Global Warming Lacks a Mustache

Ever tried to blog about one of those articles where you want to quote so much of it that it’s easier to just send you readers straight there?

NO ONE seems to care about the upcoming attack on the World Trade Center site. Why? Because it won’t involve villains with box cutters. Instead, it will involve melting ice sheets that swell the oceans and turn that particular block of lower Manhattan into an aquarium.

The odds of this happening in the next few decades are better than the odds that a disgruntled Saudi will sneak onto an airplane and detonate a shoe bomb. And yet our government will spend billions of dollars this year to prevent global terrorism and … well, essentially nothing to prevent global warming.

Why are we less worried about the more likely disaster? Because the human brain evolved to respond to threats that have four features — features that terrorism has and that global warming lacks.

First, global warming lacks a mustache. No, really.

Here’s one. Some random bits that I couldn’t resist quoting:

Our ability to duck that which is not yet coming is one of the brain’s most stunning innovations, and we wouldn’t have dental floss or 401(k) plans without it. But this innovation is in the early stages of development. The application that allows us to respond to visible baseballs is ancient and reliable, but the add-on utility that allows us to respond to threats that loom in an unseen future is still in beta testing.

and

If global warming took out an eye every now and then, OSHA would regulate it into nonexistence.

and

Our ability to duck that which is not yet coming is one of the brain’s most stunning innovations, and we wouldn’t have dental floss or 401(k) plans without it.

Just go read it.

Published by

Ragged Clown

Based in San Jose, California

One thought on “Global Warming Lacks a Mustache”

  1. You really liked that bit on dental floss apparently.

    I came across a similar article recently that talked about how the current question around Gore exagerating global warming trace back to a single shoddy article (William Broad in the NYT) and a charlatan, Bjorn Lomborg:

    http://www.dailyhowler.com/dh031507.shtml

    The relevant bit starts at “Are there shortcomings—imperfections, even errors—in An Inconvenient Truth?”

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