Can Incomplete Information Still Be Cause For Alarm?

(Picture from DotEarth).

How much comfort should people take from the remaining gaps in our knowledge of climate change.  Not much, is the answer.

Scientists have learned a lot about climate, but there are still pieces of the puzzle that are yet to be filled in.  Here’s a nice picture that Nobel Laureate Mario Molina uses to show why the missing pieces aren’t a basis for complacency.  Take a close look if you can’t immediately spot the subject of the picture.

The moral?  Sometimes you don’t need to work out every last piece of the puzzle in order to know that something dangerous is involved.

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Reader Comments

2 Replies to “Can Incomplete Information Still Be Cause For Alarm?”

  1. How do you know the subject of the picture is dangerous? The answer is that you’ve seen it before. Your mind fills in the missing elements from memory. On the other hand, you’ve never seen climate change before. How can you conclude that it’s dangerous? I agree wholeheartedly that danger is involved, but probably not in the way you are talking about.

  2. How do you know the subject of the picture is dangerous? The answer is that you’ve seen it before. Your mind fills in the missing elements from memory. On the other hand, you’ve never seen climate change before. How can you conclude that it’s dangerous? I agree wholeheartedly that danger is involved, but probably not in the way you are talking about.

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About Dan

Dan Farber

Dan Farber has written and taught on environmental and constitutional law as well as about contracts, jurisprudence and legislation. Currently at Berkeley Law, he has al…

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