Wednesday, July 11, 2012

I'ts too late Betty Peenel, it's too late.

Is there a way to talk about the future and get past the cause of climate change?
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I mean, clearly I think it is caused by extraneous amounts of carbon that humans have release into the atmosphere over time.  This is the scientific explanation, so, obviously, it is disputed by the Republicans.  The Republican line is (officially**) that there is no link between man and climate change.  I don't think it really makes sense to argue this point anymore.  Because Climate Change is happening, and we now need to prepare for it's effects.  We have passed the Climate Change Tipping point, and no amount of prevention will stop (or measurably slow) climate change.  It is now a self feeding cycle (permafrost melt and Arctic Sea ice melt alone will increase the speed of climate change from here on in).
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But we CAN prepare for it's effects - even if we don't admit the cause.
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Let's take an analogy.  Say a smoker is dying of Lung Cancer.  And he is laying in a hospital bed, dying.  He swears this cough is not cancer, and it has NOTHING to do with his 5 pack a day habit.  And, when you try to explain it does, he sticks his fingers in his ears and goes "LA LA LA - I can't hear you!".  What do you do.
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You STOP trying to reason with him.  It is futile.
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But, you, the family and the man in the bed can plan on steps going forward. Forget about stop smoking, he's not going to do it.  So plan on what happens when he dies.  Who makes the house payment?  Do you move?  Who has the checkbook?  Where are the bills stored out?  What are his online passwords?
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In the same way we need to prepare for the effects of Climate Change.  Stop insuring people that build homes in flood plains.  Start planning some MAJOR irrigation projects to deal with drought.  Look at California, the entire centrally valley is one of the most fertile areas in the world, but must be irrigate, work with Canada to plan to do this on a major scale.
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North Dakota, and some other Midwest states, have started doing this quietly.  "One hundred year" floods are occurring once a decade or more, so they are changing their preparations. Grand Rapids has a new system that can reroute the river around the city.
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So we need to move past the "why it is happening" and deal with the "let's assume it is happening".
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Or is that too political too?

** Officially being defined as the Platform of the State and National Party committees as we move into this election year. LINKS:
http://www.c2es.org/docUploads/2008-Republican-Platform.pdf (National Republican Party Platform - 2008 (most current)
http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2012/06/28/the-texas-republican-party-platform/ (Texas Republican Platform 2012)
https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/globalchange/Sn2hOOVfOGQ (Alaska Republican Platform 2012)

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