Yesterday I had the opportunity to participate in the Annapolis Book Festival, at the Key School in Annapolis, MD. I had never been to a book fair of any kind, and this one was just lovely, with a bunch of other interesting panels (I brought my 14 year-old and we went together to a great one on dystopian fiction). I spoke on a panel with Gernot Wagner, climate economist and author of Climate Shock, hosted by journalist Miles O’Brien – among other relevant credits, the writer and director of Megastorm Aftermath, the second NOVA documentary made about Sandy. It was a lively and stimulating discussion, ranging from the science through the economics, to the politics of climate change and extreme weather. The whole thing was filmed by C-SPAN, and you can see it online here:
I have an op-ed piece on CNN today about the new climate agreement between the US and China. The full piece is here, and the first three paragraphs below.
The agreement between President Obama and President Xi of China to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is the most important advance in the several decades-long history of international climate negotiations. It has been greeted with rage by those in Congress whose positions on the science are denialist or evasive (“I am not a scientist”). Their criticisms are specious and predictable.
But while most climate scientists I know are still sharing a period of joy following its announcement, some substantive criticisms of the agreement have also been raised. I want to address two of them here.
One is that the agreement doesn’t do enough to solve the problem of global warming. The other is that it doesn’t promise anything that wasn’t likely to happen anyway. Both of these criticisms have some truth, but neither diminishes the importance of what Presidents Obama and Xi have achieved.