Wednesday, June 20, 2012

David Roberts, "Climate change is simple.."

David Roberts of Grist is the among the top online communicators about climate change - which is why I've added his feed to Nevada County Voices.  Here's his 17-minute TEDx presentation (video, and notes)  "Climate change is simple: We do something or we’re screwed."

From the text:
[A global temp. rise of] 6 degrees [C; 12F] is something of a worst case scenario — that’s what happens if we stay on a business-as-usual trajectory for the rest of the century. Scientists will tell you that this is implausible. But as I’ve argued before, they say so because they’re sure we’ll do something about it — that business-as-usual won’t continue.
After decades of tepid, notional progress in international climate negotiations, however, the idea that we’d be so super-duper stupid is not as ludicrous as it once seemed.

(and a John Kerry speech on the climate challenge comes highly recommended by Chris Mooney (I haven't watched it yet) - On Eve of Rio+20, An Honest Assessment of Climate Change Challenge.

For the record, I'm not so hot on Mooney's "Republicans are..." theme, which no doubt sells lots of books to PO'd Democrats but also increases the polarization (and gives a black-and-white representation of a shades-of-gray issue). Better to reach out than to seal off, and also to look inward, since we all be sinners.)
(updated ~3pm Wed, and 8am Thurs (added quote).)


Don Pelton said...

That "reaching out" you hopefully speak of reminds me of the old adage, "He who turns the other cheek gets hit with the other fist"

And, for what it's worth, there is at least one school of thought that holds that partisanship is a GOOD thing:

"Renowned political scientist Alan I. Abramowitz presents [in his book, "The Disappearing Center"] a groundbreaking argument that the most important divide in American politics is not between left and right but rather between citizens who are politically engaged and those who are not. It is the engaged members of the public, he argues, who most closely reflect the ideals of democratic citizenship—but this is also the group that is most polarized. Polarization at the highest levels of government, therefore, is not a sign of elites’ disconnection from the public but rather of their responsiveness to the more politically engaged parts of it. Though polarization is often assumed to be detrimental to democracy, Abramowitz concludes that by presenting voters with clear choices, polarization can serve to increase the public’s interest and participation in politics and strengthen electoral accountability."


Anna Haynes said...

Thanks Don. But how will people in an alternate-reality cocoon be exposed to other views? And how will you find the holes in your own thinking, if not from exposure to someone who thinks differently?

(Yes, some are incorrigible, but even then, you can still learn from them, to a point.)

On the other hand, if even in person it's still a hostile dialogue or being used in bad faith, I agree it's likely better to steer clear.

(In short: thanks for your comment, and heck if I know.)

Anna Haynes said...

For the record, I do believe the Republican party has gone off the rails, science-wise, and that this is a big problem.