#1259 - David Wallace-Wells

Mar 6, 2019

David Wallace-Wells is Deputy editor and climate columnist for New York magazine. His book "The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming" is available now.

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time out of the Octagon a beautiful company they have fantastic ethics and there they just have a beautiful heart behind them and ask does my my great friend Justin Wren he's one of the best people on the planet don't make me cry download the cash app today and use the referral code Joe Rogan all one word my guest today is David Wallace Wells and he wrote a fucking terrifying book called the uninhabitable earth a story of the future is about climate change

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Azure free child is going to freak you out but it's I think it's important to understand where this actually is right now where we stand and what the future looks like so without any further Ado please welcome David Wallace Wells

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The Joe Rogan Experience

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so personal Thanksgiving this year and how much trouble are we in legitimately I think a lot lot worse so it's raining too nice out to tell me how long the fires right back you waited this October yeah it was rough but yeah I know the fires in California fires are kind of interesting in that they both seem like it's like the future of the Apocalypse there he are but also it's so familiar from like Decades of wildfires but you know their scientific estimates that say that they're going to get by the end of the century 64 times worse but I mean it's going to get yeah I'll get i'll get crazy and there's no way to avoid any of this Wildfire stuff why me and you know if we don't raise the temperature of the planet then

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what is is that the only thing that's causing Wildfire mean like obviously if the temperature raises there's more Brown dry leaves and grass and stuff like that but is can do I mean not building a certain areas like I've been used to be you know the Indians who lived here before the white people can I did a lot of controlled burning they like lived among buyers and I think that's like a probably more responsible way to be believed now built up the whole state so that they're all these homes that we don't want to burn their all these you know properties we want to burn and when you when you like restrict the ability of natural welfares to burn that means that like more tender gets billed overtime and then you know at some point something like some action it all Burns so that I mean you could you could do more control fire you could take more aggressive action in terms of you know like spraying foam and that kind of thing you got a lot more firefighters but I was just talking to a guy yesterday I'm actually doing some recording them off

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who sang that no Santa Ana powered Wildfire has ever been stopped by firefighters and he was like a environmental historian wow it's like you can hope that the winds redirect them like the action of firefighters is basically just spitting in the wind so the action is not to stop and say, contain it is best that can cause property damage it's a lot easier to do that when you know it's the land was totally raw vegetable just like try to direct the fire in this direction but if the land is like full of homes you like what we can live in one one time we were filming Fear Factor and we were way up on the five like

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probably I would say maybe 75 miles from here and for a full hour driving about 50 miles an hour there was fire on the right hand side of the road for a full hour I mean like Lord of the Rings end of the world like you waiting for Satan to come riding on a burning Phoenix over the top of the hill it was crazy I've never seen anything like it in my life that was the worst one I've ever seen but I think that was just because of placement I think that this past one was actually worse in terms of physical damage and size is just I didn't see the way I saw this one last year there were there were Flames like hopping over the 405 right crazy to me because you know I'm a New Yorker I've lived my whole life in New York and I just feel in my bones I now know it's sort of not true but like my inner emotional perspective on the world is that I live in a fortress I don't live in nature but I got walked out on concrete streets I look up at steel buildings nature

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come for me when you see like fire straddling the 405 that's you know this is a major Metropolis here and we're not safe and that's like for me that's a major like a major a revelation of how does that wherever you live no matter how defend it against nature you are climate change is teaching us that you know you still live within climate and when it gets fucked up it will fuck you up it will affect you in some way you're there was the both sides before a five-run fire last year the last year or the year before that one of those but it was insane it was it's it was hitting Bellaire and people like with this is this we've never seen this before I talk to a firefighter once this is years ago and he told me with the right wind it's a matter of time for a fire hits the top of LA and burns all the way to the ocean he was knocking me anything we could do about it because if the right wind catches in a fire starts at the top of Los Angeles it'll just ghosts

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breakthrough la like at this from Jamie

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405 fire but okay oh that's it that's the crazy videos so this is Bel Air on the left hand side and so these are people driving down the 405 looking at you know the most same site for a place that has 30 million people or whatever La has to see the entire Hillside on Fire To Me Bella is really interesting cuz it's you know most climate impact hit the world's poorest first and then the wildfires are they work in the river it's cuz it's like people living in the Hills yeah there's the rich people but it just shows you like no matter how rich you are no matter how comforted by the wealth you are like you know you might get hit with the best example was Point Dume and we were flying over at my friend. Bill has a helicopter license until we went around the peak of Doom it's crazy because you know these are like 20 million-dollar Estates these massive Bluffside homes they

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thought they were living in the peak of luxury over viewing the ocean like it to the ground like that's what it looks like now. So crazy crazy cuz you like they couldn't even his people voice at all they'll protect the rich folks

