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Old 09-30-2009, 10:38 PM   #21
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Please tell me--why should global warming be a problem for Canada?
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Old 09-30-2009, 10:49 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by toofrugalformycat View Post
So who is going to volunteer to share their land with all the Bangladeshis forced to evacuate? Same people who gave up their land to all our people from New Orleans?
Do you suppose that the displaced will get land just like everyone else does? Nobody "shared" their land so I could have a house. We've not run out of higher land, last I checked. New Orleans flooded in a matter of days--we've got decades to manage the movement of people out of lower areas (or engineer solutions that eliminate the flooding). Bangladesh floods already--where's the sense of urgency over that? We could move several hundred families to higher ground and drill them some nice wells with the $$ being spent to fly the President and First Lady and all their accompanying stuff on several jet transports to Scandanavia. Burning hundreds of thousands of pounds of fuel. Talk about concern for global warming--I'm ready for some leadership by example from the top. Priorities . . .
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Old 09-30-2009, 10:52 PM   #23
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If you lived in AZ, the local utility would pay you $30 for the beast and haul it away. Plus a rebate on buying a new Energy Star model, not sure of the amount $20? $30 $50? Energy consumtion less than half.
So I might save $3/month; $36/year? Add the opp cost onto the cost of a new freezer, that is still a long payback, even with a $50 rebate. Wouldn't it be better to keep old freezers out of landfills? Wouldn't it be better to save the raw materials and pollution/energy in creating a new one until I really need it?

When I do need to replace it, I'll look for the best total cost of ownership, which will likely be moderately good efficiency at a moderate cost premium.

Saying that the utility gives a rebate is a bit of a shell game. That money comes from somewhere. It either makes economic sense or not - rebates, tax credits, etc don't change that (big picture-wise).

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Old 10-01-2009, 12:30 AM   #24
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Do you suppose that the displaced will get land just like everyone else does? Nobody "shared" their land so I could have a house. We've not run out of higher land, last I checked.(snip)
We haven't, but Bangladesh has. I took a quick look at wikipedia and gleaned a few relevant pieces of information:
  1. Most of Bangladesh is less than 12 meters above sea level; it is estimated that about half of the country would be flooded by a sea level rise of 3 meters, and
  2. Although Bangladesh is #94 in land area, it's the 7th most populous country in the world. Its population density at present is a little over 2900 persons per square mile, making it the 5th most densely populated country on earth. (By contrast, the US is tied for 3rd in land area, 3rd in population, and 180th in population density).
It doesn't matter if it takes 300 years or 700, underwater is underwater. The longer it takes sea level to rise to whatever extent it does rise, the more people and the less habitable land there will be in Bangladesh. They can't simply move to higher ground, because what higher ground there is in the country is already occupied.

Frankly, I thought saying "they can get land like everyone else did" sounded more than a little like "let them eat cake". But maybe by saying "we've" not run out of higher ground, you meant that the US should raise its immigration quotas and let more people come here from countries that are harmed by climate change. That seems only fair to me.
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Old 10-01-2009, 01:13 AM   #25
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I hope this does not go downhill quickly... but this was one of the reasons that I had said about spending many billions on reducing global warming gasses are probably not well spent...

If it is 'unstoppable', then the money would be better spent in helping out the affected people...

Note: this does not mean we should stop reducing our pollution.. I want clean air...

Two meter sea level rise unstoppable: experts - Yahoo! News
I've been listening to Hot, Flat and Crowded on CD's in my car. The way this author puts it is, we need to avoid what we can't adapt to, and adapt to what we can't avoid.

To me, the climate change question is sort of like Pascal's wager. Human carbon (and other) emissions either cause climate change, or they don't. Cutting our emissions is an absolute survival necessity if CO2 is at fault, and will generate big benefits even if it turns out that it isn't. Among other things, reducing our consumption of fossil fuels means that as a species, we'll be able to support a higher world population with a higher proportion at a middle class living standard, without completely trashing the planet, and as a country, the US will be able to stop indirectly funding terrorists and get out from under our national addiction to imported oil. Plus, if we get a move on and take the lead in developing the clean energy sources and clean-powered products that the rest of the world will want and need to buy, we'll make a boatload of money, too. What's not to like??

