This year's Blog Action Day topic is all about climate change.  Hardly non-confrontational, right?  Depending on who you ask, you can get a variety of opinions about this subject.  Some will foam at the mouth, ranting about how humans are killing the planet and that we're all going to freeze to death, or burn up…or both.  Others, with equal rabidity, will quixotically assert that climate change is a hoax, foisted upon the minds of the gullible by political forces with nefarious agendas.

Who's right? Well, it's a difficult question.  We don't exactly have the right kinds of data from which to make accurate predictions about whatever future the current, apparent trends in climate change might bring.  Given that we have not had the opportunity to examine the effects of similar conditions on more or less equivalent celestial masses, all of the prognosticating about doom-and-gloom weather models is really quite tenuous. And on the other side of the frenzy, the sometimes intentional distortion of whatever-limited-research-we-do-have does not help provide meaningful answers.  Both approaches are not only naive, but in fact are diametrically opposed to actually getting at what is important regarding the discussion of climate change.

How so?

Let's think about this for a second. When people talk about "climate change," they generally try to couch it in language that communicates how this or that action will help or harm the planet.  It sounds nice, of course, but let's be clear: it's a lie. How do I know this? 

Because no matter who you talk to, if you probe deep enough, far beyond the rhetoric and trite talking points, you'll find that the interest is not REALLY in the planet…it's in us.   

Why are we so concerned about the planet?  Because we live on it.  So it's not really about the planet…it's about out self-focused perspective of life here on it.  In all honesty, if we're so BAD for the planet; AND if we're SO concerned for the planet's well-being; then it stands to reason that we should really embrace whatever efforts will most quickly eradicate our species. After all, if the earth has survived 4 1/2 billion odd years until now, coming through asteroid touchdowns, ice ages, and who-knows-what-else, surely a brief stint of increased carbon dioxide levels will not leave too permanent of a mark.  Once we've killed ourselves off, the earth will have a few billion good years left to recover…and I think she'll be just fine.

Now you might think this is a silly argument, and in all honesty it probably is.  However, I think it highlights nicely the absurdity of the current state of the conversation.  On all sides, people with too much emotion, not enough information (not for lack of trying, at that), and WAY too self-focused perspectives use the planet and its well-being as a vehicle for you-fill-in-the-blank-with-whatever.

If we REALLY want to talk about climate change, the first place to start is to cut the crap about the "best interests" of the planet.  Unless we manage to blow it up (which would actually be kind of cool to watch…like on the History Channel …), the earth will probably be around quite a bit after we've finally exterminated ourselves, moved on, or transmuted to another spectral plane. So then, let's just be honest all the way around and say, once and for all, that we care about climate change SOLEY because, like all good humans, we care about saving our own skins.    

Therefore, the question remains: what about climate change?  I think it's far too soon to tell whether climate change is a helpful or harmful thing.  As with most changes, climate or otherwise, there will be winners and losers. But what if we thought about it like this?  What if climate change turns out to be a significant evolutionary catalyst for the human species, the breaking point that introduces a significant modification that lets us do things we had never dreamed were possible before?  In such a scenario, those who would oppose climate change would be demonized for intentionally trying to prevent the betterment of humanity, while those whose politics, beliefs, and behaviors had introduced the change would be hailed as heroes and saviors.  The point is, given our limited knowledge about what climate change REALLY means for the future of humanity (since that is what we're interested in), to speak with such arrogance and fury–as is the current trend–is really the absolute height of absurdity.

So on this Blog Action Day, by all means think, blog, tweet, and talk about climate change.  Just be sure that you remember that all your conversations are more than likely NOT about this fairly-pleasant-to-live-on blue and green ball hurtling around the sun, and are MOST ASUREDLY, at the core, about the fleeting moments of life that we're all desperately trying to hang on to.  Once we've all figured out our own motivations, then let's talk about climate change.