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yeah meaning that's I mean yeah I need to think about Miami Beach going underwater and Ryan s wall Miami Beach is a weird because the ground is porous yeah yeah so it's inevitable a sandbar that like some developers in the twenties decided it was all we can make this into a paradise I mean there was but we did it anyway like America and it's like Imperial Swaggart was like no we can create some Paradise out of this completely inhospitable land and both you know Senator time will the most cocky people of the people that have those houses on stilts on the water in Malibu worth over time and it has forever I mean if you think about like a long long sleep of human history most like people lived in maybe they live on a river

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but you know the last like 50 years we were a hundred years we built up so especially America's so much more in the coast and that's like how you know really inviting disaster I mean all of you stand like all of that is like I was floodplain that like nature was like you know swampland it was and now it's you know new Suburban developments made out of concrete and that just means more more flooding yeah I've been to Houston right after floods and it's Houston is a crazy one day we locked it was a hotel we stay at whenever he stood gigs in Houston it's gone now cuz though the floodwaters just filled up the hotel so crazy age

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how do I say really love that today it's kind of like the great food super under a deck into this weird sort of San Antonio Vibe I don't know why but I'm a I'm a big fan of Houston in general there fun people but yeah if it gets hotter there fuck too cuz it's just like in the summer time in Houston you know when you're dealing with 100% humidity and is 115 degrees outside you can't even explain to people that feels like I mean cooked there's other places in the world that are going to be there going to literally cook you by 2050 so cities in India and the Middle East you won't be able to go outside during the summer without ever being a risk of dying by 2050 by 2050 like what kind of temperature and humidity so but you know usually around 1:30 combined with some bad humidity but you know they were already been we've already broken after I showed like there been temperature record set every year but last year I broke a hundred thirty in Omaha and I think

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I'd like the scary parts are not some of these crazy desert places that got really hot it's at the cities of Calcutta has like 12 people in it and it may not be able to email people live there in the summer in just 30 years and then you think about where all those people are going and how much that's going to destabilize everything you know I've talked to people who are terrified about this and I've talked to people who are nonchalant where where do you set are you terrified to you thinking that you're going to be physically in trouble yourself or do you think that with proper planning and does not being tied to one spot you can move to another area I mean I have I have different feelings about it at different times a day cuz it's that big a story it's like going to affect everything I think you know I think civilizations not going to collapse I think like I'll be people around even living like kind of reward and prosperous lives forever and the question is like what shape has lied to take and where there where it where they are

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me personally you know I'm like a relatively well-off person who lives in America in you know New York I think I'll be able to do okay I think my children will be able to do okay when I imagine a future I think it's a reflection of all of our kind of like cognitive bias he's an emotional reflexes it when I imagine like my daughter's future I'm imagining a world it seems a lot like the one that we live in today when I look at the science it paints a really really big picture so you know the question of like optimism and an alarm I think it's really all a matter of perspective right so we're at 1.1 degree celsius right now

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I didn't have basically no way that we have bought two degrees of Mormon which is like just you and calls catastrophic warming the island nations of the world call genocide and that's when we wouldn't be making me cities in the Middle East would start a permanent collapse which could all of them melted eventually bring 260 feet of sea-level rise and we're on track for four degrees of one so that would mean six hundred trillion dollars

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climate damages by the end of the century that's twice as much wealth as exist in the world today it would mean to be parts of the world shine to say where you could be hit by 6 simultaneous climate disasters at 1 to be at least a few hundred climate refugees the UN says the low and estimate is 200 million the high-end estimate is a billion which is as many people as live in North and South America combined taneous natural disasters at once yeah what does that mean like flooding Hurricane famine you know some public health issue they don't like malaria it's like every every category Modern Life can be affected by there was a crazy Heatwave it's like over a hundred twenty and lots of Australia they're also dealing with like epic floods in other parts of the country and that's kind of the problem actually with wildfires in California it's not just that it's getting hotter is Subs also getting wetter some more rain means

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growth means when it gets hot again that growth gets baked and then becomes in a fire starter and that's that you know it's not just it's not just a temperature it's like higher temperatures mean crazy are Extremes in all directions and you know like that's why I think sort of looking good picture there's not a life on Earth that's going to be Untouched by this Force like over the decades ahead but that's not to say that we're all be destroyed by either I think like we will find ways to live in adapting mitigate it's just a question of how much it's going to screw up our politics how much it's going to change the way we think of History you know I got money and I'm a 90s kid at end of History thinking the world was going to a better the world was going to Richard globalization as progress Etc

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what does it mean if I climate change completely eliminates the possibility of economic growth which probably won't be the case for the us but they're huge parts of the world with that is going to be the case if we don't change course now so like the end of the century if we don't change course The Economist studying us a global GDP could be at least 20 possibly 30% smaller than it would be without climate change 30% is twice as big an impact of the Great Depression how did you get involved in this how did you get involved in studying this and what was your perception before you got involved and how did it shift so I'm I'm a journalist I'm an editor mostly actually in your magazine and future like as a result read a lot of sides of paper is read a lot of like obscure subreddits and I kind of thing and

