29 Apr '13, 7pm

The limits of climate adaptation are social, not physical or economic

The limits of climate adaptation are social, not physical or economic

Presidential science advisor John Holdren is fond of saying that there are only three possible responses to climate change: mitigation, adaptation, and suffering. We’ll prevent what we can, adjust to what we can’t prevent, and suffer through what we can’t adjust to. All that remains is to determine the proportions. Lots of people are averse to large-scale suffering. But lots of people are also averse to substantial mitigation measures. This leaves them placing a great deal of faith in adaptation. Just based on conversations I’ve had over the years, I think there are lots of people who are vaguely aware of climate change, convinced that something is really happening, but who have a kind of free-floating confidence in human beings’ ability to adjust to circumstances. Adjusting is what we do — humans live in just about every kind of microclimate the planet offers, after all. ...

Full article: http://grist.org/climate-energy/understanding-the-social-...

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