James Robbins of NRO says “Horray for Global Warming!”

You’ll think this is a parody, but it’s not. James Robbins of National Review Online seems to think Global Warming will come with a lot of positives:

Personally, I don’t know what all the shouting is about. Global warming is great. Granted, maybe it isn’t really happening, and if it is there are strong reasons to doubt that humans have anything to do with it. But if the world is warming, I say “bravo.” People in most parts of the globe should have no objection to a warmer, wetter climate. If the aliens were watching they’d conclude we were making our planet more habitable on purpose.

Consider the large landmasses in the northern hemisphere, say north of 55 degrees. These are very extreme climates for human habitation. A population distribution map of Canada shows most people live in a belt running along the southern border with the United States. But add global warming and vast regions would become comfortably habitable. As well, there would be more land available for cultivation. Resources would be easier to extract. True, there might be some dislocations as crops shifted northward, but so what? Economies change all the time. And imagine the land boom up the coastlines as people rushed on up for beachfront property. If global warming is real it is creating the investment opportunity of a lifetime.

His solution for the flooding that’ll take place? First, he doubts it’ll be as bad as some of the estimates, but if it happens he envisions large sea walls to keep the water out. If the worst were to come to pass that would be 25’ tall walls all along the nation’s seashore to hold the water back. You think New Orleans was a clusterfuck when the levees failed… The positive? The government will have lots of wall building work for people.

Other bonuses he mentions include the possibility of more rain forests from the wetter weather leading to more biodiversity and population gains in Massachusetts and Vermont as people migrate from the “frigid liberal northeast towards the warm conservative south” for some reason he doesn’t bother to explain. He admits that it’ll mean some extinctions, but writes that off as “bad evolutionary choices” that shouldn’t make humans feel guilty simply because we’re so adaptable. Frankly I was surprised that he appears to believe in Evolution.

There’s more idiocy in the full column, go read it and be stunned. If ever there was a perfect example of someone who just doesn’t get it this is it.

30 thoughts on “James Robbins of NRO says “Horray for Global Warming!”

  1. Dear God. Canada will be unstoppable!

    We already are. We just don’t make a big deal out of it.

    As for “more rain-forrests”… uh, ok. In a few hundred-thousand years, perhaps. Drop rain forrest quanities of rain on the average North-American forrest and you’d get… a dead forrest.

    In mountainous regions, the top-soil is so thin, and on top of bed-rock, you don’t need much above-average rain fall before you start getting mud slides.

    Then again… why am I arguing about the size of corn kernals in this his huge steaming pile of crap…

  2. The UK edition of Readers Digest had an article along these line few months ago. Global warming is good, because cold weather causes more deaths than warm weather…

    1) yeah, up to now.  Now the high temperature is causing problems.

    2) Global warming doesn’t make Scotland the south of France. It DOES melt ice caps,  the resultant change in the balance of war,/cold and fresh/salt water in the north atlantic disrupts the gulf stream, pushing it further south. It is expected that the UK could end up with the sort of extremes Canada gets.

    3) if the higher latitudes get more inhabitable, what do you think happens closer to the equator….

  3. I’d like to think Robbins’ piece was satire.
    I know nothing of his book, Last in Their Class: Custer, Picket and the Goats of West Point, but it sounds like there’s a joke in there, somewhere. smile

  4. Granted, maybe it isn’t really happening, and if it is there are strong reasons to doubt that humans have anything to do with it.

    That rings alarm bells right there. All the coastal cities will be pooched from “not humans fault”, and the central areas will remain unforgivably hot. How does a guy draw the line between too cold for habitation and too hot for habitation? I grabbed a ride back from a family reunion this weekend in sunny 37C weather and I could barely stand it. It scares me to think how hospitable the “warm and conservative south” is going to be at the rate temperatures are rising.

  5. I just find it funny that we have a hot summer and EVERYONE FREAKS OUT. Summer temps won’t be exactly the same year after year. There are hot years and cool years. We have not been around long enough to keep track of the weather for more than a few hundred years. Maybe we are on the tail end of a 500 year warning cycle? Or on a hill of a 100,000 year weather roller coaster?

    When winter rolls around, I bet everyone will be freaking aobut global cooling.  smile

  6. We have not been around long enough to keep track of the weather for more than a few hundred years.

    But we know that “miraculously” in last 200 years atmospheric CO2 concentration has jumped 30% from what it has been at its highest in last 400000 years. (which includes many ice ages and warm periods)
    For comparison even supervolcano Toba didn’t cause such jump of CO2 level.

    Also methane (even stronger greenhouse gas) level has about doubled in same time.
    Now there’s signs that permafrost in Siberia is starting to melt which could lead to huge additional methane emissions.

    Saying that those won’t affect to climate is as naive as saying that receiving 20mm HEI to head doesn’t kill.
    And regardless to what direction climate ends going it will be bad because human population has spread according to favorable climatic conditions.

