Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Broecker talks future of climate change research

Shayna Owens in the Columbia Spectator: Thirty-seven years after Wallace Broecker, CC ’53, coined the terms “climate change” and “global warming” in his research, he still thinks that his predictions were “smack on.”

At a discussion on Tuesday sponsored by the Institute for Religion, Culture, and Public Life, Broecker and New York Times reporter John M. Broder, who covers energy and the environment, considered future solutions to global warming and how scientists can best implement them. Broder said that—especially in light of Hurricane Sandy, which ripped through New York City two weeks ago, causing mass flooding and power outages across the five boroughs—the topic of climate change needs to be addressed.

....“We’re spending incredibly large amounts of money on our military,” he said. “Why? That’s a small problem compared to CO2, but we’re spending nothing on CO2.”

Broder said that in Washington, there is an “issue of messaging,” noting that government officials may not be implementing the best strategies to stress the importance of addressing climate change. “Al Gore is probably the best example of this planetary emergency,” Broder said. “These are fear-based messages, and I don’t think they work very well.”

...Broecker, who called himself a “very optimistic person,” said he still harbors doubts about whether enough action will be taken. Somehow we have to get together and say, let’s not fight, let’s come up with some plan and get going,” he said....

Caspar David Friedrich's "Wanderer above the Sea of Fog," from 1818

No comments: