. . it is also well known that a seemingly small change (up or down) in absolute body temperature by only 1% (3.1 K, or 5.6 F) would make one sicker than a dog, and, that a 2% change in body temperature (up or down by 6.2 K, or 11.2 F) will virtually guarantee a dead body. From this, it should be sufficiently clear that, when viewed in absolute energy terms, the viable margin between life and death in the Earth’s biosphere is remarkably narrow – so much so that a seemingly insignificant 1% to 2% change in the total energy of the global environment will invariably result in serious disruption of the established infrastructure of life in the biosphere.However, give the lad credit, Koonin is only worried about the next 80 or so years, by which time he is certain to be not worried. As Eli pointed out long ago we lost time to those clowns when they opposed the Montreal Protocols, we lost time to those clowns when they opposed actions on climate change, and we are about to lose more time when they try and tell us that nothing can be done so sit back and enjoy the ride, which is, of course, what Koonin has now graduated to.
These scientific and societal realities compound to make stabilization of the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide, let alone its reduction, a distant prospect. As a result, even as the world struggles to reduce emissions, human influences on the climate will not be decreasing for many decades. Thus, adaptation measures such as raising the height of sea walls or shifting to drought-resistant crops become very important. Fortunately, adaptation is on the table in Paris to complement emissions reductions.Adaptation is not the only choice. You can die. Your family can die. Your situation can deteriorate to the point it is not worth living (see Somalia, Syria, dystopia, etc.). Happens frequently to individuals during major changes. Adaptation is not a magic wand that makes everything good again, and sometimes it is not possible, certainly not for individuals, and often enough, not possible for populations.
Advocates of adaptation frequently think that it is a strategy for others and they will not have to take part.
Simply to say adapt and go not further is a response of the ethically challenged. Adapt how, at what cost, in money and lives and quality of life. Avoiding situations where dire choices have to be made is advisable, but evidently not to those who would rather not confront necessary changes to their own behavior.
Eli is not a big fan of adaptation.
Even so, being a bunny of good will, gentle reader, allow Eli to accept the idea that human influences on the climate will not be decreasing for many decades. This of course, misses the reality that if the nations of the world accept Steve Koonin's advice, human influences on the climate will be INCREASING for many decades, which brings us to J. Willard Rabett's four laws of climate change
1. Adaptation responds to current losses.Steve Koonin figures he won't be around to pay the procrastination penalties, but he doesn't want to pay mitigation costs today for the damage he has done.
2. Mitigation responds to future losses
3. Adaptation plus future costs is more expensive than mitigation,
4. Adaptation without mitigation drives procrastination penalties to infinity.