Adding Light to the Heat of Global Warming

The New York Times tried to add some light to all of the heat about global warming in Sunday's Week in Review. Their review of the science seems reasonable. The earth is warming due to greenhouse gases and will continue to so. Predictions of detailed consequences are not as certain. Sea levels will rise, but when will New York look like New Orleans we just do not yet know.  

I think they made a very important point, if we could make absolutely accurate predictions about what global warming's effect would be in 50 years, we still might not be able to move government nor people to act to stop it. The timescale is simply no long. 

Without a connection to current disasters, global warming is the kind of problem people, and democratic institutions, have proved singularly terrible at solving: a long-term threat that can only be limited by acting promptly, before the harm is clear.

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3 Responses to “Adding Light to the Heat of Global Warming”

  1. Yep, given current trends in faith-based governing and entrenched interests, I’m resigned to the fact that it’s going to be warmer in the future. (Advice: don’t buy oceanfront property in Bangladesh or the Maldives.)

    At least Governor Schwarzenegger–whom I didn’t vote for in the unnecessary waste-of-money recall election–recognizes that it’s happening, and California is calling for specific reductions of emissions. But I don’t know how this will offset a billion-plus Chinese wanting to live the American dream.

  2. Through no foresight of my own, I seem to have arrived at a fairly reasonable location in case of global warming. I am far enough north to avoid living in an expanded tropic region; far enough inland to avoid rising seas, but close enough to the coast to avoid inland droughts.

  3. We live far enough up a slope that we’re safely above sea level. Then again, we’re also about 3 miles away from the San Andreas fault….

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