Wednesday, April 04, 2007

We Can't Be That Stupid


There are some fairly dire predictions in the IPCC's Working Group II draft report:

Add another 1.8 degrees and as many as 2 billion people could be without water and about 20 percent to 30 percent of the world's species near extinction. Also, more people start dying because of malnutrition, disease, heat waves, floods and droughts -- all caused by global warming. That would happen around 2050, depending on the level of greenhouse gases from the burning of fossil fuels.
At least one expert believes they won't come to pass. He's not a denialist, though. At least, not about climate change:
"The worst stuff is not going to happen because we can't be that stupid," said Harvard University oceanographer James McCarthy, who was a top author of the 2001 version of this report. "Not that I think the projections aren't that good, but because we can't be that stupid."
That's just a theory, of course. And it's always possible that groupthink, or lust for grant money, is causing McCarthy to ignore disconfirming evidence like this:
Federal climate, weather and marine scientists will be subject to new restrictions as to what they can say to the media or in public, according to agency documents released today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). Under rules posted last week, these federal scientists must obtain agency pre-approval to speak or write, whether on or off-duty, concerning any scientific topic deemed “of official interest.”
And this:
President George W. Bush said on Tuesday he planned no new action to impose caps on greenhouse gases blamed for global warming despite the Supreme Court ruling that the Environmental Protection Agency must regulate U.S. emissions.
And this:
Oil palm for biofuel was to have been one of the best solutions in saving the planet from greenhouse gases and global warming. Instead the forests are being torn down in the headlong rush to boost palm oil production.
And this:
Barren and uninhabited, Hans Island is very hard to find on a map.

Yet these days, the Frisbee-shaped rock in the Arctic is much in demand - so much so that Canada and Denmark have staked their claim to it with flags and warships. The reason: an international race for oil, fish, diamonds and shipping routes, accelerated by the effect of global warming on Earth's frozen north.
Still, we mustn't give up hope. As this story reminds us, miracles can happen:
A Chinese woman survived a plunge from a sixth-floor balcony thanks to a convenient pile of excrement which broke her fall, local media said.

7 comments:

olvlzl said...

Tonight on Chris Lydon's Open Source Camile Paglia came out pooh-poohing global warming on the basis that it wasn't sufficiently in line with her thinking. I didn't hear much dissent from her stream of regurgitated coprophagous "scholarship".

We aren't that stupid but marketers and their bosses are.

Interrobang said...

Funny, I read that ad as saying, "Most of us would prefer a hot climate...[over a hot car.]" I know I would. I don't like cars much, and I like snow even less.

*scowls at the outside*

charley said...

well there you go, holy shit.

i'll never forget that comedy skit where george carlin remarks that the earth is not in trouble, it will go on for billions of years...

What have they done to the earth?
What have they done to our fair sister?

Ravaged and plundered
And ripped her
And bit her
Stuck her with knives
In the side of the dawn
And tied her with fences
And dragged her down


i know you hate that phila, but there it is.

Phila said...

Tonight on Chris Lydon's Open Source Camile Paglia came out pooh-poohing global warming on the basis that it wasn't sufficiently in line with her thinking.

So little that matters is.

Anonymous said...

So clearly we need more piles of excrement in our cities.

CKR

Phila said...

So clearly we need more piles of excrement in our cities.

It can't hurt!

This is definitely the first time I've ever seen the phrase "a convenient pile of excrement."

Aiba LeGral said...

A baby fell out of a window,
You'd think that its head would be split,
But luck was with it that morning,
It fell in a barrel of shaving cream...
Be nice and clean,
Shave every day and you'll always look keen.