Quotation of the Day…

by Don Boudreaux on October 4, 2014

in Cleaned by Capitalism, Energy, Environment, Myths and Fallacies, Risk and Safety, Seen and Unseen, The Future

… is from page 347 of Matt Ridley’s profoundly important 2010 book, The Rational Optimist:

Remember I am not here attempting to resolve the climate debate, nor saying that catastrophe is impossible.  I am testing my optimism against the facts, and what I find is that the probability of rapid and severe climate change is small; the probability of net harm from the most likely climate change is small; the probability that no adaptation will occur is small; and the probability of no new low-carbon energy technologies emerging in the long run is small.  Multiply those small probabilities together and the probability of a prosperous twenty-first century is therefore by definition large.  You can argue about just how large, and therefore about how much needs to be spent on precaution; but you cannot on the IPCC’s figures make it anything other than very probable that the world will be a better place in 2100 than it is today.


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