I wrote this brief thing on FaceBook originally, and perhaps it will serve here as my first ever diary. It's really brief and I have to rework it a bit to make sure my argument is sound but I'll go ahead and present it here for everyone right now. Maybe cleverer heads can help me whip the argument into shape.
I am responding to the following link, where Bill Nye is making the claim that global warming is the most important issue of our time.
I both agree and disagree with Bill Nye. I totally agree that global warming is desperately vital to address. No matter what people's beliefs, if the world ends tomorrow, there are no "oops, heh, guess I was wrong wasn't I's?" This subject is like Pascal's Wager but applied to belief in global warming instead of God. By choosing to believe in global warming and acting on it as if it were a threat, we're safe because we're doing what we need to do about situation, so we'll manage to save our collective asses. Also, not believing in global warming but acting as if it were reality anyway is safe because we acted on it even if we acted only out of insurance. Furthermore, by not believing in global warming and not acting upon it and if we're right that warming does not exist, then we're just fine. However, if we do not believe and don't act on it and global warming is real then we're all in bad shape, or all dead.
Is it really worth the risk not to act on it? Even if we're 100 pct sure it's not true, acting global warming poses nothing benefits if we act now (insert benefits here), and even if there's a less than one percent chance of it being true, if it hits that chance we'll all be dead if we're wrong. It would be killing us all out of spite if we chose not to look at the possibility just because some hard charging believing gal or guy told us that God said it couldn't happen.
The beauty if this argument, providing you buy it, is that it uses the same argument Pascal used to convince people to follow the Christian lifestyle. We should believe in God because it costs us little to believe and it costs us so much (going to hell) if we're wrong. The same is true with our world. We have so much to gain by acting to reverse climate change, whether we believe in it or not, and so much to lose by ignoring the issue.
Here is where I disagree with Nye - I say the most important issue right now is to change the cultural attitude of taking sides and refusing to discuss and explore issues. If we solve that then we can make headway with the global warming debacle.