Sunday, December 19, 2004

Global warming

Global warming scientists are getting it wrong.
it does not MATTER what happens in 2100 or any arbitrary time in the future - what matters is
1) the damage done by each million tonnes of carbon released as CO2
2) the total damage done when all the fossil fuel is burnt

point 1 allows us to no longer have to predict human variables from the data - the worst of these are 'will thee be a new technology like cold fusion" and "will china grow at 10% every year forever". Not jsut because they are difficult to predict but becausehtey will be dependant on any solution we offer - ie we will slow growth in order to slow output.

we should have lots of information to test our scenario's against - so our trend prediction excluding human factors like there being a new technology for creating energy or variations in economic activity (or rate of growth of economic activity) should be pretty good.

Unless we are in (or, less likely, are about to pass through) a buffer zone of some sort in which case this temperature prediction stuff is missing the point - what matters is defining the bufferzone and the exact amount of CO2 it can buffer.

I am interested to know what happens when we burn ALL the oil, and natural gas and coal (depending on the low oil supply and high oil supply theories) as opposed to just what happens in 2100 because this defines the magnitude of the potential threat and allows us to define exactly where our line in the sand is. I know this introduces some big assumptions but one of the useful ones is the same people who propose continuing as is tend to believe there is a very large supply and thus a larger effect. This could (if hte effect is large enough) point out a contradiction in holding those two views simultaniously. Or if the oil runs out before the environment is too damaged point out that the problem is self containing. Either way it would reveal an important part of the graph.


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