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Billions Face Risks From Climate Change 659

Posted by Zonk
from the please-buckle-your-seatbelts-its-going-to-be-a-bumpy-ride dept.
gollum123 writes with a link to a kind of grim BBC story. According to a report drawn up by 'hundreds of international environmental experts', billions of people face drought and famine, as well as an increase in natural disasters, as a result of climate change. Individuals in the poorest countries face the most danger, due to a lack of infrastructure and geographic location. "The scientific work reviewed by IPCC scientists includes more than 29,000 pieces of data on observed changes in physical and biological aspects of the natural world. Eighty-nine percent of these, it believes, are consistent with a warming world. Several delegations, including the US, Saudi Arabia, China and India, had asked for the final version to reflect less certainty than the draft."
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Billions Face Risks From Climate Change

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  • And the upsides? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Tablizer (95088) on Friday April 06, 2007 @02:24PM (#18637271) Homepage Journal
    Siberians are happy about global warming. Siberia is now a happening place. Some Northern European countries are also digging it.
    • by dzelenka (630044) on Friday April 06, 2007 @02:42PM (#18637575) Journal
      Global Warming has only negative side effects. You will go to hell for making statements to the contrary.
    • by symbolset (646467) on Friday April 06, 2007 @03:04PM (#18637961) Homepage Journal

      Canada is also a happening place. And they take in almost anybody. And I believe and they have a homesteading program where you can get your own large tract of land for free or nearly free. If I weren't already an American, I'd go for it even if I had to steal, jump fences, work aboard a cargo ship, swim and take assumed names along the way.

      People forget that never in the history of Man has the climate not been changing. We survivors are the ones that went from where conditions were not survivable to where they were better. The ones who stayed behind are history. (Note to people in southern Florida: if your children can't breathe seawater, now would be a good time to find some land that won't be under water when they're grown.)

      • by arcite (661011) on Friday April 06, 2007 @06:02PM (#18640579)
        I love my country, but it is fucked up pretty bad when it comes to the environment.

        Lets start with the great lakes...polluted mess. They are full of non-native species that are killing off all those beautiful fish that used to be there, not that it matters with all the toxic runnoff from factories and pulp and paper mills.

        Speaking of pulp and paper mills, have you ever taken a plane trip over the coast of British Columbia? Its a mighty depressing sight to see the checkered landscape from all the clear cutting. Where do you think all that wood comes from that gets dumped on the US market? Sure...some is being replanted. Just come back in a century or two when it grows back ;(

        What about Alberta...yikes they are strip mining the whole province as fast as they can to get at all that oil. DO I even dare mention the ENORMOUS quantities of water they are using in the process? It might just make you sick. (I grew up in Alberta)

        I'll tell ya something else about Canada...we are getting pretty damn selective about who can emigrate. Not that I agree with it mind you. But Unless you are educated and have a good amount of money, chances are you will have difficulty in getting into the country...let alone getting a job or buying land. Ha! Homesteading? What is this the 19th century? There are no small time farmers left in the prairies --- they have all gone corporate long ago. Planting vast tracts of genetically altered sunflower seeds and other USELESS products so we can eat our fast food and become even more obese.

        I'll tell ya though, I lived in the northwest territories (north of 60) for several years and THAT my friend is what I call untouched wilderness, complete with killer bears, herds of buffalo, and northern lights so close to the ground that you can almost touch them. But its damn cold.

        Anyway, in summary,

        Canada has a poor environmental record. Its just that we are such a FREAKIN huge country that most people don't notice. But trust me, our giga corps are doing their best to rape our land as they are yours.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by WalksOnDirt (704461)

        ...if your children can't breathe seawater, now would be a good time to find some land that won't be under water when they're grown.

        You do realize we're talking about a foot or so over the next fifty years, right? Some estimates are for up to a meter by 2100, but it is seriously back loaded.
        • The highest point in Florida according to this page [netstate.com] is Britton Hill, at 345 Ft. According to this page [maps-n-stats.com] the highest city is 500 feet. The average elevation of the entire state is 100 feet.

          From the Army Corps of Engineers: hot topic [army.mil]

          The Herbert Hoover Dike was built in the 1930s to hold back water draining from lands within the watershed. The dike was built in accordance with the accepted engineering standards of the day. Today we have an improved understanding of how the materials with which the dike was

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by boa (96754)
      >Siberians are happy about global warming. Siberia is now a happening place. Some Northern European countries are also digging it.

