Column Chronicles
Understanding Climate Change, part two
Frank Cotolo
January 25, 2018
We continue our interview with Professor Ornery Shackle, 98, on the topic of Climate Change.
ME: Why don't some people feel that mankind is responsible for how quickly the climate is changing?
OS: Which people are they?
ME: There are a lot of people who think that way.
OS: It doesn't matter, really, because there is nothing we can do about it. The climate is changing and that will affect all life on Earth.
ME: Wait, you mean mankind can do nothing to slow down how badly the climate is changing?
OS: Didn't I tell you not to put words in my mouth?
ME: Sorry.
OS: I forgive you. Now, about Copernicus. Did I mention him?
ME: Yes, you said he noticed climate change in the fifteen hundreds.
OS: I was right. He did.
ME: Then we are all doomed to however the Earth's climate naturally changes?
OS: I don't know about that. After all, mankind survived the Ice Age.
ME: Really?
OS: Recent evidence from old bones - because studying new bones would be of no use - prove that there were human generations through the tens of thousands of years of the Ice Age.
ME: Do you think Earth is headed for another Ice Age?
OS: If it is, things will be easier for humans, because, for one, we have houses, which are way better than living in caves.
ME: But will a new Ice Age end?
OS: That depends.
ME: Depends on what?
OS: The weather. Are you listening to anything I say?
ME: This is all very depressing. I feel hopeless.
OS: As we all should. Or you all should. I'm ninety-something and I doubt if I will be around to see next winter no less the next Ice Age.
ME: Any suggestions?
OS: Just one.
ME: What is it?
OS: I was lying. I have no suggestions.
Frank Cotolo can be found hosting the talk and interview programme Cotolo Chronicles. You can send him an e-mail at this address:
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