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Andrew Revkin
Which comes first, Peak Everything or Peak Us? I seek answers daily for The rest? Family, music, friends.
Which comes first, Peak Everything or Peak Us? I seek answers daily for The rest? Family, music, friends.


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I hope you'll watch and share this fine film on Florida's hidden interior and the conservation opportunities there.

Post: Trump “revealed more information to the Russian ambassador than we have shared with our own allies.”

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Seeger celebration Sunday in Putnam Valley.

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This was a useful discussion of real-world approaches to forging climate and energy progress.
Climate Panel at 2017 Milken Institute Global Conference

I was on a very hopeful panel at the 2017 Milken Institute Global Conference earlier this week, moderated by +Andrew Revkin. The topic was "Solutions to Climate Change: A 10-Year Game Plan".

Here is the video:
#climatechange #globalwarming #solutions #sustainability #science #sciencecommunication

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For those not on Facebook, here's my initial reaction to +Bret Stephens's argument in his first Times column, citing my essay on 30 years of climate learning and unlearning:

First, it appears that he’s finally digging in a bit more on an issue he likely skated across, as many have done. Hints of this lie in the difference between utterly dismissive climate comments he made during his Journal stint and this line:

“Anyone who has read the 2014 report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change knows that, while the modest (0.85 degrees Celsius) warming of the Northern Hemisphere since 1880 is indisputable, as is the human influence on that warming, much else that passes as accepted fact is really a matter of probabilities.”

I hope he keeps digging.

But his critique of climate certitude, among other things, fails to challenge evidence-free predictions of economic calamity made by those aiming to defeat any investments in building a global energy menu that works for the long haul.

The column also features the kind of straw men and other familiar foils (e.g.: "demanding abrupt and expensive changes in public policy") used by those more wedded to a world view or policy position than committed to a deep examination of a complex and consequential problem.
Uncertainty is real, but hardly a reason for simply more conversation.

While the basics of greenhouse-driven warming are clear, including a dominant role for rising concentrations of carbon dioxide in the warming measured since 1950, many of the most consequential aspects of climate change remain shrouded in deep uncertainty.

- How much will a given rise in CO2 warm the world, and how fast?

- Will the rise in sea levels by 2100 be calamitous or manageable?

- Will the deeply vulnerable African nations along the southern fringe of the Sahara get wetter or drier as CO2 levels build?

- Will hurricanes pose a bigger threat to U.S. coastlines in 2100 than today?

On a time scale relevant to policy makers, the answers to these questions have been so unrelentingly uncertain that they border on being what I’d call “known unknowables.” Counting on the emergence of clearer science in the next decade would be a fool’s errand.

But so would using uncertainty as an excuse to pursue nothing beyond more debate.

I wrote about this in 2012:
While it’s fashionable these days to fight over who’s in denial about what facts on climate change, a focus on known uncertainty goes way back. I often find myself circling back, for example, to “To Hedge or Not Against an Uncertain Climate Future?” — a 2004 analysis by Michael Schlesinger, Natalia Andronova and Gary Yohe that concluded:
"Uncertainty is the reason for acting in the near term, and that uncertainty cannot be used as a justification for doing nothing."
There’s a deep and broad body of research and analysis on robust strategies for promptly crafting policy and making investments because of deep uncertainty.
There's a Society for Decision Making Under Deep Uncertainty, full of folks focused not only on climate but also finance, national defense and disaster risk reduction.
There are entire issues of scientific journals devoted to deep climate change UNCERTAINTY. Scan papers here:
I'm up at Cornell and have been meeting with students and faculty over the last few days about this very set of issues.
I'll be speaking on Monday afternoon at 2:55 p.m.:
Public Seminar—“Communicating Climate Change”
Location: B25 Warren Hall
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