[ExI] libertarian (asteroid) defense

Samantha Atkins sjatkins at mac.com
Wed Mar 2 12:18:06 UTC 2011

On Mar 2, 2011, at 3:10 AM, Anders Sandberg wrote:

> Samantha Atkins wrote:
>> On 03/01/2011 03:39 AM, Anders Sandberg wrote:
>>> Climate change is indeed a reshuffling of the cards, in itself fairly neutral but on one hand breaking down structure (all the winery infrastructure will be in the wrong place, and it takes money, time and expertise to build it somewhere else) and on the other affecting people differently depending on their resilience (the dirty secret of climate impacts on society research: the developed world is fairly likely to withstand even pretty big climate effects, while the undeveloped won't). 
>> Please point to irrefutable non-fudged evidence of actually dangerous levels of current climate change.  Otherwise could we move on to something actually important?
> It is worth noting that in this thread the issue is not so much anthropogenic climate effects as *any* climate effects.

Funny.  I thought it was about asteroids or libertarians or something?  :)

> Especially of course asteroid-caused climate changes (which, however, are not likely to be a mere reshuffling but a serious impulse deviation from the current climate). Given past climate variability data and the power-law distribution of drought-induced famines (plus the bad food security at present) we should be paying serious attention to what we can do about the climate.

Climate change from asteroids, which are low probability events not rationally worth hight consideration (as you so eloquently proved) do not count as something particularly serious and pressing.

> I think people underestimate the impacts on non-dangerous climate change. For example, this year will likely have a food price peak as bad as the one 2007-2008 partially due to bad weather in China messing up the wheat harvest. This will not be very noticeable to most westerners since we already eat very processed food: the raw food price is a small component of what we pay. But it does have plenty of impact on marginal people, and their reactions have political repercussions (food prices are one extra reason so many people in the Arab world are angry right now).

This is actually particularly dangerous?

> Of course, sometimes causality goes the other way around. If you want a good reason to kick the church of climate change, look at biofuels. Biofuels have been a spectacular disaster because they tie food production and fuel production together.

Sure, but not climate change per se and actually in part justified by those that claimed major global warming unless we do something right now as #1 or close to it priority. 

- samantha

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