Sunday, December 13, 2009
The George Kenney interview with Orrin Pilkey on Climate Change
Now that Copenhagen is upon us it's beginning to be clear that collectively, led by the U.S., the industrial world will fail to act to restrict carbon emissions, or at least fail to reduce them enough to make much difference. Which leads logically to the next set of questions: how do we cope with a warmer planet and rising seas?
To get a sense of the latter problem I turned to Orrin Pilkey, one of the top U.S. experts on coastal environments, whose latest book with co-author Rob Young, The Rising Sea, explains what needs to be done, and what isn't being done, to prepare for what can reasonably be expected in terms of sea level rise this century. (Note that in the next century seas will still be rising!)
For those who don't like mathematical models Pilkey should be of special interest because his previous book had to do entirely with why such models aren't to be trusted. But climate change, as Pilkey points out, is not just a theory. It's a well-documented fact, with well over a century of coastal sea level measurements to prove it.
All the above should seem unexceptional, except that in the U.S. the percentage of the public that doesn't believe in anthropogenic climate change has -- astonishingly -- been increasing in recent years. Indeed, odds are that you know somebody in denial.
Orrin is a very decent guy and I really enjoyed talking with him. I hope you have a chance to listen to this one and that it provides you with some ammunition to spread the word.
As always, if you like the podcast and want to redistribute the link, please feel free to do so.