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segdeha's avatar

Will global warming force us to be more primitive?

Asked by segdeha (1715points) November 29th, 2007

Some countries (like Sweden) seem to be figuring out how to maintain their standard of living while cutting off fossil fuels almost completely. I fear most of the rest of us will be forced into a more primitive lifestyle in a desperate effort to fix the climate problem after it’s all but too late. What do you think?

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5 Answers

jrpowell's avatar

I totally believe in global warming. I believe that it is fact. That said..

I think it will occur slowly enough that we can deal with it in baby steps.

Let me say this again. Global Warming is man made, we need to fix it.

QuizMaster's avatar

It depends on what you consider to be more primitive.
We might have to start taking public transport, or sharing cars, instead of everyone driving on their own. But is that backward or forward? I think it’s more civilised than what we’re doing now.

cwilbur's avatar

I think we’ll either be forced into using less energy or into finding energy sources to replace our dependence on fossil fuels. Whether this makes us “more primitive” depends entirely on how we go about it.

finkelitis's avatar

It seems unlikely that climate change itself will affect the energy supply chain (unless we consciously respond to it and make the necessary changes, as some places are doing). What may happen is an onset of more destructive, less predictable weather patterns, flooding, a change in the acidity of the oceans, and other unforeseeable consequences. I think that the more likely problems we’ll be facing are a disruption of food production (and food chains) and water shortages. If we’re smart, we’ll take it upon ourselves to try to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels now.

What may affect fossil fuel use more than climate change is the simple fact that fossil fuels are finite, and we’re burning through them very rapidly. Some people think we’ve already passed the moment of peak oil production. Most think it isn’t far away, if it hasn’t happened already. So we probably will see a return to more “primitive” lifestyles. Again, though, if we’re smart, we’ll try to transition now while we have more control over the conditions.

Also, johnpowell, many climate changes models predict a very rapid change. It’s hard to know exactly what to expect, but there’s reasons to think that baby steps won’t be adequate.

amber's avatar

I don’t know if I would call it more “primitive”, but rather “harder.” It will especially be harder for those with less money. As climate change affects our ecosystems, it also affects our food production, primarily in arid or semi arid agricultural areas. It is predicted that arid climates are going to become more arid. Most of California fits into this category. It will be increasingly difficult to get adequate water supply for all of the agricultural crops in California and many parts of the arid west. Crops such as potatoes, garlic, lettuce, spinach, fruit trees, etc, will all continue to need water. And as our population continues to grow, the demand will increase for the water resources that are already taxed. This will cause the costs of food production to increase. In addition to the production costs rising, the transportation costs have been rising and will continue to rise, due to the costs of fuel for transportation. What Oklahoma experienced during the great depression and the dust bowl, we may see across the west within the next 50 years. Unfortunately, the poor are going to suffer the most. Those who have money and/or land with natural water sources, will fare better. There will probably be a lot of displaced people due to water issues. Las Vegas, Phoenix, Tucson, San Diego, Los Angeles, etc. are all depending on snow melt from the Rockies that flows into the Colorado River . . . and if global warming reduces the amount of snowfall in the Rockies, there could be some catastrophic effects felt down stream.

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