The Misplaced Anxieties of Green Ecology

Ecologists should turn their attention from mere global warming to a more frightful threat. What happens to the environment after we humans have our first full thermonuclear war, the chances of which are greater than than most think, according to The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists? Some optimistic specialists argue that in a bad but not worse case scenario several billion, about half of us, might survive. Any way you cut the cake, that catastrophe poses far greater danger to humanity and to the present state of nature than a few carbon-induced degrees of heat distributed across the planet.

Here is a real world game theory problem to work out: how much effort is it rational to put into staving off global warming, whose consequences will be manageable, as opposed to striving desperately to prevent nuclear war, which, if it does happen, will eliminate the very possibility of the game in which this question can be asked?

Or does it make any difference?