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Global Warming / Climate Change

Manmade global warming is real – greenhouse gasses are accumulating in
the atmosphere.

  • We cannot predict the effects of global warming. There are too many variables and our models, although impressive, are not up to the task.

  • There is the possibility that climate is chaotic and therefore inherently unpredictable.

  • It acts over long periods of time – decades to centuries

  • It has long lead times – carbon dioxide released today will be partially absorbed by natural processes and the ocean – the remainder stays in the atmosphere and accumulates for a long time.

  • Although there are possible catastrophic tipping points, the way to bet is that global warming will not wipe out humanity – the challenge is adaptation by nature and ourselves. Primarily that food-growing areas will move.

  • Sea level increases act over centuries and millennia. They can result in the destruction of property but not have much effect on the existence of humans.

  • Reports of increasing bad weather, hurricanes, fires, etc, are mostly, but not entirely, misinformation. Climate change will have an effect on weather, but there really has not been much climate change, so far. Most sources put the increase from pre-industrial times, so far, at 0.8-1.0⁰C (1.4-1.8⁰F).

  • Controlling global warming is like bringing a car to a stop. First you have to stop accelerating and then you have to put on the brakes and then, some time later, the car comes to a stop. If you want to stop sometime in the future, you have to start stopping a reasonably long time before then, first by taking your foot off the gas pedal. Our feet remain on the gas pedal.

  • Big impacts of global warming are decades in the future.

  • You have to get people’s attention now because of lead times. Actions to fight global warming today will have little effect today or perhaps for decades, but will change the future.

  • The only way to get people’s attention is to artificially create a short term emergency. Humans have short attention spans and will move on to other things if not engaged.

  • That’s why essentially everything you read on global warming is a narrative to create urgency.

  • Urgency is called for, but the challenge is that if the facts are laid out, people will move on to other issues. If you overstate and misrepresent, then people will head in the “right” direction now.

  • There are unintended consequences for every action, and one unintended consequence of hysteria and political correctness around global warming is the destruction of fossil fuels before there is a replacement. The cure, in the short term, at least, will be much worse than the disease.

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