Tag Archives: probability theory

Climate change explained through probability and risk: It doesn’t matter if it exists, we should act anyway


Craven has created a series of fun, educating videos that should be watched by all.Science teacher Greg Craven posted a video entitled ‘The Scariest Video you’ll ever see’ on Youtube in June 2007. The ten minute video garnered over 7000 replies including many criticisms from global warming sceptics. Craven decided to rebut these criticisms. He spent four months of his spare time researching data on the debate, ticking off each criticism that had been made. He then released “How It All Ends”, another ten minute video but this time with an ‘expansion pack’ of videos going into each of his arguments in exhaustive detail.


Interestingly, much of the content of the six-hour, 44 part series is not devoted to proving whether global warming is happening or not, or whether man is causing it or not. He looks instead at the four main outcomes: global warming exists and we do something, it exists and we don’t do something, it doesn’t exist and we do nothing or it doesn’t exist and we do something. He concluded the costs of doing nothing far outweigh the cost of doing something, so it makes sense to take action even if we don’t know whether global warming is happening or not.

A site has also started up devoted to the videos, where the forum members critique and find responses to each new criticism as it comes through on Youtube. The efforts of these people to encourage reasoned debate is heartening. Many of the arguments against combating climate change revolve around the fact that science doesn’t agree 100% with the precise outcome. Well, science never will agree, not totally, especially with oil industry-paid advocates in the mix. But even without more and more evidence leaning towards the ‘we need to do something camp’, the logical thing to do is to take action, even if it turns out we didn’t need to. There’s also a great interview with Kim Stanley Robinson at BLDGBLOG about this.