Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Demanding Panic, Global Warming and Proper Motivation

When I was in school we were supposed to be in a panic about the hole in the o-zone layer. A decade later my sister was supposed to be in a panic about an oncoming ice age (I actually don’t remember this, I think I was reproducing at the time and suffering brain-death by hormones). A decade later (now) we’re supposed to be in a panic about global warming.

What I want to know about is how those environmental models (I’m not certain they *have* models, but...) deal with this…

Robin McKie, science editor
Sunday November 10, 2002
The Observer


Earth’s magnetic field - the force that protects us from deadly radiation bursts from outer space - is weakening dramatically.

Scientists have discovered that its strength has dropped precipitously over the past two centuries and could disappear over the next 1,000 years.

The effects could be catastrophic. Powerful radiation bursts, which normally never touch the atmosphere, would heat up its upper layers, triggering climatic disruption. Navigation and communication satellites, Earth’s eyes and ears, would be destroyed and migrating animals left unable to navigate.

‘Earth’s magnetic field has disappeared many times before - as a prelude to our magnetic poles flipping over, when north becomes south and vice versa,’ said Dr Alan Thomson of the British Geological Survey in Edinburgh.

***

More recent accounts speculate that it won’t be quite so bad, but it seems like it will be a huge disruption in any case and it IS and it WILL happen during OUR eyeblink of geogrphical time.

On a more practical note, concerning things we can do something about…

Why absolutely insist that everyone be in a panic? There are all sorts of non-histrionic reasons to encourage people to “live green” like clean air, water, and food. All without getting all het-up about impending doom.

People scoff at global warming alarmists for good reason, yet those alarmists, if they are so convinced of their rightness, would do far *far* better to suggest practical steps that will immediately improve people's lives.

I have to sort of assume that the answer to global warming is to pollute less, since as much as I hear I'm supposed to be fearful of this impending doom I don't hear much for a practical plan to "do something". People, for the most part, are on board for polluting less because they can see the benefit in their lives.

Is the insistance that people must Fear the Doom really an objection to an improper, selfish, motivation? Does it not count if behavior isn't changed for the right reasons?

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