Tackling the Issues of the Climate Change Discussion w/ Dr. Michael Mann
This week Dakota sits down with Dr. Michael of Penn State Meteorology for a one-on-one interview to talk about the state of the climate change discussion. They'll touch on why climate denial exists and his interactions with climate skeptics. Dr. Mann will also explain the most effective ways to communicate the future of Earth's climate and our role in that future. Finally we'll talk about Dr. Mann's most recent research and his new!
Weather in Our Backyards
Out in Colorado, Dakota is dealing with another hot week along the Front Range. Luckily monsoonal rains have brought showers and thunderstorms most afternoons bringing a nice cool down and water for the lawn. No pattern change in the next few days.
Since we have a long episode tonight, there's only one tweet!
This comes from @NWSPueblo who translated their flash flood warning into Spanish for their viewers. A quick search shows that several Weather Forecasting Offices are doing thus. Kudos to the National Weather Service!
Featured Moments from our Interview with Michael Mann
On how he ended up in climate science:
Dr. Mann: "It was really this random walk where I started out actually as a freshman. I was interested biochemistry, then I got into physics, eventually ended up in this other area of science - climate science. I sort of see my scientific career and perhaps the careers of many young scientists as being an example of this phenomenon, this random walk. This random walk, ultimately, landed me at the center of one of the most contentious science issues in modern times - the issue of human-caused climate change.
His advice for young scientists:
Dr. Mann: "Follow your heart.... It can't all be premeditated. It can't all be decided by pure logic. Sometimes you just have to go with your gut instinct. What feels right? Where do your interests lie? What are the opportunities that seem like they could really lead you into something that will engage you and that you'll enjoy?"
On what strategies are best to communicate the impacts of climate change:
Dr. Mann: "There's a very careful titration that's involved or calibration that's involved in the process of making sure people understand the urgency of a problem. That there's a danger here or an urgency, that things will happen if we don't act. I think that is sometimes an important driver of human behavior, the awareness of risk..."
Dr. Mann: "It is so easy to step over the line and instead of, doing what you think you're doing - conveying the risk that exists, you're portraying such a doom and gloom scenario that you lead people right past where you want them to be - to despair and to hopelessness. That is not an emotion that leads to positive action. I think it's a mistake to portray climate change purely in a doom and gloom manner..."
On the role of the fossil fuel industry in climate change rhetoric:
Dakota: "Entertain this fantasy for a minute... If solutions existed to reduce CO2 emissions without threatening the business of the oil and gas industry, do you believe the majority of climate deniers would not exist?
Dr. Mann: "Yes, absolutely."
Join us next week when we sit down with Meteorologist Jessica Lebel (@WxWomanJess)! Tune in at 8pm ET next Thursday!