Adapting to Climate Change

According to the conventional wisdom of many environmental campaigners, we should first do everything we can to mitigate global warming, and only then focus on adaptation strategies. But this seems wrong – even immoral – if we could do more for people and the planet through adaptation.

COPENHAGEN – Striking the right balance between preventing global warming and adapting to its effects is one of the most important – and most vexing – policy questions of our age. It is also often ignored.

According to the conventional wisdom of many environmental campaigners, we should first do everything we can to mitigate global warming, and only then focus on adaptation strategies. This seems wrong – even immoral – if we could do more for people and the planet through adaptation.

Moreover, it is inconsistent with the inescapable fact that, whatever we do, we cannot prevent all of global warming’s effects. If we are ill-prepared, global warming will cause more deaths and devastation, especially in poor countries and fragile societies. Adaptation would also mean saving many lives from catastrophes not related to global warming. If we prepare societies for more ferocious hurricanes in the future, for example, we are also helping them to cope better with today’s extreme weather.

To continue reading, please log in or enter your email address.

To access our archive, please log in or register now and read two articles from our archive every month for free. For unlimited access to our archive, as well as to the unrivaled analysis of PS On Point, subscribe now.

required

By proceeding, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, which describes the personal data we collect and how we use it.

Log in

http://prosyn.org/SSu9qwr;

Cookies and Privacy

We use cookies to improve your experience on our website. To find out more, read our updated cookie policy and privacy policy.