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Author Topic: Global warming, I need an answer  (Read 11447 times)

adamwc

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Re: Global warming, I need an answer
« Reply #15 on: March 13, 2007, 11:39:00 PM »
Well maybe not a public majority. But intelligent design loses to evolution because many more scientists are convinced by evolutionary arguments than they are by the non-existent scientific basis of intelligent design.

I respectfully disagree, Melee. Concerning the validity of a claim, consensus is irrelevant.

"Intelligent Design loses to evolution" because there is a fact-based reality and those of us who choose to focus on and respect facts must come to this conlcusion. Evolution is a good theory regardless of how many people see it as such.

Anthropogenic catastrophic global warming theory, on the other hand, does not enjoy nearly as exalted a status as evolution. Because it hasn't earned that status.

The challenge before advocates of this theory is to demonstrate that in addition to those climate changes which would happen naturally, human activity influences the climate to such an extent (primarily by our carbon emissions and deforestation) that a climate crisis will result that would not otherwise occur. Therefore, humans must change their behavior in ways that can be (have been) calculated to avert otherwise inevitable climate-based disasters.

This theory is not evidence-based. It is, in fact, a model-driven forecast. There are certainly correlations between anthropogenic carbon emissions and global warming, but the extent of causality is a subject of significant dispute among respected scientists. Reading the Wikipedia entry on global warming is instructive. There are many competing theories, many variables that merit further study. A reasonable human being can look at this issue and surmise that it is significantly unsettled. The proposition that human beings are producing global warming that will result in a "climate crisis" is an assertion, not a verified scientific theory.

Same deal here. We're convinced. You can chose a fact-based reality, and have your policy guided by science, or you can carry on in faith-based reality and have policy guided by corporations. Its up to you America.

This is a false dichotomy. I can choose a fact-based reality, somehow manage neither to demonize nor disregard the impact of industrial/governmental pollution, and consider that public policies set by governments may not be the best way to address social and environmental problems.

Of course, global climate change is a historical reality. Its nonsensical to say 'I believe the climate changes'. We can show that. Are you instead trying to say 'I believe there is warming?'. The factors of influence you list are a very few of the major complicating influences actually at work in any sophisticated model of change. This isn't easy to model - it just isn't, and its not going to be. There are too many feedback cycles, both positive (ie: increase warming) and negative, and a bunch of unknowns.

But we have been crunching what data we have through supercomputers for nearly 50 years now. The models are getting better and better. For example, the 1980s model by Hansen et al. accurately predicted a significant amount of change over the past 20 something years - including accounting for major volcanic eruptions (1).

As complex as they are, there are no models in existence that account for the complexity of the actual climate. And, for the record, models are not a basis for data. Anyone who has played SimCity knows this. Models are, themselves, only as good as the data we put into them, which data are significantly determinative of their output. "Because a model* said so..." is not a basis for a scientific conclusion.

*Unless the model is, you know, really cute and persuasive.  :lol:


I'm not sure what 'conclusive' science you would like to show you that warming might be a net negative for human beings. 

Well, the Earth warmed throughout the 20th century. During that time, most human problems were a direct and indirect result of violent governments. Exceptional loss of life due to statist regimes aside, it was a century that saw per capita improvements on virtually every major category: longevity, health, productivity, and wealth increased measurably all over the world.

Even though the Earth warmed by approximately 0.6 degrees Celsius, people at the end of the century were living longer, healthier lives with more leisure time and more real income than their counterparts 100 years prior.
 

As temperatures rise, sea levels might also rise. Okay, maybe that's not a big deal - sea level rises are hard to predict accurately, and are very long term. But here's a taste of some of the rest of it. Water: rainfall patterns are shifting, in some areas quite dramatically (talk to Australia sometime). This means areas that have been the 'breadbaskets' of the world are no longer necessarily going to be able to rely on rainfall to grow crops. Drinking water resevoirs are in places that also can predict their rainfall - when that stops, drinking water supplies to major metropolitan areas decline. Weeds and Disease: These are together because they're much the same - shifting climates mean expansions of species such as poison ivy, ragweed, mosquitos. More serious agricultural pests as well. Mosquitos are already on the move in many places, warming allows them to expand upwards, for instance. If you've ever been in a malarial area, you'll know the cities and towns are often in the hills, away from the mosquitos - no more. West Nile and NYC anyone? And for the rest, well - some understanding of ecology would probably help. Humans are actually still part of the environment, no matter how urban and electronic your life might be. Changes to the flora and fauna outside of our cities will affect us as well.   

