Professor Roger Pielke Jr gives this lecture entitled 'The Climate Fix' at The Australian National University on Thursday 2 February 2012. This talk was presented by the HC Coombs Policy Forum.
Professor Pielke's research focuses on the intersection of science and technology and decision making.
Roger A Pielke Jr. has been on the faculty of the University of Colorado since 2001 and is a Professor in the Environmental Studies Program and a Fellow of the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES). At CIRES, Roger served as the Director of the Center for Science and Technology Policy Research from 2001-2007. In 2006 Roger received the Eduard Brückner Prize in Munich, Germany for outstanding achievement in interdisciplinary climate research.
Before joining the University of Colorado, from 1993-2001 Roger was a Scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. Professr Pielke has appointments as a Research Fellow, Risk Frontiers, Macquarie University; Visiting Senior Fellow, Mackinder Programme, London School of Economics; and Senior Visiting Fellow at the Consortium for Science, Policy and Outcomes of Arizona State University. He is also a Senior Fellow of The Breakthrough Institute, a progressive think tank.
Professor Pielke is author, co-author or co-editor of seven books, including The Honest Broker: Making Sense of Science in Policy and Politics (2007, Cambridge University Press) and his most recent book The Climate Fix: What Scientists and Politicians Won't Tell You About Global Warming (2010, Basic Books).
Venue: Acton Theatre, JG Crawford Building #132, Lennox Crossing, ANU
Date: Thursday, 2 February 2012
Reading The Climate Fix: What Scientists and Politicians Won’t Tell You About Global Warming, by Roger Pielke, Jr., (2010, Basic Books) could start a rabid, climate change denier on a road to accepting and understanding the need for a reasonable approach to what will soon become a significant carbon dioxide problem.
This is precisely the reaction that Pielke seeks, but also one that he’s found so elusive: a reasonable and rational solution to the man-made elements of global warming. Yes, they’re out there, he says, but not to the extent we have been led to believe. And a solution is out there, too, one that doesn’t involve closing factories or walking to work. One of those is a low carbon tax to raise revenues for investments in innovation, not to change behavior or restrict economic activity.
The Climate Fix —by a leading political scientist and professor in environmental studies at the University of Colorado — is rich in facts that document where and how the global warming debate has gone astray, to the discredit of both scientists and politicians. While global warming defenders were guilty of their own missteps — such as scheduling a hearing in Washington, DC on the hottest day of the summer, and shutting off the air conditioning; or hiding unfavorable emails — warming's detractors in the halls of politics have been guilty of their own stonewalling, foot-dragging and lack of will.
At the heart of the book is the concept of “decarbonization,” which is in direct conflict with the fact that the world needs “vastly more energy.” How much energy is dependent on the growth of the world economy, the types of growth (manufacturing v. services), and the efficiency of those activities. Hence, the need for decarbonization, which is basically emptying the atmosphere of carbon at a greater rate than it's produced (imagine a bathtub filling up, with a drain that empties the tub at half the pace of water input).