Betting the odds

I have never been a betting man, but a long time ago a Catholic Priest teaching a math class in college taught me about probabilities, which are the driving force behind gambling. I do know this: even if I were a “sporting man,” there is no way I would lay my money down on a bet where my odds of winning were just three percent. As the old saying goes, “a fool and his money are soon parted.”

The reason I bring this up is because our new President has taken down all references to the fight against warming from the White House website, indicating very strongly that the new American administration comes down on the side of the three percent of climate scientists who doubt the evidence of warming, or, like some, paid by fossil fuel companies, who feel that warming is a good thing.

The basic problem I have with these scientists, and the people, like Trump and his cronies, who claim that three percent is good reason for doubt, is that when it comes to warming they’re not betting anything of their own, they’re not laying their lives, or fortunes, down on this bet, they’re betting our grandchildren’s future.

I don’t believe that any of us living today has the right to do that. If you happen to live alone, and want to bet 90-1 long shots at Saratoga Race Track, mortgaging your house to get the money, that’s fine, you can do it, and I don’t care. But, if you have a family at home and want to do the same thing with the roof over their heads, then you need to step away from the betting window, Long Shot Louie, and step away quickly.

When it comes to the bet on Climate Change, if you’re on the side of that three percent, you need to step away, because you’re not risking anything, but taking a great risk for all our grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and you don’t have the right to do that.


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