Dan Rattiner's Stories

Internet Horror: Is Global Warming Caused by Massive Online Activity?

Do climate change deniers know something we don't?

As this is written, about one third of America does not believe that global warming is caused by the burning of coal, oil, gasoline and other fossil fuels. That’s a lot of people. Do they know something that the rest of the people don’t know? They say the Earth has always gone through cooling and heating cycles. They say it’s predicted in the Bible there will be global warming. They even say that some scientists say yes, it’s fossil fuels, and some scientists say no, it isn’t, so who you gonna believe?

I recall Donald Trump sitting down with Al Gore just after the 2016 election and listening to him for an hour, after which Trump said it’s depending on which scientist you ask, so he withdrew from the plan to stop using fossil fuels as agreed to by the Paris Agreement.

I also recall around 1980 when a massive hole began appearing in the ozone layer of our atmosphere during certain times of year. It was originally thought that this alarming problem was caused by fossil fuels and global warming, but soon it was found a substance called CFCs and used in freezers and air conditioners were the cause. The use of CFCs was subsequently banned worldwide, and now the hole is getting smaller. It is expected to be gone by 2050.

So this has got me thinking. What if global warming is caused by something else? Indeed, beginning around 1980, when global warming began in earnest, there was something else that began putting a chokehold on the Earth.

The internet.

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I’m not exactly sure what the internet is. I know it’s invisible. And obviously it has become huge. Two billion people today have Facebook pages. Five billion have cellphones. You can Skype with somebody in Australia or Greenland or India and it doesn’t cost a thing. Somehow something gets rippled in the atmosphere to make this happen. It goes around corners, up chimneys, across continents. Surely it is a huge disturbance. Can’t you feel it? A certain crackling in the air? And before about 1980, it was not like this at all.

What a relief it would be if we found global warming was caused by the internet. Fossil-fuel-believing scientists say the only way to stop global warming is to immediately stop the use of fossil fuel. Stop it and the temperature goes down. But to do that we have to go back to the way things were in 1800, before the Industrial Revolution. We have to live like the Founding Fathers did. Horses. Farms. Agriculture. Wood. Iron. It seems impossible.

But if the cause of global warming is the internet, all we have to do is go back to 1970. Cut off Microsoft, Apple, Google, Facebook and Twitter. As I recall, before 1970, we had books and magazines, telephones attached with cords, and reel-to-reel movies. Remember photo albums? Remember talking to one another? Ask your parents. It would be easy to go back to 1970.

There is only one way to find out if it’s the internet. We have to stop using the internet for five years. Set down our phones and computers. Stop throwing wave after wave of bandwidth and WiFi into the sky. Puncture the cloud. Imprison people who are caught breaking the law. If the temperature around the world starts to drop after of five years, we’ll know. Not so bad, is it?

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