No amount of reducing anthropogenic carbon emissions is going to relieve us from responsibility for adapting to a climate that, as a brute fact of reality, is going to change continually in ways that will require us to adapt. Shall we look to government or entrepreneurs for inspiration?

One question worth considering is: should humans attempt to slow global warming by reducing their emissions *without any guarantee that doing so will produce desirable results*? Here's another question: Do we really believe that humans can set and maintain a temperature range on this planet that will be optimal for human civilization to thrive? Another question we might consider is this: In what ways can and should human beings maximize their adaptability to climate change... to change in general?

On a separate note, with all due respect, in light of the problems facing humanity today and our scarce resources, we have to prioritize. People are suffering and dying all over the world because men with guns are forcing them to lead lives without access to food, capital, the rule of law, private property, economic opportunities... and we're talking about the poison ivy, mosquitoes, rainfall patterns in decades to come.... here's where I'm coming from.

Where people are starving today, they should be able to buy Perrier, prosciutto, and pumpernickel, but they can't. Why? No protection of individual liberty. No opportunities to create wealth. No electricity or running water. Having seen these situations with my own eyes, I can tell you, global warming is an overweighted priority in the developed world because only there do they have the luxury of contemplating the future inconveniences of changing weather patterns and warmer temperatures.


And then there's the ethical arguments - is it okay for us to drive even more of the world's species to extinction?

The absence of private property is, in fact, a primary enabler of pollution (the commons is abused because there is no proprietor who cares about ensuring that it is protected... just look at Steinway Street, and then look at your apartment). Another thing that markets have the potential to do is make it so that people who value animals can pay to preserve them for our viewing pleasure, to study them, etc.


Finally, we can show on any scale you like (geological history, recorded history) that CO2 (the major anthropogenic greenouse gas, although methane and water vapour are also important) is linked to changes in temperature. We can even measure about how much CO2 has been around at various times, including post-industrial revolution vs. geological history. And guess what? every time there's a ton of it around, the earth gets warmer. That's simple enough for everyone to understand. 

It makes sense that all other factors being equal, more CO2 in the atmosphere results in a warmer average global temperature. Understood.


Fact 2: we've put a whole lot of CO2 out there - and yes it is significant. Whaddya think is going to happen? can you add two and two? And what the hell is the problem with cutting down on what we're putting out there? I really don't get why this is so hard to do. Change technologies - we do it all the time. Government incentives rather than regulation, if you're really that concerned about it (and America always seems to be - but the rest of the world gets along just fine without this attitude). We could actually end up growing the economy quite significantly! let's have some foward thinking and innovation! isnt that what this country is supposed to be great for? let's go!!

More CO2 makes the Earth warmer. Humans are responsible for approximately ... actually, how much of all the CO2 in our atmosphere are we responsible for? Why is it so hard to track down numbers on this stuff? I find so many contradictory sources, so many data points that are based on studies between different years and in different places and use different methodologies....


You've got to be fricking kidding me. 5 years? 2 years? That's absolutely impossible and sheer nonsense but see given reference for accurate predictions over a 20 year time span. That's pretty damn close to your demand. We're doing this science. We've been doing it for 30 years. Just because now is the moment that its good enough to take to the politicians and say okay, now ACT doesn't mean that we haven't fricking thought about this. To turn around and say 'oh but its not good enough because you didn't predict that on Jan 12, 2007 the temperature would be 35 degrees' is the most insane s___ I've heard in a while (and I routinely deal with creationists).

