14 Mar 2012, 12:01am

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    Brighter Planet's 350 Challenge
  • Year 3, Month 3, Day 14: And Twin Peruvian Midgets In Thigh-High Leather Boots….

    Well, this is a novel argument. According to the Boulder (CO) Weekly’s Paul Danish, since our children’s children’s children’s…..children will have gotten used to catastrophic post-greenhouse meltdown conditions, there’s no reason to do a damned thing:

    There is, of course, no other rational reason for attempting to reduce atmospheric CO2 levels. That’s because if we stopped emitting CO2 tomorrow, it will be two or three centuries before atmospheric CO2 began to drop. Like it or not, the planet is going to keep getting warmer for centuries just on the strength of the CO2 that’s been released up to now. Today’s level of global warming, and then some, is a done deal, yea unto the seventh generation.

    So the only reason to reduce our carbon footprint today is the hope that the eighth generation will get something out of it — to do the right thing for posterity, in other words.

    Too bad the eighth generation isn’t going to see it that way.

    When that glorious day finally arrives when CO2, temperatures and sea level all begin to fall, the eighth generation will be angry beyond belief. They will curse our names and piss on our graves.

    The reason why the advent of the global cooling will not be met with huzzas and hosannas is that the eighth generation will have adapted to global warming. Embraced the suck. Learned to live with it. More than learned to live with it. Learned to thrive in it. Learned to thrive because of it.

    And they will be horrified by the prospect of having to re-adapt to a colder world, just as we would be horrified by the the prospect of having to re-adapt to ice age conditions.

    Ohhhhh-kay. My head hurts. Sent March 8:

    It’s tempting to think we clever apes will be able to survive and prosper on a drastically warmed planet. Paul Danish carries this to a surreal apotheosis, stating that should we succeed in slowing the runaway greenhouse effect even slightly, eventually allowing the Earth’s atmosphere to start shedding CO2 and cooling down, our descendants (who will by that time be enjoying life in a climate previously experienced only by dinosaurs) will be enraged at our actions.

    By this logic, there is no reason to mitigate any catastrophe, since the survivors (as survivors always do) will adapt to conditions on the ground. But such adaptability demands gradual civilizational changes rather than frantic emergency responses. Humanity will flourish in the coming centuries only if we substitute a sustainable economy for our present consumption-based model; if we don’t start now, our descendants will be too busy struggling for survival to curse our memories.

    Warren Senders


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