Pascal’s Wager on climate change

Written By: - Date published: 8:50 am, November 20th, 2007 - 1 comment
Categories: climate change - Tags:

Fortunately we have a government that’s prepared to act on climate change rather than gamble with the future.

Nevertheless here’s an interesting take on the importance of a meaningful response to climate change based on everybody’s favourite PHIL101 poser: Pascal’s Wager.

He’s also done a follow-up to answer some of the questions and objections that users put to him after his first video.

(Via Neatorama)

One comment on “Pascal’s Wager on climate change”

  1. K1 1

    Although I am in favour of action to preemptively address the possibility of anthropogenic climate change, the argument is weak, and swings on his assumption that the consequences of CC being real are worse than the costs of action. Although this is likely, it is far from proven or generally accepted. I would also argue that the benefits of acting to address concerns about CC are unaddressed by his argument, and could be substantial – although nigh on impossible to quantify. I would value living in a lower energy impact, more localised, more relaxed and community-oriented world, even if that meant a reduction in access to some current technologies. Many would disagree vehemently (“our way of life is not negotiable” springs immediately to mind).

    He’s also oversimplifying by drawing four simple boxes. The probability function that maps against the vertical axis isn’t linear, and the impact (the value within the grid) can’t be reduced to a single value for ease of comparison, as multiple, competing, and subjective values apply at the intersection of each action/validity point.

    Kids today. Can’t even argue properly. Hmmph.

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