The Prodigal Son, Elon Musk and Global Climate Change

“Save the Earth.”

I would be lying if I said, that this isn’t a hackneyed phrase in the crusade against climate change.

In this light, Margaret Atwood’s article “Climate Change is Everything Change” is not only thought-provoking, but a necessary and exigent voice in the global climate conversation today. It is simple, yet perspicacious, effectively relaying the gravity of climate change, offering insight into our future alternatives and in this vein, hoping to inspire action.

Economics dictates, that all humans act in rational self interest. So, what possibly could be more important, than saving and conserving the only planet, that we are capable residing on? (until, that is, Elon Musk colonizes Venus)

There is a cataclysm that we ourselves have been brewing, yet we are beginning to understand as global climate change only now. Backed by wealthy corporations and powerful governmental officials, it is embroiled in polarizing, conspiratorial political fights that deny its existence. How can you even begin to solve a problem, whose existence you refuse to acknowledge? And yet it exists nevertheless.

Everything we have, everything we were born into- the life sustaining air we breathe, the rich and varied food we eat, the showers of winsome rain, the colorful and creepy bugs, the gusty winds, the yellow sands. Like the prodigal son we are squandering all that we have inherited. It is true, if the climate changes, everything changes. In chaos theory, this phenomenon is explained by the butterfly effect. This is the sensitive dependence on initial conditions in which a small change in one state of a deterministic nonlinear system can result in large differences in a later state. But our changes are no longer small. Our race to accumulate more and more petro-dollars, our rapidly growing economic and technological advances are unparalleled- In history and in terms of the damage they are doing. Changes in weather patters, increase in sea levels, melting polar-caps, increasing diseases and dying species, all are pointing to our reckless and selfish behavior. We are guilty, and we need to act fast. History has repeatedly demonstrated how novel technologies can potentially abrogate established markets, and effectively transmute the way people behave, transport and communicate. It is imperative to keep in mind however, that the key to maximizing these revolutionary innovations is concurrently creating the infrastructure to sustain them. Whether Elon Musk’s gigafactory, or switching to Hydro/solar/wind power- we need to act. What we cannot do is stagnate, and cling to models of the past. The future is now, and we are responsible.



Works Cited

“Butterfly Effect.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 21 Feb. 2017. Web. 24 Feb. 2017.

Effect, Cool. “How Climate Change Will Destroy Our World If We Don’t Act Quickly (Cool Effect).” Mashable. Mashable, 07 Oct. 2016. Web. 24 Feb. 2017.