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  • Saving Lives with Global Warming

    Posted by Shannon Love on September 10th, 2007 (All posts by )

    Bjorn Lomborg explains how overall warmer weather from anthrogenic global warming will save lives.

     

    10 Responses to “Saving Lives with Global Warming”

    1. Anonymous Says:

      I am amazed that the writer got this nonsense published!
      What he says about heat versus cold is perhaps true for life expectancy in the areas studdied but global warming has much wider ramifications. Thus, if warming continues, water levels rise and major cities get flooded, causing massive chaos, breakdown of all services, and population transfers at a huge scale. Surely this will bring about many deaths and not simply a movement from cooler to warmer.

    2. Shannon Love Says:

      Anonymous,

      Thus, if warming continues, water levels rise and major cities get flooded…

      I hate to break it to you but the “Day after Tomorrow” is not a good guide to the actual effects of even the most catastrophic global warming.

      Getting drowned by global warming is something like getting trampled in a turtle stampede. It’s theoretically possible but you have to have a really, really, slow reaction time. Sea levels will change over a period of decades leaving plenty of time to adapt.

      Most of the warming will occur in the thinly settled Arctic regions while the equatorial zones will see very little, if any, change. Indeed, global warming will open up large areas of the northern zones that today are largely inhabitable.

    3. Anonymous Says:

      The threat to coastal areas was recognized long before the book you refer to which I know of but have not read.

      When Manhattan floods, it will nice to conteplate where Wall Street will move to. Perhaps Newfundland?

    4. Shannon Love Says:

      Anonymous,

      When Manhattan floods, it will nice to conteplate where Wall Street will move to.

      If your scenario was true, Manhattan should have already flooded. From today’s New York Times:

      Since record-keeping began in the 19th century, the sea level in New York has been rising about a foot per century, which happens to be about the same increase estimated to occur over the next century by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The temperature has also risen as New York has been covered with asphalt and concrete, creating an “urban heat island” that’s estimated to have raised nighttime temperatures by 7 degrees Fahrenheit. The warming that has already occurred locally is on the same scale as what’s expected globally in the next century.

    5. Anonymous Says:

      think globally! anon: when the ice melts as is now happening it may well even visit the coast around NY…it is not going to stay put.

    6. Shannon Love Says:

      Anonymous,

      The point is, the change will happen slow enough that we can adapt. The relative sea level around New York has already risen a foot in the past century without any catastrophe. What makes you think we can’t adapt to another foot?

    7. Anonymous Says:

      ah, I see now! the rticle cited as evidence hat things are ok aso notes that we must make the rest of the world as wealthy as New York so we can shore up places close to water and provide air conditioning…ok…let’s do it!

    8. Shannon Love Says:

      Anonymous,

      …ok…let’s do it!

      We are already doing it. In fact, we have doubled the average level of wealth in the developing world during the last 50 years and we will double it again in the next 20 barring any major setbacks.

      But what about the areas that don’t improve economically? Well fortunately, people with little wealth also have little infrastructure so rising sea levels will not trouble them much.

      You should read Lomborg. He details what all the major global warming models say are the most likely outcomes. Radical that he is, he advocates basing public policy on the most likely outcomes and not, like say Al Gore, the least likely.

    9. Kurt9 Says:

      Two options for reducing future CO2 emissions I rarely read about are:

      1) A moratorium on immigration
      2) Reform the income tax code to eliminate the deduction for more than two dependents

    10. Shannon Love Says:

      Kurt9,

      I doubt either tactic would do much.

      On a global scale immigration does not affect energy use much. In the case of the US immigrants often do hand labor that otherwise would get done with energy intensive machines so I don’t think there would be much difference in net CO2 production.

      Removing the tax deduction for children also wouldn’t stop CO2 production. Families that had fewer children would still have the same income and would still buy stuff they would just buy products and services unrelated to children. The production and distribution of those products would create as much CO2 (with the same energy production technology) as would products that support child rearing. After all. we have smaller families today than 50 years ago and our per capita carbon footprint is significantly larger.

      The only way to lower CO2 output with changing technology is to do less physical work. The only way to get people to do less work is to reduce their level of material wealth. Frankly, I don’t see that happening anytime soon.