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A Pascal's Wager-type argument in favor of environmentalism. (S/O of another question)

There are some people who are skeptical of the phenomena that was formerly described as Global Warming, but is now being called Global Climate Disruption. To them, I propose a Pascal's Wager-type argument. Let's say that you don't "believe" in Global Climate Change. You "believe" that it is a hoax, and that the scientists across the globe are in cahoots to perpetrate this hoax, perhaps for monetary gain (as has been suggested in another question on CM). Let's then say, for argument's sake, that the evidence, even that provided by NASA is wrong, and that we are not in danger of a rapidly warming climate.  What would be harmed if we were to make changes as if it were true?  Job creation in Green Technology, a cleaner environment resulting in changes we make in choosing reduce consumption, reuse and recycle those things we do use, reducing our dependence on oil, thus reducing the pollution and environmental damage caused by spills, as well as dependence on foreign sources of that oil, all can lead to positive changes that, even if Global Climate Change were some hoax (most scientific evidence points to the validity of it, however) wouldn't hurt us.  What is the risk in making changes in our lives, our purchasing power, cleaning up the environment and looking for cleaner sources of energy?  What if those who believe that Global Climate Change is a hoax. . . are wrong?


Asked by jsbenkert at 1:46 PM on Dec. 20, 2010 in Politics & Current Events

Level 37 (89,331 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (24)
  • Cars do not last forever. My 20-yr old Chrysler was beyond repair this summer so i had to buy another car which is much more fuel efficient. I recycle . There was no global cooling 1970's - 1990's despite some media foolishness, on the contrary, there was global warming, and it has continued since with record high global temperatures since reliable measurements began . You are right about China. but it will soon have the largest wind turbine industry in the world and has begun to export them to the US. It also uses solar energy and its emissions output per head of population is much lower than the US , Canada and Australia , about one-third of the level. Europe is investing heavily in renewable energy sources and new nuclear plants in some countries while the US continues to subsidise big oil, taxpayer funds which could be more usefully put to other purposes, such as ' green' energy or new nuclear power generation .

    Answer by janet116 at 12:15 AM on Dec. 21, 2010

  • What is the risk in making changes in our lives, our purchasing power, cleaning up the environment and looking for cleaner sources of energy? What if those who believe that Global Climate Change is a hoax. . . are wrong?

    People should make changes because they want to...People shouldn't be mandated to pay higher costs for products and services that are deemed, "green" today, but their costs and benefits to consumers and the environment are less 'green' compared to the claims'green' companies make for pushing the mandates on bureaucrats. It's not proven/clear how much environmental good will come from all the green products consumers are buying.  Chevy Tahoo Hybrid is not as green other 'non green' 8 passenger autos. "green" has become a marketing scam. A Bureaucratic Scam.  A Special Interest Scam..  Some have fallen for it.....  Some haven't.


    Answer by grlygrlz2 at 2:17 PM on Dec. 20, 2010

  • Do I believe Global Warming ( Err the NEW buzz word, this year is Global Climate Change) is a Hoax? No. I think it is questionable, how much is man made, and how much is natural occurrence. Researchers and Scientists have LIED and MANIPULATED data to push their agenda. If Global Climate Change were as "man made" as they claim, then the data should speak for itself. Relying on manipulated and false data to tax and push a "global climate tax" speaks volumes to the "cause"...  Carbon Credits won't save the earth.  They just mean corporations will pay more to do business as usual, thus charging consumers more...


    Answer by grlygrlz2 at 2:26 PM on Dec. 20, 2010

  • Let me ask you something-

    if Al Gore actually believed his own theories, why does he use as much electric in one month as others do in a year? Why on earth day, was his driveway lit up like a runway?

    I DON'T abuse the earth. I freecycle, recycle, buy locally, live responsibly, We even catch rainwater to water the garden in the summer.
    Because REAL green living is cheap as hell.

    What I won't stand for is a bunch of phony baloney feel good legislation that makes it look like the old boys on the hill are doing something to save the world. Cap and Trade is a money maker. That's it. Period.

    Answer by lovinangels at 2:33 PM on Dec. 20, 2010

  • To put it briefly - the vast majority of "green living" scams are just that - scams. The processes for recycling all varieties of materials actually use MORE resources and cause MORE pollution than not recycling them at all. We do not play along with the Global Warming Climate Change Climate Disruption crowd because they are insincere, preying on your fears to make a profit, and in no way actually concerned about the environment. If you want to be greener - REDUCE AND REUSE and quit shoving recycle(and carbon offset and cap & trade) down everyone's throats just to help the people who have you fooled get rich.

    Only an idiot would really believe dumping your perfectly good 10 year old car into a landfill as a crushed cube and going out to pay to have a brand new hybrid or electic built would in any way be helpful to any ecosystem.


    Answer by NotPanicking at 3:25 PM on Dec. 20, 2010

  • what harm is there in creating a cleaner environment, even if the idea of global warming is a myth?

    Apparently my point wasn't clear than, either - the vast majority of methods you have of "creating a cleaner environment" don't. They actually create more pollution than you started with. THAT'S the harm.

    Answer by NotPanicking at 6:01 PM on Dec. 20, 2010

  • sometimes its better to be safe than sorry...and ive never understood how greener living isnt a win-win and in the future. in other words ITA w/ what you're getting at!

    Answer by okmanders at 1:52 PM on Dec. 20, 2010

  • The best way to live green, is to live frugal.... ;o)

    Answer by grlygrlz2 at 2:38 PM on Dec. 20, 2010

  • DUH! Consuming less of everything is good for the planet, life sources (including humans), energy sources and climate disruptions. Clear enough?

    Small words - have car. Car is already built. Uses small quantities of oil. Buy new car. Car requires a full ton of products made of oil, steel, and creates a lot of liquid and gas waste, plus toxic solid waste, just to make it. Making the parts for the "green" car battery requires nickel, which makes an entire part of Canada dead - no plants, no birds, no squirrels, no people, from the mining process. Building the new car creates more pollution and waste in 2 weeks than the old car could do in 10 years. And once it's home, it will continue to still require small quantities of oil. Clear enough?

    Answer by NotPanicking at 3:32 PM on Dec. 20, 2010

  • I see what you're getting at, OP. However, the first thing that comes to my mind is "carbon credits". You know, those points you can earn (or buy) so that your country can continue to produce pollutants. Some countries have cut back on pollution-causing industries and/or products, and then are turning around and selling their carbon credits to other countries, like China, who is pumping carbon monoxide into the atmosphere in record amounts because of their ever-increasing coal production.
    THAT is what makes it feel like a hoax. The US does this too.... we cut back, then sell the ability to pollute to other countries. Sounds stupid doesn't it? Yeah... I think so to.

    Answer by brandyj at 3:41 PM on Dec. 20, 2010