CO2 Treaty Dead On Arrival
policebx at win.bright.net
Sat Jun 28 11:08:51 EST 1997
John Alway wrote:
> When you catalogue all of the outrageous and debunked claims
> made by environmentalists there has to be a point where the
> rational among us say "hmmm, perhaps we're being led down
> the prim rose path. Perhaps the problem isn't the environment,
> but the thinking of environmentalists!"
> I mean, if you stick around these environmentalists groups
> long enough you wouldn't believe the sheer number of new
> monumental problems people claim to have discovered.
You know, I've been watching this thread for a while, and all I've seen
is flames against the environmentalists, not facts. I have often heard
the same kind of attacks coming from Howard Stern and Rush Limbaugh. In
a controversial subject, you often hear each side giving facts to support
their side, and flames against the other side. If you look below the
surface, it is usually because the facts given in argument pro, are true
and cannot be directly countered by fact. Therefore, the response is to
undermine the source.
As effective as this is in court and public debate (witness the O. J.
Simpson trial, there were NO facts supporting O. J., and quite a few
against him), it ignores the underlying truthes. So here are a few.
The Challenger Disaster could have been prevented without asbestos with
information available to the launch crew at the time. In fact, the
major change that was made by NASA to prevent future incidents was to
take the launch decision away from administrators, and give it to an
astronaut. It therefore is not an argument for the use of asbestos. The
only reason I have ever heard for eliminating the ban against asbestos is
the philosophical opposition to regulation. If there are people who will
fatten their wallets or take their pleasure without consideration for
others (and we ALL know that such people exist), regulation will have to
exist. Live with it! The questions are: What is the purpose of this
regulation? Does it improve the situation it was intended to address? Is
there a regulation that would address the problem more effectively? Is
there a regulation that would address the problem as effectively and more
Remember, economic interests (such as corporations) will not address ANY
problem, no matter how severe, until it impacts the bottom line. And
they will often opt to pay off the injured parties instead of fixing the
problem (because its cheaper). In environmental cases, irreparable
damage has often occurred before anyone's bottom line was effected. We
seem to have developed a case of collective amnesia about this. Doesn't
anyone remember the choking brown haze over LA or the sooty black skies
over Pittsburg. These problems were releived by air quality standards,
not lawsuits or economics.
Environmentalists often put the worst case scenario first. "Silent
Spring" is, of course, the logical extreme of what would happen if
chemical manipulation of the environment is not regulated. The truth is,
as it often is, they painted the END RESULT of this process, not the NEXT
STEP. Malthus made the same mistake when he raised the spectre of
overpopulation. He projected the growth of population at it's then
current rate (it is down significantly), and predicted when each person
would have a square yard of ground to stand on. This raised our
awareness, there were books and sculptures and television shows ("Star
Trek: Mark of Gideon" for one) about it. But the immediate overcrowding
didn't materialize. We are just now beginning to realize that the core
of our environmental problems (deforestation, loss of habitat, extinction
of species, pollution, greenhouse emmissions, lack of landfill, etc.) is
that the growing needs of a growing population are taking this away. The
key in this matter is the amount of farmland needed to support a given
population. This has diminished over the last twenty years, but that
trend is showing signs of reaching it's limits.
It's true that the environmentalists have "cried wolf" quite a bit. The
flip side is that most of the problems that they have cried about have
been real. They have simply cried "Wolf Pack" when "Lone Wolf" would
have been more appropriate. A smaller or less immediate problem, is
still a problem, and it should be prioritized and addressed.
As to global warming. The data of temperature change and CO2 change in
the real world match the model. As with any scientific study, it does so
with a limited precision. In this case, the precision is poor enough
that we can't be sure that this model of warming has more merit than
others. It has only been recently that enough data has existed that we
can even be sure that the warming is happening. Whether or not this is a
cyclical, natural, or man-made problem. If it continues, it will be a
I think it is wonderful that, for once, we are saying, "We MAY have a
problem here. What can we reasonably do to head it off?" Instead of
waiting for the crisis to hit.
Finally, remember loss of habitat and deforestation are primarily
population problems. This is in everyone's hands. Limit yourself to two
or fewer children. If you want a tribe, adopt them. Your grandchildren
will thank you.
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