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Lessons Learned from IPCC’s Underestimation of Climate Change Impacts About the Need for a Precautionary Climate Change Science

  • Donald A. Brown
Conference paper
  • 9 Downloads

Abstract

Several recent studies reveal that the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the organization created by the international community to synthesize the peer-reviewed climate change science to provide governments with objective, scientific understanding of climate change, its natural, political and economic impacts and risks, and possible response options has been underestimating likely climate change impacts. Analysis of the causes of IPCC’s failure to identify the likely worst climate change impacts attributes the IPCCs underestimation of climate change impacts to: (a) the “consensus” methods of IPCC processes and, (b) that the relevant sciences follow epistemic norms designed to prevent false positive conclusions about cause and effect. This chapter argues that given the enormous potential harms from climate change, a precautionary science that allows scientists to identify all scientifically plausible harms is required by ethics and international legal principles.

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Copyright information

© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Donald A. Brown
    • 1
  1. 1.Widener University, Commonwealth Law SchoolHarrisburgUSA

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