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NRC Report Links Climate Change To National Security 242

Posted by Soulskill
from the let's-see-who-the-patriots-are-now dept.
WOOFYGOOFY writes "The NY Times and Voice Of America are reporting on a study by the U.S. National Research Council (PDF) which was released Friday linking global climate change to national security. The report, which was developed at the request of the C.I.A., characterizes the threats posed by climate change as 'similar to and in many cases greater than those posed by terrorist attacks. 'Climate-driven crises could lead to internal instability or international conflict and might force the United States to provide humanitarian assistance or, in some cases, military force to protect vital energy, economic or other interests, the study said.' If the effect of unaddressed climate change is the functional equivalent of terrorist attacks on the nation, does the Executive Branch, as a matter of national security, have a duty and a right to begin to act unilaterally against climate change irrespective of what Congress currently believes?"
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NRC Report Links Climate Change To National Security

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  • by K. S. Kyosuke (729550) on Saturday November 10, 2012 @02:41PM (#41943969)

    The report, which was developed at the request of the C.I.A., characterizes the threats posed by climate change as 'similar to and in many cases greater than those posed by terrorist attacks'

    That's because almost anything that comes to one's mind is more dangerous that terrorist attacks (e.g.: cars, coal power plant emissions, nicotin, alcohol...) Well, I guess alien invasion is slightly less risky. I'm willing to admit as much as that.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by erroneus (253617)

      Now I have to take issue with your sense of what is dangerous. Terrorist attack is dangerous. Lions are dangerous too. We just don't have them in my neighborhood. Tornadoes are dangerous too. Just that they are slightly less rare than lions walking down the street.

      Now if you were to substitute "likely" for "danger" you might be making some sense. But then again, global warming [aka climate change... change we can believe in] already here and things are already changing. Coastal areas should be becomi

      • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Saturday November 10, 2012 @03:30PM (#41944407) Journal

        I suspect that, for the 'national security' types, the bigger issue is not so much the changing value of real estate, or even the cost of mopping up a few more hurricanes per decade; but the sort of really wacky social dysfunction that can be reasonably expected in the large areas of the world where people enjoy limited mobility, paltry incomes, and a somewhat tenuous record of liking us.

        Even modest price shocks in the cost of essential food items cause the bottom billion or two to get(quite understandably) jumpy. Shifts in climate and precipitation are, of course, ideal causes for serious disruptions in agriculture, and likely a certain amount of mayhem, migration of desperate people to slightly less screwed places that really don't want them coming in(if you think nativist sentiment in Greece is on the rise now...), and so forth.

        As an incumbent major power, that's the sort of thing that is unlikely to be fatal; but entirely likely to make dealings with large areas of the planet just that much messier, bloodier, and more expensive...

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by kenorland (2691677)

          but the sort of really wacky social dysfunction that can be reasonably expected in the large areas of the world where people enjoy limited mobility, paltry incomes, and a somewhat tenuous record of liking us.

          The world has many centuries of experience with famine, natural disaster, and disease, and victims of those calamities rarely if ever turn into terrorists. Terrorism is based on ideology and inferiority complexes, not rational behavior, and you can't combat it by taking rational action. If people want

          • by HiThere (15173)

            Many of the policies advocated for combatting global warming are "environment theater" combined with pork-barrel politics. That's hard to argue with. CO2 should be dealt with using a Carbon tax. Buying tickets to pollute is just begging for ineffective programs, corruption, and favortism.

            Also, it's already too late to avoid major damage, so at least half the effort should go into ameliorating the effects that are already showing up, or will soon show up. Sea level rise is one that's going to require maj

          • For developed nations, even the worst case predictions for global warming amount to little more than a rounding error in the GNP

            You, sir, are on the bad drugs.

            The worst-case predictions for global warming include the long-period flooding of all coastal cities. You think that's going to be little more than a rounding error if it happens?

            • by sumdumass (711423)

              It won't happen over night though. It will happen over a period of decades or more and yes, that will result in a bump. There will be plenty of time to adjust to that.

