1% Warming Chance Is Cause Enough to Act
'Cheney Doctrine' should apply to climate change
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 9, 2009 1:22 AM CST
Predicting climate patterns is "a game of odds" but even a 1% chance of losing that game is too much of a risk to take, writes Friedman.   (AP Photo/John McConnico)

(Newser) – Dick Cheney once said that a 1% chance of al-Qaeda obtaining a nuke was reason enough to prepare for it, and that same logic should be applied to catastrophic global warming, writes Thomas L. Friedman. Despite "Climategate," the chances look a lot higher than 1%, he notes in the New York Times. But in any case, global warming should be treated as a "low-probability, high-impact event" that we urgently need to prepare for, Friedman writes.

If we build a clean-power economy and climate change turns out to be a hoax, then we have gained cleaner air, energy independence, and a stronger economy at the expense of higher energy prices during the transition period, Friedman writes. But if it "turns out to be real, life on this planet could become a living hell. And that’s why I’m for doing the Cheney-thing on climate—preparing for 1%."