Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Global Warming will not harm biodiversity

The people getting all jazzed up about global warming and biodiversity, if they care so much, should  spend some of their energy attempting to understand what they are talking about.

Genetic differences are not all equally important nor are they all equally hard-won. Important characteristics will suffer no appreciable effect from a few degrees change in temperature, wandering water tables or whatever. Climate change, even in the highly unlikely event that it follows the path predicted by alarmists, will have a negligible impact on biodiversity.

In the time that it has taken to evolve the higher animals, the earth has undergone many changes significantly more radical than the modest changes in climate that even the most nutty alarmist predicts.

If one examines the various adaptations as they currently exist, it is quite clear that life on earth has endured changes of temperature larger than the worst case projected by the IPCC. These temperature changes are common enough that life here has evolved to rapidly accommodate them. Our evolutionary environment spans millions or even billions of years depending upon which characteristic you are examining. The fact that so many species can accommodate such wide temperature variations demonstrates that temperatures have varied up and down over a fairly wide range many times. Had that evolutionary pressure not existed, we would not see these elaborate adaptations.

Species extinction is a fundamental aspect of evolution. Species are constantly going extinct and it does little ultimate harm to our genetic 'wealth'. That is because *important* diversity that allows living things to radiate into new environments is extremely well conserved. Characteristics cross species boundaries and very important things like DNA replication span phyla. Entire broad categories of living things could become extinct without greatly injuring the earth's genetic wealth.

Whatever is ultimately important in terms of 'biodiversity' as represented in a Polar Bear, for instance, will survive even when (a long, long time from now), the Polar Bear species (Ursus maritimus) itself becomes extinct. In terms of genetic diversity, the 'maritimus' is just a modest evolutionary variant of the genus Ursus. Ursus is in no danger of going anywhere, even if some of its branches (as in the past) die off. It is the 'Ursus' that is holding nearly all of the genetic 'capital'. The characteristic of 'bearness' is not going anywhere, likely for millions of more years.

Like the rest of the fatuous 'catastrophic climate change' narrative, the notion that the genetic capital of the earth is in jeopardy contradicts both well established principles of science and common sense.

One of the beauties of mathematics and science is that it is ultimately immune to assaults such as the current one being waged by global warming alarmists. Wide-spread bureaucratic corruption has allowed this bizarre quasi-religious meme to persist for an astonishingly long time. The current 'climate science' orthodoxy says we have impending global disaster, which we must mitigate at an expense that cripples the world's poor. It is at odds with the entirety of the balance of science and mathematics.

Like Lysenkoism, which lasted for decades, this nonsense has lasted years and threatens to persist for many more. Like Lysenkoism, it has done much damage. It will continue to accumulate damage as long as it lasts. Like Lysenkoism, it will eventually collapse because it is ideological rather than scientific.

Eventually, as funding is redirected to more reasonable pursuits, we will close this sorry chapter in the social history of science. In the meantime we have convinced a generation that strong belief, self-righteous moral conviction and a notion that the ends justify the means is somehow a substitute for learning, understanding and an appreciation for ethical boundaries.

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