Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Retiring the term "no regrets" - Optimal solutions instead

Yes, yes, a thousand times yes. Thank you Shaun Martin,WWF Managing Director of Conservation Leadership and Capacity Building, for this article on the problems of the term "no regrets" on the WWF ClimatePrep site.

He suggests avoiding "low regrets" as an alternative, instead offering "optimal solutions" - actions which "maximize benefits while minimizing negative consequences."

I couldn't agree more that we need to stop focusing on the amount of "regrets" and focus on the appropriateness -- optimality -- of the action to respond to the known climate threat. Besides being a syntactically clearer word, for me using the word "optimal" also serves to turn towards the desire for sufficient preparation and away from all that we fear in adapting to climate change-- whether it be spending too much money or planting the wrong thing in a threatened landscape.

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