Re: If all the ice melted...

From: Spike Jones (
Date: Sun Jul 01 2001 - 11:17:01 MDT

"Robert J. Bradbury" wrote:

> On Sat, 30 Jun 2001, Spike Jones wrote:
> > I wondered about the question since the A.I. movie did the classic
> > dystopian runaway greenhouse gag about the torch of the statue
> > of liberty poking out of the waves.... I am tempted to shout a Robert-
> > Bradburyesque "Thats not true!" But I thought this inappropriate for
> > a crowded theater.
> "Robert J. Bradbury" wrote: It would certainly make viewing the movie more
> memorable.

It sure made Extro4 more memorable. {8^D

> But you have to make sure you are right, otherwise you would be spreading
> potentially incorrect memes.

This one Im sure of.

The swimming statue of liberty would not happen in a greenhouse situation,
since there is no reason why they would leave the statue in place if the seas
start to rise. Even the most wild-eyed greenhouse theorist would
estimate the sea rise would take a few thousand years. How long
would it take to disassemble and move the statue of liberty? 5 years?

Secondly, it is made of copper, so how long would that survive in
seawater? 10 years? The A.I movie had buildings toppling for some strange
reason, but the statue of liberty survived to be submerged? Absurd.

Nowthen, when I first heard of the scenario of an 80 meter rise in
the sea, (around 1970, about 4th grade) my question was "How
long would the transition take?" They fumbled around for
a while then admitted it would take a long time, at least thousands of
years. My attitude then is pretty close to what it is now: why is that
such a problem? We can build new cities inland. Hell, New York
City is only 300 years old. The new cities would be a lot better
than the old ones. Sure, we would lose some major tracts of land,
Holland, Venice, Florida, etc, but the transition would be slow enough
that humans would scarcely notice. Sure we would lose historical
information, but in a runaway greenhouse earth, we would gain a
bunch of new land that is currently nearly useless.

Furthermore, if we thought it over, there are ways of storing water
inland on Antarctica, even in a runaway greenhouse scenario. Also
we could cool the earth if necessary by artificially increasing the planet's
albedo, again with plenty of time to react.

If the greenhouse transition is over thousands of years, it
all seems irrelevant, for our terraforming technology will long be in
place before we lowlanders start needing to swim.

Movie scenes of a drowning statue of liberty are memorable but
place incorrect and harmful memes in the minds of the masses. spike

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