Science vs Ideology
Science and politics are brought together and projected into the future to form the basis of the Novels in the Sphere Series. When the President of the United States declared that he was pulling the US out of the Paris Accord I am sure that many thought it was not of great consequence, particularly his supporters. This is wrong, it is deadly serious. The Accord lays out targets that are conservative and even if met will still lead to substantial impacts from Climate Change. The target of keeping temperature increases to 2.0 degrees Celsius is now morphing into a 1.5 degree Celsius target. The recent IPCC Report has addressed the impacts of one and a half versus two degrees rises in temperature stating that with the current carbon budget the Earth will warm by 1.5 degrees between 2030 and 2050 (IPCC SR1.5 4/06/18). However it is highly unlikely that we will come anywhere close to meeting the targets, these represent mankind’s minimal targets and little indicates that nations are on track to achieve them, “A mix of alarm and apathy has both galvanized efforts to secure a 2°C future and also bedevilled them. A target of 1.5°C is no more likely to be met, but may nevertheless encourage the world to try harder”. (The Economist, Oct 13, 2018, p.14). The message here is clear. We may never meet these targets, however, without the goal in front of us, humanity risks much greater catastrophe.
One of the key dynamics that is preventing us from meeting targets is the serious divide that exists between Science and Policy. Our Nations develop policy through the political process, that is what we elect people to do. However, the policy frequently follows ideological lines despite factual information that would point in the other direction. That is what is happening today. The largest economy in the world has abandoned the Climate Change Accord targets based on an ideological belief, one that denies facts, denies the science and promotes self-interest and greed. This has raised a strong reaction in the press, “Trump's failure to fight climate change is a crime against humanity”,(Jeffrey Sachs, CNN, www.cnn.com/2018/10/18/opinions/trumps-failure-to-fight-climate-change-sachs/index.html).
The question has to be raised. Why would policy-makers ignore the science? The IPCC report recently released drew from over 6000 studies and was written by 91 researchers from 44 countries, (The Economist, Oct 13, 2018, p.76). Yet politicians in many countries, not just the US respond by saying they don’t believe it or they have a scientist who disagrees. “He [Trump] suggested that other reports were as valid as the UN's, though he did not specify any. "I can give you reports that are fabulous, and I can give you reports that aren't so good," Trump said.” (https://www.businessinsider.com/trump-doubt-un-climate-change-report-2018-10).
I would suggest that this presents a challenge to our political scientists and policy wonks to address. Humanity depends not only on scientists doing their job but on others developing the tools to be able to harness the science and use it to attack deadly serious questions of public policy. If we don’t do this we will be exposing our children and our grandchildren to a 3.0 degree plus world. As a writer, I have tried to bring this forward through the route of speculative fiction. I try to imagine the world that we are going to leave to our children. Starvation, conflict, disasters become the mainstay in that world.
There are two key words used in how to avoid this, one is mitigation, reducing greenhouse gas emissions; the other is adaptation, developing the technologies and processes that will allow our children to adapt and live in the new world that has been created. We have to realize that some changes are unavoidable, “Professor James Hansen, one of the world's leading climatologists, has demonstrated that the Earth's climate has moved above the temperature range that supported the entire 10,000 years of civilization,” Jeffrey Sachs, www.cnn.com/2018/10/18/opinions/trumps-failure-to-fight-climate-change-sachs/index.html
In The Sphere Conflict and The Sphere Wars, I have brought together the science of Climate Change with the political shenanigans that characterize our modern age. By forecasting this out to the future starting in 2074 I have tried to convey a sense of urgency but also one of optimism that human intelligence and cleverness can make a difference The third book in the series will take this even further with grand hope for humanity’s future.
10/7/2022 03:51:07 pm
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