Nearly everyone is misguided on global warming

May 18, 2017 by Joshua
in Leadership, Nature

The New York Times has a series on Antarctica.

NYTimes Antarctica

A NYTimes graphic on Antarctica

As usual, like everyone, they focus on what people are doing now:

For scientists working in Antarctica, the situation has become a race against time.

I support scientists and I understand newspapers want to engage readers to attract more of them and sell more ads, but the story that scientists are collecting data is old news.

More old news and pointless reporting:

these scientists understand that political leaders — and cities already feeling the effects of a rising sea — need clearer forecasts about the consequences of emissions.

They get to what matters later, still missing the importance and what’s missing:

Remote as Antarctica may seem, every person in the world who gets into a car, eats a steak or boards an airplane is contributing to the emissions that put the frozen continent at risk. If those emissions continue unchecked and the world is allowed to heat up enough, scientists have no doubt that large parts of Antarctica will melt into the sea.

The important news is that we are all contributing to the problem and we can all stop.

The important news is that everyone knows there is a problem, everyone is waiting for others to do something about it, and nobody is leading the change everyone wants to see.

We don’t need more pretty pictures or fancy graphics. We need to change our beliefs and behavior if we want to stop global potential problems like

Because the collapse of vulnerable parts of the ice sheet could raise the sea level dramatically, the continued existence of the world’s great coastal cities — Miami, New York, Shanghai and many more — is tied to Antarctica’s fate.

and

in the worst case, cause the sea to rise so fast that tens of millions of coastal refugees would have to flee inland, potentially straining societies to the breaking point. Climate scientists used to regard that scenario as fit only for Hollywood disaster scripts. But these days, they cannot rule it out with any great confidence.

What’s missing on global warming: Leadership

What’s missing on the environment is leadership. I support more science, more education, more legislation, more technology, but none of them change the behavior and beliefs creating the problem they’re all hoping to solve.

Leadership has the unique potential to stop the behavior and almost no one is leading in the area of the environment.

I guess I’ll step up. My next post is on the topic. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post, Leadership and the Environment: It starts here.

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3 responses on “Nearly everyone is misguided on global warming

  1. Pingback: Leadership and the Environment: It starts here | Joshua Spodek

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