The risk of a sudden shift in the world’s climate seems slight — but it has happened many times in the Earth’s long history, and the effects would be catastrophic and irreversible. By insurance standards, the risk is not slight — scientists put the chance of catastrophic temperature increases at one in 20. AIG thought its risk was much smaller — less than one in 1,000 — but government regulators will not let them take that chance again.
We would not step off a curb if there were a one-in-20 chance of getting hit by a truck. We would not get on a plane if one out of every 20 crashed. Yet, if we do not take strong and immediate action to reduce the world’s greenhouse-gas emissions, we face a one-in-20 chance that climate change will tear apart the economic, political and social fabric of the world. Can we muster the will to prevent it?
But it’s not all doom and gloom. There are significant opportunities in creating a clean energy economy.
The good news, which bears emphasis, is that averting climatic disaster does not mean economic hardship and human suffering. Rather, it opens up a golden opportunity. As President Barack Obama said in his inaugural address, we can harness the sun, wind and soil to fuel our cars and run our factories. We can, and should, end our debilitating dependence on oil imports, which cost consumers $450 billion last year. We can bring forth new businesses – and create millions of new jobs that can’t be outsourced – by reducing the amount of energy we waste and turning to the renewable sources that we have in great abundance.
Read the full pieces here:
Wirth: Moment of Truth Arrives for Action on Climate Change
We can’t delay energy investment
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