I'm not asking that you predict the weather on a specific day, but if your model predicts a global average temperature change in exact degree ranges over the course of a century, you should be able to describe the phenomenon in terms that make sense between now and then. In other words, we have a temperature snapshot of the starting year and your model predicts a temperature snapshot of the final year (2100). What can we reasonably expect to happen in between? The temperature will climb, then fall, then climb, then fall.... and presumably during all of this time your model is accounting for solar radiation, clouds, volcanos, water vapor, anthropogenic emissions, and human innovation, too, right? Because we're not going to be doing in 50 years what we're doing now. The invention of X, the widespread adoption of the Y technique.... how is human innovation accounted for? Discovery? Social change? Or would you propose measures to render the human component of your predictive model as static as possible... and what would that come at the expense of?

And then at the end, the average temperature increase for the century will be... you are fricking kidding me, right? Yours is not a faith-based reality? 

You're proposing that we spend how many trillions in the hope of making your future come true? No better use of that treasure than perhaps a degree or so Celsius... maybe?


I also take umbrage at this implied notion that scientists simply give the answers their funding agencies want. Firstly, there are many and varied sources of funding, secondly the ONLY situations in which any of that has been shown to be going on is where agencies such as NASA are gagging their own climate scientists at the behest of this current administration. In fact, they've done it again just recently - now no one on their payroll is allowed to mention polar bears ffs.


Take all the umbrage you want, it's free. Scientists, priests, politicians, strippers, you, me.... we all respond to incentives.  On an individual basis, some of us are certainly more decent and respectful than others, some of us care more about not endorsing public policies based on coercion than others, some of us might conform a finding to the expectations of a grantor, others might focus on some data and not others because they want to put food on on the table. See public choice theory.

Scientists conduct double blind clinical studies of drugs to avoid confirmation bias. I see nothing uncouth about promoting the same approach to evaluating global warming studies/models. 

I sincerely hope that more resources will be devoted to important human endeavors over which reasonable control over the outcomes is possible.

adamwc

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Re: Global warming, I need an answer
« Reply #16 on: March 13, 2007, 11:59:44 PM »
Melee knocked it out of the park. I would just add one thing. Of course there's uncertainly about this. But the worst-case scenarios are so bad, in terms of crop changes, disease, refugees, etc., that even a small chance of it happening is unacceptably risky.

Kyoto calls for spending trillions of dollars to limit global warming to a 0.4 degree Celsius increase in average temperature by 2100.

Today in Darfur, Myanmar, North Korea, Zimbabwe and other horror zones, people are starving to death, being butchered and raped, dying of preventible diseases, going blind from malnutrition.... not as hypothetical anecdotes in the middle of the 21st century as a result of a fractional temperature differential, but right now as you read this.

Maybe using that money to airlift food, doctors and medical supplies, and volunteer military forces to places in the world where people are absolutely miserable and need relief from the brutal thugs who dominate them should be considered?

I'm not in favor of having people pay for things against their will, but if there were a gun to my head and I had to make a decision about what to do with 1 trillion dollars, I'd direct it to help people living in poverty and oppression under brutal dictatorships, or to pay for building hospitals and schools around the world, .... I don't think I'd ever get around to spending it on reducing carbon emissions, but I wouldn't prevent anybody from using noncoercive means to pressure industries into offering up products that are less reliant on fossil fuels.

Better to spend a little money now to be fairly confident that the worst-case scenario doesn't happen then to risk that worst-case. That money is like insurance.
car wreck : car insurance :: climate wreck : climate insurance

Harlan, (a) it's not "a little" money, and (b) the worst-case scenario for the Earth is almost certainly beyond human control. The Sun is going to engulf it someday, and long before then any number of destructive forces may end our ability to live on this planet. Hopefully we'll have settled Jupiter's moons by then.  :-)

Offline essen

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Re: Global warming, I need an answer
« Reply #17 on: March 14, 2007, 02:23:41 AM »
I'm not in favor of having people pay for things against their will, but if there were a gun to my head and I had to make a decision about what to do with 1 trillion dollars, I'd direct it to help people living in poverty and oppression under brutal dictatorships, or to pay for building hospitals and schools around the world, .... I don't think I'd ever get around to spending it on reducing carbon emissions, but I wouldn't prevent anybody from using noncoercive means to pressure industries into offering up products that are less reliant on fossil fuels.