              • by drinkypoo (153816)

                It won't happen over night though. It will happen over a period of decades or more

                That has yet to be determined. Some believe it will happen faster; not overnight, but over a period of less than a decade. I find it difficult to believe myself, but the worst-case scenarios are worse than you're accounting for. Or who knows, it's now considered to be fairly unlikely, but there is still evidence that there has been a methane clathrate gun [wikipedia.org] event in the past, and we know there's deposits down there now, which means it's not entirely impossible either, and should be added to that worst-case sc

                • by sumdumass (711423)

                  Some believe a supernatural being created the world in 6 days 6000 some years ago. Some believe we were a prison colony for aliens. Some believe all sorts of things. I think we live in a time when we need more then what someone believes and need to act through evidence and fact.

                  • by drinkypoo (153816)

                    I think we live in a time when we need more then what someone believes and need to act through evidence and fact.

                    It's a fact that sea level is rising twice as fast as projected so far. It's a fact that ice is melting faster than projected, too. That much faster? Not sure. These are valid concerns, though, scientifically even. The question is one of odds, not possibility.

                • That has yet to be determined. Some believe it will happen faster; not overnight, but over a period of less than a decade.

                  Some people believe that the earth is 6000 years old. That doesn't make their beliefs real. The scenarios that I was talking about are the scenarios worked out by experts and written down in the IPCC report, not the wild fantasies of some nutcase.

                  Or who knows, it's now considered to be fairly unlikely, but there is still evidence that there has been a methane clathrate gun [wikipedia.

                  • by drinkypoo (153816)

                    Over the past several million years, we have been through many warm periods warmer than today and no clathrate methane release occurred

                    It's called global warming, not global warmed. We're still heating up.

                    Global warming is real, and so is the possibility of "rapid" warming due to feedback loops. But your kind of alarmism, as well as this report, are dangerous pseudo-science and are in the same league as the kinds of superstitions that the religious right subscribes to.

                    The clathrate gun isn't my hypothesis, and there is some decent evidence for it happening at least once and maybe thrice in the past.

                    • [Over the past several million years, we have been through many warm periods warmer than today and no clathrate methane release occurred] It's called global warming, not global warmed. We're still heating up.

                      The world has been cycling back and forth between deep glaciation and interglacial warming periods for millions of years, with a period of about 100ky. We have been in an interglacial warming period for about 20000 years. As long as this interglacial warming period isn't any hotter than the past ones, t

                    • The clathrate gun isn't my hypothesis, and there is some decent evidence for it happening at least once and maybe thrice in the past.

                      Just to be perfectly clear about this: you are taking scientific hypotheses about possible events in the distant past and misapplying it to current climate issues. That is worse than merely being uninformed or expressing a religious belief, because you attempt to claim scientific credibility and in the process drag science through the mud.

            • The worst-case predictions for global warming include the long-period flooding of all coastal cities. You think that's going to be little more than a rounding error if it happens?

              The IPCC report has a set of scenarios for the 21st century: the worst case scenario is a few percent of GDP.

              Anybody who claims that we need to do this or that because of imminent flooding of all coastal cities is either a liar or the climate equivalent of a young earth creationist.

        • by erroneus (253617)

          It all starts with land. After land comes everything else. Land is a means of production, quite often... some land better than others. Land offers means of transportation... some land better than others. You get the idea. Throughout man's existance as a thinking being, land has been the most significant thing. Heck, for that matter, you don't even have to be human. Other animals value land too. And that's where it all begins.

          Global warming will affect the land and what you can do with it. It will m

        • Exactly, and this is nothing new, the pentagon has rated AGW as the number one medium-long term threat since well before Bush left the whitehouse.
      • by K. S. Kyosuke (729550) on Saturday November 10, 2012 @03:35PM (#41944451)

        I was talking about deaths per year caused by the respective issues.