      Defrosting Siberia is the last thing you want to do.

      Some estimates say that 70 billion metric tons of methane will be released into the atmosphere when/if the siberian permafrost melts. This equals approx. 1500 billion tons of CO2, or 55 years of emissions at current rate.

      Google for "global warming feedback loops" for more info.

      HAND
      Boa
  • Locally, it means more people moving out of the increasingly thirsty eastern Oregon counties, and to the water-flush Willamette Valley. Either that or a damn good opportunity for rain catch basins as snow pak decreases in the Cascades and annual rainfall increases only to wash away into the ocean before we can use it for our hot and thirsty summers.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by VENONA (902751)
      Parent post is not a troll. One of the forecasted impacts is less snow in the Western US. Oregon has several cities (I live in one) that receive their water supplies from snow pack. Oregon agriculture is *extremely* dependent on snowpack.

      If the resource changes, we may well end up adding more infrastructure to use it more efficiently. Also, census data show several eastern (desert) counties losing population, while Willamette Valley populations are growing rapidly.

      *Nothing* Marxist Hacker 42 posted was trol
  • by Esion Modnar (632431) on Friday April 06, 2007 @02:28PM (#18637319)
    People who lack this, don't exist. At least on this planet.
  • Wow, whodathunkit? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Perseid (660451) on Friday April 06, 2007 @02:30PM (#18637349)
    The countries objecting are the 3 biggest oil consuming nations and one of the biggest oil exporting nations. Go figure that.
  • by hxnwix (652290) on Friday April 06, 2007 @02:30PM (#18637351) Journal
    when technology advances, all boats rise!
  • Bitch slap (Score:4, Insightful)

    by pauljlucas (529435) on Friday April 06, 2007 @02:31PM (#18637363) Homepage Journal

    ... billions of people face drought and famine, as well as an increase in natural disasters, as a result of climate change. Individuals in the poorest countries face the most danger, due to a lack of infrastructure and geographic location.
    It's Nature's way of bitch-slapping us as a species. Unfortunately, she's not slapping the people either causing the change or have the power to do something about it. If Washington DC, Beijing, and a few other capital cities had several inches of standing water from increased sea level, you can bet something would be getting done.
  • Search on mitigation in the summary and you'll find very little. These reports are definitely not looking at possible mitigation responses and are assuming increased carbon emission as the way things will be. Wonder who wants it that way?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mutterc (828335)

      What's the realistic likelihood we will ever see carbon emissions mitigation?

      There are too many moneyed interests who would be hurt by mitigation measures; they'll make sure we can't take any action.

      There are also plenty of people convinced we'll ruin the economy by mitigating, despite the report from a former head of the World Bank (hardly a bastion of "liberal" ideology) showing the costs to the economy of global warming will be much greater than the costs of mitigation plus the costs of mitigated glo

  • Certainty (Score:5, Insightful)

    by onion2k (203094) on Friday April 06, 2007 @02:33PM (#18637399) Homepage

    Several delegations, including the US, Saudi Arabia, China and India, had asked for the final version to reflect less certainty than the draft.


    I agree with that. We can't be certain. We've only got a few decades of really good data, and a few hundred years of approximate data prior to that. That's not enough to be certain to any degree about events that will play out over hundreds of years.

    But that doesn't matter. We need to act on this whether (no pun intended) we're certain or not. The very fact we're not sure means we have no choice *in case we're right*. Not being certain works both ways. We're not certain it's a bit disaster, but neither are we certain it isn't. If we don't start taking action now then in 50 years time it may be too late. If we do take action then it might mean we all end up less wealthy, maybe even out of work if we work in a polluting industry, but is that really so bad if the cost of doing nothing is potentially the end of the human race, or even the sum of life on Earth? Sure, I'm a bit of a tree-hugging hippy liberal (lower case 'l') at heart, but I care that my children and children's children don't end up starving to death in a desert wasteland. With no trees. To hug.
  • by TodMinuit (1026042) <todminuit@NOspAM.gmail.com> on Friday April 06, 2007 @02:44PM (#18637595)
    Now we can put our Y2K supplies to good use.
  • Billions (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Archangel Michael (180766) on Friday April 06, 2007 @02:50PM (#18637689) Journal
    I thought the radical Environmentalist wanted 5.5 - 6.0 billion people removed from the face of the earth.

    http://www.thegeorgiaguidestones.com/Message.htm [thegeorgia...stones.com]

      1. Maintain humanity under 500,000,000 in perpetual balance with nature.

  • by JustNiz (692889) on Friday April 06, 2007 @02:51PM (#18637709)
    >> US, Saudi Arabia, China and India, had asked for the final version to reflect less certainty than the draft.

