NYT Tom Friedman Asserts “Mother Nature” Is All Powerful While Believing Climate Change Is Due To Human Activity!

There is a macroscopic incongruity or contradiction when Tom Friedman asserts that Mother Nature is more powerful than humans in his April 1, 2020 New York Times article, It’s Again Trump vs. Mother Nature, while at the same time believing that humans have the power to affect climate change and global warming. If as he says “I believe that the most powerful force on the planet is Mother Nature”, then how can he believe humans can alter the climate? Tom Friedman can’t have it both ways.

Can he explain why we had five ice ages, each one followed by five major global warmings? Those climate changes obviously had nothing to do with human activity since humans were not even around, they were all due exclusively to Mother Nature. The current warming spike over the past 30 years is logically the continuation of the global warming following the last ice age. Logic suggests the simultaneous enormous increase in man-made pollution over the past 30 years is coincidental, not causative.

The importance of understanding that climate change is nature driven, not pollution driven, is critical for how we prepare for our future. Pollution should be minimized as much as possible because it makes for a more beautiful planet and a healthier life, and the shift to solar energy should be accelerated. But greatly reduced pollution will not have any effect on climate change. Consequently, our strategy as a society must be based on recognizing that the current warming trend is not reversible by anything we might do. That means society must plan according to the belief that the current warming will likely continue for thousands or millions of years, not that it is in humans’ power to reverse or even stall it. That means recognizing that rising sea levels will continue and possibly accelerate, and planning accordingly.

The widespread belief that humans can affect climate change is one more manifestation of illogical human hubris which will lead to disaster if it is not debunked soon. Pollution must be eliminated as much as possible for quality of life reasons, not for the false expectation that doing so will stop the current global warming. It would be folly not to plan on global warming continuing for thousands or millions of years due to exclusively natural forces.

The fact that worldwide there are so many illogical beliefs on countless topics is the reason why we humans fail to solve our societal, economic, and political problems. The solution is to have a 4-year course in every high school worldwide on logic and critical thinking, with rigorous analysis of case histories of illogical beliefs, major and minor, throughout civilization.

© Edward Sonnino 2020

April 4, 2020


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Edward Sonnino

Edward Sonnino

Born and raised in New York City. Best course in college: history of art. Profession: economic forecaster and portfolio manager. Fluent in French and Italian.