Pascal's Wager on Global Warming

Here's an interesting video where a guy applied Pascal's wager [wiki] on global warming. YouTube user johnq5, a science teacher, asked this question: what is the consequence if global warming is false and we spend tons of money trying to prevent a problem that doesn't exist. And what is the consequence if the reverse is true: global warming is real, but we didn't do anything about it.

It's an eloquent argument, but see if you can find the flaw in the logic (no, I'm not arguing that global warming is real or not, just the danger of applying Pascal's wager to a complex situation).

What do you think? Is action preferable than inaction when the cost of inaction is so high, like in the case of global warming? A slam dunk argument? Ask yourself this: how about instead of global warming, it's Soviet nukes or Saddam's WMD.

Hit play or go to Link [YouTube] | Here's another, where he answered criticism and objections of his first video clip: Link [YouTube] - Thanks No One!


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I never said global warming caused hurricanes. I was talking about the effects of a natural disaster for which we were not sufficiently prepared -- that is, our vulnerability was known, and the consequences were anticipated, but we ignored the danger and dismissed preventive action. Also, you add to the weight of the general argument in that, as you said, Katrina was "only" so big. Now imagine environmental hardship on a larger scale, and you may get the point.
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Katrina was only a category 3 hurricane and it had nothing to do with global warming. Its severe results tell us more about political corruption and incompetence than they do about the climate.

Global warming will likely decrease the strength and number of hurricanes. Hurricanes are not caused by high temperatures; they're caused by differences in temperatures. And the consensus is that most warming will occur in the polar regions--that means global temperatures will become more uniform.
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Even the Pentagon is planning for possible social and geopolitical upheaval from climate change scenarios. And we know what a liberal operation they are.

Given the best scientific evidence at hand, sounding the alarm is a precautionary measure. A future based on more efficient vehicles, bulbs and appliances -- with sustainable energy sources, new economies and industries -- what's the big fuss? Environmental stewardship is good for our health, our quality of life, our business, our national security, our social stability ... and so on.

Remember what happened during Hurricane Katrina? All the people who were displaced, the lack of basic resources, the violence, death and subsequent police apparatus that was imposed. All that was within the best equipped, most organized democracy on the planet.

Well, if the worst case climate change scenarios come to pass, Katrina will look small in comparison. With a wink and nod, she'll say, "I told ya so."

Please forgive us while we plan for the worst and hope for the best.
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The guy in the video assumes that one of the costs of inaction is political upheaval and possibly wars. But that's also a cost of alarmism.

The Third World is being told to hate the evil developed countries--especially the U.S.--over something that has not happened, may never happen, and if it does happen, may not be anyone's fault.
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It's interesting to see how people are dismissive of climate change concerns. There is this blanket thinking that somehow this is an issue of politics, profiteering and new world order domination. For everyone else, it is an issue of science and risk management.
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