Ignoring climate change is like driving on to a collapsed bridge

Climate pie chart
© James Lawrence Powell (with permission)

William Skaggs in Scientific American compares not taking action on the climate change crisis to driving towards accelerating towards a bridge that may have collapsed, because we're not 100% sure each decision will end in disaster.

Climate depends on lots of variables in complicated ways, and many of them have not been measured with much precision. But if we stop talking about certainty and simply focus on the odds, then the situation clears greatly. There may be a few semi-plausible models that fail to predict serious warming, but the majority of models — and the models that have the greatest acceptance in the community — certainly do. Even if a skeptic prefers the models that don’t predict warming, can the skeptic really be *sure* that they are the correct ones?

If one isn’t sure, then to argue against any action at all is to behave like Larry Jones. A skeptic need not believe that we must immediately destroy the world’s economy by shutting down our use of fossil fuels — it would be just as stupid for Larry Jones to jam down the brakes in the middle of the freeway as to do nothing — but even a skeptic must see that prudence calls for slowing down, getting as much information as we can, and making contingency plans.

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