The political debate about climate is getting more heated, along with the earth itself! Did you know that 2015 was globally (yet again) the warmest year on the books? Last year, 10 out of the 12 months were the warmest respective months ever recorded, going back 136 years. Meanwhile, in the 2016 American presidential election debates, moderators have asked the candidates over ten times as many questions about non-substantive issues as they have asked about climate change.
For whatever baffling reason climate change is pushed out of mainstream media, it is vital that we understand the state of our planet. The science is conclusive - our planet is changing - and the number of future generations we can sustain is up to each of us alive today. How can we as a civilization push the needle to not only raise awareness, but ensure that every man, woman, and child acts within their own means to protect our planet?
In current events, maybe you’ve noticed lots of pink and red, flowers and hearts in your Facebook feed this week? Of course, this weekend is Valentine’s Day… but did you know that it is also Darwin Day? Charles Darwin would have turned 206 years old on February 12, 2016. Now, his birthday is an international celebration of academics and philosophy.
“International Darwin Day will inspire people throughout the globe to reflect and act on the principles of intellectual bravery, perpetual curiosity, scientific thinking, and hunger for truth as embodied in Charles Darwin. It will be a day of celebration, activism, and international cooperation for the advancement of science, education, and human well-being.”
The International Darwin Day Foundation promotes the day to recognize international partnerships through the language of science for the common good of all. Perhaps now more than ever, we all need to channel our own inner Darwin. Because, what the world needs now is love… and grand-scope changes in the way our developed nations live and flourish.
Valentine’s Day can be a fun time to celebrate interpersonal connectedness and romantic relationships, but deep in our humanity is the concept of Darwin’s “survival of the fittest” theory. In 2016, it’s about our ability to adapt to climate change - to invest responsibly, to invent clean technologies that will lead us out of the fossil fuel era, and to invigorate one another to keep a positive attitude about overcoming this modern challenge.
Biology, the science of life, came into existence because of Darwin’s theory of evolution through natural selection. What Darwin didn’t predict was that climate change would occur in the 21st century at a rate 10 to 100 times faster than in the past and ecosystems would find it hard to adjust. Scientists assert that the climate is changing at a pace that's far faster than anything seen in 65 million years.
To quote Darwin, “Intelligence is based on how efficient a species became at doing the things they need to survive.” Adaptation and innovation are our only ways forward, whether or not the next American president agrees. The trillion dollar evolutionary question: Will other species adapt to climate change better than humans, or are we the fittest?