Sunday, January 06, 2019

Take It From Katherine.

She's possibly Canada's best known climate scientist even if she is from Texas.  I have mentioned Katherine Hayhoe a number of times over the years. She's quite intriguing. For starters she's a devout evangelical. Even married an evangelical preacher.  The Toronto-born Hayhoe proves that her Christian faith and climate science are not mutually contradictory, inconsistent or irreconcilable.  She is the director of the Climate Science Center at Texas Tech University.

Hayhoe prudently hedges her bets when it comes to what awaits humanity as we wrestle with climate change.  Logic suggests there will come a moment, a relatively brief period, where we "get it," where we understand that climate change must be our priority eclipsing all others.  Here's her take:

I’d put my money on a gradual bend away from a higher scenario, which is where we are now, until accumulating and worsening climate disasters eventually lead to a collective “oh shit!” moment, when people finally realise climate impacts do pose a far greater threat than the solutions. At that point, I would hope the world would suddenly ramp up its carbon reduction to the scale of a Manhattan Project or a moon race and we would finally be able to make serious progress. The multitrillion-dollar question is simply when that tipping point in opinion will come, and whether it will be too late for civilisation as we know it. I hope with all my heart that we stay under 1.5C, but my cynical brain says 3C. Perhaps the reality will be somewhere between my head and my heart at 2C.
On the media and how it impedes action on climate change or Katherine Hayhoe disses Rex Murphy.
There was significant coverage [of the latest IPCC report and the US National Climate Assessment] but a lot of media survive by generating controversy so they bring on opposing voices rather than explaining the scientific facts. Climate change shouldn’t be fodder for commentators who represent the interests of the fossil fuel industry by muddying the science. As a human and a scientist, this focus on controversy is frustrating. A thermometer is not liberal or conservative.
On wresting power from the fossil fuel industry.
The most important thing is to accelerate the realisation that we have to act. This means connecting the dots to show that the impacts are not distant any more: they are here and they affect our lives. It also means talking about solutions. The technology and knowledge are there. The economics already make sense. ...And finally, it means weaning ourselves off fossil fuels, which is challenged by the fact that the majority of the world’s richest companies have made their money from the fossil fuel economy – so the majority of the wealth and power remains in their hands.
On treating the patient, Earth.
Climate change is a long-term trend superimposed over natural variability. There’ll be good and bad years, just like there are for a patient with a long-term illness, but it isn’t going away. To stabilise climate change, we have to eliminate our carbon emissions. And we’re still a long way away from that


Northern PoV said...

This just in ....
"US withdrawal from Syria depends on conditions, John Bolton says"

I thought the Syria move might be the end of tRump but ...

instead of removing him (difficult) the deep state will simply ignore him when they find him inconvenient (ie when not nominating Judges or canceling regulations) .

get ready for
trump/Pence 2020 ... and another 4 more glorious years

The Mound of Sound said...

What does that have to do with this post, NPoV?

rumleyfips said...

Thermometers are neither liberal nor conservative; wish I had thought of that.

Anonymous said...

"The economics already make sense."

If you know absolutely nothing about economics and can't even get 'sense' right.

Carbon taxes + free-trade globalism means playing a global GHG emissions shell game.

It means regulate half the world and leave the other half a place where corporations can skirt carbon regulations by offshoring production.

If you look at the numbers, GHG emissions continue to grow exponentially despite decades of "action" on climate change. This is outright Orwellian.

If self-righteous, virtue-signalling, void-worshiping sky-screamers don't take global warming seriously, then don't expect anyone else to.

People won't take serious what is an obvious fraud. Those who use a global environmental crisis to line their pockets don't believe global warming is a problem. If they don't believe it's a problem, don't expect anyone else to.

The people don't represent the oil corporations. Neocons represent oil corporations. Neoliberals represent oil corporations while pretending not to. Neoprogressive baby-neoliberals represent oil corporations and they don't even realize it. And when they finally get it, they become full-grown neoliberal weasels: Welcome to your Carlsberg years!

Anonymous said...

"And finally, it means weaning ourselves off fossil fuels, which is challenged by the fact that the majority of the world’s richest companies have made their money from the fossil fuel economy – so the majority of the wealth and power remains in their hands." The thing is Mound, the richest companies could begin today and spend some of that money on developing alternative energy now. It would not hurt them one little bit. But, greed is greed. Anyong