It's climate change it happens.
You know they have found palm trees in antarctica recently. Wonder how those grew under all that snow. Ahh climate change you bastard, it's been going on forever.
This planet survived volcanos, dinosaur poop, and the ice age. You think it's gonna tap out over this?
The fundamental issue here is that currently we are
changing the climate, and the change in climate will likely result in real economical costs, whether due to changes in precipitation pattern, rise in sea level, ocean acidification, and more frequent heat waves etc.
Yes the Antarctic used to be much warmer, but guess why? The CO2 level back then was of the order of 1000ppm. Now if we burn all the oil and gas we'll be sitting at about 500ppm. If we burn all coal, and unconventional sources including all tar sand, methane hydrates we will be looking at 1000+ppm. Here is the historical evidence that we are capable of dramatically altering the climate.
The Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM
), which an interesting event that occurred 55 million years ago, saw an increase of 5-6 degrees in global temperature over 20,000 years, or 2.5-3 degrees over 100 centuries. The change is most likely due to a rapid increase in atmospheric CO2 that is around 700ppm. This excursion was considered to be very abrupt, and led to significant extinctions and changes in the biosphere in general.
We are now projected to increase the temperature at 2.5-3 degrees in 1 century, or a rate that is 100 times faster. The current "worse case scenario" for CO2 emission projects an atmospheric CO2 of 1000ppm by 2100, or an increase of 700ppm over preindustrial conditions over a century.
Yes the earth will continue to orbit around the sun, yes life will still exist, human will survive, but the point is conditions will be dramatically different. Given there is very good historical and experimental evidence that we are about to do something dramatic, are you really going to just brush the issue off without even considering what the possible costs are?
Edited by MadMonk, 23 August 2012 - 01:32 PM.