Barnacle Bill’s Blog, 2/19/13
When is it time to act on Low probability but potentially high impacts: Sounds like the big risks from a hotter planet.
There exists a huge amount of scientific publications and virtually every climate scientists agree that our planet is getting hotter due to manmade GHGs (mostly CO2 from burning fossil fuels). (REF: NAS; NASA, NOAA: WMO: World Bank; every country’s equivalent to our National Academy, etc).
This extra energy in turn is causing rapid melting of Arctic ice and the Greenland glacier and net loss of ice from Antarctic ; & more frequent extreme storm events; & more prolonged droughts and massive forest fires and oceans changing acidity; etc. This leads to huge risks to humans and wildlife across the planet.
This is a risk greater than from Al-Qaeda and on a par with the destruction from a nuclear war.If we look at the doctrine espoused by former Vice President Dick Cheney, on dealing with terrorism. This was: “If there’s a 1% chance that Pakistani scientists are helping al-Qaeda build or develop a nuclear weapon, we have to treat it as a certainty in terms of our response.” “It’s not about our analysis … It’s about our response.”
The climate science and risk assessments are well over 1% chance of catastrophe changes and in fact more like 90% certainty. So what is Congress waiting for?
The longer we wait, the more expensive the solutions become and the hotter the planet and the greater the risks to our economy and our children.