        I recently studied how many birds die annually by "hand of man" - as in, if we weren't here with the whole of our civilization, they wouldn't die. I wanted to know because of some people's arguments against wind energy because of the occasional bird deaths, and it turned out that one of the leading causes of man-caused bird deaths - in the US at least - are window panes. Specifically, window panes kill something like four to five orders of magnitude as many birds as wind turbines. Similar numbers apply to agriculture (fertilizers, pesticides), open air power lines, automobiles, and - of course - domestic and feral cats. Even if you take the wind power market expansion into account, it's not likely that wind turbines will ever be worthy mentioning to anyone actually caring about birds. And now, show me people willing to giving up windows on account of birds.

        I suspect that the situation with humans is very much like this. There are many more deaths from other causes than terrorism on the US soil that could be prevented at a much more modest cost. The problem is that these deaths are not as flashy as airplanes driven into buildings, and therefore unlikely to attract the attention of an average citizen and voter.

        • by erroneus (253617)

          I suspect the fight against wind power has more to do with other energy producers than eco-nuts.

          After all, anyone with last can set up wind power.

          • by amorsen (7485)

            The fight against wind power is mostly fear of falling property values. That fear itself makes the land near wind turbines less valuable, whether the wind turbines cause any actual problems or not. Note: this is all perfectly rational for each individual, even if the effect viewed in total is irrational.

        • Did you take into account large, endangered birds? It's a serious question, and I think important. I could see it being more likely that a California Condor or Bald Eagle would hit a wind turbine than a window.....
          • Did you take into account large, endangered birds? It's a serious question, and I think important. I could see it being more likely that a California Condor or Bald Eagle would hit a wind turbine than a window.....

            Of course, you have a point there. Now that's an area for...how do you call it in English, zoning? I believe that here in Europe, habitats of endangered species are already being taken into account whenever a new location is being reviewed by the respective governmental bodies responsible for the stuff.

        • by fm6 (162816)

          I agree with your math-based approach to hazards, but I think you might be understating the impact of wind farms on birds. The problem is that good sites for wind farms tend to be in migratory flyways. Other human impacts tend to be more random.

          Not, in itself, an argument against wind farms, since there are ways you can mitigate the effect (careful siting mainly). Just pointing out that the scale of a project does not necessarily correlate to impact.

          • The problem is that good sites for wind farms tend to be in migratory flyways. Other human impacts tend to be more random.

            That's why in at least some cases, they've started using modern radars to map the bird flock trajectories for a few years before settling on the safest places to put the turbines in. :-) And perhaps this [sofnet.org] might be of interest to you as well?

        • by fatphil (181876)
          You want bird deaths at the hand of man? That's easy - McDonalds.
        • by styrotech (136124)

          And now, show me people willing to giving up windows on account of birds.

          I gave up Windows on account of a penguin.

    • that would completely protect coastal flood zones, provide nearly unlimited green energy with almost no carbon or heat footprint, and would almost completely insulate the country from the effects of large terrorist or economic attacks. It would also provide almost unlimited clean, fresh water supplies. The surplus energy from the project would be of such a large quantity, that the US economy would be transformed by becoming a worldwide power grid contributor almost overnight.

      Think Hoover dam here.

      But f
      • Re:There's one plan (Score:4, Informative)

        by Genda (560240) <[mariet] [at] [got.net]> on Saturday November 10, 2012 @05:04PM (#41945103) Journal

        Hydro has been investigated to death. It will never provide more than a fraction of the nation's power needs and has significant environmental problems of its own. There are a huge number of exciting energy and fresh water technologies showing up. Great ideas that beginning to not only look feasible, but profitable. Check out this month's article on Cold Fusion in Discover magazine. It seems a number of breakthroughs in CF including a theory as to what is actually happening is getting a very good reception from applied physicists. There is solid evidence that anchored lighter than air win turbines could harvest 100x more power than ground based wind turbines. Solar cells have passed 33% efficiency, and new technologies promise cheap ubiquitous solar collection on an infinitude of surfaces. OTECs placed around the world in deep water along the equator could produce huge electrical energy, vast amounts of fresh water, and equally vast supplies of seafood (diverse ocean based aquiculture.) This doesn't even mention that being on the equator, they would be perfect launch sites for space traffic. We can even take the energy we produce now and us it to generate hydrogen, methanol, and petroleum directly from water and CO2 in the atmosphere giving us unlimited supplies of carbon neutral fuel. By the way, anyone who's worked with sodium hydroxide knows how much water is can suck out of the air. Solar powered portable water supplies wll soon be sent to the driest places in Africa to save millions of lives. When we look for solutions to making the world a richer place, rather than how can "I" enrich "Myself" to the world's detriment, we all become richer.

