Saturday, April 13, 2013

Re. Ken Caldeira: "It is not about Earth as laboratory, but Earth as space ship. How to reduce suffering caused by climate change?"

Re. Ken Caldeira: "It is not about Earth as laboratory, but Earth as space ship. How to reduce suffering caused by climate change?"

It depends...

How and what 'reducing suffering' and what 'earth as a space ship' means. 

As for 'reducing suffering': If is taken in the context of paliative care, as in (KC)" Is solar like morphine for cancer? "

I would say than in this case, extreme events and the consequences of global warming are a warning than something is wrong, akin pain; a survival mechanism that tell us to stop placing our hand on the fire. Where geoengineering is indeed like morphine, that dolls the pain that would ultimately prevent us from burning off our hand. 

Does this mean we should allow the suffering to continue? No! It means pull the hand out of the fire!!!

Put ALL your efforts and research into changing that which is causing the harm in the first place, because there is no real alternative. 

As for "Earth as space ship",  if you are implying limits of space and resources... then we should reduce waste and increase efficiency. And that does not mean imposing authoritarian measures. It means educating the public. I believe that the mayoralty of the public, except for those who selfishly want to 'reserve' a lazy trip on this ship, would understand and act in a matter and with enough impetus as to make a positive impact on waste reduction, efficiency and innovation. But this can not happen without information, great deals of information!

Politicians, scientist, ecologist and business community, are indeed the captains of a ship that is heavily laden on one side, a ship in which you are responsible for the safety of humanity. Geoengineering is then a escape pod in with which the captains seek to abandon humanity.

Added Feb. 2, 2014

Finite Resources and Infinite Growth
By Andrew Leach January 31, 2014

If you want to get to increasing economic growth with a finite resource, you need an increase in productivity.  Suppose that you still have the same finite resource stock, but that you become 3% more productive each year in your use of resources – you generate 3% more total product from each unit of resource extraction. The growth in productivity allows you to use fewer resources each year, while still increasing production.  Resource stocks still decline, and approach zero asymptotically, but it’s like going half the distance to the goal line in football – you’ll get closer every time but you’ll never score."
So, how do you increase productivity?  Energy is used in our economy as a complement to labour and capital, so if you want to increase the productivity of your finite resource then increase energy efficiency, decrease the resource-intensity of energy, increase labour productivity, or increase the quality of your human and physical capital.  This is what Queen’s University economist John Hartwick had in mind when he wrote down the Hartwick rule – the mathematical proof of what I’ve just tried to do in words: as long as you invest sufficiently in improvements in productivity, and manage resources optimally, its possible to sustain infinite growth from a finite resource.  Of course, the Hartwick rule is not a law – it doesn’t guarantee that this will always be achieved, and it certainly doesn’t say that it can be accomplished with any level of investment – it just tells you that its mathematically possible.
Saying that it’s impossible to achieve exponential growth infinitely with finite resources does nothing to advance our discussions of resource management and ignores plenty of evidence to the contrary in the economics literature.  What we should be discussing instead is how to make sure we follow Hartwick’s rule, but that’s another story for another day.

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A #Geoengineering #Climate Issues blog - Geoingeniería by Oscar and Jocelyn Escobar is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.Licencia Creative Commons
A #Geoengineering #Climate Issues blog por Oscar y Jocelyn Escobar se distribuye bajo una Licencia Creative Commons Atribución-NoComercial 4.0 Internacional.