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Consider this: if you see a lion coming towards you, are you going to check first to see whether it’s tame, or are you going to take action to save yourself?
By the same token, it is tempting to wait until we have all the facts to act on issues such as global warming, although it's massively risky to do so.
As the short clip below points out, "Although avoiding action until aware of adverse consequences is sensible, it is impossible to remove all risks associated with every action."
This clip is taken from a series called Critical Thinking, a set of six short, animated videos by Australian foresight agency Bridge8.
When it comes to managing the very real risk of climate change, it's important to take precautions. "Just because something hasn't happened before, it doesn't mean that it won't happen in the future," says RAAF and Boeing engineer Andrew Wilford.
“If the consequences of failure (i.e. in runaway climate change) are catastrophic, then it’s appropriate to rapidly and effectively intervene to reduce the likelihood of such an outcome.”- Andrew Wilford
Wilford goes on to suggest, "In the case of climate change, one such intervention would be to place limits on the greenhouse gases emitted by our economic activities."
This brings us back to the central point of the video above: we can't justify waiting for 100% proof to act on potential threats.
We already have a huge amount of research supporting the reality of climate change and global warming:
Below: John Oliver hosts a mathematically representative climate change debate