Tuesday, June 15, 2004

A Reminder from Mother Nature

That she's still all we have to live on, and that we are messing with her at our expense:

Climate change is already occurring and immediate steps are needed to both slow it down and adapt to the changes that will occur anyway, scientists said Tuesday.
There is no question there will be effects from climate change, Chris Field of the Carnegie Institution of Washington said at a briefing at the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
"We are already seeing impacts, the question is, at what level will we decide it is a problem," Field said.
William Easterling of Pennsylvania State University said: "The time to act is now." He spoke at a separate briefing held by the Pew Center on Global Climate Change.
Climate change, specifically warming, has become a growing concern for many scientists, who worry that industrial exhaust and other gases in the atmosphere are raising temperatures and will damage crops and human health, raise the sea level and cause other problems.
They cite records showing an average worldwide temperature increase of about 0.6 degrees Fahrenheit over the past century.
Some scientists disagree, however, saying the computer models that forecast climate changes are not yet accurate enough to be used as a basis for policy changes.
The climate models aren't good enough to say exactly how global warming is going to come out, but "they are good enough to tell us we should be doing something." Michael Oppenheimer of Princeton University said at the AAAS briefing

The polar ice cap will continue melting and the sea levels will rise. Low-lying areas along coast lines will disappear into the ocean, species of animals and plants will die. How fast this will happen and how much worse it will get depends on the humans. It also depends on the stubborn know-nothing policies of the Bush administration and on our incredible love affair with fossile fuels, with new addicts being created every day in India and China.

But the effects of these warnings will be nil. People will just turn to the other side and continue snoring. It's much more pleasant that way, don't you think? To dream about a bigger house and a SUV and a world with nary one regulatory constraint on the free markets.

Mother Nature doesn't mind really. She (why she?) will just redesign her surface levels to be more accommodating to the general well-being of all. If that means discarding humans as a failed experiment, well, her horizon is long enought to accommodate a few disasters.