Sunday, February 12, 2012

A few new thoughs on Climate Change (and Geoengineering "solutions")

This is in reaction to some discussion I read at

One thing few people seem to appreciate is that just about any big aspect of global climate from the gulf stream that warms Europe to the Monsoon could be balanced on a knife-edge, and we don't know how unstable these things are.  Unfortunately, there has been too much emphasis on changes in the average global temperature on the order of 1-2 degrees C, and many people imagine the warming would be evenly distributed, when the greater probability is that some places will get a lot hotter, or wetter, or dryer and some maybe even a lot colder.  Might it all balance out?  Even there is some balance in the rearrangement of the climate, areas that have been built up and heavily invested in become deserts while some deserts become the new breadbaskets.  To take advantage of the "balance" would require vast redistributions of population.  Geoengineering schemes might plausibly balance the change in average temperature but they won't prevent great shifts from taking place.

It isn't that some elite wants to determine the "proper" temperature.  We should be coming from an essentially conservative reluctance to roll the dice and spread changes around the world that will be lot more drastic than an evenly distributed climate change of 1-2 degrees C.

Some day hopefully in at least a couple of hundred years, the climate might change drastically on its own, as it's done often in the past, but by then there's a chance we might understand the system well enough to manage it.  At this point we don't, and attempting to do so means somebody making decisions for other nations which may not stand for it.

For some of the basis of this point of view, read _With Speed and Violence_ by Fred Pierce, a journalist who is indepent enough to sometimes get on Joe Mann's shit list.

Another thing that makes all this alarming to me is that the right seems to thrive on climate denial very largely because it reinforces the idea that EVERYBODY BUT Fox and friends, the the right wing think tanks are the big liers.  See http://therealtruthprone would guess from a chJonah Goldberg, National-Review,ange ofoject.blo... for elaboration of that.