HomeBrew, on 07 August 2010 - 06:43 AM, said:
perneseblue, on 06 August 2010 - 09:43 PM, said:
I would argue that it doesn't matter. Man-made or natural, global warming is a threat and has to be combated, with the objective to buy time for modern civilization to adapt.
And I would argue that it does matter -- we have finite financial resources available. Is it more effective to spend those resources on green technology fixes, which will have little impact on the situation we find ourselves in if the warming is not in large part man-made, or is it better to realize that the warming is inevitable and that we have little influence over it, and thus spend our resources instead on making changes to societal infrastructure to migiagte the effects of living on a warmer planet?
To summarize, we disagree on two point.
1-The degree that humanity plays in the this global warming trend.
2-How humanity should allocate our limited and finite resources.
Why are those two points of contention important? I have come to realize it is because they overlay a more basic question, "Do we have sufficient time to adapt our civilization or do we need to buy time."
If we have sufficient time to adapt our civilization, I agree, we should spend our finite resources adapting. If humanity does not have enough time, it would be logical to expend some resources buying time, so we can complete the adaption process.
I stand on the side of "We don't have enough time". People take a lot of time to get their act together. Humanity has to get through the recognition stage, the denial stage (I think we are here), the anger stage, the acceptance stage, the long planing stage and finally the implementation stage.
Knowing people's propensity to procrastinate and dash madly to meet dead lines, the same would probably happen during this challenge. And worryingly, we will only know when the deadline has arrived when our crops fail, our seaports flood and shortages of goods due to disruptions from single point failures in the global supply chain. And yes, I recognize not all system failures will hit at the same time. But I believe those short few years will not provide enough time to adapt. Nor would the warning signs be recognized as such.
I also stand on the side that "Humanity do make a significant impact to the global warming trend."
Thus humanity can "buy" time to adapt by moving to green technology which has reduced emission of carbon dioxide. However I was thinking a step more than that. I was thinking of actual expenditure of resource/energy to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere (my preference is to carbonize wood and storage of the charcoal produced underground). And yes, the dreadful solar shield idea with sulfur dioxide in the upper atmosphere would come under the idea of "buying time". Dreadful because knowing human behaviour, once the solar shield is up, people will stop bothering and make no attempt to adapt civilization. And when the shield goes down, we will get hit with all the changes in an instant, without even the few decades to adapt that we would receive with this warming trend.
May your PCR products be long, your protocols short and your boss on holiday