What to Do About Sea Level Rise? What We've Always Done, Says Skeptical Environmentalist

In a Washington Post op/ed today, skeptical environmentalist Bjorn Lomborg aims to deflate climate apocalyptism a bit:

One of the scarier predictions about global warming is the suggestion that melting glaciers and ice caps could cause sea levels to rise as much as 15 to 20 feet over the next century. Set aside the fact that the best research we have - from the United Nations climate panel - says that global sea levels are not likely to rise more than about 20 inches by 2100. Rather, let's imagine that over the next 80 or 90 years, a giant port city - say, Tokyo - found itself engulfed by a sea-level rise of about 15 feet. Millions of inhabitants would be imperiled, along with trillions of dollars' worth of infrastructure. Without a vast global effort, could we cope with such a terrifying catastrophe?

Well, we already have. In fact, we're doing it right now.

Since 1930, excessive groundwater withdrawal has caused Tokyo to subside by as much as 15 feet. Similar subsidence has occurred over the past century in numerous cities, including Tianjin, Shanghai, Osaka, Bangkok and Jakarta. And in each case, the city has managed to protect itself from such large relative sea-level rises without much difficulty.

The process is called adaptation, and it's something we humans are very good at.

Whole column well worth pondering.

You may also want to look at my 2009 column where I ask, "Is Government Action Worse than Global Warming?"

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  • ||

    This time is different.

    We're DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMED!!!

  • ♥♥♥||

    DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO....

  • cmace||

    If we paint our roofs white, what about heating in the winter?

  • ||

    buy more blankets and go without unfrozen water for a few months. Surely you're OK with that.

  • Brett L||

    In LA? Don't the forest fires do that? Or is that a summer thing?

  • Old Mexican||

    The process is called adaptation, and it's something we humans are very good at.

    That's not true, people cannot adapt that quickly - it's not like we have reason and ingenuity, you know - so we need massive government expenditures and economy hobbling programs to save us. Tony told me so, so it must be true.

  • ||

    Tony's merely speaking from personal experience. He was 30 before he could tie his own shoes. Extrapolating out, he should be dead from exposure if he had to figure out how to turn a doorknob to escape the cold or heat on his own.

  • Tony||

    But TEH EXTERNALITIES!!!!

  • waffles||

    Yeah, without government how can we be told what to adapt to, or how to do it? Modern convenience has made us stupid, we need to be controlled to be saved. I barely know how to dress myself in the morning. If I logically extend my own ineptitude to everyone, then we are royally screwed. Save us government!

  • MNG||

    Hmm. So the next time someone damages or takes someone else's property libertarians will say "hey, adapt buddy, it's what people have done in that circusmtance for all of human history."

    Good to know.

  • Brett L||

    You're falling into the trap of assuming that you aren't enjoying any benefits from the activities you believe to cause warming. You'll have to stop posting on the Internet before you can claim harms.

  • waffles||

    But government intervention isn't an externality we should have to adapt to. Or are you saying government is a force of nature?

  • The Administration||

    are you saying government is a force of nature?

    Actually, depending on your religious leanings, you may think of it as an Act of God.

  • ||

    Every natural disaster can be linked to a government agency

    Military = tornado in that they strategically destroy some houses while leaving others intact
    HUD = hurricane in that they can wipe out entire sections of the city, cost millions of dollars and encourage thousands of residents to move inland
    Public unions = earthquakes in that you know they're capable of doing damage, usually cause massive disruptions when they decide to strike, can be mitigated against with certain building codes (usually the ones that don't allow their employment) and are mostly just a problem for California.
    Detroit city councils = neutron bomb in that they've wiped out the population, but most of the buildings are still intact.

  • MNG||

    According to reputable scientists who study in the relevant fields this current round of GW is not a force of nature distinct from human activity.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: MNG,

    According to reputable scientists who study in the relevant fields this current round of GW is not a force of nature distinct from human activity.

    The reputable scientists whose reputation was shot after climategate, you mean... right? Those guys?

  • Tony||

    I think you mean vindicated.

    Come on OM, you're like months behind on your right-wing talking points.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tony,

    I think you mean vindicated.

    "Vindicated." Sure. A panel of government scientists appointed by government reviewed allegations that government scientists acted unethically, and the panel of government scientists determined that the government scientists did not act unethically, vindicating the government scientists from those allegations made by non-government scientists.

    Ergo, government was vindicated. And Science? Oh, doing fine, thank you for asking.

    It was FUN to watch that kabuki theather, I can say...

  • Tony||

    If those same investigations had turned up actual wrongdoing, you'd be trumpeting it.

    You are not an objective person on this subject. You have absolutely no inclination to accept scientific findings that contradict your preconceived beliefs, and you're willing to believe in outlandish conspiracy theories to hang onto those beliefs. It's that simple.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tony,

    If those same investigations had turned up actual wrongdoing, you'd be trumpeting it.

    Of course, because there IS evidence of wrongdoing.

    You are not an objective person on this subject.

    But you are, right?

    You have absolutely no inclination to accept scientific findings that contradict your preconceived beliefs[...]

    I will not accept any scientific finding that contradicts basic and sound science making. That's true.

    and you're willing to believe in outlandish conspiracy theories to hang onto those beliefs.

    I don't believe in conspiracies, only in incentives. Scientists are people, and respond to incentives just like anybody else, and there's a BIG incentive for confirmation bias, not against it - it's called a GRANT.

  • Tony||

    So we can't trust any scientist, then, can we? They all receive grants. Most research is government funded. How do we possibly know what's true in this world!?

    But even if climate scientists uniquely among all scientists were, the world over, greedy opportunists who didn't actually believe in finding facts but just securing grant money... what's the government's motive? Do you see governments gleefully making climate change policy? Because all I see is a whole lot of inaction. What would they have to gain by perpetrating history's greatest fraud? Turbine industry kickbacks?

    Now, I can think of a lot of reasons, say, the petroleum industry--the most profitable industry in history--would have opposite policy goals, and would fund "research" and propaganda in the service of them. Do you acknowledge their blatantly obvious motives as you claim a belief in some nebulous, undefined reason for governments and scientists to deceive on the issue?

  • Juice||

    Remember the "Hydrogen Economy" where we would all have fuel cell cars, etc?

    Most people who did energy research thought (and still do think) that it's a pipe dream at best. H2 is not an energy source (for human consumption on Earth).

    But the government threw a few billion dollars at it for almost a decade. So what do you think the openers were for thousands of grant proposals? "The hydrogen economy will be great and it's just around the corner, we just need to work a few details out. Here's my pitch for this little part."

    Dude, this is how science gets funded.

    All sorts of great innovations come out of publicly funded science, and plenty of useful things have come out of the now largely defunct hydrogen economy craze.

    But half the process of acquiring funding from government agencies is relies on the fine art of bullshitting. The panels who vet the proposals are made of scientists in the field too, who also rely on these funds. They know that half the sales pitch in the proposal is likely bullshit, but that's the name of the game.

  • Not Tony||

    You see, all scientists agree that AGW is going to be TEH END OF DA WURLD!!!!

    There's just no way that AGW "science" is a huge money-making scheme designed to keep university science departments rolling in cash or anything.

  • ||

    Beat that fallacy harder. You are nothing if not persistent.

  • ||

    ...or die, don't forget the "or die" part.

    If mankind sat around trying to do as little as possible to nature from square one, we wouldn't be having this conversation. In some ways, I wish that were true...

  • ||

    Why are environmentalists such Conservatives?

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: MNG,

    So the next time someone damages or takes someone else's property[...]

    Equivocating, MNG??? Equivocating???

  • MNG||

    Yes, the people whose actions contribute to global warming and its negative effects. The A part of AGW.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: MNG,

    Yes, the people whose actions contribute to global warming and its negative effects. The A part of AGW.

    Oh, so you ARE equivocating. Contributing to global warming (if the contribution were true) is NOT the same as destroying or taxing private property.

  • Montani Semper Liberi||

    You should leave the trolling to others.

  • ||

    So the next time someone damages or takes someone else's property libertarians will say "hey, adapt buddy, it's what people have done in that circusmtance for all of human history."

    I think what MNG is struggling to do here is say that, according to libertarians, when the weather damages your property, you should be able to sue somebody, just like when an actual person damages your property.

    The difficulty, of course, is that the weather =/= a person.

  • ||

    Which hurricanes are the fault of man, and which aren't? Which hot summer is attributable to AGW, and which isn't?

    It's the inability of anyone to show that any warming we see isn't purely (or, at least, mostly) natural that prevents this from being an easy issue to deal with.

  • ||

    It's the inability of anyone to show that any warming we see isn't purely (or, at least, mostly) natural that prevents this from being an easy issue to deal with.

    Actually, that's what makes it an easy issue to deal with.

    Since responsibility can't be attributed to particular persons, or even, with any level of certainty, to people in general, the conclusion that the Total State shouldn't involve itself by penalizing persons, industries, or society, is obvious.

  • Tony||

    Doesn't that make the case for government involvement? If no one is responsible, there's no tort. Government is generally charged with cleaning up natural disasters.

  • ||

    If no one is responsible, there's no tort.

    And no one's rights have been violated, no one has done anything wrong, so the government doesn't need to step in and take control.

    This isn't that hard, Tony. You just have to give up your belief that government has the ability and obligation to, not just right every wrong, not just prevent every wrong, but prevent anything untoward from happening to anybody, ever.

  • Tony||

    No one's responsible for a hurricane or earthquake, but government sends relief out. Do you object to that too? Perhaps the Haiti model is more your style?

    The fact that people are responsible only adds a factor of justice to the mix, but solving problems this big generally require government.

  • ||

    Whether the government should do something and the cost/effectiveness of various proposals are two separate questions.

    If what various people and various governments have already done to adapt to similar changes over the past 100 years has worked so spectacularly, then why does a new Grand International Scheme need to be implemented? That's a valid question.

    Climate change deniers aren't the problem. The problem is environmental crusaders who won't talk about costs and benefits in realistic terms.

    The perception is that climate change warriors are willing to flush a huge chunk of our economic well being with little in the way of tangible benefit.

    The way to combat that perception isn't to dig in your heels and say--well we can't just do nothing! What you seem to want to call "doing nothing" is what everybody else calls "adapting". ...and that's something modern humanity has been really good at for about 200,000 years.

    Very few people are proposing doing nothing--a lot of people are arguing that fast and effective adaptation will require more prosperity and the freedom to innovate.

    Arguing for massive government intervention in the face of that is probably the worst thing you could do if you want to see more government involvement--so please, keep up the good work!

  • Tony||

    Ken,

    You have absolutely no justification for asserting that "adapting" will be less costly than taking preventive steps. Changing from a carbon-based energy paradigm to a clean energy paradigm won't be easy, but you have NO reason to think that it will be harder than adapting in 50 years--at which point we'll still have to get off carbon energy anyway.

    You are not talking about costs in realistic terms. You're assuming a big fat can opener. There are costs associated with doing nothing and adapting. And they're probably a lot higher than what environmentalists want.

    The problem--the ONLY problem--is that doing that will cost the industrial status quo dearly. And that's what Reason is really here to protect. It doesn't matter that there are much simpler solutions, requiring much less government action, than "adapting" down the line, the whole point is to keep burning oil as long as possible.

    We have a giant market failure staring us in the face: the inability to cope with the long-term.

  • ||

    "You are not talking about costs in realistic terms. You're assuming a big fat can opener. There are costs associated with doing nothing and adapting."

    Again, you can't seem to get your head around the idea that modern humanity has adapted to all kinds of climate change without huge government for 200,000 years--we didn't adapt by "doing nothing".

    We adapted in the least costly, most effective ways possible--and going forward government involvement may be the biggest threat to that.

    Leaving people free to use their productive resources as they see fit just isn't "doing nothing".

    Squandering our productive resources on big government programs is more like doing nothing--it makes people more reluctant to adapt, and it makes it harder for them to adapt. Why would we do that? Why would they do that?

    Sometimes it's like talking to a creationist with you--millions of people coordinating their own adaptations as they see fit is not "doing nothing". That's the real work of adaptation... People don't require a creator government program to adapt.

  • Tony||

    But . . . but, we must DO SOMETHING!!!

  • Tony||

    Let’s get real Ken. The scale of this problem means its outcomes for humanity will most likely resemble those for natural disasters to which humans didn’t adequately adapt—which is the norm, not the exception. No matter what adaptation entails, what is certain is that it will result in huge costs in lives and resources, and the ability to adapt will certainly be distributed in an unjust way (poor countries that pollute little will pay more than rich countries that pollute a lot).

    Leaving people free to use their productive resources as they see fit just isn't "doing nothing".

    Does “as they see fit” include polluting our common atmosphere with heat-trapping gases at no cost? Sorry, the magical market just can’t cope with a problem like this, and it never has. Entities focused on quarterly profits have little incentive to plan for the long term, and industries whose product is the cause of the problem have even less.

    Problems as big as this are the reason we have governments in the first place. Its primary function is to be the entity capable of mobilizing a lot of resources to cope with threats to people. If the free market could solve this problem, it would have done so before now.

  • Tony||

    What the FUCK does that have to do with anything? Regardless of who caused what, isn't a problem still a problem?

    The fact that it's established fact that humans are responsible for warming, of course, is too much for you to handle. So let's stick with something more basic. Why does it matter?

  • ||

    Humans are responsible for all warming? Citation?

  • Tony||

  • pancakes||

    tony you are so awesome. NASA as an authority!? I piss my pants in delight!

  • Tony||

    I know right all they did was sent people to the fucking moon. What do they know?

  • ||

    They know rocketry really well.

  • Tony||

    And how many rockets has Bjorn Lomborg sent to the moon?

    Or has he perhaps been busy getting lots and lots of press by being a contrarian on climate science while not actually being a scientist of any kind?

  • ||

    Even if that data were totally reliable, that's not ALL warming. The good science on this--even that which indicates AGW may be a real problem--only talks about human activities having a marginal effect over time. Whether that's a major issue is still not really settled, especially given uncertainties about the data and the methodologies used to collect it.

    You can't wish away a lot of dubious science and jump to conclusions. Prove the case and maybe stop trying to use this issue to drive political change, and you'll get somewhere.

    Nobody in their right mind believes that the entire planet will cooperate to reduce greenhouse gas production, even if AGW proponents' most extreme claims are true. The only real solution, if one is needed, is technological, not political. Fewer polluting power sources, adaptive technologies, etc.

  • Tony||

    Pro the technological solutions are there. The stumbling block is political will.

    And where's YOUR evidence that the science is "dubious"? Some link you followed from the Drudge Report?

  • ||

    Ah, a resort to an argumentative fallacy.

    I'm not politically biased against the truth, facts, or science. I am just skeptical of extraordinary claims. Reasonably so. There are fundamental issues with the ability of climatological claims to approach any degree of certainty, there are specific concerns with the methodology of AGW proponents, and there are clearly concerns about the reliability and completeness of the data.

  • ||

    "Pro the technological solutions are there. The stumbling block is political will."

    Oh, the Triumph of the Will!

    If 49.9% of the people won't accept the woeful price of the solution--then must force them?!

    Needlessly?

    Again, Tokyo--on the ocean--managed to adapt to a 15 foot drop in elevation, sans government program. Tony would have forced a solution on them--despite the fact that they managed to figure out the solution without him...

    ...even in hindsight?!

  • Yea Baby||

    That link just shows a change in atmospheric CO2 and makes a statement that it "very likely" has a human cause. It doesn't make a clear causal case between CO2 and temperature either.

    I work with quite a few climate scientists. All of them believe the globe is warming. That's a no-brainer. There used to glaciers covering most of the great lakes and the upper midwest. There gone and it's warmer.

    However, these same scientists do NOT agree on how much humans have to do with warming.

    I'll be the first to admit that we MIGHT be doing it, but I've yet to see proof.

  • Tony||

    You've yet to look for it, you mean.

  • MNG||

    When that "weather" is caused by others, yes.

    If a river floods from rain and damages my property suing some person or group is silly. When someone diverts a river onto my property less so.

    According to scientists AGW seems a lot like the latter.

  • Fuck!||

    If a river floods from rain and damages my property suing some person or group is silly. When someone diverts a river onto my property less so.

    According to scientists AGW seems a lot like the latter.

    According to scientists advocates AGW seems a lot like the latter.

    FTFY

    P.S. Faulty computer modeling manipulated by predetermined conclusions that the end justifies the means is hardly science as defined by the scientific method.

  • Fuck!||

    If a river floods from rain and damages my property suing some person or group is silly. When someone diverts a river onto my property less so.

    According to scientists AGW seems a lot like the latter.

    According to scientists advocates AGW seems a lot like the latter.

    FTFY

    P.S. Faulty computer modeling manipulated by predetermined conclusions that the end justifies the means is hardly science as defined by the scientific method.

  • MNG||

    Sigh, who will I trust on the issue of global warming, all those scientific associations or a guy who can't work the submit button properly?

  • pancakes||

    Experiment: I post so hard I press submit twice.

  • pancakes||

    Experiment: I post so hard I press submit twice.

  • pancakes||

    Experiment: I post so hard I press submit twice.

  • pancakes||

    Experiment: I post so hard I press submit twice.

  • pancakes||

    Experiment: I post so hard I press submit twice.

  • pancakes||

    Result: must have posted too hard.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: MNG,

    When that "weather" is caused by others, yes.

    You mean other gods besides the weather god?

  • Abdul||

    There's nothing to worry about. Obama promised that when he was elected, sea levels would begin to recede.

  • waffles||

    So Obama is black moses, not black jesus? Aha! Makes so much more sense now.

  • ||

    when he said "set my people free" he actually meant "set free rates for my people". And by his people he meant his friends from Chicago.

  • Drax the Destroyer||

    So we've got what? A buttload of decades left in the desert then?

  • Gaea||

    You cursed brat! Look what you've done! I'm melting! melting! Oh, what a world! What a world!

  • ||

    You know, environmentalists must sometimes feel like the boy who put his finger in the dike, lying on the dark, cold, wet earth, saving the town from destruction while waiting for help to arrive.

    But then you realize this story is about a country that has been for below sea level for centuries!

    Oh, and today he'd have a cell phone.

  • ||

    Environmentalists don't have the self awareness or the honesty to admit that they are lying.

  • Tony||

    Anything but the easiest solution.

    Anything except changing the oil burning status quo.

    Massive amounts of after-the-fact relief aid for poor countries. Space mirrors. Antimatter reactors. Whatever. Just not a carbon tax!

    Because Lomborg is a genius and not a ridiculous fucking hack at all!

  • Cecil||

    Cogent argument, well thought out.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "Anything but the easiest solution."

    The easiest solution is to quit paying attention to the AGW squawking chicken littles.

    Seeing as how no one on earth is the least bit capable of actually proving that humans have had anything whatsoever to do with changing the global climate.

    Problem solved.

    Or rather non-existent problem dismissed for what it is.

  • Tony||

    Ignoring reality isn't a solution, but it certainly is easy.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tony,

    Ignoring reality isn't a solution, but it certainly is easy.

    The Keynesian pot calling the kettle black . . .

  • Gilbert Martin||

    You don't even remotely resemble any sort of authority on "reality".

    Nor are you any authority on who is and isn't an authority on it.

  • lunchstealer||

    We haven't proved Anthropogenic Global Warming in the same way we haven't proved evolution.

  • GodCreatedDarwin||

    Well, actually...

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tony,

    Anything but the easiest solution[...] Anything except changing the oil burning status quo.

    Changing the oil burning status quo is the "easiest solution"?

    Massive amounts of after-the-fact relief aid for poor countries. Space mirrors. Antimatter reactors. Whatever. Just not a carbon tax!

    Tony, you don't seem to present yourself as a very smart fellow this time. So, carbon tax . . . AND THEN WHAT???

  • Tony||

    Yeah a carbon tax is the simplest and fairest solution. Make greenhouse gases cost what they should to account for the damage they cause. What's wrong with that?

    There's only something wrong if you pretend that they're not causing any harm, which has nothing to do with being an individualist or libertarian or anarchist or whatever but plenty to do with being an ignorant stooge.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tony,

    Yeah a carbon tax is the simplest and fairest solution. Make greenhouse gases cost what they should to account for the damage they cause.

    What damage do they cause? If your argument for a carbon tax is the so-called damage, you're treading on thin ice.

    What's wrong with that?

    I dunno - that the idea is based on subjectivity, i.e. Global Warming, bad.

    There's only something wrong if you pretend that they're not causing any harm

    WHAT harm? You just say "oh, harm!" WHAT HARM? WHERE? Point it out!

    Let's say GW is true (which it is, it has to be, I just don't subscribe to the "A" part):

    WHAT HARM?

  • Tony||

    There are any number of specific changes to the biosphere that could be construed as harm, and I'm particularly interested in the harm to human beings. I'm not going to Google things you're capable of Googling yourself, but can you at least make a policy-based argument based on the premise that the scientists do know what they're talking about?

    But let's get down to what's really going on inside that strange head of yours. The earth could be a burning cinder in space and you'd fail to see the harm done, because you're a fatalist who thinks that everything that happens in nature (or the natural market) is by definition the right thing to happen. Except people can't form governments and do things collectively, that's bad. Everything else, though, it's just God's/the market's/the Easter Bunny's hand at work and we shouldn't fuck with it, right?

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tony,

    There are any number of specific changes to the biosphere that could be construed as harm

    "Construed" as in "In My Opinion" . . . no, Tony?

    and I'm particularly interested in the harm to human beings.

    Don't lie.

    I'm not going to Google things you're capable of Googling yourself

    I did many times, and all the so-called "harms" end up being "guesses" going from flooding of coastal cities to turning lush forests into deserts. Even AGW proponents/scientists have been calling for the toning down of these doomsday scenarios as they tend to trivialize the "issue."

    but can you at least make a policy-based argument based on the premise that the scientists do know what they're talking about?

    What ARE they talking about? So far, their predictions have NOT become true. The Earth has NOT experienced runaway warming, has NOT experienced massive hurricane seasons, has NOT experienced anything that the proponets were warning us about since 1990. Heck, the damned polar bears are not even dying on cue, the bastards!

    But let's get down to what's really going on inside that strange head of yours.

    Oh, man - an Ad Hominem? Are you conceding now?

  • Tony||

    So far, their predictions have NOT become true.

    Um, data suggests that predictions are coming true and doing so on the "worst-case" side of things. Just because you aren't aware of things doesn't mean they aren't true. Go read up. Try a reliable source for a change. If you were truly objective you'd do that.

    I was really only curious about your response to my "burning cinder in space" accusation. No such luck?

  • Tony||

    And by "reliable source" I mean those scientists who were "vindicated" by fellow scientists who also have a need to keep AGW money flowing in their departments.

    (What I can't seem to understand is that in no other field do scientists enter that field in order to "prove" it. Physicists don't try to prove physics. Biologists don't try to "prove" biology. I can't seem to understand that the sole goal of global warming scientists is to prove global warming, and that the findings of said scientists should be questioned incessantly.)

    Yeah, those reliable sources.

  • ||

    More nuclear plants.

    At least then, we only have to worry about Super Mutants, Hulks, and Spider-men spawning from the radioactive waste in a few hundred years. And that is a much more awesome future than having beach front property in Nevada.

  • waffles||

    I still say, why not both?

