Climate change is of course a very real problem. Humans are pumping too much carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and other greenhouse gases into the Earth’s atmosphere through a variety of means, most notably things like burning fossil fuels for energy production and transportation.
Climate scientists believe that it is necessary for us to keep the Earth from warming no more than 2° C above preindustrial levels to avoid a variety of problems like sea level rise, agricultural problems, water shortages, habitat destruction, and others. The global community has done an incredible amount of work to change this, and because of these efforts, the worst future climate catastrophes have likely been averted.
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The problem is that projections have the Earth warming closer to 3° C, not 2° C, above preindustrial levels by the end of the century. This will not end human civilization, but it is going to create some serious societal strains and economic costs that we would be wise to prevent now.
Mona Charen joins us today to discuss why it is not only important to take this issue seriously, but also not to catastrophize the issue and make it seem worse than it is. She believes it is important to keep both of these things in mind.
Charen writes that:
“The unremitting catastrophism of much climate talk by major institutions (universities, foundations, entertainment companies, non-profits, and others) flies in the face of the scientific consensus. Even Professor Michael Mann (of the famous “hockey stick” graph) has cautioned that ‘doomism’ is more of a problem now than denial, and hysterical warnings about global collapse are wrong and unhelpful because they lead people to despair. Any amount of mitigation is good, he urges, adding that ‘Two degrees of warming would be far worse than 1.5 degrees of warming, but not the end of civilization’. . . Climate change is a big problem, but it is not an extinction-level event. No respected scientific body, including the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [IPCC], says that climate threatens to end human civilization. Not even close. . . Adapt, improvise, and innovate. Switch to nuclear as fast as possible, and stop terrifying the kids. Climate change is a problem. It’s not the apocalypse.”
Before we get into that discussion, there was GREAT NEWS for American democracy!
The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected the independent state legislature theory in Moore v. Harper.
If they had not ruled this way, it could have opened the door in presidential elections for state legislatures to ignore the votes of their residents and simply decide to give their state’s electoral votes to the legislature’s preferred candidate.
This would have been a nightmare, so the SCOTUS decision is a win for American democracy!
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