Clearly mitigation is our best option, but so far most societies around the world, including the United States and the other largest emitters of greenhouse gases, have done little more than talk about the importance of mitigation. Many Americans do not even accept the reality of global warming. The fossil fuel industry has spent millions of dollars on a disinformation campaign to delude the public about the threat, and the campaign has been amazingly successful. (This effort is reminiscent of the tobacco industry’s effort to convince Americans that smoking poses no serious health hazards.) As the evidence for human-caused climate change has increased, the number of Americans who believe it has decreased.
There are currently no technological quick fixes for global warming. Our only hope is to change our behavior in ways that significantly slow the rate of global warming, thereby giving the engineers time to devise, develop, and deploy technological solutions where possible. Unless large numbers of people take appropriate steps, including supporting governmental regulations aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions, our only options will be adaptation and suffering. And the longer we delay, the more unpleasant the adaptations and the greater the suffering will be.
Thursday, December 16, 2010
" . . . the longer we delay, the more unpleasant the adaptations and the greater the suffering will be."
There is still (unfortunately) a lot of "debate" about global climate change, and more precisely whether humans are the driving force behind change rates that exceed natural changes. Much of that debate would be settled, me thinks, by a real reading of, and acceptance of this paper (h/t The Climate Post):