Taking care

Man is a creature. So is an ape; so is a fish. A bicycle, on the other hand, is a machine. Can you tell the difference?

It is a distinction that may seem obvious, to those familiar with creatures (which are created living, by God, &c), but may become unpleasantly subtle to those who restrict their interest to machines. “Artificial intelligence” enthusiasts (and unenthusiasts) are the most recent Cartesians of this sort, in our discardable, historical progression. “Climate change” activists make another whole order; and there are, and will be, others.

The modern Cartesian, like the more ancient follower of Descartes (or the Englishman, Bacon), will focus attention exclusively on large, and very complex, “machines.” He uses the term in a poetic, or rather an anti-poetic way, for its allegorical value. He assumes, in the absence of God, that these large things are machine-like in their operations, and that they respond to human or random interference as a machine would respond. For instance, they cannot know what is happening to them.

Creatures die, machines do not. But machines can be broken. They can also be fixed (unlike dead creatures), but, they cannot fix themselves. They were born dead, as it were.

The atmosphere will be today’s example. At the University of California, Irvine, researchers have been investigating the electric field that surrounds airborne water droplets — in which hydroxide molecules appear, or are created. These were previously thought to be products of the atmosphere’s interaction with the Sun (as a lot of things ultimately are). The mechanism in this appearance or creation was not previously understood; nor is it now. It is however now observed a little more accurately. The molecules are a product of the special electrical conditions at the surface of these water droplets.

Why should this be significant? Because these “OH” molecules oxidize hydrocarbons, which would otherwise build up in the atmosphere, indefinitely (as the environmentalists fear). They are a signal part of the atmosphere’s chemical technique of self-repair, removing a variety of poisonous gases. This is among the many ways the world is invisibly cleaning itself, even without external interaction. For the world is not like a machine. It is like a creature.

This is the misconception at the heart of the “climate change” fraud: the assumption that the atmosphere is a machine; that when it goes wrong it must go wrong indefinitely; that if men do not fix it, it will not be fixed. But as we have, and will, discover, the atmosphere takes care of itself. Its telos, or fulfilment, was fully anticipated, before the first environmentalist was born. The arrogance of our environmentalists is unnecessary.