By: Stephen F Haller
185 pages, no illustrations
Stephen Haller examines claims about the risk of global catastrophe and describes the models of global systems that predict catastrophe. He explains the condition of a good prediction and shows that models that generate predictions of catastrophe leave us uncertain about the likelihood of catastrophe - our best science can give us no assurance that doomsday is either likely or unlikely.
While models of global systems can reveal only possible, not probable, futures, that catastrophic threats posed by such things as global warming, ozone depletion, or population increase represent what James would call "live options": that is, they present us with a plausible possibility that forces us to make momentous decisions.
A splendid and important book. The public needs better guidance in interpreting what is heard in media reports about climate change and this book is enormously helpful in this regard, and will be widely referred to as the issue unfolds over the next five years. William Leiss, author of In the Chamber of Risks: Understanding Risk Controversies. "Haller has an important contribution to make. He is clear, persuasive, and does a good job at bringing together different strains of thinking in environmental decision making. His book is extremely timely and environmentalists are in dire need of guidance when it comes to decision making in the face of scientific uncertainty." Ingrid Leman Stefanovic, Department of Philosophy, University of Toronto
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