        We now have the means in our grasp to resolve the many problems facing humanity, however it would demand giving up petty political bickering, religious conflict, national self interest, but most of all prying the white knuckled, crypt keeper death grip of the bankers and mega-corporations from our governments and and financial resources. A very few men of vision and courage, backed by global regions and working in concert could forever transform what was possible for being human, but we'd all have to stop being obsessed with our pasts or some silly apocalypse and focus instead on the future. Perhaps even a future worth living in for all people.

        • Hydro has been investigated to death. It will never provide more than a fraction of the nation's power needs and has significant environmental problems of its own.

          You are thinking of a dam - wrong direction - more like a coastal barrier. And in fact, hydro is cheaper than OTEC by a few cents per kilowatt-hour, although your idea of offsetting the cost with fresh water, seafood, and space traffic launch site benefits would be very intriguing.

          however it would demand giving up petty political bickering, religious conflict, national self interest, but most of all prying the white knuckled, crypt keeper death grip of the bankers and mega-corporations from our governments and and financial resources

          With the correct system, religious conflict has little or no impact. But you are right about prying the pennies from the death grip of the Bilderberg Club.

        • The Princeton wedges plan has the benefit of being immediately implementable and distributing the burden of meeting our energy needs across a spectrum of alternative energy sources along with very achievable conservation measures along with pricing in the real cost of fossil fuels.

          http://cmi.princeton.edu/wedges/

          Practical , doable , economical. Check Check Check.

        • Also, a very very detaqiled study has shown that htere's enmough wind energy to meet 100% of all nations' needs. This looked at everything from where the wind blows and doesn't to storing and transmitting the energy to the amount of land mass needed for windmills to the amount of raw materials and rare earth products needed to build all the windmills : http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/wp/2012/09/10/is-there-enough-wind-energy-to-meet-the-worlds-needs/ [washingtonpost.com]

          \http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/20

    • by fm6 (162816)

      Doesn't that depend on the alien? If they're "To Serve Man" aliens, it might actually be a good thing, since they'd want to farm their humans sustainably.

    • "That's because almost anything that comes to one's mind is more dangerous that terrorist attacks (e.g.: cars, coal power plant emissions, nicotin, alcohol...) "

      I think there should be an official name for this, like there is for Godwin's Law: "If government wants something, sooner or later it will invoke terrorism."

      "Well, I guess alien invasion is slightly less risky."

      Gets riskier every year. Well... I guess it depends on what kind of aliens you're talking about.

    • by fatphil (181876)
      What about lightning strikes? Won't somebody *pleeeeease* think of the golfers!
  • by Chrisq (894406) on Saturday November 10, 2012 @02:43PM (#41943995)
    The thing is you have to weigh up the possibilities of people starving in a century against the probability that a group of muzzies will bomb the subway next week. Whereas ideally you should counter both it is a lot easier for the government to get praise for finding another bomb factory than to carry out actions that might show effects in 20 years time.
    • Sea level has risen 150 feet in the last 20,000 years or so. What God given rule says it will not go up another mere 5 feet regardless of man?

      What happens if man's efforts consuming 10% of the productive output of the nations of the world produce no effective change?
      What happens if the national effort causes the US to go into a depression that causes a population die off & collapse of average incomes?
      What if changes the bureaucrats (who always know the right thing to do) make the climate change worse?
      H

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        What happens if man's efforts consuming 10% of the productive output of the nations of the world produce no effective change?

        So you wouldn't have gone to the moon?

        What happens if the national effort causes the US to go into a depression that causes a population die off & collapse of average incomes?

