A companion to the Cheney 1 percent action doctrine (if the probability is at least 1 percent, act) is the administration's non-action doctrine (if the probability is less than 99 percent, then don't act). This latter doctrine is generally invoked in discussions of global warming, where it seems absolute certainty is required to justify any significant action. Ideology determines which of these two inconsistent doctrines to invoke.As I've said here before, the threshold for action is a matter of values. We could pick any threshold we want for any problem. For climate change, my judgment is that, while we don't have certainty, we have enough evidence that a serious risk exists that we should take prudent action now.
Monday, August 07, 2006
The one-percent doctrine
Take a look at this interesting article on action and uncertainty. Here is an interesting quote: