Global warming?

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From: Zhang, Yangkun (Yangkun.Zhang@FMR.COM)
Date: Mon Oct 16 2000 - 11:17:09 PDT

> Can you truly say, with a straight face, that the timing of your recent
> emails over the past 2-3 weeks has had *nothing* to do with the upcoming
> Presidential election? I think not.

My initial emails started because someone else posted several messages
trying to absolve Gore of his comments regarding "creating the Internet." I
had also included a commentary on Clinton/Gore's general sorry handling of
economic affairs. To this you rebutted, and I was simply providing ample
evidence to the contrary. I like Bush better than Gore, that is true. But
the fact is, the candidate I truly want (Harry Browne) won't ever be
elected, thus Bush would simply be the "lesser of the two evils". Thus, I
posit that my emails were all REBUTALS TO PREVIOUS EMAILS, including the one
by's repost of Phil Agre's RRE, and had NOTHING TO DO WITH
THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION. As a general rule, I do not post anything unless
I see another post so filled with egregious errors that I felt compelled to

> in peer-reviewed journals and conferences). Thus, the IPCC reports can be
> viewed as representing the scientific consensus view on climate change.
> They are widely regarded as being extremely authoritative.

That's a very good article. Though you misunderstand me--I did not say that
global warming was not occurring, but rather the long term trend is towards
cooling, and not warming. Also, I understand that most assumes that we
continue with the current amount of CO2 emissions, which may or may not be
the case in the future. I simply posit that technology will find a solution,
as it has always done so in the past. After all, scientists have had a very
spotty track record in their predictions in the past. During Earth Day in
1970, ecologist Kenneth Watt declared that "We have about five more years
at the outside to do something," before impending ecological catastrophe.
Harvard biologist George Wald estimated that "civilization will end within
15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing
mankind." Washington University biologist Barry Commoner wrote that "We are
in an environmental crisis which threatens the survival of this nation, and
of the world as a suitable place of human habitation." Back then, "imminent
global famine caused by the explosion of the 'population bomb'" was the big
issue for scientists including Stanford University biologist Paul Ehrlich.
He said that "Population will inevitably and completely outstrip whatever
small increases in food supplies we make. The death rate will increase until
at least 100-200 million people per year will be starving to death during
the next ten years." He also wrote that "By...[1975] some experts feel that
food shortages will have escalated the present level of world hunger and
starvation into famines of unbelievable proportions. Other experts, more
optimistic, think the ultimate food-population collision will not occur
until the decade of the 1980s." Ehrlich sketched out his most alarmist
scenario for the Earth Day issue of The Progressive, assuring readers that
between 1980 and 1989, some 4 billion people, including 65 million
Americans, would perish in the "Great Die-Off."

Well, hate to say it, but none of these scientists took into consideration
technological advancements made possible by a growing economy. I would tend
to think that this is the same problem the current scientists have--they're
taking current emissions rate and are extending it into the future. I can
tell you this, historical data is no guarantee of future performance--this
is true for economics and stocks, and this is certainly true for ecologies.

> I think you will find that this report paints a very nuanced picture of
> likely effects of global warming, with some regions benefitting, some not.

Agreed. Though this report did not make any recommendation for possible

> What you will not find is any disagreement that global warming is
> one. In the second Presidential debate, the moment when Bush really
> dumb was when he asserted that some scientists believe global warming is a
> farce. Yes, there are some such scientists. But, they are generally not

Well, Bush is no scientist. And Gore is no economist. What Bush should have
said that that

"While it is true that current emissions, if extrapolated indefinitely into
the future, and if current conditions do not change, we will definitely see
global warming. However, current conditions are exactly that, and history
has always shown that pessimists have been traditionally wrong--massively
wrong--as human optimism, ingenuity, and technology inevitably solve our
worst problems. What is definitely not called for, is the whole-sale
governmental intervention into the current economic system for the sake of
alarmists who believe in our inevitable doom."

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