Modeling is a critical part of crafting adaptive and mitigative responses to existential threats like the COVID-19 coronavirus and climate change. The United Nations, in its efforts to promote 17 Sustainable Development Goals, has recognized both sources of risk as cross-cutting themes in part because both expose the wide list of social and economic challenges facing the globe. Here, evidence is presented to encourage the research communities of both topics to work together within and across the boundaries of their international infrastructures, because their modeling approaches, their social objectives, and their desire effectively to bring rigorous science to opinion writers and decision-makers are so similar. Casting decision analysis in terms of tolerable risk, conducting policy relevant counterfactual experiments, participating in organized model comparison exercises, and other research strategies are all part of their common scientific toolsets. These communities also share a responsibility to continue to hone their communication skills so that their insights are more easily understood by the public at large—skills that are also essential to protect their science from attack by groups and individuals who purposefully espouse their own misguided or deliberately misstated perspectives and/or, sometimes, their own corrupted personal agendas.
Part of the book: Environmental Issues and Sustainable Development