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Climate change and risk management

Very few people dispute that the earth’s climate is changing, and most also admit that the changes are due to human influences like adding carbon dioxide, methane and other gases to the atmosphere (along with other man-made changes due to land use like urbanization and natural changes due to oceans, solar radiation, and volcanic activity). But there is a lot of disagreement about how big the changes will be and what we should do to prepare ourselves for these changes as well as protect against the worst outcomes. Here is an interesting essay from Jerry Taylor, formerly of the Cato Institute (known for its questioning of climate change science), discussing the viewpoint of why we need to act on climate change because of the potential risks of not doing so if the worst case scenarios come to pass. You can read it here. Like insurance, you purchase it not necessarily because you think the worst case will happen, but to protect yourself if it does. If the worst case does not happen, then you’ve cleaned the air, protected endangered species, and improved our energy mix, not a bad outcome.