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Sagacious Hawk wrote a rather extensive essay on the matter. I read it, and at 4500 words it takes about 45 minutes to read. BUT he documents everything and has done homework.
I believe if you take the time to study the global warming issue you will discover that there is a mountain of creditable evidence supporting the fact that our planet is heating up, and, at an exponential rate since the advent of the industrial revolution in the early nineteen hundreds. Heating/cooling cycles are cyclic in nature over millennia as others have pointed out but the introduction of billions of tons of additional carbon gases by humans and their machines has exacerbated the issue. In addition the vast deforestation of our planet has resulted in a diminished capacity for the planet to heal itself. When all the changes that are taking place are considered as a whole the finger of responsibility points primarily at mankind.
If we are correct in our concerns about the future viability of this planet to support humanity, and it's destructive tendencies, we would be irresponsible as a civilization to "kick the can" further down the road. The problems stemming from global warming will not be an immediate threat to those of us alive today but it will become a primary concern for upcoming generations. Better to err on the side of making the necessary changes NOW than to bury our collective heads in the sand and ignore the issue.
It is hard to not be pessimistic about the possibility that a global reformation will take place any time soon. Capitalism has spread it's tentacles to all areas of the globe and I believe anything that involves serious change to the practices of Big Business will be largely ignored. Profit at any cost is the key motivator in our world today and tomorrow. It's a sad commentary but the reality is those in control will not heed the warnings in time to make the necessary changes. Humans can be stubborn and obtuse when confronted with an unsavory reality. Our children's children will be the ones to pay the price ultimately.
Thanks for the reply Ed.
You may be under the impression that I haven't done any research - I have. Just last night I read Sagacious Hawk's 4500 word essay in support of the position that there is a man-made global warming crisis. I also made a video of my reading of it. I am currently waiting for his (or her) permission to post the video publicly.
Your statement "Better to err on the side of making the necessary changes NOW then to bury our collective heads in the sand and ignore the issue." sound quite a lot like Occam's Razor to me by the way.
Better to err on the side of making the necessary changes NOW than to bury our collective heads in the sand and ignore the issue.
As Bjorn Lomborg indicates in his TED talk, money diverted to possibly fruitless attempts to do a quick fix on the climate situation will inevitably come out of money that could be spent on improving the health, education, and other indicators of human welfare. So, it's not so clear which error is worse.
Thanks Unseen. That's probably a better expression of my sentiment than I wrote.
If those who feel they know the cause of climate change really want to implement some change, perhaps we should raise the overall educational level or Americans and other peoples.
If it was just about diverting funds, there are other places from which to divert, but that's not the core issue: the core issue is prioritization.
Where are those funds likely to come from then? (And note I said "likely.") Military spending? Like that's going to happen. It WOULD inevitably impact areas related to relieving poverty, funding education, and improving health. And it will at first affect the money the US spends abroad to improve the lot of the Third World.
The money has to come from somewhere. You've been very unspecific.
No? Less money for military spending = higher unemployment. Efficiencies in health care means the work can be done by fewer employees.
I'll give you a hypothetical if-you-say-so then.
There's a point of diminishing returns where throwing more money at a problem doesn't fix it any faster or better. The US Budget has a lot of that in it. If we could fix some of the systemic problems in the bureaucracy side and pressure our Congress into changing their stance, then we would have enough to go around.Of course, if I had a Golden Ticket, then I'd also be the proud inheritor of Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory.
There are always options, like reducing subsidies for oil, natural gas, and coal for instance which takes a huge chunk of change from the taxpayers every year even though they are the most profitable companies in the world. Besides, like Kris said, government budgets aren't a zero sum game. At some point priorities shift and spending more money on military equipment that the Brass doesn't want or attempting to improve the lot of Third World countries that aren't improving no matter how much we have spent will shift to a lower priority.