What if we got it all wrong about the climate? What would we do if we learned that aerosols that pollute the air also cool it and mitigate the greenhouse effect? Also, what if we were told that volcanic eruptions that emit CO2 and other greenhouse gases that heat up the atmosphere, also emit ash that blocks the sun’s rays and cools the air more than the CO2 they emit, and which heats it? Recently published scientific papers claim just that.
A study conducted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration claims that “A 50% decrease in pollution particles and droplets in Europe and the U.S. is linked to a 33% increase in Atlantic storm formation in the past couple decades, while the opposite is happening in the Pacific with more pollution and fewer typhoons.”
If we add to this recent discovery the well-established fact that volcanic eruptions cool the Earth, it begs the question, how then do we deal with climate change? Do we clean the air and heat up the planet? Do we keep polluting the air in order to cool it? Or, do we try to somehow clean the air and reduce CO2 emissions in a way that does not accelerate the warming of the air?
If these questions seem unsolvable, it is because they are. They are unsolvable because they are the wrong questions; they aim to “cure” the symptoms rather than the illness. It does not work in medicine, and it does not work with the climate.
The “illness” that causes these problems is human behavior. We are ruthlessly exploiting the earth’s resources. We are competing over who will exploit the planet more effectively and more quickly, and we completely ignore the fact that by doing so, we are sowing off the branch we are sitting on.
To solve the climate crisis, humanity needs to have a round table discussion and collectively determine its priorities. We will have to decide what is necessary for everyone and what is not, and provide only what is necessary. We will have to learn to exist the way all of nature exists. If we do not learn it of our own accord, nature will force us to learn it the hard way.
This solution pertains not only to the climate crisis, but to all our problems. There is not a single problem today that does not affect the entire world. Look at the food shortage that the war in Ukraine has caused, look at the global supply disruptions, the soaring inflation around the world, the viruses that spread uncontrollably, the computer chip crisis, everything impacts everyone and there is nothing we can do to solve these crises because we are trying to save ourselves instead of trying to save everyone collectively.
If we start thinking collectively, we will find solutions to all our problems because they are not problems of pollution or inflation, or any of the other symptoms; they are problems in connection.
When we change the purpose of our connection from mutual exploitation to mutual correction, we will find that we have no problems whatsoever. We can cut the production of all our products and still have more than enough to provide everyone with all their needs. If we stop competing against each other, we will have no reason to deplete the earth. If we have no need to deplete the earth, we will be able to reduce CO2 and aerosol emissions all at the same time.
The bottom line is that we do not need to worry about reducing pollution; we need to worry about improving our connections. If we establish strong connections around the world, the rest of our problems will disappear as if they never existed.