The world now has a rough deadline for action on climate change.
Nations need to take aggressive action in the next 15 years to cut carbon emissions, in order to forestall the worst effects of global warming, says the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
Expect a certain part of our political class to insist that man-made climate change is not consensus science, and that until it is, nothing should be done. The problem there is obvious: By the time all the skeptics are persuaded, it will be too late for an effective response. In that regard, climate change poses a test of our democracy’s ability to address a threat pressing enough to require a relatively prompt response but too complicated for a lay person to assess on his own authority.
Similarly, most politicians who must wrestle with the issue, like most journalists who write about it, don’t have the expertise to design the computer models and do the complex analysis necessary to evaluate the threat themselves. So the matter becomes an epistemological issue: How does one decide what to credit, trust, believe?
Continue reading →
We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, vulgarity, profanity, all caps, or discourteous behavior. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain a courteous and useful public environment where we can engage in reasonable discourse.
You may use HTML in your comments. Feel free to review the full list of allowed HTML here.