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just in 2016 started seeing a lot more of that a lot more than news from science was about climate and a lot more of that kind of news was really scary when I looked around at the other places that like we think of it are competitors newspapers TV shows I just felt like the scare your end of the spectrum was just not at all being talked about so most scientists talk about this to degree threshold is like the threshold of catastrophe and I think most people think that means that that's kind of a ceiling for a woman like you got to be the worst that could get but actually it's functionally the best case scenario and we at we hadn't had any storytelling any discussion or what the world would look like north of 2 degrees and I just felt as a journalist I was like holy shit there's a huge story here like the way that this world could be completely transformed by the forces is not that anybody is writing about in Parker's so long story but scientists and science journalists were really there really focused on making sure that they're messaging was hopeful and optimistic and they were reluctant to talk about their skin

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Spy Next and so I was terrified by the science I looked at it and I was like nobody's talking about this is scary like spread the word and I wrote a big piece in 2017 that was very focused on worst case scenario so I met you before I think 2° about a best case scenario for degrees as we're on track for now this piece was looking at 568 degrees of warming so things were not likely to get the Centre at least it was a huge phenomenon it was read by a bunch of million people the biggest story than you're faxing it ever published and I just thought man that gets there a lot of people like me out there who have intuitions about climate suffering in Terror but aren't seeing it in the way people writing about the story so

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I decided you know there's more to say and even Beyond like telling us the Bleak storytelling the really dark really dark possibilities I just thought they're all these categories of life that we haven't even thought about how they impact us so we know that sea level rise but that's like a dimension before

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that makes you think if you live off the coast you'll be okay but the whole planet is going to be touched by this someplace is going to be hit harder than others and he is going to be hit by like 29% of our Global Climate impacts of the century everyone can be affected in some way and the way that changed our politics the way to change the pop culture the way it changes are psychology are mood our relationship to history how we think about the future I waiting by the past what we expect from capitalism but we play in capitalism for what we expect from technology what we think technology can do can technology save us can technology entertain us while the world is burning these are all these kind of like Humanities questions that I felt really what really had not been talked about instead of book does like it's a tour through what the world would look like between 2 and 4 degrees but it's also which is a kind of hellscape but it is also you know how about half of it is about

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we're going to live here we're going to survive in what form we will it be in you know at the mythological level what will it be in at the personal level what will it mean what we think about our kids and their future is all that stuff and you know my my my big picture thinking about it is yeah it's really Bleak and I think there are some possible ways that we could have some of these worst-case scenarios I mean there is technology that can suck carbon out of the atmosphere already it hasn't been tested at scale it's really expensive but if we really if we can Overlook you know the next decade or two really like build it like Global plantations of these carbon capture machines

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and I don't like him he likes stop the problem from Moon probably could actually reverse it a little bit I've seen those before I've seen the designs for those were they had these enormous like apartment building sized air filter things yeah I mean it's only only in theory in the real world kind of like in Laboratories has tested his machines there are able to take carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere at a cost of $100 a tonne which would mean we could totally neutralize the entire the entire carbon footprint of the global economy we would have to change anything we could suck out all the extra carbon opening into the atmosphere for cost of 3 trillion dollars a year is a lot of money but their estimates for how much we're subsidizing the fossil fuel business that are as high as five trillion dollars a year so we just redirected those subsidies to this technology in theory we could literally solve the problem immediately

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there are other complications it's like in order to store the carbon you need an industry that's two or three times the size of our present oil and gas industry with it and where that goes in next to who's home and all that stuff complicated but we have the tools we need is just a matter of deciding to put them into practice and I were pretty like that you know recent history shows that we're not doing that fast enough so one of the big you no points that I'd like I'm making a book and its 6 and I had so strongly as you know we think of climate change this thing that started the revolution like centuries ago

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but half of all the carbon that we put into the atmosphere in history of humanity from the burning of fossil fuels has come in 30 years the last 30 years that since Al Gore published his first book of Mormon it seems the UN establish their climate change channel is the premier of Seinfeld so you and I have lived through the Lion's Share of all of the Damage Done to the climate in all of human history yeah and the next 30 years are going to be just as consequential so we brought the world from the basically stable climate to the brink of total climate catastrophe in 30 years one generation we have about one generation to save it to me that's like it makes me uncomfortable to use this language but it's basically a theological story we have the entire fate of the planet in the hands of these two generations what happens 50 years from now a hundred years from now will entirely be up to

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the way we act now and what we do and the time scale is so crazy because you have this really compressed we must act now to avert these worst-case scenarios time scale

