Re: Kyoto, Driving our car

Warrl kyree Tale'sedrin (
Mon, 8 Dec 1997 21:09:32 -0800

> From: (Damien R. Sullivan)
> Date: Mon, 8 Dec 1997 20:02:14 -0800 (PST)
> To:
> Subject: Re: Kyoto, Driving our car
> Reply-to:

> Whoops. Don't know how that junk post went through. Sorry.
> On Dec 8, 4:13pm, "Warrl kyree Tale'sedrin" wrote:
> > The evidence for an ice age is as good as the evidence for global
> > warming.
> What evidence for an ice age? The global temperature has increased
> half a degree in the past century.

The major problem with that claim is that identifiable sources of
possible error convert it to something on the order of "The global
temperature is someplace between two degrees colder and three degrees
warmer than a century ago, with the most likely value being half a
degree warmer."

The other problem is that to the extent that we can track WHEN this
change occurred, it appears that about 80% of the effect occurred
*before* 80% of the alleged cause.

> > We can further say with equal confidence that they were NOT
> > environmental disasters in any way that we would recognise. That
> How can we say that? There was a happy ecosystem, yes. There was
> not a happy ecosystem with agricultural humans who tend to live near
> shorelines and be vulnerable to malaria in it.

No significant evidence of major change in swamp area as a result of
temperature changes in this range. No significant evidence of
non-trivial shoreline changes. No significant evidence of changes in
flooding patterns. DIFFERENT plants grow well, but the basic level
of biodiversity is not significantly affected. In other words,
nothing that would be particularly significant to agricultural humans
who tend to live near shorelines and be vulnerable to malaria.

> I think we can say that we are busy putting the CO2 of the
> Carboniferous back into the atmosphere. The Carboniferous had Very
> Large dragonflies and cockroaches. Some people might consider this
> worth a thought.
> > global-warming doomsayers are right in their predictions. What if
> > the ice-age doomsayers are right?
> In the absence of further evidence, I prefer to assume that the
> economists are right. There are various things we should be doing
> anyway, which would be cheap insurance. Not actively subsidizing
> coal and other high-carbon fuels. (Spain and Germany subsidize
> their coal, and I suspect the US spent more on the Gulf War than on
> renewable energy sources.) Being more energy efficient in general.
> On the other hand, while global warming is a possible threat,
> deforestation, desertification, aquifer depletion, and sperm count
> deterioration are all actually happening, as is air pollution in
> Mexico City and Beijing which make LA seem like a health spa. There
> are environmental problems with higher urgency.

That I'll agree to -- with qualifications. The major qualification
being that most of the heavily industrialized nation are
re-foresting, and have been for more than 50 years, and government
mandates are NOT a significant part of this trend.

A second qualification is that we don't really know the cause OR
SIGNIFICANCE of the sperm count depletion. If it's happening due to
stress rather than pollution, for example, it isn't a pollution
problem. If it's occurring primarily in industrialized nations,
well, most families in industrialized nations put far more effort
into preventing pregnancy than in trying to achieve it (as opposed to
mating for other purposes), so it doesn't seem like such a tragedy.

And another big qualification is that we know the causes of several
of these others, and the environmental socialists' proposed remedies
virtually guarantee that the problems will continue unchecked. (In
fact the origin of the problem in many cases is that dictatorial
governments more or less impose these remedies for reasons having far
more to do with control than with the environment.)
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