Swine Flu vs. Climate Change: Where are the Skeptics?

The US is developing a $9 billion campaign to vaccinate Americans against the H1N1 virus, also known as swine flu. There's a lot of uncertainty about how extensively swine flu will manifest among the population, it's likely severity and how well the vaccination might work. However, none of those uncertainties has stopped us from working hard to develop the vaccination and the program to deliver it to millions of people. Why? Basic risk management. The possibility that the pandemic could be severe and affect millions of people are sound reasons to make significant investments to try to reduce that risk.

I haven't heard about a single Congressman or Senator railing against making this investment to ward off a potential future threat. But aren't some of these the same politicians who tell us that we shouldn't be taking action against climate change, because of uncertainties about how it will manifest, it's likely severity and how well solutions might work? The reason we need to take immediate action on climate change is exactly the same as the reason we are taking immediate action against H1N1: it's because risk management to reduce the risks of potential catastrophe tells us to do so. I searched several of the web sites of the most outspoken Senators against climate change to see if they had similar stands against addressing swine flu and found nothing. Am I the only one who sees this hypocrisy?

To see more on looking at climate change through a risk management lens, watch this video:

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