"We have no reason to think that climate change is harmful if you look at the world as a whole. Most places, in fact, are better off being warmer than being colder. And historically, the really bad times for the environment and for people have been the cold periods rather than the warm periods." -Freeman Dyson
Essentially, we're all on the same side on the climate change debate but with different approaches. We all care about the planet and our promising future.
Global warming may or may not be caused by humans, which, of course, remains a highly contentious issue but we should consider the fact that the Earth's climate changes all throughout its history, and it's a natural part of multi-century, multi-millenium, multi-million year cycles. Earth is like a spaceship moving in space at great speeds and having a very thin layer of atmosphere to be protected from the cosmic effects such as cosmic radiation, solar winds, and even gravitational impact, when passing through the galactic plane, all of which is conducive to certain multi-millenium planetary cycles.
Does your breath warm your room temperature? Even if it does, its influence is million times less than that of outside weather! Earth is a planet moving at great speeds in its cosmic neighborhood and outer space influences the Earth's climate much more than previously thought!
All data collected by environmentalists can be easily manipulated to support one point of view or exactly the opposite. The real environmental threat, however, includes POLLUTION in certain metro areas of the world and LOSS OF BIODIVERSITY. These are huge factors but still not necessarily the main causes of Global Warming. Don't get me wrong, I don't rule out the probability that global warming is anthropogenic in nature, even though I remain skeptical.
At the largest of scales, human activity is most probably a negligible contributing factor to global warming. On the other hand, one can't discard environmental concerns, by far more evident and well-documented, such as pollution in our cities (of course! It's right in front of our faces!), deforestation, eradication of species, animal cruelty, and above all, CRUELTY TO OUR OWN KIND! (See my article - Inconvenient Truth: Homeless in America)
Some populists, including politicians and other high profile media personalities, want to call it all Climate Change or Global Warming because it sounds sexier than environment pollution or species extinction! If there were global cooling right now those populists would ascribe that to human activity as well. No wonder many people think of global warming activism as a hoax or populism, and rightfully so!
All we need is NOT Global Warming Alarmism/Populism, NOT fear-selling media distracting attention from our societal problems, NOT proverbial "Save the Planet" money-laundering initiatives but specialized task forces to tackle very specific issues such as Manila pollution, Los Angeles smog, or deforestation in Brazil. THAT would make a humongous difference!
The United States and China that account for 14% and 24% of total greenhouse gas emissions respectively, had previously announced plans to cut carbon emissions in their joint effort in November 2014, which has paved the way to the Paris agreement by 196 nations to curb emissions in December 2015. Although this global concerted effort is commendable, we need a similar global cooperation in developing Strong Artificial Intelligence which will by far outweigh in significance any other phenomenon in the history of mankind in terms of existential risks and opportunities! (See my essay - Immortality or Oblivion: How to Create Friendly AI and Survive the Coming Intelligence Explosion)
At any rate, global warming should be thought of as quite solvable, and in actuality, might be placed closer to the bottom of the list of problems human civilization faces right now. Wait, what? Let me explain - all climate-related challenges may be solved sooner than many of us think with radical, logically inevitable, technological advances!
About same time as Paris climate talks in December 2015 but on the other side of the globe, in Silicon Valley, a non-profit organization OpenAI was announced. From start, OpenAI has a hefty budget and lofty goals to "benefit the whole of humanity" by making research in Artificial Intelligence available to everyone for free, to prevent malevolent AI by free distribution of its software, open access - no restriction.
Ideally, the first Strong Artificial Intelligence system should be globally distributed (Internet-based) as opposed to semi-autonomous AI owned by one corporation or one government. The race is on, and it seems, we might have only one chance to do it right!
Given the exponential growth of existing and emerging technologies, especially Artificial Intelligence, we're going to solve any of today's seemingly intractable challenges, including climatic challenge, which in the minds of the majority of population, pales in comparison with poverty, mortality, diseases, wars, income inequality, unemployment and a slew of other global critical problems.
In the years to come, Artificial Intelligence coupled with nanotechnology, robotics, geoengineering and other emerging technologies of tomorrow will enable us to control the climate of the planet, let alone the weather. Thus, in the not-so-distant future, we can build weather grids controlling the weather in certain cities, cleanse smog and other pollutants with the help of environmental nanobots, or even get rid of wires everywhere on the planet since electricity will be mostly wireless!
Transcendence: "This is your dream" (Voice of Johnny Depp, 1-min.video)
Today's green technologies and decentralized renewable energy systems are great first steps in the right direction as long as they are fairly distributed worldwide and become accessible even in the poorest regions of the world. Otherwise, we'll only exacerbate the economic distress of the lagging nations.
-by Alex Vikoulov
Related Articles by the Author:
The Coming New Global Mind
Inconvenient Truth: Homeless in America
The Next Financial Crash Will Tweak Capitalism and Result in Property Market Secular Downtrend
How to Create Friendly AI and Survive the Coming Intelligence Explosion
Ecstadelic Orgy of The Digital Minds: Our Singularity Climax
The Spiritual Machines: What If AI Was Enlightened?
Virtual Reality & Augmented Reality: Ecstadelic Matrix of Our Making
Tags: Global Warming, Climate Change, environment pollution, deforestation, loss of biodiversity, Artificial Intelligence, Strong Artificial Intelligence, robotics, nanotechnology, environmental nanobots, friendly AI, malevolent AI, intelligence explosion, weather grids, climate change alarmism, climate change populism, environmental extrimism, inconvenient truth, Paris climate agreement, OpenAI, geoengineering
*Image Credit: Alex Vikoulov/Ecstadelic Media
**Video Credit: Transcendence, the movie (Johnny Depp, 2014)
About the Author:
Alex Vikoulov is an evolutionary extrapolist, transhumanist, futurist, strategic philosopher, Internet entrepreneur, founder and creative director of Ecstadelic Media, writer, painter and media artist. Lives in San Francisco Bay Area.