There is a distinct possibitlity of that scenario Quetzal but I think that we don't know enough to assign a probability.
What I am sure WILL happen is the within the century Florida is gone, gone, gone. So of course will be a lot of land just south of where I am now. What other areas (major cities) will go I don't know but enough to bring on economic collapse unless it take the whole century to happen . Of course, we are already losing Bangladesh and Tuvalu (sp?) so they won't make it to the middle of the century.
The disruption of agriculture is also, IMHO, too complex to predict. Good guesses are the wheat/corn belt in the US goes (by the middle of the century is my guess).
Gigantic climate change like you worry about is not out of the question just hard to predict.
Jar is right, of course. To much standing around in denial is going on. The right course of action is to assign costs to all the various scenarios (not that some might allocate a lot of value to Florida :) ) and then pick rough probabilities to get an "expected risk". Then use this value in allocating resources as an insurance against the risk.
It is probably too late though to actually head things off completely. However, a sensible reaction might prove to be to stop all new development in Florida and gradually shut it down ahead of the water. If that is done over the economic life of the infrastructure 20 to 50 years then the disruption might be manageable.
If the flooding doesn't happen? You get one hell of a tourist attraction as a huge park.
I reckon human selfishness will be the root cause of the end as we know it. Resources are dwindling whilst desire for resources accelerates. Right on cue we have places like India and China coming on stream as potentially massive consumers.
Capitalism is the worlds way and is increasing it's penetration globally. It's key feature forms the root of our demise - capitalism demands ever-increasing growth. The undertow of this, human addiction to materialism, will vote out governments who aren't prepared to do that which is necessary to ensure the drugs keep flowing. It won't be blatant but if "it's the economy stoopid" then governments will know on which side their bread is buttered and manufacture if necessary, the potential for jumping through their masters hoops.
Oil is the current worry, but there are any number of resource issues which the world is going to have trouble circumventing - depending on how quickly they arrive. If oil is mega-strategic now, then chromium, copper, nickel and molybdenum are stacking up behind it. As pressure increases on different fronts, measures taken will gradually become more desperate. There will be less resistance to the idea of using, first malign influence, then limited force, then greater force to ensure supply. Nothing very sudden but a gradual shifting in of acceptability in that direction. We know of the corruption and abuse that ensures supplies from the African continent - we should not expect our nature to change any time soon. We cannot evolve quickly enough from our essential humanity for it to be otherwise
Good old fashioned war, for the good old fashioned reasons for war, will, I reckon, pull down the shades on this world
Okay, maybe this could head down an interesting track. What would be the 5 biggest threats that should be considered? What would be the 5 best steps to take to prepare for each?
Given the piece above it would be "fast dwindling resources" x 5
Steps to prepare for it? Pull the brakes so as to nigh on halt consumption and change the world OS from capitalism to...well I'm not quite sure what...
Personally I think we have already gone over the edge and a plummeting into the Abyss. Too much momentum to stop things now. There seems little point in applying the brakes. All that remains is to enjoy the ride we manufactured for ourselves while it lasts. I suspect that like most fireworks displays, the biggest snap and crackle is reserved until the end.
quote:Within the borders of Afghanistan there are approximately 91 minerals, metals and gems. Beryllium and uranium are two of the more important resources due to their rarity and value. Others mineral and elemental resources include gold, silver, copper, chrome, lead, zinc, manganese, iron and nickel. Lapis lazuli, amethyst, beryl, ruby, emerald,
Why all the interest in Afganisthan in recent years? The Russians got themselves bogged down in a war where no war was warranted. We've seen a recent overthrow of the government there the result of which is the presence of a more Western-sympathetic regieme. Southern Africa has something like 95% of the world reserves of Chromium - not as sexy as oil but essential all the same (you need chromium for stainless steel which is irreplacably vital in all kinds of industries including food and pharmaceutical processing facilities). When the squeeze comes on Chromium can we expect some 'liberation from persecution and repressive regiemes" there too.
I know those in the States might be used to it but a fairly recent addition on this side of the pond has been the influx of cheap Chinese goods. When I see a crap quality electric drill on sale for $10 in my local diy store I have to wonder. It might be crap but folk buy them knowing that it may well break a year from now. And so what at $10! But it uses nigh on the same chromium, molybdenum, copper, oil etc that a lifetime-warranty model costing $100 would. But nobody (or nobody enough) is interested in the $100 model anymore. Rather than a good tool being the preserve of someone genuninely interested, every Tom, Dick and Harriet has one in his/her shed
This message has been edited by iano, 28-Feb-2006 01:01 AM
I agree that we can't assign a probability to this kind of scenario. OTOH, thus site contains links to a number of articles (mostly from Science Magazine) that seem to indicate that the disruption of the Atlantic conveyor is alreadly occurring.
Of course, a frozen UK is not the only likely outcome of global climate change - loss of many lowland and coastal areas would occur as well as you noted. Coupled with unpredictable local and regional climate shifts, "things are tough all over".
And by the way, "gigantic climate change" doesn't require a gigantic shift - a few degrees is all that is necessary to cause global problems.
I do not place credence to any scenario put forth.
There are many factors that have been discussed that will come into play. I think we can make general future forcasts of inidvidual criteria but to say which ones will play the biggest roles is not forcastable. Just fun stabs in the dark. Will utopia happen?...again refer to the history of human nature. Will the earth change?.....without a doubt. Will we adapt to the change? Likely yes provided it is within our physical abilities. Will we overcome our genaral selfishness before we destroy much of what we have? History says both yes and no...many societies have fallen because they have overrun themselves. I think diversity of human culture will help to avoid that being an all enveloping factor. Will our curiosity in science bring about knowledge we will mishandle and missuse? without a doubt. Might this bring about self destruction? That remains to be seen Will it cause great problems? without a dout. History shows we tend to leap before we look. Will some kind of epidemic run rampant? Eventually Will it wipe us out? Not likely The internet will play a huge role in the human factor concerning humans general understanding of our impact on the earth. Cultural bariers may impare this understanding. to what degree remains to be seen.
On and on one could go. I am not so worried about natural changes...we must deal with those the best we can. We do have control over these except in a very small and limited way. I would focus more on our impact on ourselves and our surroundings since that is what we stand a better chance of influencing.