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/warnings/stories/

    3) if the higher latitudes get more inhabitable, what do you think happens closer to the equator….

    Yep, according to one calculation southern Europe could well end up being like Sahara.

    BTW, this summer is on good speed to ending up as driest ever observed. Much over half of the country has been left much under 50% of normal rainfall and big part of country hasn’t gotten much over 10% of normal.

  7. Just think of the scientific oportunities! 
      If we need to cut the methane and CO2 levels we can develop the atmospheric terraforming machines we may need later for other planets.

      The results of global warming are largely speculative based on computer models.  We acctually have no “Real” idea how it will afect the planet.  At best we are making “educated” guesses.  The population levels will change, move and we will adapt and overcome as will many other species.  Life has existed on this planet for a “Very” long time and to think that we will wipe it out overnight seems quite arrogant to me.

      Don’t get me wrong,  I am concerned and I do my bit, public transit every day etc but I refuse to go along with chicken little theories.  Things will change, but then they always do.

  8. Well, sure but if you put anything so far out of balance, like with the record levels of CO2, it’s a pretty safe “educated” guess to say that some majorly drastic changes will occur.

    And to say it’s arrogant that we will wipe out life on the planet overnight, I’d have to say that statement became obsolete when they detonated the first atomic devices. 

    We as a species have a far larger footprint on the planet than any other species in history, and I think the real problem is that most people refuse to admit or realize this.  Sure I’m just one person, and my gas guzzler has little real effect on the atmosphere by itself, but 1 billion cars do have a bit bigger effect (I’m just pulling that number out of thin air, I have no idea how many cars there are in the world). 

    Anyway, the only things known to have such a massive effect on the entire world have been extinction level events such as large meteor strikes or supervolcano erruptions.  We’re the first species to have the potential to effect things on that level.

  9. Anyway, the only things known to have such a massive effect on the entire world have been extinction level events such as large meteor strikes or supervolcano erruptions.  We’re the first species to have the potential to effect things on that level.

    But obviously life survived. Short of a nuclear war, we are not changing the world TAHT quickly.

  10. True, but we are changing it faster than say, continental drift.  I’m not saying that our actions are going to be so fast, just potentially on the same scale. 

    And as far as life surviving, you’re right.  But those events were random natural disasters that wiped out thousands of species.  If we are causing a similiar situation, but at a slower rate, and we realize it is occurring, shouldn’t we take action to prevent it?  As the first (we assume) self aware species on the planet, don’t we have a certain level of responsibility to preserve the natural world?  I admit progress and all is great, and we are better for it, but we need to find some balance between progress and preservation, and I don’t think we are anywhere near such a balance at the moment.

    I haven’t researched the counter argument to global warming too much, but aside from this wack job that thinks it would be good (of course he’s rich and would be able to easily re-locate and probably wouldn’t be in much danger of starving or suffering too much from the massive change), does anybody have good solid arguements against it?  Not statements of global warming being conjecture, but actual evidence that we are on the end of a warming cycle or any other arguements? 

    The Global Warming crowd has presented their evidence and drawn their conclusions, but all I ever hear from the opposition is that it’s junk science, or that it might/can’t be right.  The opposition appears to have drawn conclusions without evidence.

  11. But obviously life survived. Short of a nuclear war, we are not changing the world TAHT quickly.

    Yes, Moloch, “life” survived.  As long as there’s some scrap of quivering algae clinging to a rock afterward to begin the process all over again, I guess everything’s fine!

    Of course we’re not discussing an asteroid impact, just a change that will have a disproportionate impact on the world’s poor.  For every American/European who dies, many thousands of people in poorer countries will die.  Since this “change” doesn’t have to happen, why should it?

    It isn’t summer or winter that is of interest, it’s climate.  When I was a kid, winters were cold and summers were hot.  Now only the latter is true. 

    Train headed toward bridge out – just enough time to stop it.  But hey, “change” happens all the time!

  12. I don’t think we will wipe out life on earth no matter how bad global warming gets. Life is too resilient for that. What is more likely is that we will wipe ourselves out completely, or so many of us that our species starts over back at the stone age.

  13. Bama: … or so many of us that our species starts over back at the stone age.

    I sometimes wonder if that hasn’t happened already. wink

  14. So it gets hot in the next few hundred years. It won’t end all human life. People in the middle east, africa, mexico, and lower N. America have been doing well in their hot climates for many years. As long as water exists in liquid form, we can grow food and survive.

    Genetic enhancements to crops have produced more hardy plants and we have yet to reach the limits of what GE crops can survive. True, it would not be enough to support the entire worlds population, but it would be able to support most of the population.

    Heck, I’ve been wanting to move to Alaska since I was a kid.

