A question posed to Michael Mann this morning on Reddit Science AMA (‘Ask Me Anything’ :
“What’s one thing you wish everyone on earth did tomorrow?”
“I wish they would chose to talk to a friend, a family member, loved one, classmate, coworker, etc. about climate change. The fist step to solving this problem is to get a conversation going.” Michael Mann
Scientists Michael Mann, Robert Bullard and Ploy Achakulwisut went live this morning on Reddit Science AMA to answer questions and talk about the April 29 Climate March, climate science, and “Why We March.”
The transcript is a must read for anyone who still has is wavering about whether or not to participate in the People’s Climate March — or to sign up for the April 22 March for Science.
But for those who don’t have time to I’ve selected a few Q&As for this evening’s promotional post for the upcoming DK SciCli Blogathon.
andillfakeyouout: Is the reduction, elimination, or even reversal of climate change (while the planet's population continues to grow) even feasible? With so much demand for increased production/processing of materials/food/etc. and humanity's need to expand its living space into formerly natural areas, where would we even start?
…. My guess is that by "feasible", you meant something in between possible and likely. For example, do historical precedents indicate that the technology expansion rates required are comparable to what's been achieved in the past? This is an area of active research, but the big picture answer is that what's required to address climate change is probably unprecedented in most sectors, but not inconceivable, if citizens, industry, and governments step up their game. And the good news is that the clean energy industry is, indeed, charging ahead at incredible speed, and we're seeing more and more innovations for building a more sustainable or circular economy. Here's a good discussion of some of this literature (though note that it's focused on 100% renewables scenarios, which are not necessarily quite the same as scenarios simply consistent with 2C): http://www.vox.com/energy-and-environment/2017/4/7/15159034/100-renewable-energy-studies
j_obi: Are you aware of the march for science taking place one week before this march? The messages are very similar, did you consider joining forces with them and combining into one March or did you think that two separate marches, one after the other, could be more effective?
Bullard: It is important and historic that Scientists March and take a stand on April 22. It is more than symbolism that scientists come out of their labs and research centers and express the urgency of us addressing this global threat. On the other hand, the Climate March on April 29 is a mass march that brings all sectors together to express the importance of mass mobilization against climate change and advocate for fair and justice climate policy. And yes, separate weekend marches will get two news cycles—better for getting our message out.
Bullard: The March for Science and Climate March must address justice and vulnerability—those communities hit hardest by climate change and polluting industries. EPA budget cuts and stripping science and science-based research from policy and decision-making will hit low-income and communities of color especially hard since numerous studies have documented they are already overburdened with health threatening pollution. Pollution prevention and clean energy technology make good economic sense and health sense.
Soktee: Is there a simple bullet-point list of lifestyle changes people can make to lower their personal impact on climate change?
I find that people have very short attention spans and are not interested in spending a lot of time and effort getting the necessary information.
Mann: There are many things we can do to lower our personal carbon footprint (drive more fuel efficient vehicle and/or walk/bike when possible—I drive a hybrid), recycle, reuuse, reduce, get your power from renewables (ours comes from wind), etc. And personal responsibility is definitely part of the solution. But it’ not the whole solution. If we are to solve this problem we need market mechanisms that will incentivize a shift away from reliance on planet-damaging fossil fuels to clean energy. Whether that is in the form of subsidies for renewables, a price on carbon, a combination of both—that’s a worthy topic of debate. But we can’t make these things happen ourselves. We need to hold our elected representatives accountable and make sure that they represent our interests rather than those of the fossil fuel interests that in many cases fund their campaigns. In short, we have to vote out the bad apples and vote in the good ones. We’ll have a major opportunity in the mid-term elections less than two years away.
logical: What do race and social justice have to do with the science of climate? Shouldn't you be distancing such issues from science?
Bullard: Your question goes to the heart of science policy—what we know about climate change, what populations and regions are most impacted, and what are we going to do about it. You may want to check out the National Climate Assessment report that examines climate vulnerability http://nca2014.globalchange.gov/report . Clearly, all communities are not impacted equally by climate change. It is important that justice and equity concerns are considered when developing mitigation and adaptation plans (domestically and globally https://wess.un.org/) to address climate change. That’s why we have an environmental justice and climate justice movement. Historically, public policies to address environmental challenges have not been fair, just and equitable. That’s why many of us will be marching for environmental and climate justice on April 22 and April 29.
Daily Kos SciCli Blogathon
The Daily Kos SciCli Blogathon begins next weekend. In the week between the March for Science and the Climate March, writers will share their reasons for Why I March including issues and actions involved in supporting science and addressing climate change.
Our first SciCli Blogathon article will publish Saturday April 22nd followed by two each day through Friday April 28th (usually but not always at 2:30pm and 5pm Pacific time).
This week of action focuses on how science and climate change are affecting our lives and our planet. Science provides information that helps us understand our world. Our future depends on how we use this information right now to address the consequences of our past that lead to the climate change chaos taking shape all around us. SciCli Blogathon writers will share their perspectives, from fluffy to somber, from inner feelings to outer actions. Science includes everything and climate change will affect everyone.
Follow the hashtags #MarchForScience and #ClimateMarch. Share SciCli Blogathon articles and your own content. State why you march for science and in support of climate change actions.
Sample Tweet: #MarchForScience and #ClimateMarch. To build the world we want we must stand up for science and the climate.
Participate along with millions of people around the world involved in the March for Science and the People’s Climate March to explore how we can protect our world, our health, and our communities. The March for Science on April 22nd will stand up for science. During the next week, actions will advocate for climate, jobs and justice. And then the People’s Climate Mobilization on April 29th will present a vision that works for our communities and the climate.
For more information on joining a march visit March for Science
#MarchForScience is intentionally nonpolitical celebration of science. This march is the first step of a global movement to defend the vital role science plays in our health, safety, economies, and governments. It's about the need to respect and encourage research that gives us insight into the world.
#ClimateMarch is political and supports calling out the politicians who threaten our climate, communities, and jobs. The March promotes an alternative vision of an economy that works for people and planet. The Peoples Climate Movement cares deeply about science — but social, economic, and climate justice are the heart of our work.
Need a ride for the Peoples #ClimateMarch on April 29th? Get your seat: http://www.peoplesclimate.org/find-a-bus