Denial isn't just a river in Egypt

Alex Knapp has an excellent post on the silliness of comparing a one-time nuclear explosion to global warming:

First of all, I’m relatively certain that the coral at the atoll are not the same coral that died in the nuclear testing.

Second, let’s not forget that the nuclear explosion was a very quick, one-time event. On the other hand, increasing average atmospheric and ocean temperatures is something that is happening over time and lasts much longer. The comparison here is like arguing that The Godfather is unrealistic because Don Corleone couldn’t possibly have died from the increasing cholesterol in his body leading to a heart attack. After all, he had been shot six times and survived!

Third, anyone who is familiar with the impact of pollution on coral reefs knows that the primary concern about carbon dioxide with respect to the reefs is not about temperature and climate change, but rather that increasing CO2 emissions are causing the oceans to become more acidic, which has the potential to cause coral reefs to simply dissolve.



The good news is that the debate has shifted from "No it's not!" "Yes it is!" to the more constructive area of arguing costs and benefits. The bad news is that the same people who clung for too long to the assertion that global warming was not happening are now trying to downplay the costs. The worse news is that their counterparts on the other side are just as determined to downplay the costs of abatement. Meanwhile people like Sir Nicholas Stern seem to tackle a thorny philosophical problem by starting with the answer and working back to the question that produces it. And global greenhouse emissions roar upwards still.