Is climate change more like an asteroid or diabetes ?
That is the question Ted Nordhaus and Alex Trembath try to answer in an article they published first on The Breakthrough Institute, and then in French on our online review Le Grand Continent (see links below).
The article shows that the best metaphor to describe climate change is that of diabetes : something that you can’t cure, that can kill you if you don’t manage it correctly, and that will change your life even if well controlled.
Considering that it is quite unlikely to stabilize emissions to limit temperature increase to two degrees celsius, they argue that « climate change must be understood as a chronic condition of global modernity, a problem that will be managed but not solved ».
However, many people could rightly consider that describing climate change as a disease we should learn to live with does not convey the urgency of the situation necessary to enforce the appropriation policies.
Which is the best way to describe climate change and the best way to act towards it ?
If the Green New Deal seems quite ambitious and appears to consider climate change as an emergency, can we deem the policies proposed by these plans a proper response to an « emergency » ? Do politicians believe in the imminence of the threat ?
This debate, more or less, intends to bring the traditional question that underpins any political movement (reform or revolution ?) in the field of environmental policies. Are reforms more realistic than revolutions ? Are revolutions more efficient than reforms ?
To give your point of view on these different issues and Nordhaus and Trembath’s paper, come to our last debate of Hilary !
No debate experience or political background is necessary. We value diversity of perspectives and opinions.
Free refreshments will be provided at 7pm and the session starts at 7:15 promptly.
Saint John’s College, New Seminar Room (see map below).