Why Fight Global Warming When We Can Adapt?
Humans are among the most adaptable species in the world. We can live in practically any climate, from equatorial deserts, to high-altitude steppes, to the snowy wastes of the polar regions, and we always do okay. Even when human populations have had to move into harsh climates, we’ve always gotten by and even adapted after a few generations. So if the warnings about imminent global warming are true, there will undoubtedly be some negative effects, but why should we uproot our entire way of life when we can just roll with the punches as they come?
Why adapt to global warming?
I realize the idea that we can just adapt to global may be controversial, and I understand that many people just aren’t ready for this concept. But here’s the thing: in all likelihood, we’re not going to have a choice in whether or not we’re forced to adapt to global warming. Surveys show that a large percentage of the population still doesn’t believe that global warming is happening, and governmental organizations clearly lack the courage and political will needed to reverse climate change. So, we might as well face the music: global warming is happening, but it doesn’t have to be all bad.
Sure, there may be some rough times, and much is going to be lost. Undoubtedly the world’s biodiversity is going to be greatly reduced (which is already happening, by the way), and we’re probably going to see a sharp increase in things like major hurricanes, droughts, and large dust storms. Plus, if the glaciers keep melting we might end up losing the coastal cities—including the New Yorks, Tokyos, and Sydneys of the world.
But while these things are definitely dangerous and sad, they don’t have to spell the end of the human race. If we start preparing now, even in our small, personal ways, we can weather the coming storm. On the other hand, if we continue to try to fight global warming with half-measures and whining, we could be investing in a lost cause and thus signing our own death certificate.
How can we adapt?
The measures we need to take to adapt are going to be difficult—and in fact they may be even more difficult than reversing global warming—but since we can’t seem to unite behind the idea that global warming is real, maybe adaptation will be more palatable to the masses and the politicians. Here’s what we have to do:
• Move up: We’re going to have to head to higher ground, in terms of both latitude and altitude. If the climate scientists are right, the sea level should start rising any day now, and the tropical regions are going to become uninhabitable due to scorching temperatures and growing deserts. Personally, I don’t want to be around to see these things. I’ll be in my hideaway in the Canadian Rockies.
• New agricultural products: To develop agricultural products that can thrive in the post-warming world, we’re going to need our scientists to work on a range of genetically modified crops designed to thrive in warmer, dustier conditions. Start with existing drought-tolerant crops and go from there.
• More water controls: Because we could be facing extended droughts in the future, we need to invest in widespread advancements in irrigation technology, and we need to work on better ways to gather and store rainwater.
• Helping the disadvantaged: As we adapt, we’re going to have to carefully weigh how we spend our resources, but of course benefiting humanity should always be our top concern. There are a number of areas of the world that are likely to be particularly hard hit by global warming, and the richer nations need to pitch in to help out. For example, some island nations are going to disappear completely, while other tropical nations are going to become uninhabitable deserts. We’ll need to accommodate these people.
• Population control: I know that no one outside of China wants to hear this, but we’re going to have to control our population. Ideally, we’ll reduce our population through lower rates of reproduction, or else mother nature’s going to do it for us.
• Simpler lifestyles: If we don’t want things to get even worse, we may have to give up our modern conveniences. If you ask me, living a simple, land-based lifestyle may actually be nice.