## Tuesday, May 13, 2008

### John McCain's climate plan

I would like to know what you think about John McCain's climate plan:
He says that he was converted to the global warming religion when "he saw climate change in Alaska through his own eyes." Well, I agree with him that we should stop quabbling about this issue so let me say that if I were asked to judge a senior person who says something like that on his merits, I would say that he is probably a senile nutcase.
Roy Spencer's answer: McCain's assault on reason
He also wants to do all kinds of things from regulating the global temperature to reducing carbon emissions by 60% by "marked-based" regulation mechanisms that have been proven dysfunctional.

At least he is not supporting King Ethanol. The picture above is a rape seed crop field (for Czechs: "řepka olejka") that have covered about 10% of the Czech agricultural land. The yellow color is beautiful but the proportional jump of food prices is less beautiful. ;-) And it is just a "demo" without an actual climate impact that shows where the economy is going to go if we really begin to realize some of the insane plans to regulate carbon.

Climate change is not the only politically correct "hooray action", as we describe it in Czech, where John McCain has uncritically joined the far left groups. Most importantly, he is very close to them emotionally. While I could respect him for all kinds of other things, it is pretty clear that if I were a U.S. citizen, I couldn't vote for him and I would choose Hillary as a lesser evil (or maybe even as a good candidate?). She respects the principles and the people who are actually driving this modern world and yes, she is also the most manly candidate among the three.

Unfortunately, the voters won't be given this option in November.

1. Dear Luboš,

I see that I failed to convince you in my previous post so allow me one more attempt to persuade you of how wrong you are about global warming. For the sake of pomposity this note has a title,

"The danger of local warming - or, How Luboš contributed to the death of a species"

As an undergraduate a friend exposed me to the idea terraforming, which he was very excited about, and which can be explained with a simple model - Daisy World.

In case you haven't heard of it, Daisy World is a simple Earth-like planet covered with two types of daisies: black and white. There are three parameters: the ratio of black/white daisies and the maximum and minimum temperatures the daisies can survive. If the planet gets too hot, it will grow hotter locally, near the black daisies, killing them first and leave more white daisies to reflect the sun light, cooling the planet. Likewise, when it is too cold the white daisies will die first, and this is how life on the planet is self-regulating. It is important that the daisies create a local temperature difference so that the more offending daisy dies first and not the other type, else life would become unstable.

Let's look now at a slightly more realistic model of wolves and rabbits. We all have seen the obvious model where too many rabbits means more food, ergo more wolves - decreasing the rabbit population. And too few rabbits means less food and fewer wolves - increasing the rabbit population. In this way the population of wolves and rabbits is self regulating and should reach an equilibrium. Notice how once again it is necessary that the offending party (too many rabbits here, too many black daisies before) is the one that suffers diminution, for if it were any other way the effect would grow too large and life would become unstable.

Finally we arrive at the most realistic model, and go from Daisy World to People World. It is evident that people are warming the planet and if we were daisies we would warm it to some unaccommodating temperature and our numbers would thin. The problem in People World is that, as the planet warms, the people only go inside and turn on their AC, now warming the planet even faster. In fact, I can only come up with three forces of natural selection to thwart the destructive behavior of people in People World:
i) war
ii) pestilence
iii) self restraint

I argued in my last post that heating the planet is more likely a negative than a positive effect. In this post I am now arguing that the real danger of global warming lies in the fact that this negative effect (however small) will quickly grow large unless one of the three forces above can intervene. It is no different than the problem of fine-tunning of the Higgs. As masters of our own fate we are in the precarious position of a pencil balanced on the wrong end.

Surely you can see that option iii) is the only reasonable solution. We either allow nature to regulate our actions, or we regulate them ourselves.

In closing, I agree that the planet can handle an increase in temperature of a few degrees without catastrophe, but once combined with the chemicals we are pouring into the atmosphere, ocean, and soil, along with the dramatic transformation of the landscape due to urban sprawl, it becomes increasingly difficult to predict what effect a change in temperature will have. So given the stakes, why not be cautious about the whole thing instead of barreling full speed towards imminent peril?

2. In fact, I can only come up with three forces of natural selection to thwart the destructive behavior of people in People World:
i) war
ii) pestilence
iii) self restraint

Here's a few you left out:
iiii) state instituted slavery
iiiii) government meddling in free market
iiiiii)state mandated extinction agenda

3. Surely you've learned Roman numerals by now.