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but also the impact will unfold if we don't do anything over Millennia so like we could have you know if we really bring into being the total amount of all ice sheets that means eight centuries from now 12 centuries from now people will be dealing with the shit that were fucking up today we will be engineering problems for them to be solving 1215 hundred years from now and that damage will be done if it is done in the next 30 or 50 years so we are I mean we are really writing this epic story about

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Earth to manatee in our future on this planet in the time of a single lifetime a single generation and that is on the one hand it's sort of like overwhelming but it's also empowering you know like all the climate impacts that talk about all the climate hard is that a really terrifying

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if we make it happen we will be making them happen

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the main and put in the system is how much carbon we put into the atmosphere there are feedback loops that people are worried about their things about climate that we can't control but at least at this point the main driver of future warming is what we do and so we could if we get to a four degree hellscape with hundreds of millions or billions timer Fugees that'll be because of what we're doing it's not some system outside of our control even though we're offering kind of we find a kind of comforting to think that it's outside of our control cuz that means we don't have to change it one of the problems with climate change is that human beings like to react to things that are immediate right in front of them

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I think for us it's very difficult to see the future especially if it's inconvenient and it's especially if it does something to inconvenience or get in the way of our day-to-day routine and that seems to be what's happening here and that seems to me that seems to me to be why people are so willing to dismiss it so flippantly because in front of them right now it's not an issue in front of them right now this very second is very day I'm going to go to Starbucks it's right there it's open. Come outside 65 degrees out global warming is not a problem only true and I feel it in my own life like I I mean I've been living I've been working in this material so long I know it so deeply and yet when I look out the window and Powerful anchoring effect like we expect the world of the future look like the world as it does today but all the sign says that's totally naive and we're going to have at least twice as much warning as we've had to this point

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I think we need to think about the future of the world in those terms like what it will be at 2 degrees at 3 degrees at 4 degrees but it's not just like the immediacy I think we have so many bias use that make like we want to be optimistic about the future we have a status quo by a sweet we don't want to change things we think I will be complicated and expensive we have a hard time holding Big Ideas in our head like that the entire planet is like subject these horses I mean the list goes on and on in the book I have a little riff where I set you know there's this new not so new now 30-40 year discipline in economics behavioral economics which is about all of our cognitive biases how we can't really see the world every single one makes it harder to see climate there's a some he's actually an English professor in Timothy Morton a book about

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climate he calls it I project which is like it's a it's a phenomenon it's so big that we can actually hold it in our heads at once we can only see it it's like if you imagine seeing a 4 dimensional object in three-dimensional space it's that kind of thing where you can only see it at an angle only partially climate change is so all-encompassing that we can comprehend it properly but I think that's all of those things are reasons that we need to be listening to the scientists and what they're projecting not to say that everything they're saying is going to come true will come true exactly is a predictive obviously that's not how science works against revise some things are alarming some things are extreme something's just wrong

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but you know I've been really working on this stuff for a couple years and the number of papers I've read that show that make me have a more optimistic idea about the future of climate I could count on two hands and the number of papers I read that make me have a Bleaker view of the future it's in the thousands and when you look at the totality of that whether the six climate River natural disaster prediction is going to pan out exactly as though the doctor said who knows when you see you know so many so many terrifying studies that you could feel like I did a 300-page book with them you realize that like there's a huge margin for error and it would like we would still be really in bad shape you know is there a I'm sure there have been some studies that made mistakes in terms of like passed out he's a project did that by now we'd all be dead are there was a deal seem to be a problem with this whole concept we have a wrapping my head around and if we find anything that we could point to

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they are back in the 80s he said we'd all be dead by now we're going to be an issue so this is a guy named Paul are like or like he was like you know the world just cannot support this many people like if we get to 8 billion people there just won't be enough food to sustain that has a sort of like prophet of Doomsday and his prophecy totally didn't work out because we had the same is called the Green Revolution figured out ways to make crops way way way more productive and that's encouraging civilization does that a lot we figure out a way out of foxholes all the time but Revolution was literally like one dude Norman Borlaug figured out how to grow crops differently in one guy one set of Innovations and he completely transform the whole fate of the plan

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what did he do he just basically did like genetically modified crops before like the you know before the name it was like the golden rice guy yeah yeah and I need the whole developing World benefited enormously and you're still seeing that today like we see all these charts that you know so much less poverty so much less infant mortality and in developing world that's great that's like incredible progress but a lot of that has was powered by the industrialization of those countries so that bill is going to come do going forward and you know I think like when you look at climate change

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you know if it was just one threat like let's take our culture since we're talking about agriculture estimates say that if we continue on the path around by the end of the century grainy olds would be half as productive as they are today just by the temperature affect so we have just as much land just as much grain crops as we have now but the food we get from it we only get a half as much as we get today what's the cost of that it's just a temperature affects plants the temperature alone but yeah I'm on food like insects there's no water temperatures means more than sex with his dad for crop carbon has a complicated relationship to crop growth like some plants grow better with more carbon but actually they're like the weeds and the ones that we like to eat don't grow better with more Carmen by the end of the century so we could have half as much grain and we could have 50% more people that we have right now there's a way you can imagine maybe they'll be another Norman Borlaug maybe I'll figure out a way through that

