Re: Human vs. natural influences on the environment
On 27 Aug 1996, John McCarthy wrote:
> In article <IZW8oS9cpoND069yn@teleport.com> email@example.com (Jeff Owens) writes:
> firstname.lastname@example.org (Harold Brashears) wrote:
> > I have no doubt that we want to minimize CO2 in the atmosphere, and
> > further no doubt that wind will be a competitive technology (though I
> > would not want to live next to a wind farm). But the more accurate
> > projections we are beginning to see do not persuade me we need any
> > kind of emergency approach to the problem.
> Not sure what is meant by an *emergency approach*, but most of
> post I have seen so far are not suggesting anything drastic.
> It is interesting that this method of arguing keeps being repeated
> over and over. The topic is assumed to be divided into two extremes,
> without a range of moderate views.
Actually, the global warming issue isn't an issue any longer, but a
reality. The recent IPCC report settled that. It is also true that unless
real progress is made in reducing CO2 and CH4 emissions, and increasing or
at least retaining sinks (forests, especially primary forests, wetlands,
and peatlands), the proposed increases in temperature are quite likely, as are
the proposed impacts of that change. This real progress will certainly
seem extreme to some, especially if they still hold the minority view that
warming won't occur, or its effects are not potentially serious. Moderate
changes in lifestyle and resource use will probably have little effect on
the proposed warming and impacts. At a minimum, we have to stop logging
primary forests, practice afforestation, and use more non-fossil fuel
sources for energy, used at greater efficiencies. I'll leave it to
someone else to post the numbers. Meanwhile, destruction of primary forests
proceeds, including a proposed conversion of the world's largest swamp
forest underlain by peat in Indonesia to rice patty--- converting it to a
net exporter of CO2 and CH4, instead of a sink. (See recent post in
> > "By September 1979, all important life in the sea was extinct.
> > Large areas of coastline had to be evacuated... A pretty grim
> > scenario. Unfortunately were a long way into it already...based
> > on projections of trends already appearing..."
> > - Paul Ehrilich, Environmental Handbook, 1970, pp 174
> OK, the world is full of bad predictions. Our interest should
> be to look at the facts and decide if todays predictions are
> based on good science or immature science. The best way to do
> that is to discuss todays science and the recommendations by
> a consensus. Why introduce radical views or obsolete views
> just to create a villain.
> Ehrlich's obsolete views are worth quoting because he is still
> recognized as an authority. Only last year he received the $350,000
> Heinz prize for his writings on population and environment.
Why might that be? Because he has written books and scientific papers
SINCE his now infamous wrong predicition of global cooling in 1974?
The guy has a career.
BTW, a prediction shown to be wrong because data collected after it was
made does not support it does not make it "obsolete", only unsupported.
But you knew that, right?
> He continues with predictions of doom, although less flamboyantly than
> when he was younger.
Describe them. I would think that if he has made 22 years of wrong
predictions, he is a crank. You would have to show that, though.
> John McCarthy, Computer Science Department, Stanford, CA 94305