Re: [asa] agw: Skeptics vs Believers

From: Schwarzwald <>
Date: Sun Dec 06 2009 - 19:46:39 EST


First, that's quite a lot of qualification. So sure, there may or may not be
outcomes which are too late for us to stop regardless of what we do now (and
given the links I quoted, it's not like I'm citing petty side-issues), but
they may mitigate other consequences 'over and above those immediately under
consideration'? Is that another way of saying "things we aren't talking
about and can't foresee"?

Second, I've got to say - my "line of argument" is pretty banal, so if you
really can't think of other instances where that argument comes up
seriously, that seems more your failing than mine. I'm basically asking "How
do we know a given course of action will have the desired effect, or if it
does, will have that effect in the time we'd want it to?" I cited one
article, non-skeptic, that insists we're going to get that 100 meter rise in
sea level regardless of what we do now - in response to Randy talking about
the economic tradeoffs of capping CO2 emissions versus a 100 meter rise in
sea level. Are you really telling me that we should take action (one way or
the other) in order to ward off a rise in sea level, and the claim that
nothing we do can stop that rise in sea level isn't relevant? If so, I think
something has gone wrong in your reasoning.

Keep in mind, I'm not exactly hostile to alternative fuels. In fact, I am
downright thrilled at the prospect of a major increase in the number of
nuclear power plants, of mini-nukes and micro-nukes being used for powering
towns and houses, of alternative fuels (particularly biodiesel) being
developed, etc. I have no problem with energy efficiency - why should I? I
pay electric bills too.

But there is such a thing as crappy policy, or poorly considered policy, or
even a policy that is good in some ways but still shouldn't be picked due to
other concerns.

On Sun, Dec 6, 2009 at 6:48 PM, Murray Hogg <> wrote:

> Schwarzwald wrote:
>> 3) How do we know cutting back emissions (which itself can be done in a
>> lot of ways, from out and out fines and pulling back of industry, to major
>> investment in nuclear power plans, etc) will work, or work "in time"?
> Hi Schwarzwald,
> I know of no other instance in which this line of argument is used with any
> seriousness.
> Sure, immediate action may not prevent certain consequences of AGW - but
> they may serve to mitigate consequences which might arise over and above
> those immediately under consideration.
> Blessings,
> Murray
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Received on Sun Dec 6 19:47:02 2009

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