Re: warm the Sahara

Anders Sandberg (
20 Nov 1997 23:59:23 +0100

Arjen Kamphuis <> writes:

> >I don't know exactly how, but restoring the global temperature
> >conditions that obtained the last time the Sahara Prairie existed
> >seems like a reasonable approach.
> That's a big risk we'd be taking with the only planet we have. The global
> climate system is, at this point, complexety beyond our comprehension (many
> factors, some not understood, relating in non-linear ways) and should
> consequently be treated with greatest possible care.

I disagree with that it is beyond our comprehension, but caution is
certainly adviced when doing climatic engineering - always have a
backup ecosphere. Raising global temperature to the last warm age
sounds nice, but has to be done with geological speed, otherwise the
ecosystems won't have the time to migrate as they should (OK, I'm
biased: I live in Sweden and it is November - I really would like to
get back to the bronze age climate here!).

> I guess we need big AI's to help us understand the cause-effect
> relations in the global climate system, untill then: tread
> carefully.

I think you overestimate the climate. It is complex, chaotic and we
know far too little yet, but it is not something we need big AI for,
rather very good simulators (taking ecology, astronomy and geology
into account). Sometimes we transhumanists are a bit too reverent
about superintelligence - it cannot solve every problem, and is not
the solution to every problem either.

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y