Joined: May 2007
|Quote (stevestory @ Oct. 25 2013,19:32)|
|I keep being haunted by a figure he presents early in the book, showing that we have been living in an age of unusual climate stability—that “the last 7,000 years have been the most stable climatic period in more than 100,000 years.” As Nordhaus notes, this era of stability coincides pretty much exactly with the rise of civilization, and that probably isn’t an accident.|
Now that period of stability is ending—and civilization did it, via the Industrial Revolution and the attendant mass burning of coal and other fossil fuels. Industrialization has, of course, made us immensely more powerful, and more flexible too, more able to adapt to changing circumstances. The Scientific Revolution that accompanied the revolution in industry has also given us far more knowledge about the world, including an understanding of what we ourselves are doing to the environment.
But it seems that we have, without knowing it, made an immensely dangerous bet: namely, that we’ll be able to use the power and knowledge we’ve gained in the past couple of centuries to cope with the climate risks we’ve unleashed over the same period. Will we win that bet? Time will tell. Unfortunately, if the bet goes bad, we won’t get another chance to play.
When I imagine that we're reaching the end of high-tech civilization, it's because of things like this.
I skimmed the article, and one thought came to mind:
Without sufficient manmade emissions, wouldn't an ice age be inevitable, sooner or later forcing us to increase emission levels to avoid that?
Isn't there a problem that all forces together affecting global climate result in a rather sluggish system of climate changes? Any action we as rulers of the planet may take to either increase or decrease the greenhouse effect will take how long before the desired level is reached?
May we overshoot the target?
It seems to me that an equilibrium never may be reached and that we are forced to consider how we may find models of continuous climate management that ensure climate stays within acceptable limits. We don't want any runaway effect that would be beyond or means to stagger before too late.
But I am certain that we'll have to do something about population control. The religious approach has got to give, in spite of how much it would be preferable to let nature rule.
Although by judging how human society really works, the most realistic view is that adequate solutions won't be implemented before to late.
Rocks have no biology.