Friday, November 16, 2007

What should we do about global warming?

Nothing. Absolutely nothing!

Let me explain. There are broadly three schools of thought on the subject. The first school (as represented by the majority of the conspiracy blogosphere) maintains that the whole thing is a scam or else just part of the natural cycle of things and that balance will return us to long-term stability in due time. We need do nothing.

The second school (most popular among the left-wing "ethical" media) is that if we don't take drastic action NOW, the planet will be doomed. This course of action typically urges expensive, far-reaching and highly inconvenient lifestyle changes.

The third school (as expounded here before by Phaedrus) states that it's WAY too late to do anything about this very real phenomenon. Therefore we need do nothing. Absolutely jack. So Phaedrus and the conspiracy bloggers are curiously agreed on what action to take.

Phaedrus´ school of thought states that the planet’s finished as far as mankind is concerned. The inhabitable parts of the globe will continue to shrink over the coming decades and it’s too late to do anything about it. The future’s only bright for insects, reptiles and tropical fish.

Even if everyone in the West turned down their heating by 2 degrees, it wouldn’t make a blind bit of difference. Everyone turning off their TVs at night won’t make a blind bit of difference. Inflating your tire pressures correctly won’t make a blind bit of difference. Buying a fuel-cell car won’t make a blind bit of difference. Some scheme in the desert to build massive solar energy plants won’t make a blind bit of difference.

All these suggested methods of cutting down on energy use WON’T MAKE A BLIND BIT OF DIFFERENCE. Big Business wants us to be gullible enough to think it will, however, so they can continue to make a buck out of manufacturing superfluous, "energy-efficient" garbage for our never-ending consumption. Business as usual, but with a perfunctory nod to the environment.

In Phaedrus’ view, the world has ALREADY passed the so-called “tipping point” beyond which there is no recovery. Even if the US, Europe, India and China completely stopped emitting carbon dioxide today the world would still continue to warm. The Greenland ice shelf would continue to melt; the seas would continue to rise, the permafrost of Siberia would continue to melt, break-up and release methane (which is even more climate-destructive than CO2). The fact is, we are ALREADY in a self-reinforcing, closed, positive feedback loop and have been for many years.

The concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere now is far too high to ever be reined in by any conceivable technology that could even begin to absorb or convert the billions of tons of pollutants belched into the atmosphere each and every year by the industrialized and developing countries. So here’s a real-estate tip: sell Mediterranean, buy Scandinavian. Dump Florida and go British Columbia.

In short, we need to head towards the poles. That should ensure our kids live out their lives in reasonable comfort. Beyond that is anyone’s guess as it’s going to get mighty crowded in these increasingly sought-after regions in future. The Norwegian fjords look like becoming the New Riviera within our children's lifetimes.

So to hell with gas-mileage, "carbon footprints" and conservation. Fire up that Hummer! Floor the gas peddle and burn rubber! It's the American way - and there isn't a goddamn thing that any of us can do - individually or collectively - that will make the slightest difference to the (already-sealed) fate of this planet.