Climate change scientists and doctors

November 21, 2007

I attended a talk by Richard Somerville yesterday. I got to say that his presentation was a touch dry (but at least he was self aware and humorous about how communication skills weren’t the expertise of the climate change scientists).

Anyway, he drew the analogy between climate change scientists and doctors. If your doctor says, you better reduce your cholesterol levels otherwise you are going to get a heart attack, you don’t ask him/her for the precise date you are going to get the heart attack. You just hop on the treadmill and eat like a rabbit for a while. I thought it made an excellent point that all this debate about when the world is going to overheat and implode and whose predictions are right seem a little irrelevant. We, as policy makers, should just do whatever we need to do to make things better.

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