An editorial “cartoon” in the Jan. 10 LNP | LancasterOnline got my attention. The koala bear is standing in the remnants of a forest fire and says: “Only you can prevent climate change.” That is one preposterous statement, totally directed to the reader’s emotions! Human beings, on planet Earth, cannot “prevent climate change”! We all can and must contribute to prevent pollution of land, air and water. This includes not just people, but also all industries in all countries.
No, I’m not a climate change “denier,” but I am a geographer and cartographer. In the academic education in my profession, it was a requirement to take courses about physical geography. This subject is slowly disappearing from the curricula of many of our higher learning institutions.
Physical geography teaches about the intricate forces of nature on our planet, namely geology, geomorphology, meteorology, hydrology and, in addition, astronomy. Why astronomy? In order to understand how our planet behaves, we also have to look at what makes this planet act or react within our solar system. All these physical forces are very powerful and totally out of reach of us, as people.
As an example: One powerful eruption of an Indonesian volcano dispersed the same amount of carbon dioxide as the combined global industrial output of all countries! And there are about 35 active volcanoes on Earth, erupting daily. We have had, measured on geologic scales, many ice ages and extreme warming epochs over the millennia, and we cannot prevent that. Just help to keep our own environment clean!
Herwig G. Schutzler