Jump to content

Climate change and your life


SmallCap
 Share

Recommended Posts

listening recently to the Vlogbrothers (youtube) discus the "fact" of global climate change (or global warming, take your pick) and while I agree with some of what they said and have some skepticism on other things they said, it made me wonder "what if". What if everything that this cloud of experts is saying is true and we are in for some unprecedented change in our weather patterns (i am deliberately being a bit vague)?

 

Now please, please don't take this thread into a discussion of whether these facts and experts are right or not or whether we are going to have significant climate change, Lets just go forward with the assumption that they are generally correct in their assumptions. I know that there is wide variations in those assumptions but you get the idea. we've already had thread discussing our opinions on whether these things will happen or not. Lets assume that they are and will happen and lets also assume that humans are significantly contributing to it and that humans won't make widespread change until there are significant obvious consequences.

 

So keeping those assumptions in mind and that this is the type of future that we are all going to live in, if you truly believed all this how would you live your life. Not how would you try to change the world but how would you live your life.

 

Reason I am asking this is that I see what I consider to be strange behavior on the part of the people who say they believe in this future. Extreme example but I would think that some of these people would start investing in coastal property in northern Alaska, Canada and Siberia instead of continuing to buy and live in Florida and NYC.

 

It seems that while they are predicting a dire future just a few years down the road, it seems that most of them aren't making some common sense changes in their own life to both thrive and even benefit from these coming changes.

 

So my question to all of you is given the assumptions I laid out, how would you change YOUR life to both thrive and benefit from these significant global changes? I'm looking for more then what companies you would invest in, though that would be interesting, but things like where and how would you life, what education would you get, what resources would you accumulate?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think this thread will jump the shark in 3... 2...

 

In general though, I believe in tech solutions to this problem. And I think that the solutions should be emphasized by people/scientists who talk about this issue. Scaremongering never works. People just shut it out. Unfortunately that's what I mostly see.

 

In short, we'll have singularity in ~40 years after which climate will be a solved problem. Just hang on until then. ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think this thread will jump the shark in 3... 2...

 

In general though, I believe in tech solutions to this problem. And I think that the solutions should be emphasized by people/scientists who talk about this issue. Scaremongering never works. People just shut it out. Unfortunately that's what I mostly see.

 

In short, we'll have singularity in ~40 years after which climate will be a solved problem. Just hang on until then. ;)

 

It's funny how "solutions" to climate change receive so little press. Sure we get the renewable energy/electric cars etc. push but there's a whole range of actual scientific options open to us to slow or mitigate global warming.

 

From the extreme like putting solar blankets in orbit to reflect a small percentage of sunlight to simple things like planting trees to slow the expansion of deserts or fertilizing lifeless expanses of ocean with iron to increase phytoplankton photosynthesis and serve as a massive carbon sink, there are options for directly mitigating the effects of CO2 and climate change. 

 

My point isn't that we should jump right into any one of these solutions, it's just that options exist that are well within our capabilities to at the very least slow down the rate of climate change. If climate change is going to have as high of a cost as many predict, why not at least make an effort to mitigate its effects. It makes little sense to me how many people who accept climate change and all its implications in its entirety have also resigned themselves to the fact that it is inevitable. If it's really a problem, start working on solutions with a high ROI.

 

Personally, in my free time I enjoy studying coral and coral reef growth. The effects of climate change on coral reefs are IMO vastly overstated with a lot of pollution related issues being attributed to climate change. The net result is likely to be highly location dependent with some locations benefiting from warmer ocean temps and others suffering. It's unfortunate though that climate change gets the blame when education and relatively simple solutions would have a much greater effect on reef health.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think this thread will jump the shark in 3... 2...

 

In general though, I believe in tech solutions to this problem. And I think that the solutions should be emphasized by people/scientists who talk about this issue. Scaremongering never works. People just shut it out. Unfortunately that's what I mostly see.

 

In short, we'll have singularity in ~40 years after which climate will be a solved problem. Just hang on until then. ;)

 

+1. I agree with everything you just said, especially the 1st sentence.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Since we are discussing science I'll just leave this here.  It is a little long but well worth the read.  Scientists are just people with the same motivations and tendencies as anyone else.  The fact that politics is driving so much of the science in this field (and some others) just makes me a little nervous when deciding what to believe. 

 

http://www.firstthings.com/article/2016/05/scientific-regress

 

Also, if CO2 is the problem like they say, we will be worried about too little CO2 in the atmosphere after molecular nanotech starts using the carbon to build stuff. So like Jurgis said, even if it is all true, this will be a non-issue as long as we can wait another decade or 4.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As I have said before, why sould we take the risk to see what happens?

