Odd Things – Waving Trees in the Wind

Do humanity’s emissions of greenhouse gases cause climate change? Let us think of trees waving in the wind.

If you look at tree waving on windy days you can deduce either that the trees are moved by the wind or that the trees waving make the wind. With just those basic observations either deduction is possible and equally valid.

If you study wind and study trees and take more observations you can find that wind blows where there are no trees. By widening your area of study you widen and enlarge your knowledge and the more you know the more likely your deductions will be true. That means that you have to know what you actually know and understand what you do not know.

We start from small knowledge, both as individuals and humanity, and we make our deductions as we gain knowledge. We must remember to change those deductions as we know more, both of what we know and what we do not know. Otherwise we will confuse ourselves, rather as we confuse ourselves now about many things.

“With the seed of wisdom I did sow

And with my own hand laboured it to grow

And this was all the harvest I did reap

I came like water, and like wind I go.

I owe these thoughts to GK Chesterton, Confucius, and Fitzgerald’s version of Omar Khayyam

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