OTOH, if it turns out that climate change is caused by fossil fuels, and we go on merrily burning them as if there was no tomorrow, then maybe there won't be. Samclem is correct to point out that species have gone extinct in the past. Species will go extinct in the future, too, and we're not exempt. We probably today have the ability to make this planet unable to support us in several different ways, and maybe continuing to burn fossil fuels is one of them. The bacteria and the cockroaches will probably survive regardless of what we do or don't do, but I'm not so confident that the same is true of us humans.
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Old 10-01-2009, 02:52 AM   #26
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Oh don't get me wrong Erd, there are many scientists that say there is little we can do to prevent the damage already done. The 2 meter prediction is a bit further out on the timeline.
What my point was is that it is funny that people that don't believe the scientists when their conclusion is 'we are partly responsible for the situation', take the same scientists conclusions that 'we can't prevent all the damage' as gospel truth.
What we can do, is stop making things worse.
Research into adaptation is very important, but so is research into what the results of what we have done will be so we have a better idea what we will need to adapt too.

I don't think that the way global warming is PRESENTED is correct... that man is 'responsible' for all of it... when you hear the people who talk about it, they seem to imply that if man was not spewing out global warming gasses all would be fine... that is what I do not believe... even the article linked says the earth was warmer twice before, without man and his gasses...

And this is not the only article on the level of the ocean rise... the UN (IIRC) said that the minimum rise this century was 12 inches and maximum was 18...

What this article seems to say is that even if we stopped 100% of global warming gasses there would still be a rise of 1 meter... over 300 to 1,000 years.... so our efforts are futile over the long run.... and probably over the short run... even if man is 100% responsible...
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Old 10-01-2009, 03:16 AM   #27
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I've been listening to Hot, Flat and Crowded on CD's in my car. The way this author puts it is, we need to avoid what we can't adapt to, and adapt to what we can't avoid.

To me, the climate change question is sort of like Pascal's wager. Human carbon (and other) emissions either cause climate change, or they don't. Cutting our emissions is an absolute survival necessity if CO2 is at fault, and will generate big benefits even if it turns out that it isn't. Among other things, reducing our consumption of fossil fuels means that as a species, we'll be able to support a higher world population with a higher proportion at a middle class living standard, without completely trashing the planet, and as a country, the US will be able to stop indirectly funding terrorists and get out from under our national addiction to imported oil. Plus, if we get a move on and take the lead in developing the clean energy sources and clean-powered products that the rest of the world will want and need to buy, we'll make a boatload of money, too. What's not to like??

OTOH, if it turns out that climate change is caused by fossil fuels, and we go on merrily burning them as if there was no tomorrow, then maybe there won't be. Samclem is correct to point out that species have gone extinct in the past. Species will go extinct in the future, too, and we're not exempt. We probably today have the ability to make this planet unable to support us in several different ways, and maybe continuing to burn fossil fuels is one of them. The bacteria and the cockroaches will probably survive regardless of what we do or don't do, but I'm not so confident that the same is true of us humans.


An interesting argument... kind of like the answer I got from a friend a long time ago when we were talking about if we believed in God... he said he did... which surprised me... his reasoning is like Pascal... IF God exists, then believing in him will get you to heaven... if he does not, then who cares.... he did not change what he did... he just 'believed'...

As for the energy and other conservation efforts... I like them... I would much rather they be pursued for the other reasons that are being mentioned.... cleaner air, better standard of living etc... but I also am not one for glossing over the costs of this conversions.... like how much ethanol really costs (from my boss who also runs a farm... the cost of corn has gone way up... which caused the cost of hay to go up.. which cost feeding cattle to go up... which means he makes no money on cattle, so he is not going to raise as many, which means our meat prices go up... and on and on)..... or the current hybrids... which don't take into account the costs.. and guess what, I want to save some fossil fuels for the future generations... the way we are using it now means that they will not be a lot in the 300 to 1,000 year period...
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Old 10-01-2009, 07:13 AM   #28
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We haven't, but Bangladesh has.


Frankly, I thought saying "they can get land like everyone else did" sounded more than a little like "let them eat cake".
The difference is, the scientists are telling us it *will* happen. And the last time I went through the IPCC papers, the ranges of expected sea level rise if we take dramatic offsetting action and if we take no action OVERLAP. So we need to plan for the "bad case" scenario in either case.