 

https://www.newscientist.com/article/2085413-half-a-degree-extra-warming-would-lead-to-catastrophic-impacts/#.VxjmNL4GRBU.twitter

 

What I am doing is trying to reduce my carbon footprint and showing the path to the people I know. And I am a big fan of science and technology, but let's not put our head under the sand by thinking that technology will solve everything miraculously. Carbon will continue to increase in the atmosphere for decade even if we reduce our emissions, and the time response of the whole system will lead to huge change even after we have stopped emitting so much carbon into the atmosphere and the ocean. We have to change our behavior, and the sooner the better, and if we act rapidly, technology will possibly help us.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Happy Earth Day everyone.  We live in a world that since the 1st Earth Day in 1970 has gotten cleaner, even though the population has expanded, we are all richer, healthier, living longer, have greater quality of life, more food and adjusted for inflation almost every natural and/or man made resource has gotten cheaper, better, and more abundant.  This article has a few of the predictions that didn't turn out quite right from the neo-malthusians and other prophets of doom in 1970.

 

From 18 Spectacularly Wrong Prophecies from the First Earth Day, Environmental Doomsayers Are Undeterred by Their Perfectly Wrong Track Record

 

1. Harvard biologist George Wald estimated that “civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind.”

 

2. “We are in an environmental crisis which threatens the survival of this nation, and of the world as a suitable place of human habitation,” wrote Washington University biologist Barry Commoner in the Earth Day issue of the scholarly journal Environment.

 

3. The day after the first Earth Day, the New York Times editorial page warned, “Man must stop pollution and conserve his resources, not merely to enhance existence but to save the race from intolerable deterioration and possible extinction.”

 

4. “Population will inevitably and completely outstrip whatever small increases in food supplies we make,” Paul Ehrlich confidently declared in the April 1970 Mademoiselle. “The death rate will increase until at least 100-200 million people per year will be starving to death during the next ten years.”

 

5. “Most of the people who are going to die in the greatest cataclysm in the history of man have already been born,” wrote Paul Ehrlich in a 1969 essay titled “Eco-Catastrophe! “By…[1975] some experts feel that food shortages will have escalated the present level of world hunger and starvation into famines of unbelievable proportions. Other experts, more optimistic, think the ultimate food-population collision will not occur until the decade of the 1980s.”

 

6. Ehrlich sketched out his most alarmist scenario for the 1970 Earth Day issue of The Progressive, assuring readers that between 1980 and 1989, some 4 billion people, including 65 million Americans, would perish in the “Great Die-Off.”

 

7. “It is already too late to avoid mass starvation,” declared Denis Hayes, the chief organizer for Earth Day, in the Spring 1970 issue of The Living Wilderness.

 

8. Peter Gunter, a North Texas State University professor, wrote in 1970, “Demographers agree almost unanimously on the following grim timetable: by 1975 widespread famines will begin in India; these will spread by 1990 to include all of India, Pakistan, China and the Near East, Africa. By the year 2000, or conceivably sooner, South and Central America will exist under famine conditions….By the year 2000, thirty years from now, the entire world, with the exception of Western Europe, North America, and Australia, will be in famine.”

 

9. In January 1970, Life reported, “Scientists have solid experimental and theoretical evidence to support…the following predictions: In a decade, urban dwellers will have to wear gas masks to survive air pollution…by 1985 air pollution will have reduced the amount of sunlight reaching earth by one half….”

 

10. Ecologist Kenneth Watt told Time that, “At the present rate of nitrogen buildup, it’s only a matter of time before light will be filtered out of the atmosphere and none of our land will be usable.”

 

11. Barry Commoner predicted that decaying organic pollutants would use up all of the oxygen in America’s rivers, causing freshwater fish to suffocate.

 

12. Paul Ehrlich chimed in, predicting in his 1970 that “air pollution…is certainly going to take hundreds of thousands of lives in the next few years alone.” Ehrlich sketched a scenario in which 200,000 Americans would die in 1973 during “smog disasters” in New York and Los Angeles.

 

13. Paul Ehrlich warned in the May 1970 issue of Audubon that DDT and other chlorinated hydrocarbons “may have substantially reduced the life expectancy of people born since 1945.” Ehrlich warned that Americans born since 1946…now had a life expectancy of only 49 years, and he predicted that if current patterns continued this expectancy would reach 42 years by 1980, when it might level out.

 

14. Ecologist Kenneth Watt declared, “By the year 2000, if present trends continue, we will be using up crude oil at such a rate…that there won’t be any more crude oil. You’ll drive up to the pump and say, `Fill ‘er up, buddy,’ and he’ll say, `I am very sorry, there isn’t any.'”

 

15. Harrison Brown, a scientist at the National Academy of Sciences, published a chart in Scientific American that looked at metal reserves and estimated the humanity would totally run out of copper shortly after 2000. Lead, zinc, tin, gold, and silver would be gone before 1990.

