Climate change: heard about it, still don’t get it

November 1, 2008 at 7:33 pm Leave a comment

Everyone has heard about climate change, but what do we really understand? If the temperature rises, what will be the consequences? How soon will they appear? If we need to do something about climate change, how much do we need to do and how soon do we need to do it?

A recent Times magazine article, “What the Public Doesn’t Get About Climate Change” by Bryan Walsh (Oct 28), contrasts views held by the American public with views held by students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology:

“In a paper that came out Oct. 23 in Science, John Sterman — a professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Sloan School of Management — wrote about asking 212 MIT grad students to give a rough idea of how much governments need to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions by to eventually stop the increase in the concentration of carbon in the atmosphere. These students had training in science, technology, mathematics and economics at one of the best schools in the world — they are probably a lot smarter than you or me. Yet 84% of Sterman’s subjects got the question wrong, greatly underestimating the degree to which greenhouse gas emissions need to fall.”

Sterman’s students, all of them deeply versed in the language and concepts of science, mathematics, and modeling, grossly underestimated what kind of action was needed on carbon emissions and how soon action is needed to prevent worst-case scenarios. No wonder the public doesn’t get it. Do you get it?

Links:

Advertisements

Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

Oct 31 meeting notes Real Green Action

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed


Categories

Feeds

November 2008
S M T W T F S
« Oct   Jan »
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
30  

%d bloggers like this: