21 December 2009


As Air Force One returned the President from a conference on global warming to a blizzard in Washington my skepticism on the subject was further increased. We are supposedly facing a global catastrophe within the next century and this is gospel for many people. Indeed they approach it with a religious fervor that tolerates no contradictory information, such as the fact that temperatures have dropped in the last ten years, the models are faulty, and long-term prediction is almost impossible.

But suppose there was some certainty about rising sea levels. Wouldn’t it make sense to limit and reduce development along threatened coastlines? Instead we have a truly nutty EPA declaring that carbon dioxide, a naturally occurring gas, is a threat to our health. Tell that to the plants. This is yet another prescription for seizing control and wrecking the entire economy. The logical answer would be more plants, stopping the destruction of rain forests, planting trees, etc. in ways that might actually benefit people.

Of course we have a choice of disasters, each as plausible as the worst global warming scenario over the next hundred years. There is more certainty in the likelihood that the social security and medicare systems of the western world will go bankrupt in the coming decades. Volcanoes could erupt spewing toxic matter into the atmosphere and blotting out the sky. An asteroid could strike the earth as in previous mass extinctions. Sunflares could erupt and destroy our atmospheric shield. A new plague could emerge that could wipe out much of the population. Or we might all simply transfer ourselves into cyberspace.

The point is that no one can predict what will happen over a century into the future. The only certainty is that the future ins unknowable. The more likely scenario is that we will somehow muddle through, experiencing neither the best nor the worst of anything as we always have up until now.

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