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Some things are perhaps best left for private conversation, or for discussion over beers with some close friends. But this time I really cannot help myself.

Let me pose a question or two:

  • Is it plausible to argue that profit-seeking mining companies are extremely efficient at what they do? Both in the sense that they can extract resources for incredibly low prices and can also inflict serious environmental “damage” in the form of changing large swaths of landscapes over very short time periods? To ask the question is to answer it. This is a case where the “conventional wisdom” is correct.
  • Is it plausible to argue that profit-seeking mining companies and traders, merchants and middle-men can figure out ways to get products across the globe rather inexpensively? Yes. We can eat kiwis from New Zealand for FORTY CENTS each! Airplane parts are traded the world over. And I am sure even larger things are exchanged rather efficiently.

So here I go – if you agree that the two above questions are solid possibilities, how come I have never heard anything remotely resembling the following floated (pardon the upcoming pun).

  • One of the most serious concerns with global warming is melting ice. Not the ice that is already in the oceans, for that is already affecting ocean heights, but rather that ice currently “stuck” on land will slip into the water, and raise sea levels substantially.
  • Most of this (all?) glacial ice is in hard to reach places.
  • Most of this glacial ice is comprised of fresh water – I would be a majority of the world’s currently available fresh water is locked up in there.
  • Having glaciers cover large swaths of otherwise inhabitable land does not seem to be a boon (or a problem) for the environment.
  • There are fears of freshwater shortages around the world and fears that we might run out of it (I’ll post shortly on why this argument should be seriously reconsidered, or outright rejected).

So here goes … why not, right now, have companies (evil, greedy, efficient and exploitive ones) figure out ways to “mine” the ice from Antartica, Greenland and other places, and deliver this freshwater all over the globe to places that need it. Given how efficiently they mine for oil and coal and ship it all over the world, I do not believe this would be such an enormous technical challenge. Would this not be an incredible boon to African agriculture? To residences along the American West coast? And so on? We should be willing to pay the cost for this, no? After all, we are being asked to give up trillions of dollars of living standards in the form of regulations and higher fuel taxes … no free lunch either. Why not spend hundreds of billions of dollars to ELIMINATE perhaps the most major risk factor associated with global warming, all the while providing “scarce” fresh water to consumers and producers around the world (we could even use it to cool new nuclear power plants)?

Now, I haven’t thought this through, but I suspect that when someone that does not know me reads this, I will be crossed off their list of human beings worthy of engaging with. Why is that? And someone, please, tell me why there seems to be such a lack of imagination among the green do-gooders who wish to jam their preferred technocratic solutions down our throats? I, for one, would prefer to keep the Appalachian Trail free of windmills, and the American West free of solar panels, in exchange for having no more ice in Antarctica. What is wrong with me?

2 Responses to “This Might Have Me Removed from Polite Society”

  1. Harry says:

    The green do-gooders have no intention to engage with anyone, and they do not care about anything that might actually affect the climate. What they wish is riches from the West.

    Never mind that this is twisted thinking, wishing for spoils from an impoverished world, where the object is to fight over the water hole in the desert instead of laboring to dig a well for themselves.

    It is nevertheless important that we all continue to challenge them, both on their science and on their economic understanding.

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