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Opening Arguments

Deal with it

Why has it taken so long to reach this common-sense realization?

Pielke's analysis, published last month in the journal Natural Hazards Review, is part of a controversial movement that argues global warming over the rest of this century will play a much smaller role in unleashing planetary havoc than most scientists think.

His research has led him to believe that it is cheaper and more effective to adapt to global warming than to fight it.

Instead of spending trillions of dollars to stabilize carbon dioxide levels across the planet -- an enormously complex and expensive proposition -- the world could work on reducing hunger, storm damage and disease now, thereby neutralizing some of the most feared future problems of global warming.

Adapting to chaging circumstances is what humans do best. When we try to scond-guess the future, the resulting panic shows us at our worst, not our finest.