Not everyone thinks global warming would be bad

Greenlanders stand to gain a great deal if their climate warms. From Popular Mechanics:

When the 748-foot Stena Forth plows into the deep waters of Greenland’s Disko West zone next summer, the advanced drillship will be taking the first crack at what could be the world’s biggest untapped reservoir of oil and gas….The United States Geologic Survey estimates [Greenland's] offshore reserves could hold 50 billion barrels of oil and gas, or nearly one-third of the arctic total.

(snip)

While hunters, who make up a sizable proportion of Greenland’s population, are suffering as a result of climate change, government officials quietly confirm that warming temperatures should bring new riches to the country. In addition to oil and gas, the retreat of ice is prompting new onshore mining ventures, and in coming decades Greenland could benefit from shipping as the Northwest Passage become a viable alternative to the Suez and Panama Canals.

One aspect of the climate-change debate which we ignore too often is the potential benefits — and whether they might outweigh the potential consequences.

(H/t: Instapundit)

98 comments Add your comment

Davo

January 5th, 2010
11:13 am

Now if we can just convince the people of Bangladesh to move there…then we’ll have it all tied up; those greenies will have nothin to screech about. Sounds like a job for the United Nations.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

January 5th, 2010
11:22 am

It’s a little cool even down here in the swamp this morning, just now reaching 50 degrees. I favor doing everything we can to accelerate global warming.

jconservative

January 5th, 2010
11:41 am

So, sell your US beachfront property and buy a condo in Julianehab!

Americans need a more long range view of issues.

Chris Broe

January 5th, 2010
12:42 pm

“One aspect of the climate-change debate which we ignore too often is the potential benefits — and whether they might outweigh the potential consequences.”

Potential Benefits are: the Iditarod gets a route correction.

Potential Consequences are: the end of all forms of life in the solar system (and the nearby globular clusters).

DAVID

January 5th, 2010
12:44 pm

YEAH…………GIVE ME SOME MAN MADE GLOBAL WARMING this week.

Kent Johnson

January 5th, 2010
12:55 pm

The “benefits” of global warming? You have GOT to be joking. Your lack of knowledge regarding the catastrophic impact of long-term warming is not something to be proud of these days. Actual conservative values should not be confused with the political machinations of the current GOP. Conservatism by definition naturally extends to the environment in relation to the values of preservation and stewardship of the earth, but instead we hear the opposite: a din of blathering ignorance from mindless sycophants extolling the virtues of overheating the earth’s rather fragile atmosphere for short term gain, i.e. Drill Baby Drill!

Since when did genuine concern for the state of the environment become a “liberal agenda” to be opposed at all cost and to the extent of paranoia and downright rejection of scientific consensus?

neo-Carlinist

January 5th, 2010
12:56 pm

Chris Broe, thanks for not editorializing or opining that the end of all life forms is a “negative” consequence. truth be told, I think it is the nature of Nature (the universe) that every couple a billion years the “science project” gets dumped into some cosmic sink. humans are arrogant and self-absorbed to think they have ANY influence on the “health” of the planet. as stated, it’s kind of a given that we care little about our health, so we are sleeping in the environmental bed we’ve made for ourselves.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

January 5th, 2010
1:01 pm

Modern men have lived through 20 sudden global warmings. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704905704574622643206570348.html

The cult of death has a strong preference for seeing people freeze to death, but I think most of us would prefer a world that is 2-3 degrees warmer.

dewstarpath

January 5th, 2010
1:04 pm

- Thank you, Kent Johnson (at 12:55 pm).

– I think somewhere along the line of history,
the terms “liberal” and “conservative” were flipped around,
similar to the transposition of “Democrat” and “Republican”
Parties in the mid – 20th century.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

January 5th, 2010
1:07 pm

Dear Kent @ 12:55, that the leftist concern is “genuine” does not mean that it is “legitimate.” For the same reasons, you would surely approve of the genuine conservative concern that all of the leftist cures for the “evil of global warming” would destroy our economies?

