Saturday, September 22, 2007

Global Warming Hysteria - Coming Soon?

I've been reading a new (2007) book by Fred Pearce entitled "With Speed and Violence - Why Scientists Fear Tipping Points in Climate Change". I do not recommend this book for reading immediately prior to bedtime. It's scary.

The author, who does not appear to be a kook but has some real credentials as a reporter, interviewed many scientists who are looking at various aspects of climate change. The chapters describe how each driver of climate change is behaving now, and how it is likely to affect our future climate. I've learned what these experts believe is happening with CO2, methane, peat bogs, permafrost, the albedo, clathrates, ocean currents,and other stuff.

I'm only halfway into the book and the news is all bad, so I'm done reading. If these people are right, we've put the global climate change train on the track, pushed the throttle on full, and retired to the club car for a few drinks while we wait for the inevitable and totally horrific wreck of our planet. Worried about over-population? Fuggetaboutit! Mother Nature will take care of this problem shortly, and the many fewer remaining humans will live in a much different fashion than we do now. We are quite adaptable, you know.

Who knows where this will go? We may have already started that train, or perhaps there is some time left to mitigate our climate-changing activities. But one thing I know: we humans are quite resistant to change. If inconvenience will be required to head off the end of the world as we know it, well, the world is going to end at some point anyway... Our best hope is that all this gloom and doom has been over-hyped and some compensating factors will keep our planet from overheating.

Stay tuned. It seems that the answers to almost all these questions will become apparent in this century, or perhaps in its first half. In the meantime, have another drink on me.

1 comment:

ThomasLB said...

We're an adaptable species, but only to the extent that we can modify our environment. For example, Eskimos have not evolved tolerance to the cold, they've just learned efficient ways to stay warm.

I have doubts whether temperature extremes in the other direction will be so easily dealt with.

But I'm not sure the extinction of the human race is really such a bad thing. I know most religions put Man at the top and all of the other animals below, but I think that's just ego. I think we'd all be happier as a manatees.