    Gee what a surpise that those countries are objecting, given that those are mostly the worst polluters and also the worst countries for politically spinning and socially engineering information.
  • I f real or not (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fermion (181285) on Friday April 06, 2007 @03:00PM (#18637873) Homepage Journal
    The US and other G8 countries are spending a bunch of money to compensate for a warmer world, including things like alternative energy, GM food, and the like. The US is also apparently funneling a bunch of money through the MCA [mca.gov]. This is all good. my question is we are spending money to hedge against the risk, then why are we not also spending some money to reduce the suspected causes of the risk. If it were a terrorist risk, we would have no problem spending $500 billion to fight even the most unlikely causes. OTOH, we can't even ask industry and individual to try not to pollute so much. It amazing me that we will fine people who throw a 1 oz tissue out a car window $500, but have not problem with the same person producing 1 kg of CO2 for every mile driven in the big truck or SUV, multiplied but the 60 commute every day. Insane.
  • given that climate change is a fact, should we spend money in the hope that somehow we can reverse any human causes of climate change, or devote money to adapting to the warmer climate? If we cannot reverse the climate changing, and warming on Mars and other planetary bodies suggests there are significant non-human factors involved here, then spending significants amounts of money in "saving the environment" as it were will lead to the problems for billions of people, if the article's estimate on the impac
  • by xlurker (253257) on Friday April 06, 2007 @03:03PM (#18637947) Homepage
    of all deniers I can only say:
    • Opinions and false beliefs, based on ignorance, sadly cannot be swayed by reason.
    • "Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts." - Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan

    and for all deniers I provide this practical list, pick your poison:

    • There is no real evidence of warming, just model predictions.
    • Global Warming is nothing but an environmentalist hoax.
    • One warmest year on record is not global warming.
    • The surface temperature record is so full of assumptions and corrections that it only says wha
    • In the 1970's they said a new ice age was coming.
    • Global temperatures over just one hundred years doesn't mean anything.
    • Glaciers have always grown and receded. A few glaciers receeding today is not proof of Global
    • Climate scientist are trying to hide the dominant role of water vapor in Global Warming.
    • H2O is the only significant greenhouse gas.
    • There is no proof that CO2 is what is causing the temperature to go up.
    • The current warming is just a part of natural variations, humans have nothing to do with it.
    • It was even warmer during the Holocene Climatic Optimum
    • The Medieval Warm Period was just as warm as it is today.
    • All in all, a warmer climate sounds like a good thing.
    • Reducing fossil fuel usage is mass suicide.
    • Even if we fully implemented the Kyoto protocol it would have virtually no effect on the tempe
    • Why do India and China get a free pass? That's not fair, no wonder the US did not join.
    • But there is Global Warming on Mars, without any SUV's or human influence at all.
    • It was very cold in Wagga Wagga today, this proves there is no Global Warming.
    • The ice core records show clearly that CO2 rising is an effect of rising temperatures, not a c
    • There is no consensus yet on the cause or even the reality of Global Warming.
    • Ice sheets in the Antarctic are growing which proves Global Warming isn't real.
    • Volcanoes emit way more CO2 than people, so emissions controls would be useless.
    • Global Warming is an illusion caused by the Urban Heat Island Effect.
    • We can't even predict the weather next week, forget about 100 years from now!
    • Greenland used to be nice and warm and the vikings lived there happily until the Little Ice Ag
    • Climate is a chaotic system and just like the stock market, forget about predicting where it w
    • The models are unproven and therefore unreliable.
    • Satellites are more reliable and they show cooling.
    • But the temperature dropped all through the 40's and 50's while CO2 rose, there must be someth
    • The Null Hypotheis says the warming is natural.
    • Geological history is full of periods where CO2 was high and temperatures were low and vice ve
    • The climate is always changing, no reason to think it is our fault.
    • Natural emissions of carbon are 30 times bigger than human emissions, so any reductions are us
    • CO2 is measured on Mauna Loa, which is an active volcano. That is why the levels are so high
    • Global Warming began about 20,000 years ago, humans have nothing to do with it.
    • Even if the ice caps melt, the water will go into the ground underneath.
    • CO2 has risen on its own before, no reason to assume it is our fault.
    • The Hockey Stick is broken, global warming theory falls apart.
    • No one knows how confident the models really are.
    • There is no historical precedent for CO2 causing warming, it is the opposite.
    • James Hansen is being an alarmist, just like before.
    • Position statements hide legitimate scientific debate.
    • Climate Models don't even take cloud effects into consideration.
    • Global Warming stopped eight years ago!
    • Global warming is caused by
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Brandybuck (704397)
      Please tell us what wer'e supposed to believe then. The story keeps changing. I want to believe whatever the papers tell me "scientists say...", but what "scientists say..." keeps changing! Is the sea going to rise eight inches, eight feet or eight meters? Will it happen in one year, ten years or a century? Does global warming predict more hurricanes or fewer? Larger hurricanes or smaller? Will New York become a glacier or a desert?
  • Maybe it's just because I've only heard the soundbites on this so far, such as "Report says warming to hit poorest people hardest"...and "The poorest of the poor in the world -- and this includes poor people in prosperous societies -- are going to be the worst hit," Pachauri said. "People who are poor are least able to adapt to climate change."