Kent Johnson

January 5th, 2010
1:10 pm

And BTW ask the Pentagon what they think of the “benefits” of continuing to pollute our planet. They released a report assessing the impact of “climate change” a few years ago outlining the potential for adverse political and social upheaval as a result of man’s impact on the environment. Not a pretty picture, but what do they know at the Pentagon. There job is merely to protect and preserve our nation. But hey, if we can get MORE fossil fuels out of the ocean floor along the coast of Greenland to throw into the atmosphere, one day maybe Bangor, Maine will be the new Miami! woo hoo…

Kent Johnson

January 5th, 2010
1:13 pm

Not taking action will destroy our economies in the long run. Conservatives, by definition, should be thinking long-term about the impact of unabated pollution on the preservation our society and its institutions. That’s why the environment matters.

Smashsmeesha Bobeesha

January 5th, 2010
1:22 pm

I could use some good ole global warming up here in Chicago right about now.

Smashsmeesha Bobeesha

January 5th, 2010
1:22 pm

Kent Johnson is polluting this blog.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

January 5th, 2010
1:30 pm

Dear Kent @ 1:13, given the choice between certainly destroying the economy short term vs possibly destroying it long term, I’ll chose the latter potential poison over the certain one. In the meantime, it makes a lot of sense to me to try to increase our CO2 production, to heat up this place.

Jim

January 5th, 2010
1:37 pm

Kyle, I thought, according to you and the other republicans out there, global warming is just some democratic ploy to take over the government and turn our country towards communism. What’s it gonna be, do you believe in global warming or not? Based on this post you seem to agree that it does exist.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

January 5th, 2010
1:41 pm

By the way, if anyone ever hears of a global warming believer who advocates for non-polluting nuclear energy plants, let me know. Until we see them drawing rational solutions, I continue to assume environmentalism is just a weird religion, with mystical beliefs about an apocalyptic future due to the manifold sins of weak humans.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

January 5th, 2010
1:42 pm

Dear Jim @ 1:37, as the most conservative conservative in the eastern US, I will confirm my hope that global warming is real. I will also confess my doubt.

Ron Mexico

January 5th, 2010
1:43 pm

What about record African crops due to climate change? Or in other parts of the world?

Kyle Wingfield

January 5th, 2010
1:46 pm

Kent: Longer growing seasons, and more places where crops can be grown; fewer deaths related to cold, which generally outnumber deaths related to heat; heating homes and other buildings generally requires more energy than cooling them does.

The catastrophe scenarios aren’t necessarily the most likely scenarios. The range of projected sea-level rises due to climate change is so wide as to be meaningless. I’m not saying there aren’t risks that go along with a warmer climate change (no matter what mankind does), only that these risks may be greatly mitigated — or, under some scenarios, outweighed — by the benefits.

Kent Johnson

January 5th, 2010
1:47 pm

The fact that any use of the word “environment” among conservatives automatically conjures up images of crazy liberal weed-smoking tree-huggers or some fantastical left-wing conspiracy/hoax is a rather sad commentary on the current state of so-called conservative politics in this country. If you want to find a *legitimate” foundation for understanding global warming/climate change, who are you going to trust — a large scientifically-based consensus among climate scientists or the politically-entrenched barking of idealogues like Hannity and the other circus acts like Limbaugh and Beck.

And I find it rather humorous that the anti-intellectual pundits and politicians on the right can’t make up their minds. Either global warming is a huge hoax, or it’s real but hey, it’s a GOOD THING! Either way, one doesn’t have to lift a finger…

NeverTrustARepublican

January 5th, 2010
1:47 pm

Holy crap. Kyle continues his disservice by prodding his poorly informed base with ignorant columns. See the article.

http://cdiac.ornl.gov/oceans/glodap/glodap_pdfs/Thermohaline.web.pdf

Glenn

January 5th, 2010
1:50 pm

Atleast you would be acknowledging that global warming might be a possibility & that would be a start. Unfortunately after weighing the positives vs the negatives it might be wiser just to say its voodoo science or just a political ploy to pass our wealth to developing countries . It would be much easier to get around Greenland when a big portion of Greenland is under water .

Kent Johnson

January 5th, 2010
2:10 pm

Kyle, you need to bone up on your climate science and take a look at that Pentagon report. Why do so many “conservatives” get the basic facts wrong on this issue? But instead, they look at today’s Drudge Report and see all the linked articles to how cold this winter and laugh, “See! Global Warming, my butt!”

It’s intellectually dishonest and ignorant, because global warming does NOT mean that it will be warmer everywhere.It means that the atmosphere is being polluted to the point of adverse climate change across the planet, with extremely detrimental consequences for human civilization as a whole. Global WARMING has the potential for shutting down the Gulf current in the Atlantic, which would turn northern Europe into an ice-box. That doesn’t sound so beneficial to me.

