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  • Oh, I am not environmentalist.

  • I'm not somebody who has lived in this world my whole life.

  • I'm not somebody who's been committed to the cause of climate change.

  • Even throughout my adult life, I've always lived in cities, in fact, always lived in New York City.

  • Andi always understood myself to be, you know, like a good liberal person concerned about the future of the planet.

  • But I also felt that my life was sort of being conducted outside of nature and that in the future many more lives would be, um, conducted outside of nature.

  • And so, while I was worried about the threat from climate change, I was worried about it in a kind of trivial way until relatively recently.

  • That changed about two or three years ago when, because of my existing interest in the kind of near future, I started reading a lot of quite alarming scientific papers about what was possible with climate change.

  • And as a journalist myself, I watched as those same reports and others like them were covered in newspapers and magazines and on television in ways that seemed to me quite divergent from the rial findings of the research itself.

  • I thought there were basically three big misapprehensions that the public, even the kind of engaged public of which I was a member, had about climate change.

  • The first was that we had been taught to expect that climate change was very, very slow, that it was something that would be unfolding on a timescale of decades at the fastest and probably more like centuries.

  • And so we could imagine, while it might be a problem for our grandchildren and their grandchildren, that we had a lot of time to address the issue, we had a lot of time to grow our way out of the issue and invent technological solutions to the problem.

  • In fact, more than half of all of the fossil fuel emissions that we've put into the atmosphere in all of human history have been produced in the last 25 years, which means that we've now done more damage to the climate since Al Gore wrote his first book on global warming than in all the millennia before, since the U.

  • N.

  • Established the I PCC that in all the millennia before this is not an old phenomenon, we're not dealing with the legacy of the Industrial Revolution.

  • We're dealing with the damage that we're doing every day right now in real time, and we're seeing that damage on our TV screens finally, in the last few years with coverage of extreme weather, natural disasters.

  • I think our our media culture is just catching up to the fact that climate change is here.

  • But people haven't really begun to appreciate just how much more will be coming, how much faster the problems will be accelerating and how little time we have to deal with the problem.

  • That was the first big misapprehension I was trying to correct.

  • The second is about the scope of the problem I had always understood.

  • And I take this as a proxy of most people like me again, who are engaged in the issue but not deeply that climate change was mostly an issue of Arctic ice and sea level.

  • And while those air really important issues and could completely transform the planet redrawing the map, it's also just one very small part of the problem and it allowed us to believe if we were just focused on sea level rise, that if we lived off the coast we would be safe.

  • In fact, again, with this extreme weather with wildfires, with the heat waves we're seeing, we're just now beginning toe.

  • Learn how much bigger the problem is, then sea level rise.

  • But again, it's just beginning.

  • There's a nen or mus amount of really interesting, fascinating, if horrifying, research that's come out over the last few years about the impact of global warming on agricultural yields.

  • They say that if we end up where we'll be at the end of the century without changing course, our grain yields could be half assed.

  • Bountiful is they are today, which means we could have 50% more people on the planet and half assed much grain to give them on economics.

  • So if we again stay on the course that were on by the end of the century, will have seen $600 trillion in damages from climate change, which is more than double all the wealth that exists in the world today.

  • There's horrifying research on the relationship between climate and conflict, so that every half degree of warming you see between 10 and 20% increase in conflict, which means again by the end of the century, If we don't change course, we could have more than twice as much war as we have today.

  • And, interestingly, that that research on violence and conflict is not just about interstate violence or interest state violence.

  • It also is at the level of the individual, so you'd see huge spikes in murder in domestic assault in rape.

  • Just about every level at which violence could be conducted between people goes up when the temperature rises and we're looking at a future that's gonna be a lot hotter, which means we're looking at a future that is likely to be much more violent in every way.

  • And that is just a sign that every aspect of our lives will be touched by climate change.

  • I think is extremely important for us to understand.

  • Climate is not something that's happening elsewhere at the coastline or somewhere else.

  • It's not happening toe other people, even if it may be hitting other populations more intensely than it's hitting the one that you're in.

  • It will touch every life on the planet and transform every aspect of that life down to the decisions we make with our Charlie, you know, having Children and family where we live, what kinds of jobs are available, how much economic growth we can come to expect.

  • It's a total izing, all encompassing system, and everything we do over the next century will be conducted in the theater of climate change.

  • So I feel very strongly that this century that we're walking into now is, um, going to be defined by this issue in the same way that previous centuries were defined, say, by modernity or by financial capitalism.

  • We're entering into a new era in which everything about the way that we live will be scrambled by climate change.

  • And it is certainly possible that by the end of my life for the end of my daughter's life will look back and think of the 21st century as a major setback in terms of human well being, maybe one that humanity will never be able to recover from.

  • But whether we get there again, it's entirely up to us.

  • There is all this out there to be worried about to be agitated about and to be focused on at a political level.

Oh, I am not environmentalist.

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A2 climate climate change century conducted sea level level

The Brink of Climate Catastrophe with David Wallace-Wells

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    林宜悉 posted on 2020/10/19
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