With regard to climate change, again and again, exponential processes have been treated as if they would develop linearly, despite scientists knowing quite well that they would not. Consider for example, a storm that is approaching your house from six miles away. The storm is currently moving at five miles per hour, but it is expected to double its speed with every new mile. Do you make sure to have cover within one hour and 12 minutes, or within about 22 minutes? Again and again, scientists have done the equivalent of feigning surprise when their timelines, based on a completely bogus linearity, have turned out to be too long.
– Dady Chery, Antarctica’s accelerating ice collapse
Climate scientists are under such pressure to minimize the dangers in their reports, that we have a sort of reverse-precautionary principle; out of the set of more-or-less plausible future scenarios the least-frightening one is always assumed to be correct.