Glad to pollute this page with facts…

Ragnar Danneskjöld

January 5th, 2010
2:11 pm

Dear Kent, “The fact that any use of the word “environment” among conservatives automatically conjures up images of crazy liberal weed-smoking tree-huggers or some fantastical left-wing conspiracy/hoax is a rather sad commentary on the current state of so-called conservative politics in this country. ” Why wouldn’t that be a sad commentary on the current state of “environmentalists?”

Kyle Wingfield

January 5th, 2010
2:13 pm

Kent: If the extremes you describe were accurate, you’d be right. Unfortunately for you, they’re not.

NeverTrust: Wow! The definitive article on the interaction of oceans and the climate! And it’s only 9 pages long — bonus!

Glenn: I have never said that the atmosphere didn’t warm in the late 20th century, nor have I said that the theories behind anthropogenic global warming (AGW) are definitely false or some kind of hoax. What I have said, consistently, is that the idea that the science is “settled” isn’t true. There is doubt — enough doubt that we should proceed cautiously on radical policy recommendations. Acknowledging that some — not all, but some — things would get better if the planet were warmer is part of that.

I believe we would make best use of our resources (natural, financial and otherwise) by making sure we can adapt to any changes in the climate — heat, cold, drought, monsoons, whatever.

Kent Johnson

January 5th, 2010
2:13 pm

And yes, nuclear energy is much more preferable to fossil fuels any day…

JF McNamara

January 5th, 2010
2:26 pm

I actually thought Kyle was being making a tongue in cheek joke given his stance that lying scientist concocted global warning in order to kill the American empire and punish big business. I guess I need to be more serious.

GaDawg

January 5th, 2010
2:37 pm

Dear Kent with all due respect UP YOURS, I just went outside and we need some global warming RIGHT NOW

Art@Large

January 5th, 2010
2:38 pm

Mr. Wingfield…you are the worst type of conservative there is. You claim that global warming science is not “’settled’”, but it is. You just don’t want to accept fact.
And you claim that there is enough “doubt” about global warming to justify doing little or nothing about it at all, rather than trying to minimize the damage, which WILL cost money. But doing NOTHING is going to cost a whole lot more, much more, staggeringly more.
And then you claim that drilling for gas and oil in Greenland will benefit the handful of people that live there, and benefit those who would continue to pour hydrocarbons into the atmosphere unabated. I suppose this would lead to less research for alternative energy sources, since we would be able to just keep on doing what we’re doing.
You are clearly either insane, or a republican.
Dragging our feet, continuing to rely on petroleum, and hoping that the consequences of global warming won’t be that bad is sheer lunacy.
You ought to be ashamed of yourself, but I know you won’t be. You have your republican-issued blinders on, and won’t see the truth, won’t listen to it, and won’t be swayed by it even when it finally bites you on the ass.
You have lost what little respect I might have had for you, which wasn’t much in the first place. I know you won’t care about that either, but the least you could do is slow down your headlong rush to ruin the planet.
You are unbelievable, but the modern republican party has made “insane” a platform for their future.

NeverTrustARepublican

January 5th, 2010
2:38 pm

Kyle, you write, what, 500 words per columns? Yeah, nine pages of actual science versus 500 words from a bobblehead; tough choice.

Notice Kyle’s choice of reference material is Popular Mechanics. I guess Highlights was covering another topic this month.

‘There is doubt — enough doubt that we should proceed cautiously on radical policy recommendations. Acknowledging that some — not all, but some — things would get better if the planet were warmer is part of that.’ But that’s not what you want Kyle; you want to sow distrust in the fearful and ill-informed. Or, you’re just way out of your element. I’m guessing both.

Deny, deny, deny then, when even the most rabid can no longer deny, spout nonsense like, ‘but we can’t do anything anyway’ and ‘no, it’ll actually be benificial’. Truley pathetic and shortsighted and oh so republican.

Ray Pugh

January 5th, 2010
2:40 pm

Kyle that’s possibly the stupidest column you’ve written so far…

sam

January 5th, 2010
2:46 pm

kent, there’s no point bringing reason to this board. dont waste your breathe. these folks are long gone.

Not Going To Use My Usual Name

January 5th, 2010
2:49 pm

Greenland: 1.
Africa: -1.

