August 27, 2016
Mahathir: Climate Change and The End of Man
We now admit that the climate is changing. But we must also be aware that the so-called natural disasters are happening more frequently, and are more violent. And these cataclysms are happening in more places than before.
We see floods in New York, tsunamis in Sumatera and Fukushima, non-active volcanoes erupting, repeated volcanic eruptions in the same location, prolonged winters, high temperatures for months in many countries, tornadoes which wreck whole countries, typhoons of unprecedented strength and huge forest fires which consume parts of towns.
Is it just climate change which we hope will come to an end. Can we expect to go back to the years when the weather behaves in predictable cycles, i.e in the regularity of the seasons, the levels of the seas, the rise and fall of the tides, and the habitability of this planet we call Earth.
We now accept that the Earth is much older than we use to think. We also know that it was not always like what it is now. We know that the human race appeared probably only a few hundred thousand years ago.
We know that there was a time when dinosaurs inhabited the earth. They disappeared but they left their skeletons so that we cannot deny that they existed even though they were strange creatures unlike the animals we see today. Perhaps the crocodile is the only surviving species from the age of the dinosaurs.
We know that there were at least two ice ages, when the whole world was covered with a thick layer of ice. Life as we know today could not have survived the cold. Nothing could grow on the ground covered with the thick layer of ice. Even dinosaurs could not have survived, as there was no vegetation for them to feed on.
The ice melted to form oceans. The oceans and the seas receded and land masses appeared. We know the land masses grow and sundered, drifting apart to form continents. We are told the Himalaya is still growing taller. The process is very slow, but it is growing if we compare heights over the years.
The land masses too change in shape so that the shorelines change even during our times. We have found sea-shells on land very far from the sea, on mountains even.
We know all these had happened in the past. It cannot be that all these changes and processes stopped because civilised man now occupy this earth.
The process of change on this earth must be continuous. It must be continuing.Men have always believed in the end of the world. Almost every religion talks of the Last Day of the earth. But we really do not know when it will happen. Could it be that we are progressing towards it even now.
It may take a hundred thousand years. But can we expect the changes to cease. Can we expect the volcanoes and the quakes, the violent storms, tsunamis and tornadoes, the floods and landslides etc to remain mild or benign as they used to be. I should think not.
Instead we must expect increasing frequency and violence of the natural cataclysms. The world may become so hot that living things cannot survive. The world may become so cold, the third Ice Age, that living things cannot thrive either.
For humanity it can mean the end of their world.So it is true, what the religions warn us about. For Muslims there has never been any doubt. There will be kiamat. Perhaps the scientists too will finally admit that for men the world has come to an end.But whether they do or not the end will come.