Thursday, April 10, 2008

The third way

Eli and Ethon have been doing professional stuff, and are actually gonna be in the barrel for a couple of more days, but we have been following this and that.

There is lots of discussion about adaptation or mitigation or both, or maybe, as Ethons favorite pecked would put it, adaptation in the first 23 paragraphs, and then a swift mention that mitigation can't do nothing for fifty years, but it would be a good thing, maybe followed by claims that he, poor dear, has been misquoted.

Eli would suggest looking at the dictionary

adaptation: adjustment to environmental conditions specifically in the sense of improving the chances of survival
There are nasty implications in this that the Boys in Boulder have missed, or more likely are hoping you have missed, as in not everyone will survive, the changes needed to survive will have very negative consequences in other areas, it ain't gonna be cheap and they are obligated to pay for it. In the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change the developed countries clearly have accepted that burden (of course some of US probably lied)
Article 4.4 “The developed country Parties and other developed Parties included in Annex II shall also assist the developing country Parties that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change in meeting costs of adaptation to those adverse effects.”
The conventional other side is
mitigation: steps taken to avoid or minimize negative environmental impacts. Mitigation can include: avoiding the impact by not taking a certain action; minimizing impacts by limiting the degree or of the action; rectifying the impact by repairing or restoring the affected environment; reducing the impact by protective steps required with the action; and compensating for the impact by replacing or providing substitute resources.
The principle differences between mitigation and adaptation is that adaptation passive while being more expensive in the long and short run. Sometimes, if you mess up enough, all you can do is adapt. For sure those who push adaptation are members of the lie back and enjoy it club. Having brought us to this point by resisting action on climate change in the 90s, they are now claiming that, gee it's too late to do anything, and anything we do will take a while to have an effect. In short, they are the first we should throw overboard and the last we should listen to.

Let your humble hare suggest a third word which encompasses both mitigation and an active attempt to improve the situation.
amelioration: amelioration is synonymous with improvement.

If a patient's condition shows amelioration, the patient is clearly better -- there is some improvement in her or his condition.

Amelioration infers that an effort is being made to correct or at least make more acceptable conditions that are difficult to endure.

The word "amelioration" is compounded from the Latin "ad",-", to or toward + ""melior", better = toward better = improvement.

When someone says that we have to ADAPT to climate change, tell them that they are wrong. Adaptation is what dumb animals do (Ethon demurrs). Humans work together to improve the world. We need to correct what climate change is making increasingly difficult and dangerous to endure. We need amelioration, right now.


Anonymous said...

I believe the preferred term would be "mis-characterized", rather than simply "misquoted".

"Misquoted" would be way too easy to disprove.

bi said...

Ironically, the folks who scream "adaptation" tend to be the ones who are most clueless about adaptation.

Didn't the Marshall trio embark on their journey of denialism because they couldn't adapt to their own loss of status?

When they say "adaptation", all they mean is inaction.

-- bi, Global Dumbing

bi said...

Inaction, or equivalently, inertia.

Merriam-Webster Online scripsit:

inert [...] Etymology: Latin inert-, iners unskilled, idle, from in- + art-, ars skill -- more at ARM

-- bi, Global Dumbing

bi said...

Ah, heck...

action [...] Etymology: Middle English accioun, from Anglo-French accion, from Latin action-, actio, from agere to do -- more at AGENT

And inaction is, well, simply not doing anything.

What's more...

adapt [...] Etymology: French or Latin; French adapter, from Latin adaptare, from ad- + aptare to fit, from aptus apt, fit

Needless to say, one doesn't "adapt" by doing nothing (unless you're talking about "adaptation" by mass extinction).

The denialists aren't advocating ,
adaptation, they're advocating simple inaction. Let's make no mistake about that.

-- bi, Global Dumbing

Aaron said...

It is not an either-or situation. We need agressive mitigation and proactive adaption. Both will be expensive.

We are going to pay for our coal 3 times. Once when we burn it, once when we adapt to not burning it, and again when we mitigate.

And, these are not distant future costs that go away with discounting into the future, these are costs coming due in the near term. Current CO2 levels are enough to melt a small part part of GIS - the bottom 500 meters that supports all the ice above 500meters. Ice with melt water above it and below it, and moulins running through it is not strong enough to support much weight.

Aaron Lewis

bi said...

Adaptation, mitigation, amelioration, inaction, and... reaction?

reactionary [...] relating to, marked by, or favoring reaction; especially : ultraconservative in politics

reaction [...] New Latin reactus, past participle of reagere, from Latin re- + agere to act -- more at AGENT

Anonymous said...

Aaron, I have no argument with your comment. But, it might just be semantics...words do convey images.

You said:

[Current CO2 levels are enough to melt a small part part of GIS - the bottom 500 meters that supports all the ice above 500meters.]

That makes the GIS melt rate a moving target to which the world's coastal populations must ADAPT? Not going to happen!

The target shoreline keeps moving inland relentlessly as the rest of GIS liquifies.

We cannot adapt to a moving target of this magnitude and timescale.

Eli found a better word; ameliorate.

It does not roll out as easily as ADAPT but it explains why the global GDP will be heavily investing in moving homes and infrastructure off the coastline where money and relocation potential are adequate.

John McCormick

John Mashey said...

Since Eli talked about amelioration for patients, I offer a somewhat curious phrase from doctor-land that illustrates the fact that words don't always mean what one thinks:

"your heart disease is *progressing*, and you can wait until you have another *event* or get a quad bypass soon."

translation: your heart disease is getting worse, and you can wait for another heart attack if you want.

Anonymous said...

MarkeyMouse quotes:

"amid growing unease over the planting of biofuel crops as food prices rocket and riots against poverty and hunger multiply worldwide.

UN Special Rapporteur for the Right to Food Jean Ziegler told German radio Monday that the production of biofuels is "a crime against humanity" because of its impact on global food prices."


Anonymous said...


thank you for adding your outrage at this corn-to-ethanol death march.

Let's also mention at least one US environmetnal group that supports biofuels while slinking away from earlier strong endorsement of corn-to-ethanol.. It is as if they don't want to share the blame while holding out for the pure essense of celllulosic ethanol.

Where is the moral backbone over at NRDC?

Oh, yeah. They are using it to condemn coal-to-liquids.

Not any mention of the global food crisis in the poorest countries and the related-US corn to ethanol obsession.

Environmentalists who climbed aboard the corn to ethanol hype wagon will never have to answer for the mayhem and suffering they have encouraged through their support for this "crime against humanity" a quote form Jean Ziegler, UN Special rapporteur On the Right to Food.

NRDC cannot say it did not see this food crisis coming.

Speak up NRDC or live with the shame you and other corn-to-ethanol supporting groups (including Democratic members of Congress) will bring upon each of you.

SPEAK UP NRDC; for the sake of the poor and elderly victims of this travesty ---all in the name of renewables.

John McCormick

Anonymous said...

MarkeyMouse says:

It's gone awfully quiet in here. How many dead people will it take to cause the useful idiots to rethink?

bi -- Intl. J. Inact. said...

/me ignores unrelated inactivist talking point

Anonymous said...

MarkeyMouse says:

It's not a "talking point", it's about real dead people. Killed by famine, induced by your policies.

bi -- Intl. J. Inact. said...

Eh, there's a rice surplus in Indonesia. I guess "biofuels" aren't the whole story after all eh?

You really should just go back to discovering communist plots from crossword puzzles. As I said, it's a lot easier for you, and a lot more entertaining for us.

Anonymous said...

MarkeyMouse says:

Yes Comrade, there are record harvests, and the Kulak re-education continues apace.



PS We have a new film from your leader.