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when you look across the Spectrum it's like agriculture it's you know Conflict for every half degree of warm in between 10 and 20% more war till we get to the end of the century we can have more than twice as much as we have to do this is projected because of battles over resources mainly that famines droughts weather Reno weather impacts basically everything about unstable societies get stressed by temperature rise the Syrian Civil War was in a wasn't single be caused by climate change but it was that's one of the causes there was a drought on the prettiest it and that conflict level nation states or even Civil War it's also the level of individual so if you look at crime statistics when temperatures go up there is more murder there's more rape people get admitted to mental hospital more when there's when it's warmer out babies develop less well in the womb when it's hot out there for every day over 90° that have babies in the womb you can see those days in that babies lifetime earnings and we're living we're going to be living

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on a planet that's considerably warmer that's going to have real dramatic effects on everything air pollution there's a big study that I write about in the book that's totally alarming and I opening just between 1.5 degrees into degrees of warming just do the effects of air pollution would cause a 1/2 degree of woman would cause an additional hundred 53 million. Which is 25 holocaust's

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that's just air pollution just between 1.5 and 2 degrees and 2 degrees for May is our best-case scenario it's our best case scenario is 25 Holocaust worth of death from air pollution

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that sounds terrifying people when I say that to them I like holyshit how could we possibly that's unconscionable but already 9 million people are dying every year from air pollution

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and we don't pay attention to it so I think the likeliest outcome even as we enter into this like climate hellscape is that we find ways to turn away and not look at like the real pain of people especially in the developing world but didn't answer your earlier question you know like you can imagine agriculture getting figured out when you see just how many impacts there are it's like it's everywhere everything will be changed and it just makes the challenge damaged bigger and more complicated because you know how are going to solve the conflict problem how are you going to solve the problem of having 30% less economic growth you know like I said that's an impact is twice as big as the Great Depression and will be permanent six hundred trillion dollars in inclimate Damages twice as much wealth is exist in the world today and that's just you know then you deal with the refugees food I mean it's it's it's so all-encompassing and I think that's another reason why we don't want to look at it closely because

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is Starfire is also a matter of how it's being projected to the public right like in in certain circles particularly

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right-wing circles are there are people that are trying to paint this with Rose Colored Glasses right there trying to maximize short-term profits and sort of dismiss the risks of climate change and dismissed the risks of or rather the impact of our what we've done in terms of raising the carbon in the atmosphere there's some people that pointed that like that's this is nonsense science has been disproven there's a few people like that but it's overwhelming the overwhelming consensus of scientists who study this or terrified of it yeah I would say I'd there was some reason for the now past the standard of physics feel like I'm at times has no more reliable than physics hilarious but you know the to the deniers you say things like you know the planet was hotter than this before that's true that dinosaurs lived

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if we're 4° warmer for palm trees in the Arctic of temperature that enclose all of human history to the planet is now warmer than it ever has been when humans were around to walk on it which means to me it's an open question whether humans would have ever involved in the first place this is all from the Industrial Revolution from then on and a question it's like they're people who say they are some natural woman going on I don't think that's true but I also think if what we're seeing is natural warming that should terrify us even more because it would mean that it's outside of our control and we're really heading down the path that we're heading down and we have no control over it that's even more scary it should be a comfort that we're doing it because I mean we can stop doing it well it should be a comfort to those people smarter than the people that don't think that we're doing it that there are people that can possibly

► 00:39:30

consider some sort of way to mitigate the what are the what are the ways of being proposed and how seriously are there being taken other than this idea building these machines extract carbon from the atmosphere I'm sure you're probably aware of them there's some of the programs that they've talked about suspending reflective particles in the atmosphere to to minimize the amount of solar radiation we receive interesting this guy who I mentioned earlier who's like done the most the most Innovative carbon capture machine I talked to him a few weeks ago and he was like no no we should be used to doing solar geoengineering which is what you're talking about and that means probably suspending sulfur is like the most useful thing in the atmosphere Jesus they're all of these instead of effects to which nobody talks about like trees are going to just turn immediately Brown I'm not going to turn color it was a study couple weeks ago that the oceans are going to change color

► 00:40:30

I think just from more green two more blue but you know we could suspend you basically an umbrella a sulfur around in the atmosphere which would mean that it would some of the sunlight coming to the Earth would be reflected back into the atmosphere and that would mean that the sun would absorb less sunlight sunlight which would make it a little cooler the problem is that we have some crippling impact on agriculture and we basically don't know either side effects that would have been. How would you take that stuff out when you get your stop doing it it has a shelf life of I don't know what it is ten years so you can just stop doing it and that's a big concern actually because if we did that just to mask the amount of global warming that we are doing then whatever program was responsible for it would be really vulnerable to terrorism to war because

