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ease from Vermont to Miami has nothing to say about the
consequences of Vermont acquiring Miami's climate.
"Reasoning from the experience of past adaptations is risky
given that in the past societies could usually expect that climate
fifty years hence would be reasonably like that of the present.
This will probably not be the case during a greenhouse warming,
because of the difficulties of forecasting regional impacts, the
rate of expected change, and because we may be operating under
conditions with which mankind has no past experience.
"Finally, it may be strictly accurate that 'pluses and minuses'
will combine to produce 'small net change for a nation of our
size.' But the distribution of impacts in time and space matters
more than this treatment suggests. Costs that are indisputably
enormous (including human suffering) begin to appear deceptively
manageable when viewed solely from the perspective of their impacts
on a multitrillion dollar economy. For example, in the case of
cities, the study finds that while 'adaptation might be costly, the
costs would in most cases be lower than the cost of moving the