Global warming, was RE: marxism-digest V1 #5242 #1

Jose G. Perez jgperez at netzero.net
Mon Dec 9 23:52:23 MST 2002


Jose G. Perez wrote:
>
>  1. Runaway warming is simply not, not, I repeat NOT accepted by anyone
I'm
>  aware of who is professionally involved in studying climate change.

Mike Friedman replies:

> This is not quite true. In MY neck of the woods, ecologists, marine
> biologists, paleontologists and geologists -- all folks who study
> global climate change -- consider global warming a very real threat.

Mike,

Please read the original exchanges.

What I challenged was specifically the scenario that had been presented:
oceans boiling away in a runaway greenhouse effect, which had been presented
to evoke ultimatistic choices involving the sacrifice of the entire
population of Europe or somesuch theses.

You respond by saying this "is not quite true" because scientists consider
*global warming* a very real threat.

But there is a damn slight difference you seem to have missed between
*global warming* and a runaway greenhouse effect. The difference is this.
Discussions of global warming center on changes of a few or several degrees;
discussions of a runaway greenhouse effect, in which the oceans boil away,
involve changes of hundreds of degrees. The difference is two orders of
magnitude.

On a more practical level, the kinds of climate changes discussed as "global
warming" do not in the slightest preclude the survival of the human species,
or even the survival of some sort of civilization derived from the current
one. The kind of change that involves oceans boiling away categorically
precludes the existence of virtually all life as we know it, never mind the
human species or civilization. The difference between the two scenarios is
qualitative.

As for your theses of 5-10 degrees change/generation for several
generations, I am unfamiliar with any scientific literature that supports
this theses

José


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