Some would argue that the issue is even greater than one of climate effects, that the issue expands to whether the Earth can sustain expected levels of economic activity and consumption. This expands the climate issue to that of a larger and more complex issue of “sustainability.” While numerous governmental bodies and NGO’s have dealt in proceedings, papers and reports with strategies addressing the sustainability problem, that debate has yet to truly begin in public conscience and discourse.
The application of political judgment to incomplete scientific information is neither new nor unusual in political history. What may be new is that the stakes are no longer about changes of borders between nations or even over military control of a continent, but the stakes could be global. The incomplete scientific information concerns the issue of mankind’s effect on the historic natural forces which have and are still affecting the earth’s climate. The global stakes could be the enormous costs in human life, biodiversity and national fiscal expenditures by future climate change which could have been avoided by actions initiated today.