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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • We don't know what is warming though ... some scientists said that the warming was localized, and that other nearby areas are colder now than they used to be. I say we bomb Ed Begley, Jr. for the most evil propulsion system ever conceived [platomic.com]!
    • You are correct, pudge. There is no agreement by scientists on the cause of the warming. Although that would be helpful to know the cause, the reality of global warming isn't questioned. What will be the effects of continued polar melting, we don't really know. In fact, the melt water could stop to the gulf stream and send Europe and North American into another ice age.

      As for bombing Ed Begley, I don't think we have any other choice. The problem is festering.
      • Well, while there's no disputing global warming, there is no agreement on cause of it, nor continued effects. I am not saying your concerns are invalid, just that we don't know what will happen. I wish we did. Sorta.
        • Well, a friend of mine stated the issue like this.

          What is the worst that could happen if we assume that global warming it true and we don't do anything about it? Compare that to what is the worst that could happen if global warming is true and we do something about it?

          We don't have definitive evidence either way. I think it would be safer for our species to assume global warming is true. If we do nothing we have to possible, fatalistic (for our species) consequences: ice age or severe rise in sea level.
          • by pudge (1) on 2002.03.23 8:15 (#6256) Homepage Journal
            (BTW, no one contests whether or not there currently is global warming, as over the past decade or so there's been a measured increase in tempoeratures; the question is whether it was caused by man's hand or natural phenomena or is part of a recurring cycle, whether or not it will have permanent effects, what those effects will be, and whether or not we can do anything about it.)

            There are many things we could think might happen in the future that we could act on, many as reasonable or more reasonable than a belief in a coming ice age caused by car emissions. We might be invaded by aliens; Russia might attack us with nuclear ICBMs; our Earth might be destroyed by large rocks. Should we try to prepare for all of these? Should we give more money to SETI, build nuclear defense weaponry, and get Bruce Willis in training to blow up any asteroids headed our way? What is reasonable to prepare for and what isn't? On what bases do we decide?

            So what's the worst that could happen if we build a nuclear defense system? We could actually touch off war by doing it. On the other hand, building it might be the only way to prevent war.

            So now what about the proposed "remedies" for global warming? The worst that could happen if we don't do it is talked about a lot, that we might destroy the Earth as we know it, including our species. But what if we do it, what's the worst that could happen? Well, to answer that question very exactly, the worst that could happen are throwing a world economy into complete chaos, causing poverty, famine, and death; a world war (what would really happen to the Middle East if we lost all economic interest in it?); perhaps even an ice age could happen anyway on its own, or maybe our new actions would even cause it to happen. I think any of these scenarios is at least as likely as the ones you've put forth. But for some far *more* likely scenarios, I'll say that many people will lose their jobs and the national economy will suffer significantly.

            I am all for alternative fuel sources, for many reasons, most of which having to do with the fact that petrol is not renewable and damages the environment (albeit temporarily). But I see no reason to lose our heads over doomsday scenarios that may or may not happen no matter what we do. I'd rather we simply work on improving the technology and make it available to consumer who surely will buy the technology as soon as it is feasible to do so (that is, when the vehicles have price, performance, etc. to match gas-powered vehicles of the same class).

            I require a four-wheel-drive large vehicle, because I live in the country where it (ususally, unless global warming stops it :-) snows a lot, and I have three large dogs and a family. My vehicle must be an SUV-type vehicle just to get us all around and be safe. And I can't afford to pay a fortune for a car (that doesn't even exist yet, of course, since there are no electric SUVs). That means I must have a gas-guzzling vehicle, or not have a reasonable vehicle for my needs. When shopping for secondary vehicles, I do look at fuel efficiency, and next time I go to buy one, I might very well even get an electric car, if they have sensible price/performance/etc. But I see no compelling reason to rush out and save the planet from impending doom right away.