► 00:41:30

if we if we were if a planet were functionally warm to say 5 degrees but we are suspending enough software that it was actually only two degrees warmer than if we just friends don't like somebody bombed the facility that was doing it the planet would be immediately tripped into a much much hotter State and that would be completely catastrophic even more catastrophic Fenimore slow approach to 5° cuz we would just do it over a century or several centuries we met in ways we be able to adjust it so yeah I think it's just about that particular characteristic of it wouldn't it smell harm it would literally be like out like that's what you hear about with the horror movies like The Devil smells like sulfur and I mean it's it's wet farts smell like and the reason that we were the reason we're able to smell farts is because sulfur is also I mean some related compounds hydrogen sulfide are really toxic

► 00:42:29

that's another issue was well right yeah the cows producing methane gas get on a large-scale agriculture horrifying this program people are excited about it is really cheap it's way cheaper than carbon capture and but so there's a positive for it but it's also

► 00:42:52

we are basically already doing this so we have what's called small particulate pollution that's or aerosol pollution stuff suspended in the atmosphere that's why I like Delhi is really hard to breathe and cuz we have a particular the atmosphere that is already suppressing global temperatures by as much as a half degree or maybe one degree which means and that's the reason it does 9 million people are dying every year from air pollution so we solve that problem be solved the air pollution problems save those nine million lives every year we would immediately make the planet at least a half a degree warmer and possibly one degree warmer which would put us at the threshold of catastrophe or Buffett so we're sort of already doing this program just not in a systematic way we're doing in a haphazard way the methane Dimension they're basically two big issues of methane

► 00:43:39

the first is cows so yeah cows produce methane witches depending on how you count about 35 or maybe 85 times stronger Green wow that's really intense but they're also these like small-scale studies that show if we feed cattle just a little bit of seaweed there methane emissions Could Fall by 95 or 99% so we could if if that was scalable which is not clear it is but if it was we could immediately eliminate the entire carbon footprint of beef which people talk about a lot now you got told I usually less than hamburgers or whatever but obviously this is like a problem it's too big to be solved with like individual choices we need some kind of global policy or national policy about it but the scary or methane issue is

► 00:44:28

there's all this carbon stored in Frozen permafrost in the northern latitudes. Permafrost is melting and when it melts that carbon will be released into the atmosphere we don't know the proportion that it will be released as carbon dioxide vs methane but there is in that permafrost twice as my car been as now exist in the atmosphere which means if it were all released possibly in a relatively sudden way you can make our carbon problem immediately 3 times worse and it could be even the effect could even be more dramatic than that if it was released mostly is nothing cuz nothing is stronger greenhouse-gas most scientists think that that's not something that we need to freak out about in the short-term but it's there it is melting and nothing is being released at some rate so craziest solution that I ever heard for that one was to bring back the wooly mammoth Yeah Yeah by releasing them throughout Siberia

► 00:45:28

yes crazy right I mean I think that we're going to have a whole A Century of shit like that and some shit like cows eating seaweed that everything will have global politics will be reoriented around climate change so that you'll start to see sanctions MBS the guy who's need Saudi Arabia's economy to be totally off oil by 2050 I think that's cuz he knows that you know the global Community will not tolerate someone producing more oil and as recently as soon as a few decades from now but you know everywhere so that like yeah like in California now you can you can buy masks show yourself in the Smoke which is really really damaging its effects on cognitive performance a really dramatic can lower cognitive performance by like 10 or 15% effect on the development of kids is really

► 00:46:28

dramatic music incredible study few years ago if you looked at places where they instituted easy easy pass out here in California no tolls one or two place at what I depending on where you live to take that every day in New York because they were slowing down to produce more exhaust when they instituted is past cars could just drive through exhaust and the effect on premature birth and low birth weight in the areas where the Institute of these new E-ZPass toll plazas introduce them by like 15% each that's how dramatic just the exhaust affect is on development of babies how much is an effective electric cars the other can I mean that that will be right now it hasn't had enough of an ineffective cuz there's not enough of them

► 00:47:23

that problem on the technological level has been solved we know how to replace cars with electric cars we can make them even pretty affordable not quite as affordable as they need to be but the new Teslas are like 35 Grand I think he got it down to the 15 Grands that'll be you know that'll be a huge solution but then there a lot of other problems that are more difficult like air travel yeah we don't have electric plans around the corner you can fly planes but it seems like no one cross-country flight in the u.s. is the equivalent one seat on one Costco cross-country flight is equivalent to 8 months of driving every time you fly from New York to London and back you melt 93 square meters of ice every single seat on every flight from New York to London melts 3 square meters of ice of Arctic ice chest

