‘Climate change mitigation would lead to disaster’–Not really, but this may be lesser of two evils
(Part of the How to Talk to a Global Warming Skeptic guide)
Objection: The kind of drastic actions required to mitigate global warming risk the destruction of the global economy and the deaths of potentially billions of people.
Answer: Is this supposed to mean the theory of anthropogenic global warming must be wrong? You can not come to a rational decision about the reality of a danger by considering how hard it might be to avoid. First things first: understand that the problem is real and present.
Once you acknowledge the necessity of addressing the problem, taking action suddenly become less daunting. There is no point in discussing the best solutions or the cost of those solutions with someone who does not yet acknowledge the problem.
But even if mitigating global warming would be harmful, given that famine, droughts, disease, loss of major coastal cities, and a tremendous mass extinction event are on the table as possible consequences of doing nothing, it may well be we are faced with a choice between the lesser of two evils. I challenge anyone to conclusively demonstrate that such catastrophes as listed above await us if we try to reduce fossil fuel use.
Now, in terms of conservation and a global switch over to alternative fuels, the people who oppose doing this for climate change mitigation are forgetting something rather important. Fossil fuels are a non-renewable resource, and as such we have to make this global economic transformation regardless, whether now or a bit later. Many bright minds inside the industry think we are already at peak oil. So even if it turned out that climate mitigation was unnecessary, we would still be in a better place as a global society by making the coming switch sooner rather than later.
Seems like a win-win situation to me.
More stories in this series:
(Part of the How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic guide) Objection: In his June 23, 2008 testimony before the United States Congress, James Hansen called for the punishment of climate change skeptics for “crimes against humanity.” This is …
(Part of the How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic guide) Objection: In October 2008, Al Gore’s science adviser, James Hansen announced yet another “hottest” month on record. After all the alarmist banner headlines sank in, yet another “correction” quietly …
(Part of the How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic guide) Objection: We all live on a thin crust that floats on a huge ball of molten iron, and at its core, the Earth’s temperature is over 5000 degrees C! …
(Part of the How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic guide) Objection: Sea ice at the north pole recovered a whopping 9.4 percent from 2007 to 2008 despite the doom and gloom predictions of the alarmists. Yet another wheel falls …
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