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Risky Climate

We’re Right to Worry About Nightmare Climate Scenarios

The economist Martin Weitzman got scientists and politicians to think about the worst-case outcomes of global warming. We’re seeing them happen right now.

A helicopter prepares to make a water drop as smoke billows along the Fraser River Valley near Lytton, British Columbia, on July 2.

A helicopter prepares to make a water drop as smoke billows along the Fraser River Valley near Lytton, British Columbia, on July 2.

Photographer: James MacDonald/Bloomberg

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It’s hot out. It’s getting hotter. The climate memes practically write themselves: “Think this summer is hot? Consider it the coolest of the rest of the 21st century.”