Even if the United States and Canada were to implement the most extreme measures to “fight” climate change, including shutting down every power plant and taking every car off the road, we will still be “at least lightly browned toast”. That’s according to Wired magazine, which says climate change is inevitable, regardless of how many strains we put on our economy.
The awful truth is that some amount of climate change is a foregone conclusion. The Electric Power Research Institute in Palo Alto, California, calculates that even if the US, Europe, and Japan turned off every power plant and mothballed every car today, atmospheric CO2 would still climb from the current 380 parts per million to a perilous 450 ppm by 2070, thanks to contributions from China and India. (Do nothing and we’ll get there by 2040.) In short, we’re already at least lightly browned toast. It’s time to think about adapting to a warmer planet.
This notion is one of the great green taboos: Climate change is a specter to be fought, not accommodated.Still, our ability to cope with global warming is far greater than our chances of stopping it entirely. Technology lets us build carbon-neutral houses 7,000 feet up in the Colorado Rockies. Monsanto and friends are engineering crops to withstand drought. For the hapless birds and bees, wildlife scientists are plotting what they call assisted migrations.
Writes The Heritage Foundation:
The headlines define alarmism: “Global warming to wreak havoc on U.S. crops and forests, report says.” The AP reports: “Climate change is increasing the risk of U.S. crop failures, depleting the nation’s water resources and contributing to outbreaks of invasive species and insects, the Department of Agriculture said in a report released Tuesday.”
Read deeper though, and you learn: “The report did not evaluate how the risk faced by farmers, water-supply managers and others might be reduced if they changed practices or crop and livestock varieties to adjust to changing conditions.” Imagine that: humans using innovation to adapt to their environment.