        Wars do far more damage. This is called investment and is the single best way to stimulate an economy. All that gov't spending? pays people who then buy things thus increasing demand. Is gov't spending the solution to everthing? of course not. But when big big things need to be done, the private sector simply isn't going to do them.

        How long will it take to make significant change?

        Sometimes you don't know the answers before you start. And waiting makes it worse. Did JFK know we could get to the moon in under a

    • by fm6 (162816)

      As the saying goes, what has posterity ever done for us?

    • by khallow (566160)

      than to carry out actions that might show effects in 20 years time

      The only effects of AGW mitigation that will appear in 20 years time is a loss of wealth and economic activity. Benefits are modest and long term. Costs are short term and rather large since one is restructuring their transportation and energy sectors to considerable degree.

  • Okay, seriously, the universe, "nature", definitely poses a greater threat to humanity than humanity itself. Sure, we could nuke ourselves to oblivion. But that's just one way...asteroids, mega-volcanoes, hurricanes, Tsunamis, an ice age, floods, droughts, etc etc can all be plenty destructive or even lead to annihilation. Contrast that with "terrorism": no-known "nuclear threat", doesn't even have a country identity. Terrorism's basically a bunch of violent yahoo's looking for ways to hurt the US. They're

    • by Genda (560240)

      The issue is and has always been magnitude. Human beings are just piss poor at gauging real threat. We gobble up oat bran then pack burgers away like they're going out of style. Silly Rabbit... We worry obsessively about terrorism, something that's killed what, 10,000 U.S, citizens maybe in the last century? By the way, this isn't to ignore the fact there are places like Israel where terrorism is a real problem (both the terrorism coming in and going out.) Then we shake in our boots over air travel (the sa

  • by h00manist (800926) on Saturday November 10, 2012 @02:51PM (#41944059) Journal

    After years of horrible persecution of scientists and accusing them of crimes for the results of their research and voicing their opinion, taking us back to the middle ages, perhaps now they will gain a bit more respect. But we're still far from paying them anything near what they deserve, anywhere in the world.

  • Why did it take... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by joocemann (1273720) on Saturday November 10, 2012 @02:52PM (#41944071)

    ...over 20 years to conclude that which was obvious. If you were humble enough to trust experts, the impact of AGW was clear for a long time -- the drastic products of AGW are easy to estimate. If 7BN people can't do well right now, it only makes sense that environmental instability would push many into desperation and chaos.

  • Quick, we have to hurry before our cave superiority is compromised!
  • by several years

  • by tp1024 (2409684) on Saturday November 10, 2012 @03:11PM (#41944229)

    All the other hurricanes, cyclones and typhoons (the same phenomenon in different names) don't matter.

    Climate change is currently used as a convenient lie to hide the decay of the United States of America and its inabliity to maintain or build infrastructure due to lack of any way whatsoever to raise a sufficient amount of taxes for any purpose other than its military.

    BTW the fusion reactor ITER costs a whopping 10 days of US military expenditure to build and run for 30 years.

  • Sounds like a bad advertising campaign. Emotional appeals: Marketing 101.

    Out of scientific arguments already?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Such a conclusion could be taken to mean that the govt (exec branch, never mind Congress or courts) would be allowed to flounder around and do anything it pleases so long as it can come up with some connection with a theory of global warming. (Such things generally can be reversed if they screw up.)
    If this were limited to thinking about geo-engineering to lower the temps a bit it might have some merit, but the actions of 0.3billion out of 7 billion people otherwise might not have such an impact, even if tha

  • What could possible go wrong? but hey, we got a war against everything else, so a new one isn't a big deal, right?

  • no spin zone (Score:5, Insightful)

    by WOOFYGOOFY (1334993) on Saturday November 10, 2012 @05:36PM (#41945331)

    Let's be clear. The people equating statistically improbable disasters - asteroids, aliens all that- to the absolute certain fact that global warming will, if left unchecked for too long, deconstruct civilization are engaging in a type of self soothing via fuzzy thinking. This is what denial is.

