Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Global Warming: Not An Issue Of Good Or Evil

Once again, Orson Scott Card hits the nail on the head, this time with regard to global warming:
Ruddiman's thesis -- which is controversial, as all new ideas are -- is that the beginning of human agriculture added just enough greenhouse gases to the atmosphere to make a significant difference in global climate.

In other words, his thesis is that, far from beginning with the industrial age, human influence over global climate has been continuous since we first started changing terrains in order to grow ever greater quantities of dietary staples. We have always affected the climate; only the degree of the effect has changed over time.
...maybe we could stop thinking of it as good and evil and, as Ruddiman suggests, simply measure what the climate usually would be, compared to what it is; isolate the causes of the difference; and then make rational, calibrated changes based on the desired outcome.
When we have enough reliable data, let's make our decisions based on informed consensus rather than the religious fervor of Enviro-Calvinist fanatics -- especially since their god is an imaginary "state of nature" that does not include civilized, industrialized, mobile, and reproductively enthusiastic humanity.

Read the whole thing.