There's not much good in bringing millions of people around the world out of poverty if we're not simultaneously developing things to help preserve the environment for when they can afford to buy cars and such things. You may find this analogy to be overly severe, but I would liken that to piling a bunch of people onto a rescue boat until the whole thing sinks, which helps no one. Various other analogies would fit, like something about having to build stronger supports for taller buildings or needing a really sturdy table if you're going to put some really heavy stuff on it. The argument here is for sustainability.

However, certainly there's enough money being wasted by our government today that a sizable investment in environmental protection wouldn't have to starve all other causes. We've already spent close to a trillion dollars, if not more, in Iraq and we still don't seem short of money to waste. Though I guess that depends on how you view the national debt. Man, our government sucks.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2007, 02:33:45 AM by essen »

Offline Jonathan

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Re: Global warming, I need an answer
« Reply #18 on: March 14, 2007, 08:09:31 AM »
Adam, lets say for the sake of argument that the earth is heating all by itself, sea levels will rise, rain patterns are shifting and drought, disease and food shortages are on the way all by natural causes.  All that being true (NOT), then shouldn't we (people and governments) act to fix, change or help the situation for the betterment of all mankind?  Perhaps recognize that more carbon emissions will only make it worse for the earth and us so we should do something about it?  Couldn't the RIGHT get behind that idea? 

Offline Frappe

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Re: Global warming, I need an answer
« Reply #19 on: March 14, 2007, 08:56:47 AM »
As first mentioned by Nymacuser, its about money and personal interests, not political ideology.  It just so happens that the interests that support the RIGHT will have to bear the brunt of the costs (at least initially).

The American LEFT isn't out of the woods on the matter of personal interest.  They are still a part of the 5% that uses 25% of the world's resources and creates 25% of its waste.   Someday, people in other countries will ask us to make the same choices the LEFT is asking of the RIGHT.

How many people on this left leaning board put some personal interest beneath the environment and purchase green power from Con ED?
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Offline lizluv43

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Re: Global warming, I need an answer
« Reply #20 on: March 14, 2007, 10:23:53 AM »
Here's the thing about what to do with the trillions of dollars. 

IF we stopped using oil and coal and started using natural resources, started using the technology we have to use energy more efficiently...we would be saving money.  Perhaps not initially but in the long run we would.

We would a) stop our dependency for oil; b) we would automatically be creating a cleaner environment and c) we would be saving money.

That money that is saved could be used for other things such as...helping those countries that are poverty stricken.

The point is...we have to start somewhere.  We can just do everything at once because we would then be running in circles like a dog chasing their tail.

I do believe that EVERYTHING CAN BE ACCOMPLISHED but there has to be a plan, it has to start somewhere.

Seattle has taken it upon themselves to do something about it since the Federal Government won't (instead spending those trillions of dollars in a war for ???).  Read the site, I obtained this information from the HBO show I watched on Monday night (it was on at 7:00 p.m.)

http://www.seattle.gov/html/citizen/environment.htm

They are saving money, lots of it.

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Offline mcjohnz

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Re: Global warming, I need an answer
« Reply #21 on: March 14, 2007, 10:37:40 AM »
two things.

"Intelligent design" should not be taught in science classes because it was not derived through a/the scientific method.  No good scientist not involved in argument would call evolution "fact".  They would say "there is a great deal of empirical and experimental support for the theory of evolution".

Second.  To all climate fanatics (and I do not support or deny any theory on the climate change matter) please see "ice age" in the encyclopedia and realize that the idea that climate can be completely within our control is hubris in the highest. (And remember the last ice age was survived by humanity and theoretically brought settlers to this continent before they were mass-murdered.)  Look at how consistent the climate of earth has been over time.  Your driving an electric car is not going to change the eventual shifting of what land is livable, what arable, ect...

adamwc

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Re: Global warming, I need an answer
« Reply #22 on: March 14, 2007, 02:49:54 PM »
Adam, lets say for the sake of argument that the earth is heating all by itself, sea levels will rise, rain patterns are shifting and drought, disease and food shortages are on the way all by natural causes.  All that being true (NOT), then shouldn't we (people and governments) act to fix, change or help the situation for the betterment of all mankind?  Perhaps recognize that more carbon emissions will only make it worse for the earth and us so we should do something about it?

