I'm sorry Amlord, but it sounds to me like you're sitting on the prow of the Titanic and confidently stating "that Iceberg couldn't have caused that noise, it looks tiny from up here."
I will get into that more lately, first I want to address the point that Beladonna made.
I understand the theory that global warming could potentially harm the environment and global agriculture, but there is also a theory out there that is will have positive effects.
You should have a second look at that National Geographic article. What it says is that global warming could increase the VOLUME of agricultural output; but actually decrease the net nutrient output. I will explain. Global warming is both (in theory) caused by the increase in CO2
in the atmosphere, and stands to increase the production of CO2
in certain plant life.
Plants metabolize Carbon Dioxide in the same way (for all practical purposes) that we do air, and combined with the other nutrients that plants consume (Nitrogen, minerals, etc.) the plant survives and thrives. Increasing the amount of one of these nutrients though alters the ratio between CO2
and those other elements though. Unlike a human who can increase his sugar intake, a plant cannot take in more nutrients from the soil. While they can take in more CO2
from the air, they cannot take in more nitrogen from the soil; and that nitrogen is the building block for protein. In fact, the nitrogen levels in plants decrease; resulting in less nutritious food.
Here's what I culled from the National Geographic site that Beladonna linked to:
The researchers found that elevated carbon dioxide levels had an overwhelmingly positive effect on the reproductive traits of crop plants. The analysis revealed a 25 percent increase in total seed weight, a 19 percent increase in the number of flowers, a 16 percent increase in number of seeds, and a 4 percent increase in individual seed weight.
The increase in productivity does not make up for the fall in nutritional value of the crops, said Loladze. "Plants provide 84 percent of worldwide calorie intake, but they also are the major source of essential nutrients," he said.
Loladze's own research has shown that levels of other micronutrients such as iron, zinc, and iodine may also fall in carbon dioxide enriched species. High carbon dioxide levels may result in less "essential [dietary] elements per calorie," he said.
As far as the agricultural boom of the middle ages; you are using incomplete information. We have historical accounts of an agricultural boom in North and parts of Western Europe; and no records of how the temperature shift effected plant growth in other parts of the world. At that time a lot of people were still living in hunter gatherer-societies, and the millions of people in North and South America had no written tradition that can offer insight into how (or if at all) their food production (which was again largely hunter-gatherer based) went. For all we know people in Africa and elsewhere could have gone through a period of unprecedented starvation.
Where we disagree is whether or not we are in a position to decide if anything can be done.
Have you produced a study that shows that society cannot reduce the global rise in Greenhouse Gasses in the atmosphere. Because if you have, I haven't seen it. You seem to assume that we can't, by relying on the principle that we don't know for sure if we can.
Does anyone really think it is within our power to control the climate? If they do, I want to reserve a clear, cool day for the next time I go golfing...
Normally you're not so bald-faced in your use of fallacies; I'm surprised. It is possible to influence a system without controlling it, just as I manipulated children instead of controlling them when I was a camp counsellor. The fact is that hundreds of the worlds leading scientists think that we can influence atmospheric trends; which is why they suggested a Kyoto-like protocol in the first place. I was not aware the casting about sarcastic misrepresentations had the same scientific value as, you know, research.
Is there scientific consensus regarding Global Warming, or our ability to regulate it? Of course not. Thankfully though it's not like a Jury. Reasonable doubt won't cause us to destroy the planet; if anything it'll just make things a little bit cleaner, at the cost of some jobs IN THE SHORT TERM. I've yet to see a credible economic analysis that demonstrates a long-term job depression as a result of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Here is the conclusion on the EPA's position on Kyoto; pulled from a study on the literature used by the Bush administration when deciding whether or not to participate in Kyoto:
The overall conclusion is that the high-cost estimates drawn from this literature is either misleading or they demonstrate (1) the costs of making policy mistakes, for example, by too hasty, unexpected action, or sub-optimal use of revenues; (2) the costs of policies that do not include the use of the Kyoto flexible mechanisms and/or (3) how a selection of worst-case assumptions and parameters can accumulate to give high costs.
Here's the conclusion of the paper:
Taking all the literature into account he macroeconomic costs of greenhouse gas mitigation of the kind envisaged by the Kyoto commitments is likely to be insignificant in the US, provided that the policies are expected, long-term and well-designed.Barker, Terry and Paul Ekins. "The Costs of Kyoto for the US Economy." Energy Journal, 2004, Vol. 25 Issue 3, p53, 19p, 2 charts