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Climate’s Troubling Unknown Unknowns

We can’t adapt to perils we can’t foresee. So we need to cut greenhouse gas emissions now.

April 21, 2019, The New York Times
Opinion by William B. Gail, CTO of Global Weather Corporation, Past President of the American Meteorological Society

Donald Rumsfeld famously popularized the term “unknown unknowns” in a 2002 news briefing when describing the challenges of linking Iraq to weapons of mass destruction. Troublingly, climate change may also be strewn with such unknowns, and they pose daunting tests for how we face the future.

One is choosing among policy alternatives. Should we minimize tomorrow’s risks now by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, or save money today and spend it on adapting to the effects of planetary warming once threats emerge more fully, like rising seas or prolonged droughts? The policy debate increasingly tilts toward adaptation. Continue reading this article by clicking here.