    Fine, but you know what...in terms of problems and people, those billions of po' folk are not just going to hang out and wait for the vultures. They are going to m
  • by killercoder (874746) on Friday April 06, 2007 @03:21PM (#18638227)
    I've got to start off by saying: I'm a conservative Canadian, nowhere near a vocal tree hugging liberal.

    To all those that don't believe man is impacting the climate, I call BS. People said the same thing about the hole in the Ozone Layer (caused by CFC's prevelant at the time). People said the same thing about Acid Rain (caused by VERY bad emission controls on Auto's).

    Let me bottom line this, read up on the melting at the poles, and at Greenland. Take a look at the average temperature per season per year for the last 20 years. Take a look at the number of Islands that have *disappeared* due to rising water levels. Lastly - consider that more people are alive today then have existed for our ENTIRE history.

    The UN doesn't exist to "spread America's wealth", countries like Canada and NZ contribute the same or more PER PERSON than the US (when it pays - which is increasingly rare). The UN exists so that all the people of the World have a place and forum to voice their concerns on GLOBAL issues. I would argue that the changes we are making to our climate are perhaps the most important such issue to ever be discussed at the UN.

    If after all the evidence you don't believe we're impacting the Climate, then be prepared to kiss your ass goodbye - if war and famine don't get ya, the drought will.

    Killer
  • Slashdot?? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by lawaetf1 (613291) on Friday April 06, 2007 @03:22PM (#18638255)
    Wow, I am completely surprised at the number of posts attempting to dispute global warming. Pathetically, most of said posts attempt to call into question the impartiality of the scientists that did the research as if they have some political agenda of their own. It's more than a little ironic that the term "sheeple" gets tossed about by those who are generally regurgitating political dogma.

    And for the others who point to past predictions of environmental degradation that never materialized (global cooling, for instance) as reason to ignore the current forecast -- I beg of you, please stop. We obviously still don't know exactly how everything works but when the current body of knowledge and the majority of the scientific community is predicting something severe, we would be stubborn to the point of idiocy to do anything but plan accordingly.

    Personally, I don't need any government study to convince me that global warming is happening. Look at a satellite map of the Arctic thirty years ago and compare it to one today. Thirty years is to the planet the time equivalent of an afternoon to us. Ever get that depleted hot flush a day before the flu kicks in?
  • by Brandybuck (704397) on Friday April 06, 2007 @04:03PM (#18638955) Homepage Journal
    The scientific method: Gather data; form hypothesis; make prediction; experiment and observe; repeat.

    We have a whole mess of data, and we have a few hypothesis. The next step is to make a prediction based on a hypothesis and observe. We can't create an experiment for obvious reasons, but we can still observe. Last year there was a prediction. I don't know if it was a scientific prediction, or merely the collection fear mongering of the mainstream media (it's becoming increasingly hard to tell the difference). The prediction was that this year's hurricane season would be much much worse than last. What did we observe? A rather mild hurricane season. The prediction failed and the hypothesis has been proven false. In fact, nearly all climate predictions over the past fifty years have failed.

    There are two major problems with the current climate scare. One of them I alluded to above: the media-zation of science. We are basing public policy not on science, but on what the media filters, edits and digests for public consumption. We aren't seeing the data, but are only being told "scientists say...". When you look at the actual data, you'll find that scientists aren't necessarily saying what the media says "scientists say...". A few might be, but not all. It's most definitely not consensus. The consensus is only that the climate is changing and that human beings probably have some level of affect. How much the climate is changing, what level of affect humans have on it, and what are the consequences, are NOT agreed upon in the scientific community.

