The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.

Friday, December 12, 2014

I Could Use a Little Global Warming

As I write this "WeatherBug" is reporting it is 46 degrees outside here in Paradise.

I came across a bit of wisdom yesterday... in the form of a column by John Stossel. He is one of the "deniers" of Climate Change. He makes a good case, though, and one which parallels my own (Which is: "Shouldn't we just try to adapt?") He offers that Global Warming (the old term for what is now called "Climate Change") is, on the whole, predominently beneficial. He cites a book by Alex Epstein, "The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels", which argues that we benefit from from this climate change; that it is not the disaster some claim.

I think there are flaws in his reasoning but I agree with him more than disagree. His primary argument seems to be based on the lower number of weather-related deaths:

In 2013, "Climate-related deaths were at a record low — in supposedly the worst climate in history — under 30,000," says Epstein. In 1931, bad weather killed 3 million people.

Sometimes we confuse correlation with causation. There are other factors which may be more important to those lower death rates. Consider the advances in techology which allow us to predict more accurately impending storms, for example, and improved building codes which make for better protection against severe weather. That being said, there are advantages to overall warming of the planet... such as enlarging arable land. We once built communities on the slopes of volcanoes because the land there was conducive to farming. We no longer think the benefits outweigh the risk. Our perspective has changed. But he is correct when he points out fossil fuels have helped us survive harsh winters.

Personally, I think we are wasting a lot of time and money trying to slow or "fix" climate change. I believe our efforts should be directed toward adapting to this change. One of the contradictions of those advocating climate change as disaster is that they usually also seem to hate the uber-rich, the "1%", yet one of the things they complain about is the rising seas. Who will be primarily affected by those rising seas? I don't know of a lot of poor people living along the coasts. And the rich can afford to move. They will adapt. Sure, low-lying areas will see some non-seasonal flooding with rising sea levels and some coastal cities will be impacted. But, on the whole, these will not impact the rest of us and it won't happen overnight. Port cities will change; new ones will replace old ones and commerce will continue. We are an adaptive species and we should not be afraid of change.

1 comment:

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