What’s the wisest thing to do given the uncertainties and risk?
That is the core question that science teacher wonderingmind42 asks in his latest video discussing the challenges of considering Global Warming and how best to deal with the challenges before us.
For some, those who are able to step back and approach problems with logic and thought, WonderingMind42 might provide one of the most powerful ways to discuss Global Warming and our need to take a different path forward.
This 9 minute, 42 second video is worth the 10 minutes …
But, if you prefer my words rather than the video …
Analytical approach at its core
In short, WonderingMind42 takes a basic strategic planning approach for considering benefits and risks against a simple matrix.
Global Warming: Not real vs Real
Action: Taken vs Not taken
For each of the four boxes, one takes the “worst case”. Skeptics get the right to say what is the worst situation if Global Warming is ‘not’ real and action to deal with Global Warming is taken. And, well, so on. Below is a quick summary of the argument.
|Path taken||No Global Warming||Global Warming Real|
|Action||Economic Harm||Avoid catastrophe|
|No Action||Avoid economic harm||Catastrophic climate change, $10s of trillions of economic impact, 100s of millions (billions) negatively affected|
What is the more acceptable risk? The risk of taking action or the risk of not taking action?
One does not have to take a stance on Global Warming to understand the implications, to understand “acceptable risk”.
And, well, the balance between these columns is clear.
But, well, how should anyone believe the relative values and potential for the various columns.
Who is advocating action?
An interesting tack that WonderingMind42 uses, one that I haven’t seen before in this way, is to focus on the quality of institutions speaking and what they are saying. He points to organizations like the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), which has come out calling for action on Global Warming, as suggesting the ever-growing weight of the scientific community.
He also points to the growing number of businesses (including polluters like Duke Energy) that are joining calls for action.
Combine the two, he points out, and the weight of the logic is moving between the columns, suggesting a greater likelihood for one of the two. (Want to guess which one.)
At the end of the day, however, he makes one basic question: Why are we debating this?
Polls show that people want absolute certainty. I find this weird because we buy car insurance without being certain that we are going to be in an accident …
We prepare for many “just in case” situations, insuring against rain with an umbrella, car insurance, etc …
The failure of this logic, of course, is that there are far too many who don’t buy car insurance, even if they can afford it. (Full disclosure: sore point. I am down several $thousand this year due to someone driving without insurance on the car.) So, with a leadership that advocates Stop Thinking About Tomorrow, the idea of insurance against future risks seems anathema to too large a percentage of Americans.
But, really, WonderingMind42 asks:
Why are Joe Schmoos like you and me debating the finer points of climate science rather than talking about risk management?
Sadly, this has become a religious battle, for too many, rather than an issue of honest analysis of reality. For too many, this is a religiously ideological question (fear that acknowledging Global Warming would require acknowledging a role for government, in partnership with people, in responding to the challenge) or an ideologically religious issues (End of Time; view of humanity as dominating).
But, for those who are skeptic, who wonder over the need for action due to the paid shill deniers/skeptics/delayers, this video, WonderingMind42’s logic just might reach them.
To the question of what one can do, his response:
What you do is spread the word.
If you’ve taken the ten minutes to watch WanderingMind42 and found it of value, can you think of ten others who might? And, well, might they find ten to watch this? As he says, we need to change the culture, this video can help do so.
Action to turn the tide
Actually, changing the culture is, of course, only a first (al beit) critical step in the process. Where to go? What are actions we can take? What options are before us? Well, some of us believe that the necessity and opportunity is before us to Energize America toward a prosperous, climate friendly society. If you agree, join usin trying to create that better reality.
We can all
Are you doing
your part to
- WonderingMind42 has done a series of interesting videos that are worth watching and sharing.