to eradicate ants and beetles.

So the real concern, is, of course, one particularly self-assertive multicellular organism. And the marvelous thing about dialectics is that the universe is a self-correcting system and problems inevitably birth solutions. In fact, in this season of spirituality, let's ponder the odd linkage between the two primary issues confronting humanity: Is our civilization going to collapse because we are burning too many carbon based fuels? or will it collapse because we don't have enough carbon based fuels?

It seems a comedic set-piece for us to stand on the earth, a mere five miles above a red-hot burbling geothermal energy source, bathed the solar radiation from a proximitous star, and still wring our hands about an "energy crisis". What energy crisis? There is a "political crisis" -- a desparate effort to preserve an obsolete social hierarchy based on scarcity -- but the world is bursting with "energy".

After a couple glasses of Argentinian Malbec, I even believe that there is a high probability that a massively networked robotic technology will control the weather system and the tectonic plates to prevent many natural disasters. I also think that science guided by artificial intelligence software will lead to an almost infinite acceleration of knowledge and productivity, along with the complete obsolescence of a human economy based on scarcity. I believe that an army of robots will build free housing and prepare delicious meals for all people, who will spend their lives contemplating truth and beauty.

But, if it turns out that we can't meet the challenges -- well, the self-correcting universe will take care of that one, too, so there really isn't too much to worry about...


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