    The people denying that the threat is imminent and reasoning that it is therefore amenable to current political processes are doing something a little more subtle.

    They are creating an imaginary causal linkage between three phenomena which are, in reality, causally unlinked. This is therefore a type of magical thinking.

    The first phenomena is the pace at which global warming will proceed. No one knows with certainty how quickly it will proceed or what effects each step of the progression will have on factors effecting national security. What we do know is it's worse than we thought, proceeding faster than we projected.

    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2009/02/23/203730/mit-doubles-global-warming-projections/ [thinkprogress.org]

    That pace is in no way related to the second phenomena , the ability of a (gerrymandered) minority of politicians to block urgently needed action at the federal level. Funded by and beholden to the now-classifiable-as-genocidal gas and oil industries, scientifically ignorant and proud of it, the pace of warming is in no way effected by their continued inaction, and nothing about their inaction obliges global warming to back off for our collective sake.

    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2009/03/17/203822/media-copenhagen-global-warming-impacts-worst-case-ipcc/?mobile=nc [thinkprogress.org]

    The third phenomena is what level of ecological disaster is going to serve as the trigger point at which the denier population capitulates to reality and assents to urgent, sweeping federal action. Because that level of ecological disaster both exists and will be realized sooner or later.

    But that point is in no way causally related to that other point in time, the point of no return, where given our then-current or achievable level of technology, we'll still be able to limit the effects of global warming in order to preserve the habitability of the planet.

    There's nothing to say that deniers won't come around too late. There's no guarantee that the level of ecological disaster sufficient to finally get through to deniers will appear on a schedule sufficient for us to solve the problem.

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/print.php?r=349 [skepticalscience.com]

    To think vague things like- eventually everyone will come around and then the political process will kick in in time for us to save ourselves- is magical thinking. The forces controlling the pace of, and political resistance to, global warming are unrelated with respect to the time frame needed to act.

    The original question is rhetorical but only in the way opposite to that asserted by the deniers here. It IS a fact that the threat posed by global warming falls under the purview of the executive branch who WILL be empowered and in fact have a duty to act unilaterally, without Congressional oversight or approval, in order to preserve the national security of the United States. The only question is when will that time come and how will we know it? Is it now? A little while from now? When it's too late to do any good?

    We just squeaked by an election in which one of the parties' candidates was threatening to pipeline in tar sands from Canada and light them on fire. We already know that, if we light on fire all the oil we current have already drilled and sitting waiting to be sold, it's game over for the environment and ourselves. Drilling for more, spending money to obtain yet more and dirtier oil and th

    • by swillden (191260)

      the absolute certain fact that global warming will, if left unchecked for too long, deconstruct civilization

      Global warming may be a fact but asserting that it will "deconstruct civilization" and that if we don't do something Earth will become uninhabitable is pretty strong spin for a "no spin zone".

      I'm not arguing that we shouldn't do anything, just suggesting that your over-the-top rhetoric is self-defeating.

    • "the absolute certain fact that global warming will, if left unchecked for too long, deconstruct civilization"

      You do realize that we are currently living in a very cool period, geologically speaking, right? Also that on geologic time scales, there is no correlation (and thus no possible causation) between CO2 and temperature? The temperature is going to spike, and probably sooner than most expect, and there is nothing at all we can do about it.

      What we *should* be doing is preparing for it, because it

      • Your graph sucks. Hard. [wordpress.com]

        For one, that graph has no scale on the vertical axis. That alone makes it completely worthless. For two, that's delta-T, not absolute temperature. Why not compare delta-T to delta-CO2? For three, those curves are far too smooth. As you can see in the above chart, actual data is pretty damn noisy.

