Is It Relevant to You?

One of the famous quotations ascribed to Sherlock Holmes (although of course written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle) is spoken when he is asked what he thinks about the discovery of (then) the new planet in the solar system – Neptune.  He replies, “I shall promptly try to forget that fact” and when asked why, he further explains that his head has only room for facts and logic that support his crime solving activities and the new planet has absolutely no relevance to him.

It is somewhat in that same spirit that people must have been rather ambivalent about whether the sun or earth was at the center of what we now call our “solar system”.  It did not seem all that relevant and in some ways even not reasonable that we were on a spherical body spinning at a very fast speed and orbiting about the sun at an even faster speed.  All people if asked if they are moving like that would have to reply that they feel no such movement.  And since they cannot observe the motion, feel the centrifugal forces they would expect, and so forth, must wonder at the relevance of the these astronomical facts.

And now we come to Global Warming and Climate Change.

As I write this post I am sitting at a Starbucks in Singapore.  Here in this small prosperous island nation there are very few if any generally noticed changes in climate.  Singapore has always been very warm, humid, tropical.  And none of that has changed.

In the USA and Europe we have our Glacier National Park and Mont Blanc where the glaciers that have been there for 1000s of years are now receding on unprecedented scales.  We can see temperatures changes, we have stronger hurricanes.  But in a place where the changes are as hard to see as those related to the earth being a sphere that spins and orbits about the sun, people think little of this global crisis.

For example Singapore is so small a land area (20% of which has been created through land fill!), that they incinerate all of their trash.  No wasting land on landfills.  But the act of incinerating uses quite a bit of fosile fuel just to get rid of the trash!

As I sit here, it is particularly distressing to see a country so full of smart and worldy connected people so disconnected from this over arching issue of our times.

[Deep Sigh!]

Posted in Essays, Green Perspectives, Personal Stories

Leave a Reply