Tuesday, May 02, 2017
Carbon Dioxide Conundrum
A savant from Sweden by name of Arrhenius
About CO2 made no guesses erroneous.
In eighteen hundred ninety-six he found
How temperature ranges could be bound.
That fascinating Swedish reference
Will challenge mankind’s climate preference:
To warm the globe and grow more crops
Or chill it till the temperature drops.
Before the human proliferation
Earth did its own obliteration
With hot and cold and wet and dry
To see what critters would live and die.
Can our bright scientific thinkers
Like Svante who with gases tinkers
Re-engineer the planet’s stasis
To be life’s permanent oasis?
Evolution copes with change erratic
While comfort craves conditions static.
Yet all that holds our species here
Is this flimsy layer of atmosphere.
The comfort seekers don’t deny
That change is happening. They rely
On automatic fixes that don’t require
They change any habit or desire.
And should the surface flood or freeze,
Its innards burst and boil its seas,
And space detritus come raining in,
Will our smarter minds learn how to win?
It would be a pity, don’t you think,
For humans to vanish in a blink
When a million years of patient gain
Produced nature’s triumph, the reasoning brain?
And if we can’t manage to stay alive,
At least the microbes will survive
In thermal vents and glacier bands,
In bogs and swamps and desert sands,
Midst noxious fumes, in airless caves,
On gale-force winds and battering waves.
Microorganisms will prevail.
Will they rebuild us? There hangs the tale.
-- Kate Jones