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Science Meteorology & Climatology

Apocalypse Soon?

Wagering on Warnings of Global Catastrophe

by (author) Stephen F. Haller

McGill-Queen's University Press
Initial publish date
Oct 2002
Meteorology & Climatology, Environmental Science
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2002
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2002
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Oct 2002
    List Price

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Using arguments that parallel those of Blaise Pascal and William James, Haller offers prudential reasons for caution that should convince those not already persuaded by ethical arguments. While models of global systems can reveal only possible, not probable, futures, the catastrophic threats posed by such things as global warming, ozone depletion, or population increase represent what James would call "live options": that is, they present us with a plausible possibility that forces us to make momentous decisions. Haller concludes that we cannot afford to risk catastrophe, despite the high costs this decision involves.

About the author

Wilfrid Laurier University

Stephen F. Haller's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"A splendid and important book. The public needs better guidance in interpreting what is heard in media reports about climate change and this book is enormously helpful in this regard, and will be widely referred to as the issue unfolds over the next five years." William Leiss, author of In the Chamber of Risks: Understanding Risk Controversies. "Haller has an important contribution to make. He is clear, persuasive, and does a good job at bringing together different strains of thinking in environmental decision making. His book is extremely timely and environmentalists are in dire need of guidance when it comes to decision making in the face of scientific uncertainty." Ingrid Leman Stefanovic, Department of Philosophy, University of Toronto

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