Global Warming – less hype, more science please.


Yahoo’s got a noble initiative going to “fight” climate change but as with most of these efforts I’m very skeptical this is where so much of the smart thinking, time, and money should go.

I wrote them:   With all due respect to the noble intentions I think I’d rather see Yahoo work on … profitability and web innovations. Warming is so *incredibly* expensive to try to fix it’s better to spend our treasure and time on the low hanging fruit problems of the world: microloans, malaria, aids prevention, etc, and focus on conservation and alternative energy. With China as the leading producing of CO2 I can’t help but think our many noble high tech solutions are just jousting at the energy windmill.

I’m not nearly as skeptical about human induced climate change as my friend Glenn,  but I share his concern about the alarmism and “groupthink” that is now pervasive in the Climate Change community.     Recent IPCC reports have been

My big concern remains that we can’t do much about this and therefore we should tackle the catastophic things we *can* easily fix.  Those are disease and poverty, water, etc.    Incredibly people seem to ignore these basic human health and poverty problems as “insurmountable” when in fact  they are relatively easy to solve with modest allocations of time and money, while people focus on problems like Global Warming and longstanding religious conflicts that likely have *no* realistic solutions for decades, centuries, or even millenia.   Also important is that feeding people and raising standards of health and living leads to much, much smaller populations (this “prosperity leads to lower population” effect is very well documented but I can’t believe how many people think that helping the poor leads to more poor people (the “feed and breed” ideas of Malthus).  This is a very dangerous and wrong assumption and not backed by any research with which I’m familiar).

I propose that well intentioned, rational folks should use a ‘triage’ system where we take major global problems and the cost of their proposed solutions and prioritize these actions on the basis of where we can do the most good for the least money.

But as my friend Linda pointed out wisely last year during our hike in the incomparable Trinity Alps, it’s possible that at least with warming people are inspired to act, and in general these actions are leading to more energy conservation and innovations.    Better *something* good than nothing good, but I’m still going to advocate for a rational, not emotional, approach to all this.

2 thoughts on “Global Warming – less hype, more science please.

  1. Thx Terry for the link. That’s an impressive project, esp because it appears they may actually save money using this approach. I hope I get to see that as I’ll be on the campus in August.

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