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Originally Posted by kyounge1956 View Post
The way this author puts it is, we need to avoid what we can't adapt to, and adapt to what we can't avoid.

To me, the climate change question is sort of like Pascal's wager. Human carbon (and other) emissions either cause climate change, or they don't. Cutting our emissions is an absolute survival necessity if CO2 is at fault, and will generate big benefits even if it turns out that it isn't. Plus, if we get a move on and take the lead in developing the clean energy sources and clean-powered products that the rest of the world will want and need to buy, we'll make a boatload of money, too. What's not to like??

Lots. No will want to buy those clean energy sources unless they are less costly than fossil fuel. If we can do that, great. But as I said, you won't need to force anyone to take something that is better *and* cheaper.

Reducing CO2 is not a cure-all, we will still have major adaptations to make.



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Among other things, reducing our consumption of fossil fuels means that as a species, we'll be able to support a higher world population with a higher proportion at a middle class living standard, without completely trashing the planet, and as a country, .... and get out from under our national addiction to imported oil.
Try to sell that one to China, India and the other developing countries. Our "addiction to oil" is because it is a cheap form of energy. Unless we change that by taxing is (as Europe has), it ain't gonna change.


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OTOH, if it turns out that climate change is caused by fossil fuels, and we go on merrily burning them as if there was no tomorrow, then maybe there won't be.
It is not binary. And we can't just "stop burning them". According to the scientists, much of the damage has already been done, and much more will be done even if we take drastic moves to get off fossil fuels now. Continuing to burn fossil fuel may add to the problem, but stopping does not "fix" the problem.

Some people want to believe that changing a light bulb and checking air pressure will "save the planet", but it's hooey. Gonna take a lot more than that to dent our CO2 production. Too much of this "debate" (oh, sorry, that is over ), is emotional rather than fact based. It was emotion that got us away from Nuclear Energy like the French have (80% Nuke power), and I suspect that emotion will only keep us from effective solutions going forward. If the US had adopted Nuke Power in the 60/70's we sure would have emitted far less CO2 than we have, but musicians and actors knew better .

Musicians United for Safe Energy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Musicians United for Safe Energy, or MUSE, was an activist group founded in 1979 by Jackson Browne, Graham Nash, Bonnie Raitt, and John Hall of Orleans. The group advocated against the use of nuclear energy, ....

On September 23, 1979, almost 200,000 people attended a large rally staged by MUSE on the then-empty north end of the Battery Park City landfill in New York. Other musicians performing at the concerts included Crosby, Stills, and Nash, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, James Taylor, Carly Simon, Chaka Khan, The Doobie Brothers, Jesse Colin Young, Gil Scott-Heron, Tom Petty, Poco and others.
I love most of their music, but I bet they wouldn't know a Megawatt from a Power Factor. Stick to music.

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Old 10-01-2009, 08:46 AM   #29
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Some people want to believe that changing a light bulb and checking air pressure will "save the planet", but it's hooey. Gonna take a lot more than that to dent our CO2 production.
True enough, though I still see no reason to use more energy than we actually need, even if it won't "save the planet". Penny saved, and all that...

What we need to worry about is saving the humans. I expect the earth to outlast us...

And musicians aren't the only ones guilty of using "lawyer science". What do you expect, in a country where AIDS and 9/11 were caused by the government, New Mexico is a foreign country, and Elvis is alive, probably living in Area 51...
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Old 10-01-2009, 09:31 AM   #30
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What do you expect, in a country where AIDS and 9/11 were caused by the government, New Mexico is a foreign country, and Elvis is alive, probably living in Area 51...
...you forgot that Katrina was engineered by FEMA, and BO is actually MLK's love child.
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Old 10-01-2009, 09:47 AM   #31
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I'll vote to spend what ever it takes..... as soon as someone tells me exactly what the temperature of the earth is suppose to be! Come ON! you have billions of years of data, it should be easy! Of course we may find out we will all be buying heaters as the world average temp might just be warmer than it is now.
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Old 10-01-2009, 10:00 AM   #32
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(snip) To me, the climate change question is sort of like Pascal's wager(snip
. An interesting argument... kind of like the answer I got from a friend a long time ago when we were talking about if we believed in God... he said he did... which surprised me... his reasoning is like Pascal... IF God exists, then believing in him will get you to heaven... if he does not, then who cares.... he did not change what he did... he just 'believed'...
The original "wager" proposed by Pascal was indeed about whether God exists or not.

