Friday, February 20, 2009

Global Warming and Science

I was sent this today and thought I'd share it here:


simon said...


I cannot see or watch it... our firewalls prevent any u-tubes etc.. but i shall when I get to my personal computer..

Ian Lidster said...

Thanks for this, Michelle. Explained much in an easy to handle way. I have many other questions I would pose here, but it explained certain rudiments in a very succinct and sensible manner.

simon said...

now I can ! :o)

Anonymous said...

The video makes no sense to me. The greatest risks to humanity come from unknown risks, rather than known risks.

The only way to counter unknown risks is to increase knowledge as rapidly as possible. The reason it was rational to stop Hitler from possibly developing the atomic bomb is that his potential development of this weapon and his entire ideology stopped the growth of knowledge.

Draconian measures that inhibit voluntary and mutually beneficial exchange, including capitalist exchange, decrease the rate of growth of knowledge and so increase net risks to humanity.

Stopping a Hitler increases the growth of exchange and therefore knowledge. Extreme regulations on carbon emissions decreases exchange and therefore the growth of knowledge.

Let's say that a supernova near our solar system is actually the greatest risk to our survival. Knowing more is the only way to stop this eventuality. And it also enables us to design unknown technology (like mirrors in space hovering over oceans) that prevents the earth from over-heating, if that turns out to be an actual danger to humanity.

Knowledge generates as yet unknown solutions to currently known and unknown risks, and is therefore our only insurance policy against the dangers of the future. Any policy that decreases that hastens our demise.

See David Deutsch's commentary on risk and global warming:

Michael Golding (fellow psychiatrist)

fluoxetine said...

I take comfort in the inherent hostility of the universe that global warming seems to hinge upon so much. While knowing is well and good, implementing that knowledge at the right time, in the right amounts is not, historically speaking, humanity's forte. We might eventually know what to do to prevent a global disaster, but the question is, will it be implemented in time?