[extropy-chat] Global warming news
rhanson at gmu.edu
Sat Mar 25 19:46:29 UTC 2006
At 01:09 PM 3/25/2006, Robert Bradbury wrote:
>The comments by Martin seem to be being made by someone who has
>"bought" the conventional wisdom we see on TV or in the
>newspapers... "Global warming is a problem", "The glaciers are
>melting", "We will destroy the planet", etc. The scientific
>experiments *were* done *1999* that showed we could fertilize the
>oceans and produce an expansion of biomass.
>Until someone shows me demonstrable evidence that we cannot solve
>the problem using this solution, I will assume that all "global
>warming" claims are specious. ...
Surely many things that can go wrong between a general conceptual
demonstration and a full scale solution to global warming.
>Going back to Hal's original statement "the scientific consensus
>seems to be very definitely supportive of the whole theory". My
>response is *so what*?
>... Global warming is disruptive but it certainly isn't as
>significant a problem as global freezing would be... global warming
>will make *more* land habitable than is now the case. It isn't
>exactly as if Russia is experiencing overpopulation (in fact its
>population is decreasing). Sure there are some relocation problems
>-- one wants to move lots of people from China & India to Russia as
>it warms up. The farmers in Texas have to move to Manitoba or
>Alberta, but *where* is the problem here!?!
Yes humanity will not go extinct due to global warming. But those
disruptions will have real costs, which we would prefer to avoid all
else equal. To economists the obvious solution is to try estimate
the real disruption costs due global warming, and how they increase
as the quantity of CO2 increases, and then charge people that price
for CO2 increases (or decreases). The price is clearly above zero,
though the economic analyses I have seen suggest that many prices
that have been proposed would be worse than a zero price. I could
invent some creative institutions to try to better estimate the right
price, but I don't think there is much chance of their being used
Robin Hanson rhanson at gmu.edu http://hanson.gmu.edu
Associate Professor of Economics, George Mason University
MSN 1D3, Carow Hall, Fairfax VA 22030-4444
703-993-2326 FAX: 703-993-2323
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