It all evens out, though, right? After all, if you look at a standard map, they’re about the same size.

*cough*

GaDawg

January 5th, 2010
2:55 pm

Why don’t you Atlanta libs forget this global warming crap and go to city hall and see if you can help Reed keep Atlanta from going bankrupt, after all you each sound like you have a lot of stored internal methane gas that could be used to heat City Hall

South Georgia Republican

January 5th, 2010
3:03 pm

KENT and SAM-

The problem is that you so stereotypically assume that you are smarter and more intellectual than those of us who are cynical about the truth of man’s contribution to global warming, if it in fact exists and is not just a short-term observation of a long-term natural cycle.

It is laughable to me that you can’t see that your absolute faith in global warming caused by man is in part a religion-like faith, and the empirical evidence does NOT conclusively prove that it provides a risk worth the economic cost that you wish to be born. If it poses such a serious threat, why do the prophets of your religion (Al Gore, the Hollywood elite, etc.) not take action to reduce their own carbon footprint and make the same sacrifices that they would like to impose on the little people?

OK, now you may respond by calling me an ignorant neanderthal since I don’t share your OPINION-

South Georgia Republican

January 5th, 2010
3:05 pm

By the way, I suppose I am a “fearful and ill-informed” denier.

NeverTrustARepublican

January 5th, 2010
3:06 pm

Kyle-see GaDawg’s post. That’s your base. You must be proder than punch.

Oh, and GDawg, see, this is an online forum. I know its hard to fathom that there’s life beyond your county line but this reaches way beyond the big ol’ city of Atlanta. Welcome to the 21st century.

dewstarpath

January 5th, 2010
3:07 pm

Smashsmeesha – Up here in Chicago, huh?

Maybe you could hang out with Axelfraud and trade hot air
to warm yourselves up. What a coincidence (that you both
live in the same city – NOT). i.e., GIVE IT UP.

Hillbilly Deluxe

January 5th, 2010
3:18 pm

As the late Harry Caray used to say, it’s an ill wind that doesn’t blow somebody some good.

A while back on TV, I saw the promo for a show about this subject. It was talking about the polar ice caps melting and the ocean levels rising. Then came a nice shot of people running through the streets of Manhattan, trying to outrun a 20 foot wall of water (the ocean levels, according to them will rise 20 feet). Now assuming that their premise is right and the polar ice caps would melt and raise the ocean level by 20 feet, don’t they realize what the air temperature would have to be for this to occur in the matter of minutes or hours it would take for ocean levels to rise that fast.

I would have been a little more inclined to watch the show and give it a fair hearing, if they hadn’t felt the need to try to pull one on me like that.

Ray Pugh

January 5th, 2010
3:37 pm

South GA Republican:

I know who you are…

Daedalus

January 5th, 2010
3:38 pm

Let’s see, first we said that global climate change was all a figment of Al Gore’s imagination and the emails from the British scientists proved it was all a fraud.

Now we say: sure it’s happening. But it’s a good thing.

Whatever. So long as we can keep increasing emissions, that’s the important thing.

Earl_E

January 5th, 2010
3:53 pm

Kent,

Don’t get upset. The writer doesn’t want to engage in discussions about environment, he just wants click-stream revenue for his website and gets the biggest return when he uses words like global warming.

When we are complaining about the loss of Cod and other species, and all the oil is gone, then we can point back at the oil companies and blame them and feel good about it. But right now put the pedal to the metal and drill baby drill.

Besides, many people don’t like fish, it tastes fishy. Who cares about Somali fishermen who have switched to piracy on the high seas and eating bushmeat. I don’t like tigers and pumas either. Good riddance. Now if we can get risd of all the Arctic mammals the oil ecologic collapse can get underway in haste.

Libraryjim

January 5th, 2010
4:03 pm

@ Daedalus, no one said Climate Change was NOT happening, what was under discussion was the CAUSE — human caused/contributed or natural cycle.

Climategate proved that the human cause side misrepresented the facts and skewed the data.

Libraryjim

January 5th, 2010
4:05 pm

@ Earl … it is a fallacy of logic to assume that just because one is against the theory of human caused climate change, therefore they are also against any conservation or environmental protection measures.

Earl_E

January 5th, 2010
4:06 pm

Hillbilly,

You’re not asking for Hollywood to be realistic in a work of fiction are you? I would rather let them tease you with fancified futures, and then let you explore the science from scientists.

