Global warming

Richard Swerdlin swerdlin at GTE.NET
Thu Oct 23 11:22:19 MDT 1997


----------
> From: Gary Freitag <gfreitag at GREATBATCH.COM>
> To: RUSHTALK at athena.csdco.com
> Subject: Re: Global warming
> Date: Thursday, October 23, 1997 11:34
>
> >I am surprised that a physicist would make such a remark.  I agree, if
> >it
> >exists, its dimensions are unknown.  The question I ask - does that mean
> >the best choice is to just ignore it?  Talk about burying one's head in
> >the
> >sand.
>
> >Stephen Frye
>
> Whats needs to be considered is the opportunity cost of spending 100
> billion dollars a year on this issue.  Perhaps the benefits of using
> those resources somewhere else would produce greater benefits.  Add to
> that the great uncertainty as to the effectiveness of taking such
> actions in addressing the problem, or even if the problem exists or has
> anything to do with mankind.
>
> I am reminded of the acid rain debate in the early 80's and the drive
> to spend billions to clean up smoke stack emmisions on power plants.
> Reagan fought it (by wisdom or luck) on the grounds that not enough
> information was available.  It became clear in the late 80's that power
> plant's contribution was a drop in the bucket compared to the
> automobile.  Had action been taking, it would have been money ill spent.
>
> Anyway, not taking action does not necessarily equate to putting your
> head in the head, its about weighing the alpha risk with the beta risk.
>
> gary
> gfreitag at greatbatch.com
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REPLY
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GF:

        When I was in high school, I recall the wonders presented
regarding the Atomic Age.  Relatedly, I asked various teachers
about the disposal of atomic wastes.  I also asked about possible
results of atomic accidents industry.

        In retrospect, my questions were reasonable.  I see no great
rush of people to ask that atomic wastes be buried near their city.
Sadly, there have been atomic accidents in various parts of the world,
including the US and Russia.

        The concept of global warming is worth exploring.  There are
many people who would routinely pooh-pooh any suggestion that
changes can be promoted by uses of resources or other factors.  I
am not a scientist, but I remain an interested citizen.

        Extendedly, it just occurred to me that many of the popular
"utility" cars are also ones which may get only 10 miles per gallon!
Is such poor efficiency supposed to produce fewer contaminants?



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