Thoughts on Global Warming

June 11th, 2007

This gentleman proposes a thought-provoking argument in favor of spending resources to stop global warming.

I believe I may have found the hole in his argument. The hole is this:

It starts with one assumption: Resources are limited. Now consider dozens of problems with 2×2 grids like the one in this video, and apply the same logic to each problem. You get one grid for global warming, one for the war on drugs, one for terrorism, one for world hunger, etc. Using this gentleman’s logic, we would choose to spend resources on every single problem, and we are left unable to solve any of them fully.

Global warming, whether real or not, is one of many problems facing modern humanity, many of which could arguably lead to equally disastrous outcomes. Can we solve all of them? No. Therefore, we have to choose which problems to solve not based on the magnitude of their worst-case scenario, but rather based on a combination of both their magnitude and their likelihood of actually occurring.

The fallacy is this: one should not spend resources on a problem based on the magnitude of its outcome without considering the likelihood of the outcome actually occurring. This logic would lead me to believe in moving the entire human race to a different solar system because our sun is going to die.

Any thoughts on that?

One Response to “Thoughts on Global Warming”

  1. Von Fugal Says:

    Well I had a pretty good comment, until the math question (which I did answer correctly) completely hosed it. Oh well, I’m not going to type the whole thing again, esp since I don’t have it available except in abstractness in my head.

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