    The second major problem is that this is a very complex area of study. VERY complex. The models used for prediction are EXTREMELY complex. They've been doing modeling on supercomputers since the first supercomputer. Oak Ridge NL announced a new record breaking supercomputer today, and it will be used for... climate modeling. There are simply too many variables and too sensitive to initial conditions. If a butterfly can flap its wings in China and affect the weather in Canada, then we're going to need lots and lots of supercomputers to model all the butterflys.

    Are these the models that predicts history's worst hurricane season? If so, they need to be seriously reworked.
  • by suitepotato (863945) on Friday April 06, 2007 @04:05PM (#18638981)
    That's what we're becoming. So totally wrapped up in the idea that we have some sort of "right" to exist that after engaging in hundreds of years of logical scientific inquiry, finding mountains of evidence that the planet's weather is dynamic, vibrant, and above all fickle, that there are regular up and down periods of cold and hot, we then turn a blind eye to it and against everything we just spent all that time digging up, and proclaim that the world should always have been exactly as it was on June 17, 1931, in Passaic, NJ or something to that effect, and that we must move Heaven and Earth to make it stay that way.

    Of course, I'm sure the ancestors of the present day people thought that as they watched the Earth begin to thaw from the last ice age, and the oceans rose to cover the continental shelves and give rise to the planet-wide myths about a globe covering flood. Except, they didn't have scientific evidence in huge piles of books showing that this sort of thing happens all the time regardless of what the bipedal monkeys are up to.

    It has been warmer than this in the past. Much warmer. It has been colder than this in the past. Much colder. We know this for a fact. We know that this happens with or without our activities. And we know that there is NOTHING we can do at our present technological level about it. So why do we insist that we are the ones causing it when for over half a million years it happened several times and we've only had this supposedly evil technology for only less than .0003 of that time?

    Because the global warming is real and there are people in this world and always have been who want the masses to hand over power over their lives to them. And so they trot out to us a false premise, that we are totally responsible for an actually natural occurence in the long span of planetary history, and another one that they can save us from ourselves if only we give them the reigns of power. Seems like the phoney-baloney oil crisis that never happened in the 70s, the phoney-baloney global starvation crisis that never happened in the 60s, the phoney-baloney Communist scare of the 50s that was horsehockey, and ten million other crises.

    It seems on the surface that we are supremely full of ourselves and yet in truth we are terribly dubious, completely without hope, and utterly given to embracing our own fallibility. There is no faith in ourselves in this idea that we caused global warming and still none in the idea that we can stop it. Only false hollow beliefs put forth to enrich the power of others.

    Have faith in our progress and our natures that we are not so bad as we would think and as others would posit. We have greatness unknown and unmatched simply waiting to be explored. Once we dreamed of exploring the universe and doing so in style and comfort where now we dream simply of returning to primitive conditions lest Mother Earth shrug us off in anger over our insolence. Mother Earth is a nonentity and the physics of the world merely uncaring and indifferent to us. We cannot make the world stay in steady state, we can only live around it, and we are supremely capable of doing it. It was never of question if we can, but if we will.

    There are problems with how we treat the environment, but growing the power of the state over the power of the individual, regressing to dreary primitive states, embracing inanities like hemp and bio diesel, and forgetting all the wonderous things we've thought up in the past to overcome each problem in turn, is to turn our back on being human, and all the best things about that. We can solve the problems and there need be no doom and gloom, and the solutions need not involve handing more power over to those who have far too much already and not nearly the wisdom to know what to properly do with it.

    The world will shrug. We will move with it.
    • by arcite (661011) on Friday April 06, 2007 @05:47PM (#18640401)
      Have you ever visited south east asia? Have you ever experienced the smog cloud that exists there from the constant burning of the rain forests in places like Java? Have you visited East Africa recently where they are experiencing long term droughts? Have you visited a place that once used to be a fertile forest and is now a man made desert devoid of life? These are all man made disasters on a small scale. But now they are going global.

      Consider, over 80% of fish in the oceans are under threat from extinction due to over fishing.

      Consider, there is currently a honey bee plague that is killing up to 90% of hive populations in N. America. How fucked up is that?

