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This is a cross-post from Nextdoor.


subject: global warming and smilodon

Here's a couple of otherwise-unconnected science items, both with political angles:

1. Sea-level rise due to global warming will be devastating to coastal communities. I had to wonder, as I was watching this, how a libertarian would handle this problem.

The usual libertarian approach I've seen for environmental issues is the "property rights" framework: "your pollution ended up on my property without my consent, so I'm legally entitled to damages".

In this case, though, who do you sue? All of the companies that have contributed to CO2 production?

2. Smilodon was a large catlike predator that lived during the Pleistocene. Recent fossil evidence has strongly suggested that it was social, to the extent that individuals born with congenital defects which would have prevented them from hunting were able to survive to adulthood due to the care of others of their kind.

This makes me think about the contrast between the way "conservatives" (who tend to worship strength and disparage the "weak") treat those they deem inferior versus the way a giant prehistoric sabre-toothed predator -- surely an excellent symbol of strength, and of a species with inherent physical virtue -- *actually* treated its weakest members.

That's just a thought; y'all have a good day... (apologies to Beau)


citation for the Smilodon hypothesis: https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.01.07.897348v2.full via https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smilodon