[extropy-chat] Climate skepticism patterns

Samantha Atkins sjatkins at gmail.com
Fri Jun 9 08:13:21 UTC 2006

On Jun 8, 2006, at 10:58 AM, Hal Finney wrote:

> One final point.  I haven't yet seen Al Gore's global warming movie,
> An Inconvenient Truth.  However I'll note that the title is somewhat
> misleading, as the "truth" that he presents is actually quite  
> convenient
> for supporters of centralization, world government, economic controls,
> and collective action - in short, for leftists, and for Al Gore  
> himself.

This really misses the point completely.  Centralization is not  
necessarily the only or the best way to deal with global warming.

> Listening to a TV review of the movie, they quoted Gore as saying
> that within 10 years we will reach a tipping point, and if we don't do
> something by then we are doomed to very bad consequences.  This is his
> "inconvenient truth".  But listen to what Science magazine wrote a few
> weeks ago:
>> A central feature of this long baseline is this: At no time in at
>> least the past 10 million years has the atmospheric concentration
>> of CO2 exceeded the present value of 380 ppmv. At this time in the
>> Miocene, there were no major ice sheets in Greenland, sea level was
>> several meters higher than today's (envision a very skinny Florida),
>> and temperatures were several degrees higher. A more recent point of
>> reference, and the subject of two papers in this issue, is the  
>> Eemian:
>> the previous interglacial, about 130,000 to 120,000 years ago. This
>> was a warm climate, comparable to our Holocene, during which sea  
>> levels
>> were several meters higher than today's, even though CO2  
>> concentrations
>> remained much lower than today's postindustrial level.
> http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/summary/311/5768/1673
> The real inconvenient truth is that emissions reductions will not
> stop the catastrophic consequences of global warming.  Even enormously
> costly efforts will make only a small difference.  The only solution
> is technology.  This is not a lesson that Al Gore is particularly  
> eager
> to teach, but it is what the world must learn in order to deal with  
> this
> problem rationally and efficiently.

Al Gore is usually a strong advocate of technology.  Do you really  
thing he cares more about centralization than about doing what can be  
done to mitigate a disaster?  Perhaps we could all do with a bit less  
sniping of one another and instead work together on solutions.

- samantha

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