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/13/science/13gore.html?pagewanted=1&ei=5090&en=2df9d6e7a5aa6ed6&ex=1331438400&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss

Most of my central points are reiterated in this article.

Anthropogenic carbon emissions may make the average global temperature rise (and only wouldn't if other factors counteract their effects), but nobody knows, with certainty, that they will definitely make the global climate "worse", or, to use Gore's terminology, result in a "climate crisis."

Couldn't the RIGHT get behind that idea? 

I have no idea. I guess they could, if they think it will enhance their electability among their constituents.

Do you think the LEFT might consider the possibility that it would be less costly to adapt to our environment as it changes than to attempt to control the climate? Apparently it was a little warmer than it is now in 1600. Would the LEFT consider the possibility that natural changes in climate are actually the primary drivers and our influence may simultaneously be real and still not make "the" big difference either way?


Offline Harlan

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Re: Global warming, I need an answer
« Reply #23 on: March 14, 2007, 02:57:00 PM »
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/13/science/13gore.html?pagewanted=1&ei=5090&en=2df9d6e7a5aa6ed6&ex=1331438400&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss

Most of my central points are reiterated in this article.

That article has been widely slammed for not indicating that all of the "experts" sided are fringe, and not impartial at all. The only people criticizing Gore's movie are people who previously have refused to believe that anthopogenic warming is happening. (source)

Quote
Anthropogenic carbon emissions may make the average global temperature rise (and only wouldn't if other factors counteract their effects), but nobody knows, with certainty, that they will definitely make the global climate "worse", or, to use Gore's terminology, result in a "climate crisis."

OK, well, say it's only 50% sure that tripling CO2 levels will cause tens of trillions of dollars in economic impacts and kill a billion people through civil war, famine, and disease. If that were the case, don't you think we have a moral obligation to NOT triple CO2 levels? If you don't agree, I hereby declare you an evil person.

Quote
Do you think the LEFT might consider the possibility that it would be less costly to adapt to our environment as it changes than to attempt to control the climate? Apparently it was a little warmer than it is now in 1600. Would the LEFT consider the possibility that natural changes in climate are actually the primary drivers and our influence may simultaneously be real and still not make "the" big difference either way?

Speaking for the left, sure. It's been considered by people vastly smarter than me, who spend ALL of their time looking at data and simulations. They considered this issue, and now say that anthropogenic warming is, with very high confidence, the only factor that can cause current rates of climate change.

Offline Frappe

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Re: Global warming, I need an answer
« Reply #24 on: March 14, 2007, 03:17:03 PM »
Check this out to see your global footprint:

http://www.earthday.net/footprint/index.asp#

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Offline Jonathan

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Re: Global warming, I need an answer
« Reply #25 on: March 14, 2007, 04:50:50 PM »

Do you think the LEFT might consider the possibility that it would be less costly to adapt to our environment as it changes than to attempt to control the climate? Apparently it was a little warmer than it is now in 1600. Would the LEFT consider the possibility that natural changes in climate are actually the primary drivers and our influence may simultaneously be real and still not make "the" big difference either way.

Let's go with this one.  I do not think anyone believes they can control the weather, so let's leave that one alone for now.  I do think the left would consider the "adapt to our environment" plan.  Because even if it is all just nature in action that is causing these changes, wouldn't it be prudent to do whatever we can to adapt to these changes by making positive changes in our lifestyles as a species? 

If India, China and the EU can read the writing on the wall then why not us. As a matter of fact wouldn't it be smart for our big corporations to get with it and start doing R&D on alternative energy sources?  Set up the next big energy market for the near future and make America rich off of it?

My little conspiracy theory on all this is that the energy boys know all about this but want to milk the oil & coal industry for every last penny before it's gone. The beauty of it is that as supplies get smaller prices go up so they will actually make more than ever.  Way to go!

adamwc

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Re: Global warming, I need an answer
« Reply #26 on: March 14, 2007, 05:39:36 PM »
There's not much good in bringing millions of people around the world out of poverty if we're not simultaneously developing things to help preserve the environment for when they can afford to buy cars and such things. You may find this analogy to be overly severe, but I would liken that to piling a bunch of people onto a rescue boat until the whole thing sinks, which helps no one.
Various other analogies would fit, like something about having to build stronger supports for taller buildings or needing a really sturdy table if you're going to put some really heavy stuff on it.