For instance, sea level rises at different rates based on more natural occurances than I know. Imagine you’re in a log flume at the amusement park and you and the water ride up the side going around a bend.

That comes from motion. The Earth spins and the oceans are in motion because of that motion. Some places will slide up the side based on a million variables.

You ask “Would air pressure change?”

It probably changes more where the water slides up the sides, but I can’t imagine it would be noticeable. But it is a good question.

In the movie, that was a storm surge like the one that flattened the levies in New Orleans. The storm surge was from a big storm in the movie. Seems impossible right up to the day it happens, then you get calls from people drowning in their attics. Bodies floating everywhere.

For more on storm surge potential size check out Hurricane Katrina. Aparently when it made landfall it was only a cat 3. It’s surge was 25 feet high in places.

Democrats are Corrupt, Repukes are Lying Scum

January 5th, 2010
4:08 pm

Better git your money out of money markets soon, OBOZO has proposed this: New regulations proposed by the administration, and specifically by the ever-incompetent Securities and Exchange Commission, seek to pull one of these three core pillars from the foundation of the entire money market industry, by changing the primary assumptions of the key Money Market Rule 2a-7. A key proposal in the overhaul of money market regulation suggests that money market fund managers will have the option to “suspend redemptions to allow for the orderly liquidation of fund assets.” You read that right: this does not refer to the charter of procyclical, leveraged, risk-ridden, transsexual (allegedly) portfolio manager-infested hedge funds like SAC, Citadel, Glenview or even Bridgewater (which in light of ADIA’s latest batch of problems, may well be wishing this was in fact the case), but the heart of heretofore assumed safest and most liquid of investment options: Money Market funds, which account for nearly 40% of all investment company assets. The next time there is a market crash, and you try to withdraw what you thought was “absolutely” safe money, a back office person will get back to you saying, “Sorry – your money is now frozen. Bank runs have become illegal.” This is precisely the regulation now proposed by the administration. In essence, the entire US capital market is now a hedge fund, where even presumably the safest investment tranche can be locked out from within your control when the ubiquitous “extraordinary circumstances” arise. The second the game of constant offer-lifting ends, and money markets are exposed for the ponzi investment proxies they are, courtesy of their massive holdings of Treasury Bills, Reverse Repos, Commercial Paper, Agency Paper, CD, finance company MTNs and, of course, other money markets, and you decide to take your money out, well – sorry, you are out of luck. It’s the law.

Hillbilly Deluxe

January 5th, 2010
4:13 pm

Earl

I understand what a storm surge is. The ocean level rises ahead of the storm by the winds created as well as the low barometric pressure letting the water rise, since in effect the atmosphere isn’t pushing down on the water at its’ normal rate. (A similar principle to what makes a carburetor work). Of course, the tide also plays a part in all this.

For me to watch, a work of fiction, as you call it, it has to be plausible enough to be worth my time.

Earl_E

January 5th, 2010
4:18 pm

Hi LibraryJim,

You said you are “one is against the theory of human caused climate change”?

Why would any rational person be either for or against a theory?

If it is a theory, it hasn’t been proven, hence, why pick a side? It isn’t a political party nor an elected or media personality.

There is a theory that man impacts his environment in ways MAN doesn’t know about. To be for or against it while finding out is counter-productive.

I want more science, better science, and sometimes even bad science. Bad science is like that shoreline that is heaving up from glacial melting, not from sea level rise. Alask is popping up like a cork as it gets physically lighter with each hour.

So if you were measuring the ocean based on your shoreline, you might think sea level is going down. You might publish a paper that proves sea level is going down. And until some genius realized that massive bodies of water actually weigh as much as land, and that by draining, evaporating, or melting one away, you could measure the continental uplift, that published paper would be proven incorrect.

But saying exacly the wrong thing like sea level was going down created the new science of continental uplift.

Science is always better than opinions even when science is dead wrong.

Earl_E

January 5th, 2010
4:26 pm

Oh hey Hillbilly,

I love the Terminator fiction series, and also Lost. Moving islands with some lever really isn’t plausible, but makes for good suspence. As for the storm surge in the movie, wouldn’t a 100 foot surge almost have to make its way between the buildings like a wall of water?

See the Box Day tsunami video for actual footage of a much smaller wave and it’s effect on structures and people.