I don't know how this would work in reality, so I start with a premise that's just how it would be. So. What if increased industrialization and etc. had the effect of cooling instead of warming? And that the earth was beginning to freeze over? Maybe I should ask xkcd's Randall Munroe for his what if? (http://what-if.xkcd.com/) column recently begun (and pretty interesting and funny). Would the impending doom be less critical or more critical or same-but-differently critical as global warming? Obviously, there wouldn't be flooding, but what would be the outlook if areas that are starting to melt were increasingly freezing? I think that supposing our fuel usage and emissions and ozone, uh, repletion?, tended to cool rather than heat, it would become difficult to imagine how to solve this crisis either, although by switching to greener energy solutions would probably be equally helpful. For a bonus, do you think it would be easier to believe or deny?
A global cooling crisis(2 posts) (2 voices)
Actually, Industrialization does lend somewhat to global cooling. Some prticulates in the air act as reflectors of sunlight and so actually help cool the Earth, this is actually one of the situations that makes global warming even scarier: how worse off would we be if those pollutants werent partially countering the greenhouse effect?
A cooler world has existed in the past, even in human history. Look at the Little Ice Age approx 1400 to 1900. If you look at paintings you can see people wore warmer clothes. If you listen to a Stradivarius you can actually hear the sound of denser wood (smaller tree rings) caused by this. Its one of the reasons Germans and Brits are more famous for their beers then wines and thus why Americans drink more beer then wine. Cooler periods, in general, are drier so there would potentially be more drought issues, especially in continental interiors areas.
Energy concerns would be the biggest global issue followed closely by fresh water issues and agriculture, which, I think, is essentially the same as global warming problem.
To quote my grad advisor: "We have an economy based on a particular climate. If this changes, the economy changes"
Also, I think denial is based solely on people's fears of their lifestyle being changed. The more you fear that change, the more you will deny any sort of environmental dangers, including climate change.
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