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As for the energy and other conservation efforts... I like them... I would much rather they be pursued for the other reasons that are being mentioned.... cleaner air, better standard of living etc... but I also am not one for glossing over the costs of this conversions.... (snip)
I don't suggest that the costs be glossed over. It's going to be expensive, at least in the short run. Pascal's original wager could be paraphrased: "believe in God, because if He exists, the reward is infinite, and if He doesn't, you're no worse off than if you hadn't believed". There's a flip side to the wager that I think applies both to the original form and the climate change update: believe in God, because if you disbelieve and are wrong, your loss is infinite.

If human-caused climate change does exist, but we do nothing, we could destroy the only place we know of in the universe that can support human life. That's not a bet we can afford to lose, so it's a bet we shouldn't make.
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Old 10-01-2009, 10:13 AM   #33
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We haven't, but Bangladesh has. I took a quick look at wikipedia and gleaned a few relevant pieces of information:
  1. Most of Bangladesh is less than 12 meters above sea level; it is estimated that about half of the country would be flooded by a sea level rise of 3 meters, and
  2. Although Bangladesh is #94 in land area, it's the 7th most populous country in the world. Its population density at present is a little over 2900 persons per square mile, making it the 5th most densely populated country on earth. (By contrast, the US is tied for 3rd in land area, 3rd in population, and 180th in population density).
It doesn't matter if it takes 300 years or 700, underwater is underwater. The longer it takes sea level to rise to whatever extent it does rise, the more people and the less habitable land there will be in Bangladesh. They can't simply move to higher ground, because what higher ground there is in the country is already occupied.

Frankly, I thought saying "they can get land like everyone else did" sounded more than a little like "let them eat cake". But maybe by saying "we've" not run out of higher ground, you meant that the US should raise its immigration quotas and let more people come here from countries that are harmed by climate change. That seems only fair to me.
For millions of years people have migrated when their present homes/areas prove less satisfactory than other possibilities. Land that is underwater is less desirable than dry land, so I'd imagine these people will make a similar decision, a few more after every flooding event. Yes, the nation of Bangladesh will not be a net winner if the oceans rise 6 feet. Denmark is cold, Mali is arid, and Bangladesh is wet. I suppose it's not "fair."

If China and the other leading greenhouse gas producers are eventually found to be responsible for the rise in sea levels, maybe they'll have to pay something to the "losers." But, I'd assume we'd also tax the "winners" (places that will have longer growing seasons and more rain, places that gained usable land when the glaciers retreated, etc) to help the "losers," too. Yep, that'll work.
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Old 10-01-2009, 02:56 PM   #34
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So where do we move all those folks in Bangladesh?
I vote for Washington, DC.
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Old 10-01-2009, 07:55 PM   #35
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But maybe by saying "we've" not run out of higher ground, you meant that the US should raise its immigration quotas and let more people come here from countries that are harmed by climate change. That seems only fair to me.
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Old 10-01-2009, 08:01 PM   #36
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Old 10-02-2009, 09:14 AM   #37
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I love it!
I suppose that if and when people w/o means are forced to leave their homes due to global warming, it would be reasonable to have "responsible parties" assist with that migration. That would also be dependent on another if, and that is if it is reasonably clear that those parties are actually responsible, and to what extent, and that they all contribute a representative amount. It's not just oil and coal, it is the deforestation, raising of cattle, etc. And of course, some of it may be a natural cycle anyhow. Good luck sorting all that out, and getting countries all over the world to agree.

As I recall, this country voluntarily provided many millions of dollars in assistance to the Tsunami victims back in 2004, and we certainly were not "responsible" for that. Maybe we aren't as bad a bunch as some want to paint us? Ahhh, here's some data, just one month after the 2004 Tsunami:

International Red Cross Needs For Tsunami Relief Program Met

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One month ago today, a tidal wave created by the largest earthquake in four decades ripped apart the lives of millions of people and families living along the coasts of the Indian Ocean. Aid continues to pour into the affected region bringing lifesaving relief supplies and resources to tsunami victims who lost their families, homes and livelihoods.

.... the American Red Cross will no longer engage in new fundraising activities for tsunami relief after January 26 (2005).

