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Old December 18 2013, 07:30 PM   #101
Location: Kentucky
Re: Mars One - Unethical?

That an increase in global temperatures would be very beneficial may be a fringe view, but it's also almost certainly correct. Life likes warmth and water, which is why species diversity is highest in the tropics and plummets toward the poles. Ice ages are catastrophes where the warm regions have to serve as refuges, from which species re-expand when temperatures recover.

We know global cooling is bad, even a little bit of it, as it's accompanied by massive die-offs, because getting through the winter is challenging enough as it is. It's also accompanied by crop failures and famines, with shorter growing seasons. A drop of even a degree creates a measurable decrease in crop yields and an increase in world food prices, and a significant drop, such as we might have with a Maunder Minimum, would be devastating to countries that import most of their grain, such as Egypt.

The view that a slight increase in global temperatures would be equally devastating or worse is simply unscientific nonsense, despite the raft of papers predicting doom (which is just a cheap way to publish apocalyptic conjectural fantasies in the science literature). It would mean that we happen to live at the perfect planetary temperature, and that the band of "perfect" is so extremely narrow that only God's grace could've given us such a perfect temperature around the time of the first Earth Day, when the current climatologists were wee tots marveling at the splendor of whatever random local climate they happened to be born into.

Believing that the conditions of your youth were perfect, and perfect everywhere on the entire planet, for everyone, and that any change in either direction is a dire catastrophe, is absurd and illogical, little different than thinking the beauty of nature proves the existence of God's grace. It is highly unlikely that we happened to be living on the absolute peak of the "livability" graph just as the Bee Gee's were topping the charts. We're probably living on an upward slope of the graph of livability vs. temperature, because we know colder is bad and the odds of living on a narrow peak by pure coincidence are small.

For most of this planet's history, when life was thriving, temperatures were much warmer. We're technically still in an ice age, but between major glaciation periods. The glaciers will return, and that will be a catastrophe.
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