Study their behaviors. Observe their territorial boundaries. Leave their habitat as you found it. Report any signs of intelligence.

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Saturday, August 12, 2006

Global Warming & Our Generation's 2 Greatest Crimes

The vast majority of the debate over global warming is caused by two kinds of misdirection. In the first kind, industry interests opposed to amelioration efforts exaggerate the uncertainty and minimize the risks for obvious reasons. In the second, climate researchers exaggerate both the uncertainties and the risks to keep the climate research gravy train going. Anthropogenic global warming is not an urban legend. The urban legends are 1) that global warming might be much more than the expected 2 degrees C over the next 100 years, and 2) that modest global warming will have overwhelmingly negative consequences. The Cato Institute acknowledges that modest warming is underway but recognizes that it will likely provide a modest benefit:

My primary worry about anthropogenic global warming is the highly-uncertain possible risks to species in marginal ecosystems. Extinction of species and forgetting of languages are pretty much the only crimes against Earth that wealthy future generations will hold against us. Warming's two biggest threats -- to the Gulf Stream thermohaline circulation and the West Antarctic ice sheet -- are very unlikely to be realized, and moderate warming (up to 2C) would have a net positive impact on the developed (i.e. temperate) world. [For more on this, see Skeptical Environmentalist p301].

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