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12418Re: [carfree_cities] Arctic ice disaster looms

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  • Michael A. Lewis
    Oct 10, 2012
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      I see from this content that my message is not welcome on this forum. It's unfortunate that so many are so closed-minded about the possibilities of differing viewpoints.

      I have studied climate science and climate variation since 1991 as an archaeologist involved in research on human responses to climate variation in the Arctic.

      With regard to proposition 3):

      "making massive cuts in greenhouse gas emissions" is neither easy nor economical.

      Think about it. How would we reduce fossil fuel burning sufficiently to make a significant difference in total atmospheric CO2 concentration, even if that would reduce global average surface temperature, and assuming that global average surface temperature is a meaningful measure of climate variation?

      Based on IPCC numbers, we would have to stop all fossil fuel burning for 35 years in order to reduce global average surface temperature by 1 degree Centigrade (if those numbers are accurate and meaningful). That means no fossil-fueled transportation, no fossil-fueled electricity generation, no fossil-fueled production of renewable energy technology, no fossil-fueled heating or cooling.

      Even if it were demonstrated definitively that ending fossil fuel burning today would result in a one degree decrease in global average surface temperature, we do not have the technological capability to make this massive change. Furthermore, "probably effective" is insufficient justification for embarking on such an enormous undertaking that would undercut the entire economic basis of human civilization.

      The jury is still out; the science is not settled; we are technologically incapable of knowledgable geoengineering of the earth's climate or transforming the world's energy infrastructure to renewable sources within any timeframe applicable to the IPCC AGW scenario.

      Meanwhile, no matter what humans do, natural climate variation continues apace, on its inevitable course to the next ice age.


      On Oct 10, 2012, at 9:42 AM, J.H. Crawford wrote:

      > Hi All,
      >
      > I let Michael A. Lewis's post through because it has a viewpoint that I think we're going to hear a lot of in the future.
      >
      > The biggest problem is that it sets up a false dichotomy:
      >
      > 1) do nothing and let nature take its course
      >
      > 2) resort to geo-engineering with all sorts of as-yet "unknown unknowns."
      >
      > There is, of course:
      >
      > 3) Set about making massive cuts in greenhouse gas emissions. This is easy, economical, sustainable, and probably effective. No wonder this option is off the table.
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