Originally Posted by Gaoth Laidir
Again, merely changing the medical analogy does nothing to strengthen your point. What will it be next; tuberculosis?
The analogy is perfectly apt.
Cancer can be present for years before there are any symptoms, but once symptoms begin to show, it is often too late to cure the disease. That is why we have cancer screening programs to catch it early enough to treat it.
Climate change was discovered and linked to increasing CO2 levels decades before we had any evidence of the actual symptoms of climate change manifesting themselves in the global climate system. Natural variability is real and small increases in global average temperature are easily masked by the natural variability that still exists, but climate change didn't stop at small increases, it is now at 1 degree Celsius above preindustrial levels and this is causing identifiable events that would have been impossible without AGW
But even without waiting to measure events as they occur, climate scientists were still able to use models and look back at prehistoric climate records to estimate how the earth will be affected by the rising global average temperatures and the prognosis was that we should do whatever we can to prevent CO2 from going above 350ppm
This was to give humans the best chance to avoid any of the major side effects of climate change. Unfortunately we overshot that target and we are now at 400ppm and over one degree C of warming above pre-industrial levels and we are seeing the start of the predicted consequences becoming the new normal.
Like living with cancer, being in a certain amount of pain is now a fact of life that can be managed to a certain extent, but the cancer is not cured, it is not in remission, it is still growing, and the pain we are seeing today is just the beginning of what we can expect as the disease spreads.
We're still increasing our atmospheric CO2 concentration and on track to more than double Pre-industrial levels within the next few decades, and this is likely to more than double the amount of warming we have seen so far. The consequences of this are like ignorng a growing tumour because it hasn't been causing much pain early on, until it suddenly metastasises and begns to grow in your pancreas and liver and bone marrow and you face the reality that you are termnally ill without any hope of treatment
Our climate is still (hopefully) within our own hands, we can begin aggressive treatment, take the short term pain to invest heavily in clean renewable technology as soon as possible to mitigate the risk that one or more tipping points will be breached that cause a runaway climate change, a metastatic cancer that is no longer treatable by reducing human emissions. Nobody knows exactly where these tipping points are, just as no Oncologist knows exactly when a cancer will metastasize but they do know that the best way to reduce the risk is to treat it early and aggressively if possible
By the time the symptoms of climate change are unequivocal to even the morst ardent skeptic, it will be far too late to act to reduce the consequences. By the time you see the symptoms of cancer, the cancer is already life threateing.