Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Agree or Disagree?

"The trouble with the global warming debate is that it has become a moral crusade when it's really an engineering problem. The inconvenient truth is that if we don't solve the engineering problem, we're helpless."

-- Robert Samuelson (economist)
Via the Geoenginnering mailing list


Dano said...

I think it depends upon your point of view.

If you think humans are smart enough to conduct their affairs intelligently (or human societies functional enough at these complexities), then it is immoral to impoverish your descendants.

If you think humans are just animals with big brains and not smart enough to change their biology, then population dynamics wins out and our population collapses.



hengist mcstone said...

I disagree with Samuelson. Framing it solely as an engineering problem downplays the problem and implies that he rejects over-consumption as an issue. Where is mitigation in his weltanschauung? As for his global warming debate/moral crusade remark, I'm tempted to conclude that that indicates him as something of a contrarian.

climatehawk1 said...

I vote: crock. Sure, it's an engineering problem, using that expression in the broadest sense, but how can we engineer a solution when we can't even get agreement that there's a problem? Also, amorally pretending that there isn't one is what has led to its being viewed more and more as a moral issue.

Jay said...

Robert Samuleson is NOT an economist, he is a journalist and perhaps an economics writer.

Paul Krugman seems to believe the guy is a total dumbass.

crf said...

The column is here

(and as Jay said, the post on the geoengineering list's confusing this Samuelson (journalist) with another (economist).)

I don't disagree with the points he's made in that column (an old one now). It is an engineering problem. And a difficult one.