Could "Global Warming" Actually Be Good For Mankind?

All of the talk about the supposed warmingof the earth…has anyone considered if such changes might be good?
A few examples, if I may:
-the huge Siberian and Canadian landmasses, which at present are frozen wastelands for most of they year-what if they had a climate like Louisiana?Then these vast areas could grow enormous crops of food-enough to feed billions of humans!
-The Saharan, Mongolian, and Arabian desrts-perhaps with a morehumid atmosphere, these regions might becom wetter…a forested sahara would be a good thing in my opinion.
-True, some regions (like the American Southwest) might becomeeven more arid…but if the earth had a warmer climate, we might well see higher crop yields and a greatly extended growing season.
Finally, the chages in deep-sea currents might cause massive upwellings of deep, cold, nutrient-rich waters-and re-populate the oceans with fish.
So, perhaps global warming migh actualy be a good thing!

I whole-heartedly agree. Now I’m going out to buy materials to build my underwater house…

I’m alright Jack, I live on a hill.

Its a valid question actually… the small oversight thou is that 99% of the population is now located where the conditions are appropiate. So even if we did get more landmass to live in… and the water levels going up isn’t good in this aspect… we would have to displace billions of people and rebuild cities where the deserts were before. Agriculture would have to be taken elsewhere. This “transition” would kill way too many and the “new” recovered lands might not be ready to use immediately. Never mind the cost of rebuilding infrastructure.

 The same argument goes for weather patterns... England has shitty but reasonably safe weather due to currents... global warming might turn the UK into some kind of new iceland. Weather patterns determine where its good to plant. Some specialists think that unbalancing the weather patterns means that more severe weather is to be expected and the consquent losses of life and property.

Then finally disease... more warmth = more diseases. Imagine Malaria in Washington ? Tse Tse flies in Europe ?  Not a good scenario.


Good points. While global warming might produce a more benign planet, as a whole, we kinda set up most of civilization to deal with the way the weather is now. But the fact still remains that weather patterns have never been “stable”, at least over the long run, so we will have to deal with significant weather changes at some point. BTW, rapidly changing weather patterns are often given as a key driving force behind what made us the species that we are today.

Did you mean Washington state?

Actually malaria was a big problem in DC during the early days of this country as that area was basically a swamp. You wouldn’t need a weather pattern change to introduce malaria into DC-- just let it go back to it’s natural state. Maybe that’s not a bad idea, as many feel it has become a different type of swamp in modern times.:slight_smile:

I’ve always found it appropriate that the State Department headquarters is located in an area referred to as Foggy Bottom. It just seems right.

Well Washington sweating it out is good I agree… :slight_smile:

Its THOUGH ! argghh… this ghost still haunts me…

Global Warming probably won’t create a more ‘benign’ planet - the added energy in the system will probably make the weather more energetic. Bigger storms, stronger winds, etc.

However, I believe the consensus is that overall, global warming would be a net financial benefit for increases below about 2 degrees. At those levels, it manifests itself in the northern lattitudes in the form of more moderate nighttime temperatures (causing a reducting in heating costs), and longer growing seasons. Plus, the agricultural belt would expand a little more northward, opening up more land for farming.

But pretty much any amount of warming will hurt the poor equatorial countries, and they are the ones that are least likely to to be able to afford it (and have the least responsibility for creating it).

So, I think a reasonable ‘compromise’ for moderate warming would be for the rich countries in the northern lattitudes to compensate the poor equatorial nations for the effects of warming.

Global warming will have almost all negative effects in the short term. But no one ever mentions that we are in an interglacial period right now. So we are technically due to begin another glacial cycle not entirely unlike the Wisconsonian, which buried much of the U.S. under 2 km of ice.

As a biologist (plant ecologist), it disappoints me that so many scientists are unwilling to admit that global warming may be a good idea. Sure, it will destroy our civilzation, but
future generations may thank us for our shortsightedness.

