The only thing we can be sure of about the future is that it will be absolutely fantastic. So if what I say now seems to you to be very reasonable, then I have failed completely. Only if what I tell you appears absolutely unbelievable, have we any chance of visualizing the future as it really will happen.

- Arthur C. Clarke (h/t Brin)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Eye-Opening Videos


Via Treehugger, a ten minute interview by Revkin of McKibben. (I think they talk past each other a bit without noticing. Revkin injects a bit of Pielkeism in there and I don't know if McKibben even notices.)

But McKibben has come to the smae place in the last year or so that many of us have. Our future is down to difficult vs impossible. The easy solutions have been foreclosed. It's officially too late to avoid a damaged world.
The basic issue of the planet right now is that it's disintegrating. That's even more basic than the fact that we have to keep developing and people need energy and all that. There's no way anyone is going to develop anything, including energy or anything else, if their whole friggin country is washing away.
...
There's no happy ending where we prevent climate change anymore.

Another video I highly recommend is a long one featuring Ben Santer, introduced by Stephen Schneider, last year, telling the climategate story in a radically unfamiliar way, which is to say his own experiences in trying to do the right thing under years of personal attack. This one was dug up somehow by GreenMan Peter Sinclair of Climate Crocks fame. Even without the questions and the introduction it's about an hour, so set aside some time. But if you're seriously interested in climate science, watch the main presentation "Why Such Resistance?" with your full attention. There are some great quotes in that talk! But ultimately it's sad and shocking.

I think anyone with a shred of respect for Steve McIntyre should watch Santer through to the end and see where that leaves them.

(There's also an interesting but peculiar video at that GreenMan link with the odd couple of Santer and Chris Mooney, who I don't really think make a cohesive piece together.)

2 comments:

Lou Grinzo said...

"Eye-opening", indeed. When I wrote about this video on my site I pointed out that I had criticized McKibben for the overall lack of urgency in his book Eaarth, but that the video seems to give us a less guarded and more visceral version of what he believes.

Of course, this will only make it easier for the deniers who want to shout "Alarmists!!!" every time there's an "it's worse than we thought" discovery or someone connects the dots. Sadly, that's one of those mindless pieces of mud-slinging that seems to work very well with the unengaged. We live in a highly polarized environment where everything is marinated in partisan politics, so accusing someone of taking such an approach (instead of following the facts) is an exceedingly easy argument to sell.

EliRabett said...

A rather useful reply to accusations of alarmism goes along the lines of "Cassandra was always right and the people who ignored here died soon after", and you could add, which amused the gods no end, but Eli is not quite so mean.