On the road to Copenhagen, we've passed through the dark woods of stolen e-mails, EPA regulations
, leaked drafts
and the Russian secret service
But are we any closer to building a national consensus on climate
change? As the debate progresses, many pundits have dug in their
trenches and toiled in the minutia of arcane policy or wonky academia. On Wednesday, New York Times columnist Tom Friedman
steps out of the weeds
and brings the focus back to the big picture: acting on climate
change is about saving lives.
Addressing the need to act aggressively against global warming,
Friedman rips a page out of the Dick Cheney terrorism playbook. The
former VP famously said, "If there's a 1% chance that Pakistani
are helping Al Qaeda build or develop a nuclear weapon, we have to
treat it as a certainty in terms of our response." Cheney argued that
this type of "low-probability, high-impact event" had to be dealt with aggressively. That, Friedman argues, is precisely the type of scenario we're dealing with
When I see a problem that has even a 1 percent probability of occurring
and is "irreversible" and potentially "catastrophic," I buy insurance.
That is what taking climate change seriously is all about.
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