Guest essay by Eric Worrall
Stephan Lewandowsky (of retracted Recursive Fury fame ) has just released a paper supporting the “precautionary principle” (h/t JoNova). According to Lewandowsky, the more uncertain you are about risk, the more you should spend to contain the risk.
Lewandowsky of course applies this principle to climate sensitivity – he suggests uncertainty increases the high end risk.
But now that Lewandosky has opened our eyes, let’s try applying his principle to other issues.
Witch burning. Just as there has never been a clear anthropogenic climate signal, so there has never been a clear demonstration of supernatural power. Yet can we be absolutely certain? Lewandowsky teaches us that the less you know about something, the more worried you should be. So for the sake of the children, we had better dust off those old witch finding books.
Flying saucers. There has never been a verified case of human contact with aliens. But there have been plenty of anecdotal accounts of alien encounters, many of which sound rather unpleasant. Lewandowsky teaches us that uncertainty is risk – can we be absolutely certain Earth is not being observed by malevolent alien beings? Better step up efforts to keep us all safe from the unknown.
I’m sure readers can think of other examples – chemtrails, rains of frogs, strange wart like pimples… it’s a long list.
Thank you Lewandowsky, for opening our eyes to what is really important.