Shapley wrote:you don't mind overturning the economy to solve the problems you perceive as important, but are unwilling to sacrifice for those that you don't.
Hello, yes, and you too. That pretty much describes all life.
barfle, where do you get the concept of suddenly stopping all burning of all fossil fuels? Did I miss something?
All or nothing is nearly always unnecessary, but also human nature. I see posters advocating for "all" hands off the the status quo (otherwise known as 'nothing').
I live in a city where the skyline was visible 20 years ago, and isnt now. It took 10 years for it to fade into the smog. At the rate things were going before emission standards for factories and cars, it would have disappeared long before I moved here. Implementing those controls cost money and upset a few economies. Long term it also reduced livelyhoods for a lot of doctors. But probably increased livelyhoods for those in the tourism industry.
Where the data we started discussion re global warming is still being gathered and assessed, and is the subject of much thought, it must be understood that scientists are human, have biases, etc. The point of science is to try to work in such away as to neutralize bias, hence the ongoing generation of different models etc.
However, I find it naive to assume that man is having no macro effect on the environment. We know StoneAge man affected England's environment by deforesting it. We know that we have smogged out entire valleys (LA basin) and that the Grand Canyon no longer looks red because of the industrial haze in the air, that we've had rivers so nasty the fish went belly up en masse, and some where the water appeared to burn.
So, we have a track record, and we know we make a difference, and that rarely is it benign.
Market forces had nothing to do with making the changes that instituted emissions controls. Politics did. Emotion did. Emotion drove people to do the science. Emotion drove people to push the politicians.
Are all the changes we try going to work? No, for many reasons. Among them:
the science may not be complete
the compromises between the wants and want-nots may render the action ineffective while still causing economic damage (see very recent limits on fishery areas for coastal CA)
some changes will based more on emotion than a complete understanding of solid science
Does that mean that anyone who proposes discussion of man-made effects on global warming should be automatically discounted and considered a kook? No.
Does that mean we know right this minute the best thing to do? No.
That's why we need discussion.
Do we know that we affect the environment? Yes.
BigJon, Im still pulling together quotes to address your .. I'd say ideas,but they have a feeling more of attacks...
Altoid - curiously strong.