Justin du Coeur (jducoeur) wrote,
Justin du Coeur

The state of the climate argument, pretty nicely summed up

As so often, the Economist has described my viewpoint quite a bit better than I can. In last week's issue (yes, I'm running late -- shocking) there were two very nice articles on the subject of climate science. One is a relatively long briefing on the state of climate science, describing the various controversies and disagreements as well as the points that are less contested.

The other, much briefer, is the issue's leader, on whether or not it is appropriate to act on the current state of knowledge. They capture the point nicely, not so much from a scientist's or politician's perspective but (unsurprisingly) from a pragmatic economist's, and I entirely agree with their assessment. Basically, they argue neither from the perspective of the believer nor the denier, but simply trying to balance the arguments and admit that both sides have some good points to make. But even if you think there is only a modest chance of major disaster, a sensible person takes some precautions to try to prevent that.

(At a gut level, watching the "hundred-year flood plain" a few years ago give way to a "five-hundred year flood plain" this month, I am having a *lot* of difficulty taking the climate-change deniers seriously any more. But that sort of anecdotal information entirely aside, I think the Economist's point is quite sound and rational -- you don't need absolute certainty of what is going to happen before it makes sense to take some preventive steps...)
Tags: politics

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