► 00:48:22

that's insane that's real yeah

► 00:48:27

I think it's time you fly across the country took 8 months of driving

► 00:48:33

so globally air travel is only 2% of the carbon footprint so it's relatively small but for people in especially rich people in rich countries it's a much bigger part of the photos that fly around all yeah but yeah I know the average American I think they'd start is the average American every year emission of carbon to melt 10,000 tons of ice

► 00:48:56

Jesus Christ that's just the average American

► 00:49:00

and if you're a person like me who flies like every other weekend it's way worse way worse yeah so you can a prospective it's a nice is there I mean there's a lot of ice in 60 ft know the plus sign is it's way better to get hotter than his get colder like ice ages kill everything well do you know the each of the seven five mass extinctions in planter history in Earth's history before one of them but the other four were produced by global warming related to greenhouse gas and one of them the Ice Age Ice Age doesn't count it didn't didn't kill

► 00:50:00

90 to 95% of all life on earth. When was on 252 slate wiping of The evolutionary record it's like we're starting over from scratch so we want to think that the asteroid that hit the Yucatan did the most damage in terms of the fossil record is that not true as the one that was the global warming and four of them were from global warming in the worst the worst one was just from from greenhouse gas warming but yeah the one that killed the dinosaurs was also really bad it was something like 70% of our life but it's less than the one where there was a temperature rise wow a volcano a little bit sketchy signs but there was a volcano explosion something like

► 00:50:48

30000 years ago or something I don't remember the exact dates but that volcanoes can cool a global temperature for the same reason we talked about suspended particles cuz it basically clouds the atmosphere with and it dropped global temperatures I think it was two degrees and the human population at the time then shrunk to 7,000 there's a bunch of times

► 00:51:13

and it just it just makes you see like everything about the way that we live on this planet is dependent on climate conditions like we'll figure a way to like have a civilization but it will be transformed will be very different if the world is 4 degrees warmer you know everything about the way that we take for everything we take for granted today is like a permanent feature of the modern world I think we're going to learn is much more precarious much more unstable and yeah like I said earlier you know I'm a Taurus table for all of human history that's how we were able to evolve at our culture the part of the world where we didn't then agriculture the Middle East is now getting almost too hot to grow crops it's also going to be too hot to go to Mecca for a pilgrimage in just a couple decades weather like where in tirely outside of that window temperatures which means were functionally now living on an entirely different planet than humans ever lived on before and it's going to keep changing so by the time

► 00:52:13

get to 234 degrees will be a living in an in a climate that's you know two or three or four times as much different

► 00:52:22

as the one that where is now from the one before the Industrial Revolution and yeah it's like those impacts could be totally overwhelming and catastrophic now the Al Gore film something scared a lot of people but it was also very widely dismissed by a lot of the people as well how accurate was that movie I think it would prove to be too sanguine like it didn't deal with a lot of extreme weather I thought that stuff was far away and I think this is one of the one of the big shortcomings of the most writing about climate most

► 00:52:55

a communication about climate for 25 years is that we were told it was slow we were told it was going to be coming maybe at the scale of century something we have to worry about for our grandchildren but when you realize that half of all the damage we've done has been done the last 30 years and you see already the extreme weather we had a global Heatwave last summer totally unprecedented people died in Canada they died in Russia that died in the Middle East the same season 3 million people were evacuated in China from a typhoon

► 00:53:33

unprecedented rains in Japan we had multiple hurricanes in the Caribbean all at once there was an island in Hawaii East Island to small island that one must be literally wiped out by Hurricane they're thinking about inventing a new category of hurricane Category 6 all of these impacts were are coming much faster than scientists predicted even a decade or two ago and so I think the person give me the truth is a little too complacent but Al Gore's also you know I know I'm a little bit of talk to him a few times he's temperamental a technocrat he's an optimist he thinks Market forces can solve all this stuff and I don't even totally disagree with them I think the market forces really powerful we had a huge green energy revolution in the US that's you know and had spillover effect elsewhere in the world to solar power is now cheaper than anybody expected it would be that good or two ago

► 00:54:26

although it sounds like we haven't replaced any of our dirty energy with it we just added to our capacity so the ratio of renewable energy to dirty energy is now the same as it was 40 years ago who made no progress why is that because we just if we're like rather than saying I'll let's retire this coal plant and replace it with it you know when Farm we think I will have a coal plant in the Wind Farm will have more energy spread apart of energy in this is unnecessary it's not because there's it just a massive demand is it just because they don't want to end that industry people like Trump was talking about Clean Coal and everybody was like what the fuck are you talking about Clean Coal American policy is a red herring the u.s. is 15% of global missions and we're falling

► 00:55:17

the future climate of the world will be determined by China by India by sub-Saharan Africa those are carbon footprint they're growing China's now almost twice as big a carbon footprint is the US and they're building all the infrastructure outside of China that doesn't even count in Asia and Africa you know the Belton Road you know this building the infrastructure of the developing world so recently they they loaned Kenya a huge amount of money to build a new rail line which was good being built with Chinese workers they built the rail line then it can you couldn't pay back the debt so China is threatening to take over the entire Port of Mombasa is debt repayment and this is like going on all around the world highways across Africa across Asia are being built by Chinese workers as an in an effort to build a new Imperial

