April 19, 2006
|Uncertainty Is No Excuse||Environment Politics|
Bush says the jury's still out on whether human activity causes global warming. Even if that were true (it isn't), as Nicholas Kristof (via RealClimate) noted in yesterday's NYT, it's no excuse for doing nothing. The real world is always subject to uncertainty. Excerpt:
The White House has used scientific uncertainty as an excuse for its paralysis. But our leaders are supposed to devise policies to protect us even from threats that are difficult to assess precisely — and climate change should be considered even more menacing than a nuclear-armed Iran....The best reason for action on global warming remains the basic imperative to safeguard our planet in the face of uncertainty, and our leaders are failing wretchedly in that responsibility. [Emphasis added]
There's no such thing as a sure thing, not even in science. But there is such a thing as taking prudent measures based on the best available evidence and analysis. Assuming, that is, that one cares about doing the right thing, rather than the thing that provides short-term rewards to one's political base.