      Ground water is being used up at unsustainable rates in China and India. --- as well as in all developed countries

      See, most people in the west don't hear about these disasters that are *happening* right now because they don't effect most of us... yet.

      But everything is connected and eventually the shit is really going to hit the fan.

      I live and work in Kenya and experienced the drought last here personally. Picture every day thousands of people carrying a small 5 gallon pail on their head, leaving slums in search of a little bit of water. Picture starving cattle --- so thin you can count their ribs, being driven into the city center to graze upon grass in the ditches and in parks. That is if they don't just drop dead on the side of the highway. (during the drought I saw...and smelled dozens of rotting carcases littering along the highway).

      I"m an optimist at heart. Human can solve their problems, but MOST people have no FUCKING clue of what is happening and how it will get MUCH worse.

      I'll tell you what though, democracy as we know will change. Governments WILL ration what we eat, drink, and manage the energy we consume. In developing countries this is the NORM. Soon it will be the norm everywhere. Doom and gloom??? No, just REALITY.

      The simple truth is that most people are greedy bastards and will do all they can to enrich themselves and damn everyone else. I mean WTF, we are only on this earth for 60 odd years, so who cares right?

      This is the world we have made for ourselves, we all have to educate ourselves and everyone needs to make better choices. However, I think increasingly we will need to rely on our governments to carry out responsible mandates if FREEDOM as well as EQUITY are to survive what is coming.

      • by jc42 (318812) on Friday April 06, 2007 @07:44PM (#18641577) Homepage Journal
        Consider, there is currently a honey bee plague that is killing up to 90% of hive populations in N. America. How fucked up is that?

        Actually, that's one thing that probably doesn't belong in the list. It's a disaster for beekeepers, and a major problem for some commercial crops that depend on honeybees. But the actual scientists (i.e., biologists) studying the phenomenon haven't generally considered it a disaster at all.

        Honeybees are a domesticated species that is not native to North America. Like some of the other critters we introduced (English sparrows, starlings, carp, etc.), they partly escaped and went wild, and took over the niches that had belonged to hundreds of native species. They might not have done so well in the wild, except that humans maintained a large population that could replentish the supply as the natives evolved ways to fight them. But generally, honeybees have been a disaster for most native species of small pollinators.

        Now that there are almost no wild honeybees left, the native bees and other small pollinators (that survived) have been expanding their populations. Biologists studying the phenomenon have generally treated this as a recovery of the original diversity that had been suppressed by the human-supported invader. The resulting diversity makes for a more stable ecosystem in general. And many of the native pollinators are doing a fairly good job of pollinating most of the crops. The main problem is that we can't control them as easily as we controlled honeybees. And most of them don't form huge colonies, so harvesting what honey they have isn't very practical.

        The main "disaster" is the human one: We've lost much of our honey crop. But this isn't really a disaster for the ecosystem; it's just a minor local agricultural problem in one crop. And much of that problem can be attributed to something that biologists have generally warned about: It was a monoculture, depending totally on a single domesticated insect. Monocultures are inherently unstable, susceptible to crashes whenever a single parasite or disease shows up. It's not the first time we've seen crashes in a single monoculture crop, and it won't be the last.

        If we want a reliable honey crop, we can't do it like we have been. We need a variety of bees, preferably of several species, so that a single disease or parasite can't wipe out the entire crop, and so that populations can be kept somewhat separate to impair the disease/parasite's rapid spread. But there's no sign that our agricultural system is learning that lesson.

        There's no obvious tie-in of this with the climate change phenomenon. Nobody is suggesting that the honeybee die-off has anything to do with the warmer weather.

        But the warming will allow the Africanized "killer" bees to expand farther into North America. They are good honey producers; maybe we need to learn to cultivate them. That's why people were experimenting with them South America, after all, when the big "Oops!!" happened and a bunch of them escaped.

  • by HoneyBeeSpace (724189) on Friday April 06, 2007 @04:12PM (#18639081) Homepage
    If you'd like to run some of the same experiments done in the IPCC report, you can (with a slightly older code base). The EdGCM [columbia.edu] project has wrapped a NASA global climate model (GCM) in a graphical interface and ported to Mac/Win. You can add CO2 or turn the Sun down with your mouse, a checkbox, and a slider. Simple graphical tools are included to look at the final results (there are hundreds of variables to choose from).

    Disclaimer: I'm the project developer.

Man is the best computer we can put aboard a spacecraft ... and the only one that can be mass produced with unskilled labor. -- Wernher von Braun

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