Wednesday, February 17, 2010

To MY Good Friend Bart

In response to my last several responses to him in the now-closed "2009" thread at RC, my good friend Barton Paul Levenson wrote these comments:

WB: Why are we all screwed? We can’t learn to adapt?

BPL: How do you adapt to a sudden drastic cut in the amount of available food?

Will some people survive the collapse? Sure. But our civilization won’t. I like civilization. I like electricity, warm houses, and indoor plumbing. I like computers and the internet. I like books. I like being able to buy food when I have the money to do so. I don’t want to lose any of those things. The consequences of doing so are not trivial.

WB: Of course there will be massive loss of life in the interim, not purely from climate but from the wars which will no doubt be necessary to prune the human herd enough to survive on the remaining resources.

BPL: What makes you think you’ll be among the survivors and not those who get pruned?

All I can say, Bart, is that I start from the standpoint that the political landscape is not going to change any time soon.

I move on from there to note that BAU proved to be a conservative estimate of then-future emissions, meaning we have prodded the system more than that.

I continue to observe that all the latest findings from the natural world are that acceleration is clearly detectable and, as we would certainly have expected, increasing.

In other words, Bart, I start from the standpoint that this is what's coming, so let's start talking about how we deal with that.

I will also point out, once again, that the changes ought to be slow enough to adapt to in the overall sense. I can't help that very poor people in very low regions are in very serious danger. You can't help it either. Some coastal storm is going to destroy a heavily populated region, and then again and then again.

You can't help it, neither can I, and there's no sense feeling bad about it.

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