Re: global warming and sea level rise

From: Dan Clemmensen (
Date: Sat Jul 28 2001 - 15:42:46 MDT

Damien Broderick wrote:

> At 08:20 AM 7/26/01 -0500, Harvey wrote:
>>major eco-engineering of the planet
>>seem costlier than some pollution regulations, except that the costs are
>>deferred from us/now to someone else later.
> This is a major moral issue with me, because I don't feel equipped to
> evaluate the matter. I don't know that *anyone* is. It does seem to follow
> from current and expected exponentiating technology, probably running
> through molecular nanotech and moderate AI, that it's more sensible to
> postpone major expensive changes until later. Unless putting off the fixes
> ruins the present and near-future so badly that those technological
> advances get aborted.

Unfortunately, a technical fix ten years from now will not be able to

recover everything we will lose during that decade. I refer to the
genetic information from lost species and the extragenetic information
contained in destroyed ecologies. Sure, we will be able to reconstruct
organisms and ecologies that we believe to be equivalent, but the actual
information will be lost. This is why we need to minimize our impact on
these ecologies now. On the other hand, massive projects with short-term
impacts and long-term payoffs no loner make much sense, since rapid
technical advances will render them obsolete before the payoff. In my
opinion, we should aggressively pursue projects with a high short-term
payback, such as providing birth control services in poor countries.

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