When you do not see too much and you still have to take decisions, basic approaches can be helpful
As explained before, I believe in climate change for several reasons, witch include the temperature data and the mechanism of greenhouse effect and CO2. But now I want to follow another approach: What if we did not have enough data either to accet or to refuse climate change?
It happens many times in our life, we have to make important decisions without having too much security about consecuences. I think it happens in economy a lot of times, different strategies are recommended for European debt crisis but the uncertainties are great for any of them. In those cases, for many, the straigthforward solution is the standard one: business as usual, it is actually a way to avoid the decision or to avoid the unbearable uncertainty.
However this business as usual not always works, how many companies have failed for not being brave enough to innovate when it was neccesary! I think it is the case about climate change. It is a new challenge for humankind, maybe the first global critical challenge and it requires new prespectives. If we had not enough data we should balance the risks of the two failure possibilities one is difficult but the other one is dreadful in my opinion:
1.- The difficult one is to believe in the risk and act consecuently but if climate was not a real problem. So, more or less: reduce our energy demanding activities, rationalize our transport needs, control our population, be much more efficient in energy use and transport, make a great effort in development of renewable energies, spend more money in our energy bill,… I am convince all this means sacrifice, personal, colective and economical. But the ultimate situation would be that we would start in advance something we would need to do someday, change our energy sources, beacause fossil fuels are not forever.
2.- The dreadful one is to continue our growing path of greenhouse gas emissions, to burn coal, oil and gas as fast as we can and provoke serius changes in our planet climate without doing nothing serious to avoid it. The consecuences would range: problems in our water supply, food security, sealevel, public health, extreme weather event frequency,… So not only more sacrifice than in option one, it also means many more unexpected problems.
So, even without reliable data making proactive sacrifice know seems more reasonable because the risk is lower and predictable. And, besides, we are lucky because we do not need to do such a sacrifie only for an hipothetical problem (it uses to be very difficult to make sacrifices and more when the drawback is not completely sure) because we have the data and they are clear, our fossil fuel consumtion is changing the climate drastically and fast.