Blair Anderson, on the hustings 'canvassing for opinion'

Blair Anderson, on the hustings 'canvassing for opinion'

Friday, October 26, 2007

Fires in Southern California, Climate Change and Cascade Effect.

Kerry Burke,
Kerry, this is a transcript of a conversation on "Democracy Now" hosted by Amy Goodman.
Bill McKibben is a leading environmentalist and one of the leading forces behind Step It Up. In 1989, he wrote the book The End of Nature, one of the first books to describe global warming as an emerging environmental crisis. His latest book is called Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future. Bill McKibben, joining us from Boston, welcome to Democracy Now!

BILL McKIBBEN: Amy, it's good to be with you, as always.

AMY GOODMAN: It's good to have you with us. The fires in Southern California and global warming, is there a connection?

BILL McKIBBEN: I'm afraid that there is. This is the kind of disaster that we see more and more of as we begin to change the basic physics and chemistry of the planet we live on. One of the people leading the really brave rescue effort out there yesterday said, one of the San Diego authorities said, this is the driest it's been in at least ninety years. It's dry because they've had terrific heat and not much rain. And those are just the conditions for that part of the world that all the modeling suggests come about when you begin to raise the temperature.

AMY GOODMAN: I wanted to ask you about Tom Swetnam of the University of Arizona, one of the ecologists there. He has written about the connection to global warming. He published a study in the journal Science, saying global warming has increased temperatures in the West about one degree, and that's caused four times more fires.

BILL McKIBBEN: This is the problem. Things don't work in a linear smooth relationship, you know? You raise the temperature a little bit, and you begin to get very large cascading effects.
................. snip...................

Please Kerry, lets not pretend Canterbury (or East Coast North Island)  is immune from sudden and significant deforestation risk or that an emphasis on growing more trees doesn't carry with it contingent, and quite possibly un-insurable carbon (credit) risks going forward. These are uncertain times made more uncertain by us not being aware of scenario risks if we don't future map the possibilities. That requires us to be alert to what real time circumstance tells us. I re-iterate my candid comment to you made at the Prime Minister's Climate Change/ETS meeting today, California's fires 'are Climate Change'. 
Blair Anderson  ‹(•¿•)›

Social Ecologist 'at large'

ph (643) 389 4065   cell 027 265 7219

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