Erring On The Side Of Caution.
As a gas engineer, I have always operated by the mantra “err on the side of caution”. This has served me in good stead during my 15 years or so working with gas.
Of late, I have started to use this phrase when getting into debates about climate change/ global warming. There are people who believe that global warming is a natural event, that has nothing to do with man, despite the overwhelming opinion to the contrary of most of the world’s climate scientists. To those people I say, isn’t it wise to err on the side of caution?
If, as most of the world’s scientists seem to suggest, global warming is being accelerated by the activities of mankind, what is the worst that could happen if we act on that conclusion and it turns out to be wrong? We will have made man’s energy consumption more efficient, less wasteful, less toxic, and more sustainable. There does not seem to be a down side to that.
Whereas, if as the global warming conspiracy theorists suggest, man has nothing to do with the changes to our climate, and we act, or don’t act, on that conclusion, what is the worst that could happen if that conclusion turns out to be wrong? In that event we would be in serious trouble.
I think to be on the safe side, we must err on the side of caution, and assume that mankinds activities are having a negative effect on the planet’s climate and environment.
To my mind, this is a win-win situation.