The Confidence Trap: Dysfunctional Dialogues about Climate
Grandes conférences du Centre de recherches mathématiques
Conférence de Roger M. Cooke, Resources for the Future, Washington, DC and Technische Universiteit Delft, The Netherlands
Mutilation of facts, scriptural snake oil, gerrymandering the proof burden, bloated overconfidence and outright lies – these are among the miasmas fouling the public debate about climate change. The surprise is not that people try these stratagems, but that they are successful. A snarly cognitive illusion is preventing us from dealing rationally with climate uncertainties (a cognitive illusion is like an optical illusion involving the brain instead of the eyes). After a 'syllabus of errors', this talk will focus on better ways to capture and incorporate expert's judgments on climate change. Developed in quantitative risk analysis, structured expert judgment has been used in a wide range of applications from nuclear safety, public health, investment banking to policy analysis and natural hazards. It is now poised to enter the climate debate in earnest. Can it help? It's time to find out.