Martin Wolf, at least in our opinion happens to be one of the better journalists covering climate change, probably in no small part because his voice falls outside of our current American politics and culture war, his columns for the Financial Times are worth reading.
Quite some time ago, June 2015, he wrote an excellent piece providing the basic rational for taking action on climate change based upon the uncertainty of outcomes. A line that perfectly summarizes the point, “Climate change is a problem of insurance. For this, it is not median outcomes that matter most, but the outliers — the “fat tails” of the probability distribution of temperature.”
Wolf continues, later in the article, “Framing the challenge of climate change as a problem of insurance against disaster is intellectually fruitful. It also provides the right answer to sceptics. The question is not what we know for sure. The question is rather how certain we are (or can be) that nothing bad will happen. Given the science, which is well established, it is impossible to argue that we know the risks are small. This being so, taking action is logical. It is the right way to respond to the nature and scale of possible bad outcomes. The authors suggest that the very least we need to do is impose a global price on emissions of CO2 at $40 a tonne (well above that delivered even by the EU Emissions Trading System). Now, however, the actual cost imposed on emissions is closer to minus $15 per tonne, because of vast subsidies to fossil fuel energy amounting to $550bn a year.”
The entire article is definitely worth reading, especially as we try and find reasonable interpretations and justifications for action – Financial Times: Why Climate Change Uncertainty Justifies Action