  15. Moloch: People in the middle east, africa, mexico, and lower N. America have been doing well in their hot climates for many years.

    Oh, right—those non-white people. Famine and drought don’t bring them down at all, huh? Whatever, Moloch.

  16. Oh, right—those non-white people. Famine and drought don’t bring them down at all, huh? Whatever, Moloch.

    I didn’t say anything about them living in the lap of luxury. I ment that they are alive and stable.

    Besides, alot of people in lower N. america are white, S. Africa has a large white population, and there is a shitload of americans in the middle east kicking muslim ass right now.

  17. Moloch, if anyone ever needed evidence that a white man can be just as stupid as anyone else, you’re here to provide it.  The kind of displacements you are describing will result in massive wars, famine, suffering.  Yet you shrug and say, “I’ve always wanted to move to Alaska”.

    I have a better idea: move there now and go annoy a hungry polar bear.

  18. The kind of displacements you are describing will result in massive wars, famine, suffering.

    You are right, those things don’t currently exist in the world. Ethiopians have massive crop fields, Iraq is a world leader in diplomacy, and New York is full of tree-huggers.

  19. Moloch: People in the middle east, africa, mexico, and lower N. America have been doing well in their hot climates for many years.

    SexySadie:Oh, right—those non-white people. Famine and drought don’t bring them down at all, huh?

    I agree that Moloch might be a little unhinged on the outcomes of continued global warming.  That said, I missed something Sadie.  How did race become a factor in the discussion? I’m asking because I don’t know understand why it was interjected.

  20. You are right, those things don’t currently exist in the world. Ethiopians have massive crop fields, Iraq is a world leader in diplomacy, and New York is full of tree-huggers.

    The fact that such problems currently exist in parts of the world in no way means we shouldn’t do everything we can to prevent them from getting worse and spreading to new areas.

  21. I’m asking because I don’t know understand why it was interjected.

    Moloch outed himself as a white surpremacist and Stormfront member, which resulted in predictable and less than cordial responses, which prompted Moloch to try and get even more of a reaction.

    Are these enough dots to connect?

  22. Consi, I found it a little telling that, in his attempts to write off the effects of global warming, Moloch mentioned areas of the world where the inhabitants are primarily non-white (and he’s correct, of course, that these are the areas that will initially be hit the hardest). I guess I questioned whether he would be singing the same tune if the catastrophes were to be felt hardest in, say, Sweden. An inappropriate jab? Perhaps, but you could be accused of doing the same from time to time, and definitely so could Moloch.

    Just sayin’.

  23. Elwed: Moloch outed himself as a white supremacist and Stormfront member

    Funny how we’re tolerant of some things but not of others.
    Apparently in most gaols, paedophiles are kept in isolation coz the rest of the prison population can handle most things but not crimes against children.
    They have their standards … … just like us.  wink

  24. Moloch outed himself as a white surpremacist and Stormfront member, which resulted in predictable and less than cordial responses, which prompted Moloch to try and get even more of a reaction.

    Are these enough dots to connect?

    Yep, that would be enough. 

    Sadie:

    In light of the above, not inappropriate at all.

  25. I just see it as Gia pushing back.  I think we need to make a distinction between “conditions sutible for human habitation” and “conditions sutible for life”.  Even a full scale nuclear war would not eliminate the conditions sutible for life, and after the first few hunderd years (once the half life of the seious bad stuff decayed) the amount of hard radiation would be both diluted and minimized.  Still hardly sutible for human life, but there are a number of plants and animals that would thrive under these conditions.  Gia is much stronger than we are.

    The only way to truely manage our environment is to get off world.  By being forced to survive in space we will be required to develop the technologies to better manage the environment here on earth.  In a closed habitat environmentalism is life or death.  On the earth it’s somebody elses problem and even if the Canadians commit to the keyoto accord the Americans can just decide it’s not going to apply to them.

    If we develop these thechnologies to the point where they become common we can start using them in our own private environemnts and actually attempt the net zero state.

    There is so much more to the environment and global change to “know” already species that thrive in the changed environment are expanding and mulitplying.  Gia may be using these other species to adjust for the damage caused, or it may just make the problem worse.  This issue is just as ephemeral as “god” because nobody can have a model that would account for everything that is going on, so everyone speculates.

    And when it comes down to it “disaster” makes for good media attention.  And fear in the populace makes for easy government control.

  26. Onceuponatime when early humans were frightened by the natural world, they personalized it – even anthropomorphisized it – to make it more comprehensible.  Lightning was thrown by the gods; illnesses were caused by spirits.  The concept of a complex environment without intention lay millennia in the future.

    Future’s here now, but how hard it is to imagine an impersonal universe?  Easier to say, “Gaia”, attributing consciousness to a planet?

    Well what the heck; we’re both in favor of a cleaner environment.  I guess the reasons don’t matter that much.

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