The fine structure constant is a number of constants rolled into one equation. Brian Cox mentioned in the April edition of Focus magazine that it is possible that the speed of light was once faster, say, in the earlier universe - hence I would conjecture this constant must then have been different.
If any or each of the constants that make up the fine structure constant are said to be changing, then is there anywhere in the universe where we can reliably observe this; and if so, what are the consequences in such a case? What of our known laws of physics in such cases, those that are used so broadly to garner great results in the field of astronomy to this day, do they become questionable or blatantly break down?
For reference, this is an excerpt from the magazine concerning what was said regarding observations of the speed of light:
What the astronomers are seeing in their study of the distant gas clouds is the last cosmic moments of that decline.
He further mentions gravity with hints of possibilities of change:
Others look for variations in big G as this could be used to develop a new understanding of gravity.
These are fitting statements for the source of them, but seemingly fanciful without further detail.