We know climate change is real. It’s caused by human activity, and primarily by emissions from energy use. But there is a lot of uncertainty and a lot of misunderstanding about just how bad its effects will be. An op-ed last month by U.S. Senator Marco Rubio suggested South Florida should become more resilient and just adapt. On the other hand, maps of the world at 2100 show coastal cities submerged, not to mention a range of other calamities that scientists say may be caused by climate change. Scientists who study climate change often have trouble communicating the risks in ways the public can broadly understand.
In this edition of Columbia Energy Exchange, host Jason Bordoff is joined by journalist David Wallace-Wells, a fellow at the New America Foundation and a columnist and deputy editor of New York Magazine. He is also the author of a new book, The Uninhabitable Earth, which depicts in meticulous and terrifying detail a future that may await should we continue to add greenhouse gases into the atmosphere unabated.
As the United Nations’ Climate Action Summit gathers in New York City today, kicking off Climate Week, Jason and David’s conversation about adequately communicating the worst effects of climate change, and what motivates action -- as well as what kind of action is needed to address the crisis -- is timely.