It's been a busy week; time for something new. I was driving to the airport a couple of weeks ago, and I saw this bill board on the side of the road. There was the picture of a wide-eyed child and the words "if not for you, then for them. Take back the weather." The first time I saw it, I was not quite sure what it was about. It's hard to get past the influence of the "Take back the night"
organization. Then the second time I saw it, it hit me that this was about climate change. I thought it was pretty effective.
About a week later I got a call from Michael Hodges a journalist for the Detroit News
who was doing a story on the billboards. I learned that the billboards were sponsored by a woman in New York City, Margaret Hetherman, who was placing the billboards in response to the questions from her daughter. Here's a link to the story
in the Detroit News.
In my class this semester we talked about the things that might accelerate climate change. I talked about this in my blog at climatepolicy.org.
The idea is that while science knowledge might motivate the formulation of policy, scientific uncertainty can always be used to keep policy from converging. In other environmental problems there have generally been factors that helped the organization of policy; for example, public health. One can image that since climate change impacts so many aspects of our world, that there would be numerous motivators to make policy. However, that also sits at the foundation of why it is hard to make policy. There are many competing interests. Plus, many of the things that you would do about climate change now will not have a direct impact now on, say, heat waves.
In the class discussion we made a list and these are the things that the class, a small class, thought would be most important for accelerating policy. 1) National security related to international instability, 2) Money--that is, the realization that there is money to be made in pursuing mitigation of and adaptation to climate change, and 3) Legacy to our children and grandchildren. Below these three were (to me) intuitively important things like agriculture and public health. This is far from a comprehensive study, but I think it is an interesting question. What are the consequences of climate change that would motivate policy?
In the same spirit: this is interesting as well. davidsuzuki.org