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There are always at least two options: 1) do $WHATEVER (nothing, reduce CO2 emission, fertilize the ocean, pray, ...) and 2) do $WHATEVER and put up the sunscreen.  The point being made is that option 2 is always better, no matter what you chose to put in for $WHATEVER.

If putting up sunscreen means "inject our atmosphere with a chemical species of which we know it also has several adverse effects besides blocking solar radiation", I'm not buying that. I do not favour the analogy of comparing the earth's climate with a human's illness, but in this case: it's chemo-therapy - it doesn't work on the long run, and the side-effects aren't pleasant either. Focus on the $WHATEVER instead.

There is quite some reason to doubt that significant global warming occurs, that it is human made if it occurs and that it is catastrophic if it occurs.  Don't insult the few people who still approach the topic scientifically.

Hopefully I am one of those in that group, but I can't completely agree there either. Global warming is pretty much undeniably there - even when there is discussion left at what scope. I'd join you if you were to state there is still uncertainty at how much of the warming can be contributed to CO2, how much to other anthropogenic influences and how much to influences outside our grasp. Also the estimates surrounding 2x[CO2] are still up in the air.

As you may know, I've been previously busy at ET to show that CO2 reduction may not necessarily be the magic bullet to solve the global warming increase - but it sure won't hurt our planet either.

by Nomad on Mon Oct 16th, 2006 at 12:28:12 PM EST
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"...CO2 reduction may not necessarily be the magic bullet to solve the global warming increase..."

I know that you understand the topic, but a difficulty with discussion in this area is ambiguity in the language we use to describe it.

"CO2 reduction" might plausibly be read as (1) reducing CO2 concentration, or (2) reducing emissions, or even (3) reducing projected increases in emissions. These are very different, with (1) outside the range usually considered possible, (2) very challenging, and (3) feasible, but not well defined.

"Solving global warming increase" might plausibly be read as (a) reducing temperature, or (b) preventing further increases, or (c) keeping increases within some bounds considered acceptable. These are also very different. Accomplishing (a) would require (1) or a cooling fix, while (c) could be accomplished by (3) transitioning to (2). The standard of acceptability to be used in (c), however, is a matter of opinion, and the requirements for achieving any particular standard are uncertain.

Meaning (3) reminds of political games with budgets, where a "budget [or tax] cut" is actually an increase, but lower than a larger increase that someone had "projected".

Are there better terms we could use that would be short, yet make the distinctions clear?

Words and ideas I offer here may be used freely and without attribution.

by technopolitical on Mon Oct 16th, 2006 at 05:25:30 PM EST
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