Anyone for The War on Ice? :eek:

Disney’s War On Ice, you mean? :smiley:

One thing I’ve never seen any definite figures on: If the polar ice caps melt in whole or in part, how much does the sea level rise? I can’t believe it would be like Waterworld – the continents have never been completely inundated in the past 2 billion years or so, why would that change now? The idea that small islands and some coastal cities might completely disappear seems more plausible – but I still haven’t seen any figures.

BrainGlutton – IIRC, 300 feet.

If Eric Burdon is still with them I’m there!

If you look at climate in the long term, the Earth has almost always been significantly warmer than it is today. We are in a period of on-again off-again glaciation at the moment, and temperature swings are part of this.

I find most of the evidence for global warming to be less than convincing, and in many cases apparently produced by data picking (look around until you find some bit of data that supports your position, and ignore the rest). Temperature trends over the last 50 or 100 years are meaningless, as this is far too short a period to provide a significant baseline for climate change. IIRC, we still have a ways to go before we even reach the average temperatures of the ~800-1400 A.D. warm period which let the Vikings colonize Greenland, and this was hardly an environmental disaster, as it was a period of good harvests and growing prosperity for most of Europe at least.

Current climatological science seems to go against the main thrust of the Kyoto Agreement, as it shows CO2 increases lagging warmer periods in the past, rather than preceeding them, indicating that increased CO2 is a result of warming rather than a cause of it.

True… the Sahara desert, for instance, used to be a nice, lush place to live in… until things cooled down (less heat meant less evaporation from the Mediterranean, which meant less rainfall in the Sahara, which meant… well, you know).

The planet’s ecosystem is remarkably self-correcting… things get too hot, that means more water evaporating, which means greater snowfall in the northern regions, which means more cold, which means less water evaporating… etc. Granted, it’s not entirely that simple, but Earth has been around for 4 billion years… I’m not too concerned that a few decades of burning coal will cause it to die.

Best measure is a - 375 feet drop of sea level at the height of the last glacial period. The same glacial period that traumatically gave birth to modern man. Inter-glacials of late last about ten to twenty thousand years. Global warming won’t be a pimple on an elephant’s butt in the next one hundred thousand years of intense cold.

And the same Homo sapiens that goes into the next ice age won’t be the same Homo sapiens that comes out.

Because of the long term decline in the level of CO2,
down from values which were ten times today’s back in the Mesozoic, the Earth is likely to get increasingly cold over the next ten million years;
it would not be a good idea to waste all our available carbon now to melt the ice caps when we will need it in a million years time to stop the planet from freezing.
still, there is plenty of CO2 on Venus if we really need it :wink:

going further into the future, the long term trend for the Sun’s insolation is upwards; long before the Sun turns into a red Giant the amount of heat we get from our primary will slowly increase, counteracting the long term Carbon loss; in a billion and a half years Earth will be an inhospitable desert. But with the correct management the Earth could still be inhabitable.

Basically we will need to regulate the climate on a global scale if we are to live on this planet for billions more years;
we will eventually need to terraform the Earth, and agreements like Kyoto are just the small beginning of this kind of long term management.

SF worldbuilding at

I read an interesting, if not far fetched, article years ago that discussed Earth’s axial shift. what is currently the North and South Poles were different at some point in time. It was hypothesized that the shift in water mass to one of the poles (in the form of ice) caused a change in axis rotation. Sounded wack to me but it was an interesting read. If you Google the subject you get a lot of weird stuff.

The Moche Civilization (Peru) collapsed during this warm up period and the changes in the rain patterns. The Mayans were also finished by 3 severe and long droughts. So even if the Europeans benefitted... globally it wasn't the case.

Greenland was colonized.... and ? And then abandoned. So what good is global warming if we don't get to keep our gains ? Currently existing lands and cities will be in danger. Who cares if Greenland and Siberia become hospitable ? Just because Canadian weather is lousy and will get better that humans overall will gain.

 This "Ice Age will Cancel the Global Warming" is fallacy... because ice ages are measured in tens of thousands of years. Will global warming is a decades problems. We don't know how fast the so called Ice age is coming either... if at all. If we heat things up to fast... we're done for the same way.


The planet Earth will survive... but we won't.