The American Red Cross, along with the Federation, now believes there are sufficient funds to meet the overall need.
And how much is the "No Nukes" crowd willing to pony up for the added CO2 they are responsible for? I'd suggest the people of Bangladesh don't hold their breath waiting for that check to clear .

Further, from other reading of the IPCC reports I've done, any action we take now won't really change the outcome much, but it might *delay* it. So, if X meters of sea level rise occurs in 600 years rather than 400 years, it doesn't materially change things that much. Either way, those affected will need to move.

That isn't a "give up" viewpoint, just a reflection of the reality of what the scientists are telling us.

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Old 10-02-2009, 04:28 PM   #38
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For millions of years people have migrated when their present homes/areas prove less satisfactory than other possibilities. Land that is underwater is less desirable than dry land, so I'd imagine these people will make a similar decision,
So do I understand your argument correctly? If our pollution is rendering certain parts of the globe uninhabitable, that doesn't mean we should stop polluting. People should simply migrate to other inhabitable areas.

I guess if an agricultural civilization learned they were polluting the near-by stream, they could choose to keep polluting and simply move upstream. It might even be economic to do so. But at some point they'll run out of stream to pollute, won't they?
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Old 10-02-2009, 05:12 PM   #39
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So do I understand your argument correctly? If our pollution is rendering certain parts of the globe uninhabitable, that doesn't mean we should stop polluting. People should simply migrate to other inhabitable areas.
Regardless of the cause, when an area becomes less desirable than alternatives, people will move. This is going to be a relatively slow process wherein some low-lying areas become less and less desirable. There's no consensus that reducing CO2 (pollutant? maybe "natural atmospheric constituent") emissions at this time will even affect the need to for some populations to relocate--many generations from now.

Most of the world is uninhabitable now, and there's wide variation in the desirability of the parts that are technically "inhabitable." The relative quality of land for human use changes all the time, for natural and man-made reasons. Most of the man-made changes have increased the amount of land that is inhabitable, and the number of people who can inhabit it (think irrigation, agriculture, transportation networks that allow food and other supplies to reach areas that cannot produce their own, etc). Lots of this human activity that has so significantly improved the bearing capacity and quality of life depends on burning of fossil fuels--the main artificial energy source. So, I suppose we could stop all burning of these fuels immediately and maybe reduce global warming, which might stop the much-feared rise in ocean levels many decades hence, thus saving some people from the inconvenience of moving. Good news: Even if they do have to move, there'll be plenty of room available, since much of the world's population will have been starved off in the wonderful new carbon-free economy.
Of course, that's an extreme case. We could gradually produce more and more energy via more expensive means (and they are more expensive. If they weren't, we'd already be using them). All of that comes at a price in reduced productivity, lower standards of living, and (in much of the world) shorter lifespans.
Maybe immediately reducing CO2 output (at high costs) is not the best way of addressing the problem. Maybe we should first understand if GW is a problem (after all--the earth has been much hotter before), then if we have a problem, determine what we should do. Reduce CO2 emissions? Reduce atmospheric CO2 by other means? Reduce more potent atmospheric greenhouse gases through emission control? Reduce them through active measures? Reduce the impact of higher temps on human populations and ecosystems?

In a nutshell: Before we decide to cease the human activities and fossil fuel use that may make 2% or so of the world's dry landmass uninhabitable at some distant time, we should consider that these activities and fossil fuel use have made far more than this percentage of land inhabitable (to far more humans) in the first place.
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Old 10-02-2009, 08:33 PM   #40
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We could gradually produce more and more energy via more expensive means (and they are more expensive. If they weren't, we'd already be using them). All of that comes at a price in reduced productivity, lower standards of living, and (in much of the world) shorter lifespans.
Yes, I'm quite sure those who argue that rich nations should not adopt carbon restrictions unless impoverished nations do are motivated out of concern for the lifespans of "much of the world."

Its true that not polluting always appears more expensive than polluting. But that's often only because it is easy to ignore the cost imposed on society of dirty air, undrinkable water or, in the case of carbon, global climate change. And the cost is not simply the potential loss of "2% of inhabitable land mass" but it is drought, and famine, and the social unrest that goes along with those things.

An observation - It is curious that many of the people who worry loudly about leaving a burden of debt on "our children" don't share the same concern about leaving them an inhabitable planet. Strange.
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