State of Folly 3 - How Michael Crichton was wrong: Humans insignificant?

This is the third in a series of posts related to Michael Crichton's State of Fear, which I just read this summer. [previous posts here and here]

On p. 709, one of Crichton's key characters, John Kenner, who he presents as the level-headed, intelligent understander of all things climate, says, after describing the ordinary violence of the earth's weather:
The nasty little apes that call themselves human beings can do nothing except run and hide.  For these same apes to imagine they can stabilize this atmosphere is arrogant beyond belief.  They can't control the climate.
Yet we know that to be undeniably false.  We are, in fact, already controlling the climate.  We've raised it a degree or so Celsius in the last 100 years.  "Unequivocally" according to the best climate science on the planet.  We may not be "controlling" it very well--more like sending it out of control.  The point he was trying to make is that humans are just too small to make any difference to the enormity of the earth's systems.  Wrong.

In fact, we humans are not only affecting the climate, but we've even been affecting the daily weather for quite some time. A 1998 study by ASU climatologists Cerveny and Balling showed that it rains more on the weekends on the East Coast.  Since a 7-day week is a human contrivance, the only explanation is that it's human influenced.  (Most likely caused by pollution in the air, which varies according to the work week.)

So we "apes" are affecting the climate AND the weather.  Crichton may be right that we will be unable to stabilize this atmosphere, but we sure better stop destabilizing it faster and faster.

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