    It's not like Super Mutants are adept swimmers, and think of the progress we will have made in seasteading!

  • ||

    I never did like California.

    Boo Nukes!!

  • jasno||

    Every Ron Bailey article ever written can be summed up as "Nothing to see here, move along".

  • Rrabbit||

    "15 to 20 feet over the next century" is way outside of the scope of most recent studies. The bulk of them predicts an average of two to seven feet over the next century, with some regional variations on top of that. Nowhere near 15-20 feet.

  • Chinny Chin Chin||

    The 4th IPCC report's various models have sea levels rising between 7 and 23 inches... they're basically saying "It'll rise a bit, or maybe a lot."

    Aside from hyping the disaster-porn suggested by the nastier model results, the IPCC is useless.

    It's too bad we don't have an urban planner posting who can tell us the issues faced by a municipality when they're working with such fuzzy predictions. Could the issue be resolved with a couple PSAs ("Remember to bring your galoshes, folks!"), or should a fleet of bulldozers immediately begin constructing miles of levees?

    Regardless, a country like Bangladesh won't have money or organization to undertake grand mitigation plans. If residents have to flee their homes, neighboring states will likely respond by shunting them into refugee camps. My money's on those camps enduring for decades. That will be the real tragedy of AGW.

  • Trueofvoice||

    Lomborg is just wrong, and the article demonstrates his commitment to misinformation. He asserts sea levels will only rise about 20 inches over the next hundred years because that's what the IPCC says. He doesn't tell you that the report only takes into account continued thermal expansion. It absolutely does not include the effects of glacial retreat, which is likely to be far worse. The IPCC deliberately UNDERSTATED the risks of catastrophic sea level rise, and Lomborg damned well knows it. He lied.

    He suggest that by painting everything white we can eliminate temperature rise, providing no evidence to support his assertion. Nor does he acknowledge that the oceans are acidifying as they absorb the excess CO2 we're pumping out. "Adaptation" won't prevent that process from continuing.

  • Trueofvoice||

    Oh, and by the way, how the fuck is Bangladesh supposed to adapt to the consequences of our CO2 emissions? Does Lomborg not think poor countries matter?

  • Mike Laursen||

    I remember watching that scene in Inconvenient Truth where Gore shows the map of the flooded United States. All I could think was nice illustration of what the flooding would look like if we all stood around passively and let everything flood.

    I know that, if the worst predictions of flooding in my city come true, the worst effect would be that my favorite hardware store would become bayfront property.

  • _||

    Nah, we would all just live in Denver, the Mile High City

  • ||

    Obligatory link to actual sea level rise:

    http://sealevel.colorado.edu/

    Note that a 3.1mm/year sea level rise come out to be a foot/century sea level rise....which is about the same amount of sea level rise from 1900 to 2000.

    This is well within the predicted sea level rise one would expect from a 1.4 degree increase in global temperatures over a 100 years.

    The IPCC and climate models predict a 3 to 6 degree temperature increase over the next hundred years. For the last 30 years the actual change in global temperatures has been at the above stated 1.4 degree/century increase.

    No model or IPCC statment predicted such a small increase in temperature due to human caused global warming at current CO2 levels.

    One should also note that 1998s El Nino event was much larger then this years El Nino event. ie the temperature is getting lower over time when comparing the two events. This is the exact opposite of what AGW theory predicts.

  • Trueofvoice||

    3-5mm per year is due to thermal expansion. That figure does not take into account accelerated LCD loss over the next hundred years.

    3-6 degrees of warming is projected over the next century because CO2 emissions are also accelerating rapidly, far more so than during the Twentieth century., and positive feedbacks are already kicking in.

    As for the El Nino, yes, this year's was much smaller than in 1998, yet 2010 will still beat 1998's temperature record. That would indicate temperatures are INCREASING, not getting lower as you claim.

  • Trueofvoice||

    And by the way, to offset our carbon dioxide emissions as Lomborg suggests, we would have to paint 3 trillion square feet per year. At that rate the entire surface of the United States would have to be painted over in about 15 years.

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