Friday, April 14, 2006

Global warming is all about human rights, etc

Global warming is worse than even environmentalists had imagined a few years ago. The alarming news is that all over artic regions the permafrost is melting. Permafrost is defined as anything that has been frozen for two years or longer. Now permafrost that has been around for 1000s of years is melting. The problem is that permafrost contains organic matter that freezes CO2 gases, presenting a greenhouse gas time bomb; once warming reaches a certain level it begins to feed into a viscious loop: more permafrost melts, more CO2 is released, more warming occurs and so on. Climatologist generally refer this as the Tipping Point

Climate change is here to stay. The argument about whether or not it exists is a needless exercise. We need to accept its reality and plan accordingly. Know this: whatever we do now will not reverse the effects. The carrying capacity of all nations will be affected within the next ten to twenty years as more land becomes unusable. Who gets to live where under what conditions will be a political mess we do not have the tools for. So yes, IT IS all about equality, human rights and general fairness.

But don't take my word for it. Here are links that illustrate the issue better than I ever can:

The Guardian
The New Scientist
Chinese Controled Media: Znet
KTVA-TV Anchorage, Alaska
English Version of German Mag, Spiegel


Dilettante said...

While I do agree that humans should take global warming into account, I would like to emphasize that:

1. Warming is not necessarily bad (think Canada, Russia, heating costs ...).

2. It's hopeless to expect that humans can explain, let alone predict global warming, apart from the general trends and considerations. The climate system is way too complicated.

3. It is very unlikely that major things such as slowing down of Gulfstream will happen in foreseable future. The climate system must be really unstable for this.

In my opinion, humans should take more an adjustment/passive approach rather than trying to stop global warming, for instance, by making everyone ride buses instead of driving. The warming is only just another factor to take into consideration.

The Red Queen said...

Global warming means massive crop failure and droughts in places that allready can't afford them (think Africa). Huhm- lower heating costs for northern countries, massive starvation and death for poor ones. How very eurocentric of you.

And I know you don't ride busses.

Dilettante said...

I rode buses, trams, subway, etc. until I was 30+. So I can attest personally that driving a car is much more efficient. Do you want to make me ride buses again because some scientist told you that'll stop global warming? What about testing how reliable the scientist's prediction is?

Btw, Russia is a poor country that'll benifit from the warming. Why do you give preference to Africa over Russia? (I hope not based on personal experiences, haha).

The Red Queen said...

GDP per capita for Russia (2005 numbers)

GDP per capita for Nigeria (considered one of the more stable and prosperous African countries)$1000

So Russia is 10x more prosperous than one of the better off African countries- thats why I can pick on Russia
"Oh but I rode busses till I was 30" doesn't fly either when you said in your first comment "In my opinion, humans should take more an adjustment/passive approach rather than trying to stop global warming, for instance, by making everyone ride buses instead of driving"
You want everyone else to be made to do the right thing but not you because it would be inefficient for you to be forced to ride a bus. You think it's better for a country that is relatively well off compared to most of the world to get the benefit of lower heating bills at the expense of millions of lives.

And that is why I get to pick on you- it is a selfish and narrow minded approach. Where do you think all the starving people in Africa are gonna go? How bout Russia (or the US or Canada) or anywhere that they decrease their risk of starving to death.

Dilettante said...

I am not saying that we shouldn't worry about the global warming. I do way, though, that the evidence of it is to be taken with a grain of salt. Proposals to fix the problem by making everyone ride a bus have to be taken with a huge grain of salt.

Reducing the warming will not fix life in Africa, the same way as the warming itself won't help Russia very much. These problems are about their economical systems in the first place. In my humble opinion if one wants to help Africa, one should go and create jobs there and only after this worry about such unpredictable issues as warming.

It seems to me that by making everyone ride the bus (figuratively speaking) you are proposing lots of inconveniences for the majority in this country in favor of a dubious outcome in Africa.

DeeK said...

Global warming will affect all of us. The process is on motion already. We live in a global economy; natural disasters will eventually spread to all sectors in one amtter or another.

the ability to measure climate advances each day as better machines, measurement devices and strategy come on line. To me, the prediction that we will see more violent hurricances b/c of climate change and Katrina and the like are convincing enough. Recipes that help reduce man-made climate change will eventually lead to viable markets in alternatives. Some methods will fail, some will succeed, much like when automobiles came on the scene (anyone remember the Stanley Steamer?).

The risk of being overestimating climate change hurts no one; the risk of underestimating it could hurt everyone.

Dilettante said...

I agree that humans should worry about the climate change. In fact, as a scientist, I benefit from this personally in terms of research funding. But, perhaps, I disagree with you regarding the priorities.

The risk of overestimating climate change can hurt lots of people, who may be made waste resources on installing yet inefficient solar panels, give up cars, or live in crumpled apartments.

It seems to me that many discussions here take the first step in raising important issues, but stop right there without considering the practical side of addressing these issues.