Here is an aerial view of the outskirts of Naples. Those are volcanic craters, with magma seeping upward close to the surface. They are called the Campi Flegrei, the fields of fire.
Why would anyone build over a volcanic caldera? Because the last time it seethed with magma was in 1538, and who remembers that, aside from a vulcanologist?
“It’s much more dangerous than Vesuvius because we don’t know where the eruption will be,” said Morra. Unlike Vesuvius, where the eruption is likely to come from the top or side of the cone, a caldera has the potential to erupt in many different locations simultaneously. “But people are more scared of Vesuvius because with Campi Flegrei you don’t see the cone, so there is not the same perception of danger,” he said.
So let us build a city on top of it, shall we?
Yet it is perfectly rational to do so, if your time horizon is short enough. And what I am going on about today is time horizons. We humans have the lifespan of grass, of mayflies, compared to the time spans that govern the earth. Consider this piece of short-sightedness, if you were a being that lived 50,000 years, of settling in northern North America.
So why would you ever build in Montreal, when it is periodically crushed by 10 thousand feet of ice? The height of ice was 10,725 feet, or 3300 meters.
By comparison, here is a map showing the thickness of ice over Greenland today.
Or here is a map of the world covered by ice a mere 21,000 years ago, at the height of the last ice age.
So, do I believe in climate change? No, I do not need to believe, as we would believe in God, or even believe in the idea that Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon in 43 BC.
I let a pencil fall from my hand, I know it will hit the floor. Belief in the operation of gravity on this planet would be superfluous.
For this reason I do not believe in climate change, I know it. And by a similar process of reasoning, I know that humans have not caused the extent of climate change that keeps Toronto, Montreal, Chicago and Boston ice free (most of the year).
If some person asks you to believe in climate change, they are unaware. Belief is superfluous.
But to believe that we are causing it, now that takes belief.