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Re: Scottish Seabird Disaster Article

Subject: Re: Scottish Seabird Disaster Article
From: Charles Bragg <>
Date: Sun, 01 Aug 2004 14:43:23 -0700
At 04:17 PM 8/1/2004 -0400, Walter Knapp wrote:

>> I think it should help to change the minnds of any sceptics of global wa=
>It's a great leap from the seabird problem to that. Remember, these
>seabirds have got along fine through many ice ages and the following
>global warmings.

        And it is also true that bird populations can recover quickly from =
short-term disasters. The observation that seabirds "have got along fine" i=
s a look back at multi-thousand year trends and we don't know (obviously) w=
hat happened each and every year.
        However, I agree that this one year for the seabirds proves nothing=
. The article mentions past overfishing as being responsible for breeding f=
ailures before, but not this year. How do they know? People want quick expl=
anations, and determining whether past overfishing has led to a permanent p=
opulation crash, or whether there is a 30-year population cycle (eg Montere=
y sardines), or whether it is global warming, will take time.
        The problem is that there will not be proof of global warming (if i=
t exists) until it's too late. There will never be proof that global warmin=
g does not exist. And either way, there will always be doubt about how much=
 man is a factor. BUT - it makes no sense to pour greenhouse gases into the=
 air when we don't know their effect. That's an experiment with a 99-1 risk=
/reward ratio. It makes it doubly idiotic when you consider that for all of=
 us not in the extractive energy industry it would be much less costly to b=
urn less fuel. People are just effing crazy.
        (/rant off)

        -- Chuck

Chuck Bragg, Pacific Palisades, CA
Membership Chair
Newsletter Editor
Santa Monica Bay Audubon Society

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