Arguments against global warming activism
Keith Henson said, on the brin-l mailing list:
It makes no difference in what we need to do no matter what you think about global warming.
The global models indicate that energy shortage will kill far more people much sooner than global warming can be a significant factor.
However, if you solve the energy problem on a global scale, fixing global warming or cooling is easy.
I know how and have been talking about it for the last 10 months. It is now starting to get serious traction.
(Link inserted editorially – I presume that's what he's referring to. -W.)
Dyson's next point is that the developing nations burning of coal is a good thing, a very good thing. The improvements in the quality of life in China will save more lives than will be lost due to global warming in a couple of generations.
Another point is that this is a fairly cool period in the history of earth and that most of the evolution of life occurred in warmer periods with higher levels of CO2. Global warming is not global but local with cool areas getting warmer but warmer areas not getting warmer.
One of Dyson's main points is that global warming tends to get exaggerated. People of our generation or even the next one are extremely unlikely to die from the effects of global warming. Even a few generations down the road it is still unlikely unless they suddenly become very stupid. Who is going to stand still while the water rises over your head? People will simply adjust and they will have many years to do so. There won't be any sudden changes, it will all be very gradual and there will be a good number of benefits that come with a warmer climate.
Like more food to eat for instance.
These arguments seem reasonable enough on the surface, but also a bit simplistic -- nobody is arguing that people will die from standing in one place for 100 years while the water rises; the deaths will be from unexpected floods, forced migration due to loss of land, reduced food production due to loss of farming land and general changes in climate, etc. See wikipedia:Effects of global warming for more specifics.