Dean Rohrer

El absurdo cautelar

PRINCETON – Muchas personas que abogan por medidas draconianas para contrarrestar el cambio climático basan su argumentación en el así llamado “principio cautelar”, que sostiene que cuando un posible desastre futuro sería de una gravedad inaceptable, es imperativo tomar medidas para prevenirlo. El análisis de coste-beneficio (es decir, comparar el coste de las medidas correctivas con los beneficios de corregir de evitar el desastre) ya no es permisible. Es necesario emprender acciones, no importa el coste.

Este principio hace que las personas aboguen por la adopción de medidas enormemente costosas para prevenir desastres todavía más enormes, pero cuya probabilidad es altamente incierta. Si un desastre es inaceptable, no importa lo poco seguros que estemos de que realmente ocurra, hay que dar pasos para evitarlo.

Como resultado de la confianza generalizada en el principio cautelar, los escenarios apocalípticos han llegado a predominar en el debate sobre el cambio climático. Es fácil imaginar desastres tan graves que sería razonable tomar medidas drásticas para su prevención, y quienes sostienen esta visión pueden asustar fácilmente al público con esos desastres imaginarios. Nadie sabe lo suficiente sobre las causas del cambio climático como para demostrar que un desastre imaginario es imposible.

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