Global Warming and Luggage Stealing Robots: Beneath The Waves, Ctd – The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan


Global warming is like a scary movie.  It may be most scary when you fear that something MAYBE is going to happen.  The anticipation is the worst part.

On the daily dish, this was explored.  Particulary worrisome:

The ocean absorbs 40% of the CO2 humans emit. Phytoplankton, in turn, convert that CO2 into oxygen or die and bury it at the bottom of the ocean. If the phytoplankton are disappearing, Richardson says, “the ocean as a carbon sink is declining, and what that means is ultimately more CO2 will stay in the atmosphere instead of being dissolved in the ocean.” That will translate into a warmer world, which will wipe out even more phytoplankton.

Its hard not be in the back of your mind be uneasy.  Many of the feedback loops may make the problem worse than we think, and the research is still in progress.  But does that say throw resources against this threat as opposed to others?  Maybe not.

There maybe a serious problem.  But there are a lot of possible scary problems like nuclear terrorism, acidification of the oceans, effects of hormones in the water supply, and so on.  Certainly, we know that eventually a large meteorite will again strike the earth.  The cause for throwing resources against these things is likely as good or better than for global warming.  Also using resources for more mundane issues like clean water may have a higher ratio of cost to benefit than reducing carbon emission.

I’m not sure that Global warming is trumped by these issues.  But the great Steve Martin once mused that he feared his luggage was being stolen by robots.  I don’t know that that isn’t true either, but I’m not doing anything about it.

At this point, I don’t think that warming temperatures take priority over other concerns, but because of free floating anxiety that it is worse than we know.

We need to take climate change seriously.  It is getting warmer, and total denial of that is undeniable, but our actions must reflect what we know not fear of the robots.

Beneath The Waves, Ctd – The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan.

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