 "...developing things to help preserve the environment...."

Your premise is that if human beings don't specifically focus on reducing carbon emissions, the emissions amounts will reach a point at which the Earth will become, essentially, uninhabitable.

What if your premise is wrong? In the way, for example, that a resident of NYC in 1900 would be wrong to predict that the city would be impossible to live in 50 years into the future because of the piles of horseshit all over the place. They didn't anticipate disruptive technology shift called the automobile and the assembly line. In the way, for example, that people are wrong when they make any fine predictions about the future based on a frame of reference that cannot adequately account for the unpredictable, spontaneous nature of human beings. Or in the way that giving the government control over our adaptability to climate change may just completely backfire?

Would you have predicted the end of the Soviet Union, how and when it occured? The personal computer, more specifically the GUI of the Mac? Wireless phones making international calls? Health food stores?

Sustainability is unpredictable because we are. What we think is impossible today may be common tomorrow. What sustained humanity once upon a time would be insufficient today... you get the idea.

I was born in the seventies when many prospective parents, including friends of my parents, were admonished by the scientific establishment about inevitable overpopulation that would result in hundreds of millions, even billions of people dying of starvation, not in some distant future, but in the 1980s and 1990s. The thing is, not only was the overpopulation mantra wrong, it was profoundly wrong. Not only was population growth not linear in wealthy nations, as had been projected, but innovators like Norman Borlaug made it possible for billions of people to avoid malnutrition and thrive. Yet people really believed in overpopulation.

This idea that people living in the developing world will end up with all of the benefits of modern life that we currently enjoy, but it will be all for naught because of the impact of anthropogenic carbon emissions is not descriptive, is not scientifically derived, it's based on models. Models that can't account for social change, new technologies, etc.

Human beings throughout recorded history have had to adapt to changing conditions. It's what we do. Especially insofar as it has been used to argue, as many have, that the developing world should not be allowed access to economic development opportunities, this is a pernicious idea: one implicit assertion is that the risk of economic prosperity and enhanced longevity is that it will overburden the Earth. I'm not saying that's yours or anyone on this board's assertion, but I have heard this set forth as a rationale for slowing economic development and I find it deplorably inhumane.

Humanity's best chance for enhanced longevity and prosperity on this planet comes from our ingenuity. What drives ingenuity is a process of adaptation in the face of challenges and a process of dynamic discovery based on trial and error, profits and losses, experimentation.

If there was ever the possibility of a man-made black hole for human life, liberty and wealth, it would be a government program tasked with controlling the Earth's climate. Would there ever be a big enough budget, enough interventionist power for such an endeavor?
 
The argument here is for sustainability.

Sustainability... who would argue against that? Not me.

What happens when a scarce resource is declared a commons? Like Chilean Sea Bass? Like medical professionals? Like forests? They get used up to extinction because nobody has a vested interest in preserving the resource. In fact, the self-interest of a person with access to a resource he/she knows everybody else has access to is to take as much of it as possible, more than he or she needs, because (1) he/she knows everybody else will do the same thing and (2) because waste has no cost. In economics, this is known as the tragedy of the commons. On the other hand, ownership incentivizes stewardship, which is sustainability-plus. People take care of what they own and crap all over what nobody owns. 

Sustainability has to be profit driven. Has nothing to do with taking a LEFT or RIGHT stand on the issue. Why do lumber companies plant trees? Because they want to ensure future revenue. Why do the fishermen in Iceland not have the fish shortages suffered in Chile? Because each of them privately owns the right to fish between specific coordinates, so they do so in a manner that doesn't destroy their ability to make profits over time. 

I'd love to see an end to sweetheart deals between businesses and governments whereby companies relocate to a state that promises eminent domain taking of the company's preferred destination, extraordinary tax-deferments and pollution without consequences. I see privatization of  property as a check on pollution without consequences, at the very least. Private property owners tend to be less tolerant of pollution than are governments. Ideally, I'd like a separation of economy and state whereby it is a criminal act for politicians and/or individuals/businesses to seek advantages and/or wealth (corporate welfare, loopholes, etc.)  ... but that's probably best saved for another thread.

