The ultimate argument I get to my climate talk, when all other opposition fails, is that the precautionary principle should rule for CO2. By their interpretation, this means that we should do everything possible to abate CO2 even if the risk of catastrophe is minor since the magnitude of the potential catastrophe is so great.
The problem is that this presupposes there are no harms, or opportunity costs, on the other end of the scale. In fact, while CO2 may have only a small chance of catastrophe, Bill McKibben's desire to reduce fossil fuel use by 95% has a near certain probability of gutting the world economy and locking billions into poverty. Here is one illustration I just crafted for my new presentation. As usual, click to enlarge:
Monday, March 11, 2013
Precautionary Principle in One Chart | Coyote Blog
Link: http://www.coyoteblog.com/coyote_blog/2013/03/precautionary-principle-in-one-chart.html (via shareaholic.com)