Two Artices on Climate

The New York Times has an article in this week’s Week In Review section on the debates between climate scientists on “tipping points”–levels of temperature or CO2 (or other factors) that would lead to irreversible and fast climate changes:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/29/weekinreview/29revkin.html?ref=weekinreview

Also–I am still reading this–there is an article about Freeman Dyson, one of the most eminent physicists around. Apparently he is skeptical about the dangers of climate change, and this is rankling people:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/29/magazine/29Dyson-t.html?ref=magazine

As I said, I haven’t finished the article. I get the impression that he doesn’t dispute the fact that climate change is occurring, but rather, argues that we shouldn’t really worry about it. He thinks that much of what gets said about it is alarmism and that there are bigger, more immediate issues to deal with.

I suppose that I mostly disagree with this perspective. I think that alarmism is bad, but I think that we should be concerned with the climate patterns that we are observing. We understand that CO2 can drive the temperature up, so we should work toward reducing emissions–this doesn’t have to be “anti” economy either. There’s plenty of room for innovation! That’s my general attitude: the climate should be approached as a serious problem with some very dangerous consequences that we cannot properly assess our risk for. We have an opportunity to implement lots of things we should want to do anyway: higher energy efficiency, better fuels, etcetera.

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One thought on “Two Artices on Climate

  1. I’ve read about half the Dyson article and I must say that I find his point of view interesting. It’s not that he thinks we should ignore the problem– he just doesn’t think CO2 IS the problem. I like his ideas about creating cleaner fuel sources and about ‘C02 eating’ trees, etc.

    I think what lies behind his thought is that the panic over warming is causing us to ignore far more immediate ideas like world hunger and water suppply. It’s an interesting take on global warming, and I’m still thinking about it…

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