“If only gay sex caused global warming”

July 4, 2006 at 12:46 am | In politics, psychology | 1 Comment

Oh my. How did I miss this? And when is Prof. Gilbert going to get a blog? The Freakonomics guys did it to promote their book, and he’s going after the same audience with Stumbling on Happiness, right? (Ooh, looks like Levitt and Dubner are still at it. Cool.)

Go read the whole thing:

If only gay sex caused global warming

Why we’re more scared of gay marriage and terrorism than a much deadlier threat.

NO ONE seems to care about the upcoming attack on the World Trade Center site. Why? Because it won’t involve villains with box cutters. Instead, it will involve melting ice sheets that swell the oceans and turn that particular block of lower Manhattan into an aquarium.

The odds of this happening in the next few decades are better than the odds that a disgruntled Saudi will sneak onto an airplane and detonate a shoe bomb. And yet our government will spend billions of dollars this year to prevent global terrorism and … well, essentially nothing to prevent global warming.

Why are we less worried about the more likely disaster? Because the human brain evolved to respond to threats that have four features — features that terrorism has and that global warming lacks.

Freshman year I e-mailed Prof. Horwitz to encourage him to blog. No answer yet. Maybe Gilbert will be more responsive.

1 Comment

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