Monday Tuesday Open Thread

Both Obama and McCain suggest that with a cap-and-trade scheme, we can make headway against global climate change. Without getting into the debate over whether climate change is real or man-made, I think it’s clear that any climate change avoidance techniques America engages upon will not make a lick of difference to what China and India do, nor to the rest of the developing world, and probably won’t really achieve any goal of stopping the process.

But let’s step back a moment. There’s another question to be had. Let’s posit that global warming is occurring but isn’t humanity’s fault. How do we deal with it?

So… forget about AGW. If the oceans were to rise a meter for natural reasons, how would people respond? If ocean currents and wind patterns changed to bring lasting drought to Western Europe, what would Europeans do about it? If glaciers covered the NFC North as they did just 20,000 years ago, would we just surrender that territory without a fight? What kind of a fight would be feasible or even possible?

The only thing constant about climate is that it’s changing. Irrespective of the cause, is there any debate that can be had about how to deal with such change? I know my position (economic growth will make us better able to adapt and deal with it than economic restriction), but what do you folks think?

  • Stephen Littau

    Brad, perhaps the Netherlands has the answer: floating cities?

  • Brad Warbiany


    Ever heard of Patri Friedman? He sees floating cities (aka seasteading) as a nice way to see a more libertarian society… If you don’t like your government– float away.

  • Stephen Littau

    Patri left a comment on my other blog a few years back and I have read his blog (not recently) so I do know who you are talking about. Sounds like a plan to me!

  • Quincy

    Free markets and technological innovation are the answer here. It’s the only way for us to respond in a way that takes into account a majority of the relevant information on the effects of the crisis.

    Unfortunately, people crave centralized control, especially when there appears to be a crisis, so we’ll get solutions that either don’t work or make the problem worse.

  • TerryP


    I agree with you that free markets and economic growth are our best avenues as they will come up with the best solutions to the actual problems.