The reasonable person's position to the topic of man-made climate change

Started Aug 1, 2013 | Discussions thread
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RobertSigmund
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The reasonable person's position to the topic of man-made climate change
Aug 1, 2013

„The position I suggest should be based both on ignorance and on deference to the wisdom of Mother Nature, since it is older than us, hence wiser than us, and has proven much smarter than scientists. We do not understand enough about Mother Nature to mess with her – and I do not trust the models used to forecast climate change. Simply, we are facing nonlinearities and magnifications of errors coming from the so-called butterfly effects. Small changes in input, coming from measurement error, can lead to massively divergent projections – and that generously assumes that we have the right equations.

But the scepticism about models that I propose does not lead to the conclusions endorsed by anti-environmentalists and pro-market fundamentalists. Quite the contrary: we need to be hyper-conservationists ecologically, since we do not know what we are harming with now. That’s the sound policy under conditions of ignorance and epistemic opacity. To those who say “We have no proof that we are harming nature,” a sound response is “We have no proof that we ar not harming nature, either”; the burden of the proof is not on the ecological conservationist, but on someone disrupting an old system.”

(Nassim Nicholas Taleb, The Black Swan)

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