Useful Thought on Perspective

While last night’s 60 Minutes story on nuclear power raised good points, including the obvious point that there are only so many ways to continue our way of life without perpetuating carbon dioxide emissions, this quote on nuclear power in general struck me as most useful:

“When there’s a small probability of a catastrophe people think about the catastrophe and not the small probability,” [David Jhirad, the head of science and research for The World Resources Institute] says.

I’m not interested in the planet dying, if global warming is serious, but I’m not interested in living in a mud hut just to avoid interfering with nature. Mr. Jhriad’s statement is applicable to almost everything, and it’s something we should all remember. Everything in life involves risk. Our objective should be to minimize and contain that risk to the extent reasonably possible. When we understand that, we’ll realize that we can never completely avoid risk without avoiding benefits, as well.

I choose the small probability, not the catastrophe, as my starting point.