poly: global warming problem?

From: Damien R. Sullivan <phoenix@ugcs.caltech.edu>
Date: Mon Dec 08 1997 - 18:32:51 PST

A post I just sent to Extropians (very Hegelian. Disaster posting,
pooh-pooh posting, then me):

On Dec 8, 4:13pm, "Warrl kyree Tale'sedrin" wrote:

> The evidence for an ice age is as good as the evidence for global
> warming.
What evidence for an ice age? The global temperature has increased half
a degree in the past century.

> We can further say with equal confidence that they were NOT
> environmental disasters in any way that we would recognise. That

How can we say that? There was a happy ecosystem, yes. There was not a
happy ecosystem with agricultural humans who tend to live near
shorelines and be vulnerable to malaria in it.

I think we can say that we are busy putting the CO2 of the Carboniferous
back into the atmosphere. The Carboniferous had Very Large dragonflies
and cockroaches. Some people might consider this worth a thought.

> global-warming doomsayers are right in their predictions. What if
> the ice-age doomsayers are right?

In the absence of further evidence, I prefer to assume that the
economists are right. There are various things we should be doing
anyway, which would be cheap insurance. Not actively subsidizing coal
and other high-carbon fuels. (Spain and Germany subsidize their coal,
and I suspect the US spent more on the Gulf War than on renewable
energy sources.) Being more energy efficient in general.

On the other hand, while global warming is a possible threat,
deforestation, desertification, aquifer depletion, and sperm count
deterioration are all actually happening, as is air pollution in
Mexico City and Beijing which make LA seem like a health spa. There are
environmental problems with higher urgency.

-xx- GCU I'm Color Blind; I Only See Grey X-)

"Reminds me of a humorous sf story I read a few years back where an
amoeboid alien escaped punishment this way (it was guilty of selling
pornographic pictures to earthly biologists who used them to illustrate
mitosis in their textbooks). Both the resulting individuals claimed
innocence, and pointed out that they were underage."
Received on Tue Dec 9 02:27:22 1997

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