A Nation of Frogs?
It is said that, if you put a frog in a pot of boiling water, it immediately jumps out and is saved. But if you put a frog in a pot of cold water and gradually warm it, you can boil the frog without it ever realizing that it’s being cooked.
It’s not hard to see the possible connection with climate change. The average temperature gradually warms; rainfall patterns shift; there seem to be a few more places every year with record-setting heat waves, droughts, or floods. But the year-to-year change isn’t much, and in fact is obscured by random fluctuations even more. So the old folks remember that the weather used to be different when they were kids. But who ever pays any attention to those stories about the old days? In fact, we’re actually turning up the heat ourselves a little bit every year by burning more carbon, whereas the frog is a passive victim.
Are humans smarter than frogs? Remains to be seen.
Dan Farber has written and taught on environmental and constitutional law as well as about contracts, jurisprudence and legislation. Currently at Berkeley Law, he has al…READ more