        Honestly, you're right that there are long-term trends that we can't do shit about. We really don't give a shit about the climate over a period of hundreds of millions of years. The Earth wil

        • I didn't create the graph, it's not "mine", but if you take the time to look at it, you'll see that all the major changes to CO2 levels are noted, e.g. ~2200 ppm in the Ordovician, 210 in the triassic, 340 in the cretaceous. It's also painfully obvious that if you look at the overall trends and history that:

          1. We are in an unusually cool period that has persisted for around 5 million years.

          2. We are in a below-average, but not unusually so, period of low CO2 concentrations.

          3. There is no direct corre

      • by riverat1 (1048260)

        Over 100s of millions of years changes such as the layout of the land masses, the location of large mountain ranges and I'm sure a number of other things has a significant effect on climate. You have to take those into account over the long run. Within the last 5 million years the rise of the Isthmus of Panama cutting off currents between the Atlantic and Pacific was a factor in the cycle of ice ages we've been having since then. Coincidentally another thing that arose within the last 5 million years is

    • So, what have you done to show that you truly believe what you just spouted? Do you drive a car? Is it electric? Or at least the most fuel efficient that you can find? Do you grow your own crops? Using human or animal muscle to cultivate them?
      Do you live like you believe what you have written above? Because everyone I know personally who spouts the sort of thing you just wrote certainly doesn't. I have a brother who will sermonize on the subject very similar to what you just wrote. Yet, he spends half the
      • I know a locust that grows its own food. It doesn't even own a car. It doesn't matter that the other locusts do because this one is doing the Right Thing.

        If he does do all that shit, you'll be pissed that he's trying to inflict his morality on you. If he doesn't, he's a hypocrite.

        We have a term for posts like yours. "Ad hominem." Closely related is "tu quoque," and in this instance you may actually qualify for both. Troll harder.

        • If you do not live as if you believe what you say, why would you expect anyone else to believe what you say?
          If people like the OP were trying to convince people to change their lifestyles voluntarily it would be one thing, but they are trying to convince people to force others to change their lifestyles. Yet the people who are trying to convince us of this haven't even changed their lifestyles according to what they are claiming others should be forced to live.
      • Do you drive a car? Is it electric? Or at least the most fuel efficient that you can find?

        Yes. But the point is that individual action, if not a part of a coordinated national and global effort, is necessary but sadly not sufficient to save us.

        So *what I do* is spend the precious time given to me in my life educating myself and then persuading my fellow citizen, using the devices of culture I have at hand. I participate in my democracy rather than just give up.

        Glad to hear about your brother . Tell him I said "hi" , that refusing to stay silent is our greatest weapon, and "semper fi".

    • by khallow (566160)

      The people equating statistically improbable disasters - asteroids, aliens all that- to the absolute certain fact that global warming will, if left unchecked for too long, deconstruct civilization

      Please add me to the list of people who think you're spinning hard here. There is no "absolute, certain fact" that global warming will destroy civilization or even that it'll inconvenience civilization enough to be noticed.

  • This is a ruse. As was terrorism. The executive branch is now pretty much a complete second government, answerable to nobody save the president, and nowadays, I'm not at all certain the President isn't given his morning orders just like everyone else. Which begs the question, who's actually calling the shots, but I'll leave that to brighter minds than mine.

    Those in charge are tightening a noose, and make no mistake our collective necks are just now feeling the pinch. Our Constitution hangs in tatter, and th

  • by lkcl (517947) <lkcl@lkcl.net> on Saturday November 10, 2012 @06:10PM (#41945595) Homepage

    why is it that:

    * the country which uses 50% of the world's resources yet has only 12% of the world's population

    * that has not signed the Kyoto Accord and has China being forced into a position of making a "big fuss" so that the USA can "save face" (China's next 10 year plan involves carbon emissions reductions far in excess of the Kyoto Accord)

    * that has created more wars and destabilised more countries, broken more international laws and blatantly disregarded sovereignty more than any other country in the history of mankind in the name of "oil" and "profit"

    why is that this country, rather than take responsibility for its over-use of resources, comes up with yet *MORE* ways to justify continuing down the path of take, take take.

    surely they can see that it's not going end, here, right? surely they can see that even if they subjugated or bombed every other country in the world into submission or non-existence, the resource over-utilisation would, like cancer, just continue to consume more and more and ultimately end up consuming itself.

    *surely* they can see that, right? so the question is: what do we - the rest of the world - actually do about this?

