Reality Based Environmentalism
A colleague pointed me at a new blog he is involved with, which has a post that quotes an L.A. Times article discussing the various forms of irrationality that lead humans to fail to react adequately to the threat of global warming. My favorite bit:
“No one seems to care about the upcoming attack on the World Trade Center site. Why? Because it won’t involve villains with box cutters. Instead, it will involve melting ice sheets that swell the oceans and turn that particular block of lower Manhattan into an aquarium.
“The odds of this happening in the next few decades are better than the odds that a disgruntled Saudi will sneak onto an airplane and detonate a shoe bomb.”On the current IPCC estimates, sea levels should rise about 20-30 cm over the next few decades. A little googling located a map showing the effect on Manhattan of storm surges from a hypothetical category three hurricane. The large blue areas are areas that would currently flood. The tiny red areas show the additional flooding if sea level were 37.5 cm higher than it now is. The almost invisible yellow bits show the further flooding at 47.2 cm.
Not that long ago, critics of the current administration were making fun of a statement attributed to an (unnamed) senior advisor to Bush, who supposedly described a critic as part of "the reality-based community." Judging by this particular example, if the advisor did say that, he was mistaken.