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I don't know of a snap-back effect that is so horrible that it would justify destroying civilisation for fear of what might happen if civilisation were destroyed.

Indeed, some effects are in the opposite direction: Warming delayed means less ice melted, less tundra darkened by scrub, less defrosted humus releasing CO2...

Regarding what to say, consider the difference between two situations:

  1. Those most concerned and knowledgeable regarding climate change take the lead in evaluating the facts and uncertainties of any proposed fix. They strive to keep the discussion reality based. If people and political leaderships choose to go forward, they strive to keep expectations realistic, and to keep unaddressed problems -- ocean acidification, and so on -- in clear view. They urge that a fix be a bridge to something better.

  2. Those most concerned and knowledgeable oppose the concept en mass, as if by reflex. As public discussion unfolds, they're easily positioned as merely defending their old agenda. Since the option they oppose will, in fact, stop global warming, they become the "pro-warming" faction. Right about there, the wheels come off. The hucksters win almost by default, set the agenda, stomp the losers, and tell everyone that the world is safe for coal and SUVs. Then warming is, in fact, stopped.

I prefer (1), that is, putting truth before policy. This will, in the end, lead to more influence and better policy.

Words and ideas I offer here may be used freely and without attribution.
by technopolitical on Sat Oct 14th, 2006 at 06:34:25 AM EST
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