No change. One can't be 100% sure and the scientists leading the charge aren't claiming that.
On Nov 11, 2009, at 6:11 AM, Frank Wood wrote:
It seems reasonable to do a simple risk analysis: 1. costs of doing nothing and then being wrong and having a climate catastrophe VS 2. costs of reducing our carbon footprint and then being wrong that greenhouse gases are a serious problem. The choice really seems to be a no brainer.
Well this very minute change of attitude from 100% sure that global warming is caused by humans to doing a risk analysis is welcome.
One fatal flaw in your reasoning though,
What if the models that say global warming is caused by man are not complex enough to understand the situation? (That pesky Requisite Variety again!)
This could well be the case. It doesn't change the need for action.
Shouldn't we think the unthinkable?
That nothing can be done about global warming because it is a huge cyclical event and therefore unstoppable.
Shouldn't we be instead thinking of adapting civilisations and communities to this global warming? In other words building complex adaptive systems.
Of course we should. However, we should also (and first) be making sure we are doing as little as possible to exacerbate the situation. My experience is that those who argue the warming is due to natural cyclical events are using that as an argument for doing nothing. In other words, this argument is usually an excuse, a distraction from facing the facts.
The fundamental problem is that we are reaching or perhaps past the carrying capacity of the earth in many respects. For instance potable water may well turn out to be a more serious problem than global warming. Africa has been experiencing mass migrations because of water shortages for some years now. Mass starvation and national food riots are already upon us in something like 20 nations. The oceans are poisoned and large large areas are dead. The list goes on and on. Just yesterday we saw evidence that the official numbers for oil reserves are being falsified to avooid panicking the USA and that peak oil is already here. And yet we go on blindly advocating more.
The human race lives in a very large petri dish, but a petri dish nevertheless. We are no more immune to the pattern of exponential growth followed by collapse than are the bacteria in a laboratory petri dish. The only rational argument left is the timing: how much time do we have left before catastrophic collapse.
To argue otherwise is both stupid and suicidal. It risks the collapse of civilization.
Your attitude is not helpful because it gives the definite impression that the environmentalists are unthinking irrational self-serving fearmongers. Why don't you use some of that energy to think about what needs to be done.
Frank, you are obviously a strong systems scientist. Get your head out of the sand and make a positive contribution instead of standing there trying to hold the tide back.
Peace and Love.,