Climate policy and the frame of a decision

The appropriate frame for a decision can have a significant impact on the alternatives that are considered and the measures that are used to evaluate them. Is it appropriate and helpful to frame climate policy as insurance against the uncertain–and potentially serious–societal impact of impending global warming?

Andy Revkin writes in the New York Times (by subscription):

A third stance is now emerging, espoused by many experts who challenge both poles of the debate.

They agree that accumulating carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping smokestack and tailpipe gases probably pose a momentous environmental challenge, but say the appropriate response is more akin to buying fire insurance and installing sprinklers and new wiring in an old, irreplaceable house (the home planet) than to fighting a fire already raging.

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