However, certainly there's enough money being wasted by our government today that a sizable investment in environmental protection wouldn't have to starve all other causes. We've already spent close to a trillion dollars, if not more, in Iraq and we still don't seem short of money to waste. Though I guess that depends on how you view the national debt. Man, our government sucks.

Yes, our government does suck. Except for most of the rest, which don't have the U.S.'s robust initial defense of individual liberty. But yeah, it's pretty rough right now. The war.... takes my breath away. And now the pendulum is swinging hard towards a new kind of centrist national socialism, supported jointly by Democrats and Republicans, in which the winners are politicians, bureaucrats, big businesses, big special interest groups, and the losers are individual citizens making less than $100,000, small businesses, and entrepreneurs. The primary effect of "a sizable investment in environmental protection" by our government will enrich and empower the aforementioned winners at the expense of the aforementioned losers.

Trusting government to do anything consistently and efficiently and smartly and morally is absofuckinglutely insane.

adamwc

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Re: Global warming, I need an answer
« Reply #27 on: March 14, 2007, 05:57:18 PM »
OK, well, say it's only 50% sure that tripling CO2 levels will cause tens of trillions of dollars in economic impacts and kill a billion people through civil war, famine, and disease. If that were the case, don't you think we have a moral obligation to NOT triple CO2 levels? If you don't agree, I hereby declare you an evil person.

So I'm either with you or against you?  :-(  Would being "declared" evil get me a discount on an Axis of Evil membership?

Plan A: Keep anthropogenic carbon emissions at current levels or reduce them to avoid a future in which MAYBE "tens of trillions of dollars in economic impacts and kill a billion people through civil war, famine, and disease." And, then again, it's possible none of that would have happened.

Is "Plan A" free? No. Of course, it isn't. Are there real flesh and blood people with dire needs today? I've talked about them in previous posts. We all know there are people suffering all over the world. The Venezualans have a pretty bleak future (a friend of mine studying in Boston has his family telling him not to come back, and they're trying to get out!). Chavez has the fossil fuels flowing overtime. You think he'll agree to be bound by your plan? Putin? What would drastically reducing trade with Middle-Eastern regimes like Saudi Arabia lead to? 

Are you, Harlan, going to actually prevent people in India and Africa and China from burning fossil fuels to meet their growing needs? How is this global initiative going to work? What will be the consequences for countries that refuse to reduce their emissions? Will they be labeled evil and invaded? Will there be wars of necessity in the hopes of averting wars? Might that lead to famine? Disease? I know envirofanatics have prevented dams from coming online in India, consigning hundreds of thousands of people to burning dung in huts for heat and to cook, denying millions access to electricity. Is human misery the cost of saving the world?

You're sure you have the moral high ground in this discussion, or are you only 50% sure? Because the way I see it, it is a moral priority not to accept moral priorities that sacrifice some people to benefit others...... and especially others who aren't even born yet.

What exactly are you proposing, Harlan, in order that the planet Earth's atmosphere *might* have a certain composition and average temperature?

Offline TRX

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Gore and more Re: Global warming, I need an answer
« Reply #28 on: March 14, 2007, 07:17:55 PM »
"On March 21st, I'm going to hand-deliver your messages on television when I testify at Congressional hearings on global warming.

This is an incredible opportunity to show Congress the energy behind this issue. I need your help to really make it count. Can you commit to getting 10 of your friends to sign a message to Congress before March 21st?


To get your friends involved in our effort, please forward them this note or direct them to:

http://www.algore.com/cards.html


Thank you,
-Al Gore "

***

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impact_event

(OT but more concerns for civilization)

***

The Rosenkranz Foundation presents
Intelligence Squared US Spring 2007 Debate #2
Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Global warming is not a crisis

Length: 1 hr 45 mins
Intermission: None
Seating: General Admission


The evening will be moderated by Brian Lehrer, host of WNYC AM/FM Radio's "Brian Lehrer Show." Speaking for the motion are Michael Crichton, Richard S. Lindzen and Philip Stott. Speaking against the motion are Brenda Ekwurzel, Gavin Schmidt and Richard C.J. Somerville.

