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Opinion
Gary Shilling

Human Ingenuity Will Prevent Climate Catastrophe

Brains and substitutions have always beat major economic problems and shortages, and probably always will.

The world can learn a lot from the Dutch about combating climate change. 

The world can learn a lot from the Dutch about combating climate change. 

Photographer: Michel Porro/Newsmakers

Most of the dire forecasts of the effects of rising carbon emissions and global warming assume no significant human response. Rising sea levels will flood the coastal cities to which people have increasingly moved. Crops will wither due to too much summer heat. Perhaps the dinosaurs died out because they couldn’t adapt to climate change, but with ingenuity and substitutions, humans can and will.

Much of Holland was under water until the Dutch, starting in the 15th century, built dikes to hold back the North Sea. In the 20th century, they constructed more dikes, dams and causeways and pumped out the huge shallow bay, the Zuiderzee (southern sea in Dutch), to use it for agriculture and housing, renaming it IJsselmeer (IJssel Lake) after the river that drains into it.