Bloomberg’s Hyperbole on Global Warming

New York mayor Michael Bloomberg has been quoted in the New York Sun as making the following statement to the UN General Assembly:

“Terrorists kill people. Weapons of mass destruction have the potential to kill an enormous amount of people,” Mr. Bloomberg told reporters after addressing the U.N. General Assembly, but “global warming in the long term has the potential to kill everybody.”

Dittoheads love it when politicians make this sort of innocent mistake, and with such a famine of scientific data to support their skepticism of Global Warming, they are all ready jumping all over this statement as if it were the only news on the issue in months.

In fact, the Drudge Report has given it one of it’s top headline spots, so we can just imagine all the Dittoheads dancing naked around a stone-monument to Rush Limbaugh tonight (Not a carved monument, just an ordinary rock, as all semi-round amorphous lumpy rocks look like Rush Limbaugh), jiggling and chanting “Ooga-Booga! Ooga-Booga! Ooga-Booga!“–on second thought, don’t imagine that. It’s gross.

While his overall points were valid and Bloomberg’s one extreme statement was not technically untrue, it did venture to far into the uncertain realm of speculation. We don’t know how the Earth is going to ultimately react to a long-term and sustained build up of greenhouse emissions. Is it possible that our planet could experience the runaway greenhouse effect that gives our cosmic neighbor, Venus, its sulfuric rain and semi-molten rock surface? Hypothetically, yes, but we lack the data to see that far into the future.

In his book Storm World Chris Mooney points out that it was inaccurate for AGW proponents to blame hurricane Katrina on Global Warming. Hurricanes of such strength will happen regardless of Climate Change. What Global Warming will do is increase the frequency of such powerful storms.

This is the tightwalk of articulating the Global Warming threat that science-minded people must navigate. While Dittoheads can say whatever unsupportable inane thing that comes into their heads, we have the responsibility to provide the clearest understanding of scientific issues we have available to us at the time.

It’s hard to imagine humans not surviving Global Warming, we are amazingly adaptable, and we will innovate our way through the challenges Climate Change will bring. It’s incredible what we can achieve when we pull together for a common purpose. E Pluribus Unum, after all.

But the issue here is why should it have to come to that? Why should the human race incur the unimaginable expenses of time and resources it will take to engineer protections against a changing climate that’s our own fault?

Why not simply choose to change our behaviors and preempt the whole thing so we aren’t forced into changing our behaviors by having to build levees against rising sea levels, pest-control for the ticks and killer bees that will thrive, changing the crops and livestock we farm as gardening zones move toward the poles, and all the unexpected consequences this will set in motion… all this and then having to innovate into a non carbon-based energy society anyway in order to keep things from getting even worse?