  • Long answer: yes
  • by khallow (566160) on Saturday November 10, 2012 @09:44PM (#41946883)
    One thing that is ignored here is that intentionally harmful activities have a tendency to balloon out of control while non-human, insentient sources of disasters, particularly climate doesn't quickly get worse when you don't do anything about it.

    For example, in the mid 19th century, the Comanche Indians of the central US (who lived in the area of currently day northern Texas and Oklahoma) made a habit [wikipedia.org] of raiding their neighbors, particularly Texas and Mexico (oddly enough, New Mexico was off limits to raids due to some deals that an old governor of the territory had made with the Comanche).

    Well, it turns out that the northern part of the Mexico just south of the Rio Grande (abutting Texas) was very vulnerable to such raids and a vast amount of cattle and horses were stolen year after year. The Comanche would steal them, ride them up through Texas into Oklahom and then sell their loot to the Comancheros, traders from New Mexico.

    This activity was of such a vast scale that some parts of the trail were over a mile wide, and still visible today.

    If Mexico and Texas had gotten together when it first happened (for example, just paying a few hundred "Texas rangers" to go harass the Comanche), then this could have been nipped in the bud and a hell of a lot of suffering prevented. Similar widespread violence happened on the Scottish/English borders before the unification of the two crowns.

    This is why intentional actions are dealt with more harshly and vigorously than accidental. You don't wait till a hostile power is committing a 9/11 every month or even every week, before you decide to act. You don't wait till they figure out how to make a profit on the activity or put a system in place for doing it cheaply and frequently.

    In comparison, climate change, here, anthropogenic global warming (AGW) is not going to get dramatically worse, if we don't do anything about it. For example, they generally forecast the loss of about as much land over the next century from rising water levels (assuming a one meter rise) as are lost each year from desertification due mostly to bad agricultural practices.

    (I've just spent about half an hour fruitlessly trying to find some old posts on the matter. I recall there was a slashdot story estimating how much arable land would be lost from a one meter rise in sea level (which was the research's "worst case" by 2100). That was comparable to the amount of arable land lost each year from desertification.)

    So in summary, there is more value to nipping in the bud deliberately harmful human actions than there is with a slow moving human-induced natural change that just isn't that significant in the first place.
    • In comparison, climate change, here, anthropogenic global warming (AGW) is not going to get dramatically worse, if we don't do anything about it. For example, they generally forecast the loss of about as much land over the next century from rising water levels (assuming a one meter rise) as are lost each year from desertification due mostly to bad agricultural practices.

      This is a joke. This is the exact opposite of what every scientific report says.

      Your post is a classic example of someone holding forth in an authoritative tone who knows exactly zero about the subject he's pontificating on.

      Global Warming Threatens Our National Security IISS: âoeA Global Catastropheâ For International Security

      A recent study done by the International Institute for Strategic Studies has likened the international security effects of global warming to those caused by nuclear

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by khallow (566160)
        You have anything better to do than drop a bunch of crap links? Here's a clue. Everything is getting blamed on AGW and there are a number of groups whose highly profitable business model is stoking hysteria about global warming. From the numbers I'm seeing on government spending, there's at least as much public funding per year in AGW and related technologies such as renewable energy as there is in fossil fuels production.

        And I'll point out that desertification is going to make most of those claimed prob
    • by Xyrus (755017)

      In comparison, climate change, here, anthropogenic global warming (AGW) is not going to get dramatically worse, if we don't do anything about it. For example, they generally forecast the loss of about as much land over the next century from rising water levels (assuming a one meter rise) as are lost each year from desertification due mostly to bad agricultural practices.

      You're not thinking this through very well. Sea level rise magnifies events (storms, hurricanes, etc.) by increasing the surge dramatically. Imagine another 3 feet of water hitting NY on top of something like Sandy.

      Also, sea level rise is only one factor. A larger issue is the rapid change in weather patterns. We're already seeing an increase in extreme events, including some we haven't seen before in particular areas, such as the arctic. This results in other changes like melting permafrost and severe coas

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