 

16. Sen. Gaylord Nelson wrote in Look that, “Dr. S. Dillon Ripley, secretary of the Smithsonian Institute, believes that in 25 years, somewhere between 75 and 80 percent of all the species of living animals will be extinct.”

 

17. In 1975, Paul Ehrlich predicted that “since more than nine-tenths of the original tropical rainforests will be removed in most areas within the next 30 years or so, it is expected that half of the organisms in these areas will vanish with it.”

 

18. Kenneth Watt warned about a pending Ice Age in a speech. “The world has been chilling sharply for about twenty years,” he declared. “If present trends continue, the world will be about four degrees colder for the global mean temperature in 1990, but eleven degrees colder in the year 2000. This is about twice what it would take to put us into an ice age.”

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As I have said before, why sould we take the risk to see what happens?

 

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4036/4254681996_27b1ed7ff0.jpg

 

Doing what you suggest has real costs.  Huge costs.  What if massive changes where made in 1970 to reduce world population and curb fossil fuel use.  We wouldn't have saved ourselves from anything but imagined demons, but we would all be significantly poorer today.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As I have said before, why sould we take the risk to see what happens?

 

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4036/4254681996_27b1ed7ff0.jpg

 

Doing what you suggest has real costs.  Huge costs.  What if massive changes where made in 1970 to reduce world population and curb fossil fuel use.  We wouldn't have saved ourselves from anything but imagined demons, but we would all be significantly poorer today.

 

Would we? I honestly can't say!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My question is cost.  If the cost is low then no problem.  The amount of resources we have to deal with the world's problem is limited and we should focus for the largest bang for the identifiable buck.  Most of the global warming solutions are very expensive in terms of benefit.  Technology will reduce this cost over time and thus do what we can inexpensively today and when a tech breakthrough happens use that versus spending resources today on expensive solutions.  I think what some have done is to develop speculative scenarios to justify spending money in front of other projects that have a larger impact.

 

Packer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Doing what you suggest has real costs.  Huge costs.  What if massive changes where made in 1970 to reduce world population and curb fossil fuel use.  We wouldn't have saved ourselves from anything but imagined demons, but we would all be significantly poorer today.

The cost of climate change is like an ultimate economic externality. I'd argue that cost is already large and getting larger, it's just being paid by others.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The problem is there are so many unknowns so that you cannot estimate the payoff of climate change. Yeah maybe a few trade passages open up and maybe some frozen land thaws, but it could result in droughts, permanent weather pattern changes that could affect crop yields, warming climates could now be exposed to new tropical diseases to which animals have no immunity, leading to extinction events.

 

Thinking about the net impact of climate change won't get us anywhere.

 

It doesn't cost all that much to help solve the problem. Start subsidizing renewable energy, and minimum have tax breaks for RE.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My question is cost.  If the cost is low then no problem.  The amount of resources we have to deal with the world's problem is limited and we should focus for the largest bang for the identifiable buck.  Most of the global warming solutions are very expensive in terms of benefit.  Technology will reduce this cost over time and thus do what we can inexpensively today and when a tech breakthrough happens use that versus spending resources today on expensive solutions.  I think what some have done is to develop speculative scenarios to justify spending money in front of other projects that have a larger impact.

 

Packer

 

+1  and the resources could go to saving human lives today.

 

Environmentalism has become like a religion with its own ideology.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My question is cost.  If the cost is low then no problem.  The amount of resources we have to deal with the world's problem is limited and we should focus for the largest bang for the identifiable buck.  Most of the global warming solutions are very expensive in terms of benefit.  Technology will reduce this cost over time and thus do what we can inexpensively today and when a tech breakthrough happens use that versus spending resources today on expensive solutions.  I think what some have done is to develop speculative scenarios to justify spending money in front of other projects that have a larger impact.

 

Packer

 

I understand what you say. The difficulty is that it is a non-linear phenomena and it is not easy to predict if the cost to solve this are going down faster than the increasing cost we will occur by delaying to solve the problems.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My question is cost.  If the cost is low then no problem.  The amount of resources we have to deal with the world's problem is limited and we should focus for the largest bang for the identifiable buck.  Most of the global warming solutions are very expensive in terms of benefit.  Technology will reduce this cost over time and thus do what we can inexpensively today and when a tech breakthrough happens use that versus spending resources today on expensive solutions.  I think what some have done is to develop speculative scenarios to justify spending money in front of other projects that have a larger impact.

 

Packer

 

+1  and the resources could go to saving human lives today.

 

Environmentalism has become like a religion with its own ideology.

 

 

Wasn't it Bill Nye that said Climate Change Deniers should go to prison? When you are punishing heretics it is no longer science, even if you are correct.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...