Tierney mentioning benefits from global warming

John Tierney makes a point that I have often thought about. Why is it that environmentalists oppose global warming (OK, for the sake of argument let's assume that man has some significant impact)? There would clearly be more animal life. There would be more plants that would be able to grown and that would provide food for more animals. As the density of animal life increases, won't there also be more new species on net than there would otherwise be? I have also wondered whether there would actually be more usable land area. True, there would be some flooding, but think of all the areas in Siberia and Canada that would be opened up for people to use. Of course, in the past, others have also pointed to the benefits for mankind, better health, etc.. The cost-benefit studies that I have seen appear to do a pretty poor job on taking these different factors into account.

But as fondly as I recall the Great White North, I also remember how empty it was, particularly the vast Canadian tundra we flew over on the way to the scenic glaciers on Ellesmere Island. It’s called the Barrens: 500,000 square miles of flat treeless wasteland. It’s terra incognita to practically everyone except for for mineral prospectors, like the diamond prospectors described by Kevin Krajick in his 2001 book, “Barren Lands.” As he writes, “The Barrens have never really been lived upon, only traveled through; the wolverine, an eater of the dead, is almost its only year-round resident.”

Lots more life could survive in the Arctic if, as the I.P.C.C. projects, it warms up and gets more rain. There could be trees much farther north, a richer variety of flora and fauna. There might be fewer polar bears, but the bears have survived warm periods in the past, like the era some 9000 years ago when trees grew in northern Siberia. . . . .

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Anonymous Elijah said...

Unfortunately, you haven't considered the fact that many of these cold areas also support forms of life specifically adapted to live under such conditions. The Polar bear and Arctic Fox are case in point.

2/04/2007 3:52 AM  
Blogger John Lott said...

Dear Elijah:

In fact I had considered this. The point was that sure you will lose some species, but you will also get new ones and since the amount of life is so much denser and numerous in areas outside the artic, you should end up with much more total species. As a side note, the polar bear used to be brown bears. It is not obvious that they won't survive even with the most extreme change. The population of bears would actually be expected to increase because the amount of food for bears would be greater without the ice. Right?

2/04/2007 4:03 AM  
Blogger tarpon said...

The answer to your question is here. I am sure you can find it in there, search for power.

An even better question is why the environmentalists oppose nuclear power? Maybe they don't really want to fix the problem, but just want the issue?

An even better question is why didn't alGore do anything when he was in a position to? Now we are cooked, having wasted nearly 7 years.

Remember, the environmentalist forced Nixon to ban DDT, when there was no valid science that supported that decision at all. But it did make the population bomb go away.

2/04/2007 9:43 AM  
Blogger Dad29 said...

The local scare-mongers in Milwaukee have already come up with answers.

Fox6 ran a lengthy bit (twice in the last three weeks) which postulated that Wisconsin would resemble Texas in climate, flora, and fauna, that the cows would all stop giving milk due to the heat, and that water/woods sports would no longer occur here.

Not to mention that the elderly and allergy-afflicted would likely have far more difficulty breathing due to the dust and heat.

And they presented this as fact, not subject to nuance, nor debate.

2/04/2007 3:36 PM  
Anonymous A. Dawson said...

I think the current environmentalistal movement is fatally obsessed with preserving the status quo... a natural impossibility.

They are also arrogant to think that it within the power of human beings to control nature, including the climate. You think that an event like Katrina would have taught them better.

Alas, I believe the lessons were lost on them.

2/05/2007 4:15 PM  

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