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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Weighing the Risks of Climate Change


© The Author(s), 2018. This essay argues that when setting climate policy, we should place more weight on worse possible consequences of a policy, while still placing some weight on better possible consequences. The argument proceeds by elucidating the range of attitudes people can take towards risk, how we must make choices for people when we don't know their risk-attitudes, and the situation we are in with respect to climate policy and the consequences for future people. The result is an alternative to the Precautionary Principle, an alternative that gives similar policy recommendations in many cases but is also sensitive to the costs of precautions.

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