Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Global Warming Apocalypse

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Climate change - a challenge and an opportunity for mankind to prove we can adapt to anything and everything Nature throws at us - and prosper!

"Before this century is over, billions of us will die and the few breeding pairs of people that survive will be in the Arctic," predicted James Lovelock, a "renowned" environmental scientist.

I think I know what he is renowned for. He wants to be the next Paul Ehrlich, and this is his "Population Bomb" contender.

The first part of his prediction is about as true as true can be. By 2100, approximately twelve billion will die. First, almost all of the current world population of 6,697,969,970 will be dead, given that average life expectancy (at a very optimistic projection) will be somewhere around 70 years. Second, with a 70-year life expectancy, almost all of the over three billion born between 2007 and 2030 will also be dead by 2100. Finally, between 2070 and 2100, given current annual world mortality, at least another two billion will die.

So, as James Lovelock predicts: “Before this century is over, billions of us will die…”

You and I, and James Lovelock, will probably be among them.

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Concerning the second part of his prediction: “… the few breeding pairs of people that survive will be in the Arctic," I think the world’s scientific community is equally at a loss as I am to understand how any mechanism of apocalyptic doom could cause the most adaptive creature on the planet to suffer such a fate.

Since most of the Arctic is ocean, I hope they’re good with boats and like fish. I also hope they don’t commit suicide when they find out about Norwegian taxes.

Leif Erickson’s lie when he named an icecap “Greenland” to fool and encourage potential settlers will finally become truth.

The vast uninhabited expanses of Siberia and Canada will become prime real estate.

Australians and New Zealanders will wonder what all the fuss is about.

Will it be caused by a doubling of atmospheric CO2? Many life forms survived – dare I say thrived? – when CO2 levels were several times higher than the present.

Will it be because of high temperatures? The several recent periods of higher temperatures than present were times of increased progress and prosperity for mankind. What evidence is there that mankind has suddenly become fragile and incapable of adapting to change, when advances in science and increasing resources are steadily improving mankind’s abilities to control and adapt to a changing environment?

Millions of years ago the earth was hotter, and ice free. At other times it was much colder, covered by ice to a far greater extent than the last glacial period 18,000 years ago. We are now near an end to an interglacial (warmer) period, and in about 2,000 years we will probably enter the next glacial (colder) period.

By then a quarter of a trillion humans may have lived – and died – and laughed about the Great Global Warming Panic that began the Twenty First Century.

Then they’ll shiver, bundle up more tightly in their warmest clothes, and pray: “God, when you have a minute, could you turn up the thermostat?”

“Come on, Global Warming!”

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