Intelligence Squared US is an Oxford-style debate series that will take on hot-button issues of the day with panels of experts, authorities and passionate advocates for each side of a motion. Ultimately, the audience vote will decide which team carries the day and wins the debate.

Each debate includes a reception beforehand starting at 6:00P. The debate begins promptly at 6:45P and ends at 8:30P.
For more information, please check our website, www.intelligencesquaredus.org.


MODERATOR
Brian Lehrer is host of the highly-acclaimed “Brian Lehrer Show,” heard weekday mornings on WNYC® New York Public Radio®, 820 AM, 93.9 FM and wnyc.org. He is also an award-winning author and documentary producer. Lehrer holds master's degrees in journalism and public health/environmental sciences.


PANELISTS FOR THE MOTION
Michael Crichton is a writer and filmmaker, best known as the author of Jurassic Park and the creator of "ER." Crichton graduated summa cum laude from Harvard College, received his M.D. from Harvard Medical School, and was a postdoctoral fellow at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. He has been a visiting instructor at Cambridge University and M.I.T. Crichton's 2004 bestseller, State of Fear, challenged extreme anthropogenic warming scenarios.

Richard S. Lindzen has been the Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Atmospheric Sciences at MIT since 1983. Previously he held professorships at Harvard, where he received his A.B., S.M. and Ph.D., and the University of Chicago. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the recipient of various awards. He is the author or coauthor of three books and over 200 papers. His current research is on climate sensitivity, atmospheric convection and the general circulation of the atmosphere.

Philip Stott is an Emeritus Professor and biogeographer from the University of London, UK. Although a scientist, for the past ten years he has also employed modern techniques of deconstruction to grand environmental narratives, like “global warming.” Stott was editor of the internationally-important Journal of Biogeography for 18 years. He appears regularly on TV and radio, and writes on environmental issues for The Times of London, among other publications.


PANELISTS AGAINST THE MOTION
Brenda Ekwurzel works on the national climate program at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS). Prior to joining UCS, she was on the faculty of the University of Arizona. Doctorate research was at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University and post-doctoral research at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California.

Gavin Schmidt is a climate scientist at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York. His publications include studies of past, present and potential future climates. Scientific American cited him as one of the 50 Research Leaders of 2004. He has worked on education and outreach with the American Museum of Natural History, the College de France and the New York Academy of Sciences among others. He is a contributing editor at RealClimate.org.

Richard C.J. Somerville is Distinguished Professor at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego. He is a theoretical meteorologist and an expert on computer simulations of the atmosphere. Among many honors, Somerville is a Fellow of both the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Meteorological Society. He has received awards for both his research and his popular book, The Forgiving Air: Understanding Environmental Change.

Life, Liberty, Happiness (pursuit of) and pasta

Offline TRX

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another day of choices Re: Global warming, I need an answer
« Reply #29 on: March 14, 2007, 07:26:55 PM »

'1day is a call to every person to take one day off on the 21 March 2007 and make the smallest possible carbon footprint.

Try not to drive or use public transport rather walk or bike, turn off all electrical appliances you can, try not to cook, eat simple food. Spend time at home with your family and friends or go walking, see how creative you can be, plant a tree, but use no or as little energy as possible.

Turn off the TV, turn off the Internet, turn off the phone.'



'Climate change and global warming is not something that is going to happen, it has started, it is happening right now.

1day is our day to celebrate our home, to pay thanks to it. Every year in every country on Earth, we have hundreds of different holidays to remember and celebrate things of the past. 1day is a day to celebrate the future. It is a day that we give to today's children.

1day is a message to governments that we support their recent positive actions on climate change and we need more of them.

1day is a choice, not a protest.

PLEASE PARTICIPATE IN 1day! Please tell everyone and ask your friends and family to participate in 1day - after all it is only one day.
21 March 2007

Homepage
http://www.1day2007.org
'
Life, Liberty, Happiness (pursuit of) and pasta


 

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