► 00:56:18

infrastructure for themselves and is the thought that they're doing this in terms of setting up the debt in a way that's on payable so that they could take over if it got repaired I think it's their they're stitching together an alternative to the Western infrastructure of trade and Transit they're basically stitching together an entire second system of how the world will work how the economy will work and it will be conducted through their own infrastructure and through their own ports into their own airports and that's being done by their own standards or China is now pouring more concrete every 3 years in the entire than the u.s. support of the entire 20th century Jesus cries if concrete work country it would be the world's third biggest carbon emitter

► 00:57:06

show the path of development of these other countries China India and sub-Saharan Africa are really was going to be writing the story of the future America has a kind of I think like a moral obligation to lead because historically we had the biggest carbon footprint but at the moment we're relatively small part of the problem and within the US market forces are doing a lot of are making a lot of progress for us so the real issue is how do we figure out a new geopolitics that forces countries like China to act better and one answer may be as weird as it is to say that

► 00:57:46

you know she's in pain is basically a dictator

► 00:57:49

if you wants to impose new standards if he wants to invest aggressively in green energy he doesn't. Political obstacles that we have in the US and so there's a sort of weird sympathy among American climate people for that authoritarianism and he has especially since Trump has been elected been a lot more aggressive about talking about climate because he see is if America is not going to be leading this is an opportunity for China to be like the real face of climate and that means they've they've done a lot with air pollution Beijing used to be really awful in 2013 and more than a million Chinese people died of air pollution and now that's much better what have they done

► 00:58:34

just imposing stricter standards on on pollution so emissions coal plants things like that stuff yet and but you know we think about we think about carbon in the whole problem I think I'm a little too much in terms of energy energy just 30% of the global carbon footprint and dirty energy what's the majority of the footprint well it's nothing that infrastructure there is transportation and agriculture is like a huge underappreciated part of it it's something like 30% of the global footprint is it because of tractors or what it what is it because of everything everything everything that you need to do to run the farm really everything you need to do to live in the world at some kind of carbon footprint but you know if we were able to like feet all that cattle seaweed that would have like a big that would have a big impact but all kinds of crops have

► 00:59:34

Footprints Andy but they would still have to do something to get the seaweed and have the sea we travel to see we did that deliver it to these Farms but you could also do a much smaller carbon footprint I mean if it like procedures we are acting well and like I said before like when you look at each particular threat there's like you can see reasons for optimism you can see like I will figure it out in this way we'll figure it out that way but the UN says we need to have all of our global missions

► 01:00:05

by 2030 to have a chance of averting 2 degrees warm in which they called catastrophic Woman and

► 01:00:14

the projects that we need to put into place in those 11 years are just much bigger than I think we're capable of pulling off they say the UN says what is necessary is a global mobilization at the level of world war against climate starting this year 2019 and there's just no chest I mean maybe 10 years from now we'll get there that may even be optimistic but the total decarbonization that's required is we need to totally zero out on carbon by 2050 they say and I just think you know a lot of these sectors are much trickier we could maybe zero out on energy and carbon when it comes to energy in fifteen years we wanted to but again that's just 30% of the total problem

► 01:01:06

which is why I think there's the negative emissions stuff the carbon capture is so important because it will allow us

► 01:01:13

to move more slowly than the UN says we need to and still if it works out

► 01:01:19

you know keep the planet relatively stable relatively livable but that's you know those technologies have been called magical magical Thinking by the journal Nature which is like the biggest scientific journal writing about their stuff so it's sort of a leap of faith to think that they could solve that problem do you think that we're dealing with like shifts in degrees of perception that it it it's things like your book things like Al Gore's movie things like you know any time there's a new story that's written the New York Times or in any any periodical we need more of this you needs to be hammered home to people that it's nice to be something that's a global discussion that accelerates at the you ended in October that sparked a lot of conversation about it and I think it's in a grotesque way the best teacher is just extreme weather you know when you see every year

► 01:02:19

these California wildfires every year with everything and that is really dramatic people I talk to in Europe are focused on the California fires even though I have while fighting over that is the name of the California fires that they really worried about when you see this Global heat waves when you see unprecedented hurricane Seasons we just had a typhoon in the Pacific in February first time in recorded history you know every day on the news there's some there's something dramatic extreme weather and when they come one after the other I think that's a really powerful teaching tool so you know there's this term is now updated but 500-year storm here a lot about

► 01:02:59

500 year storm memes you know hurricane that would hit a particular area once every five centuries right that means Pop Century ago there were no white people in America so that means we're talking about a storm that would help come once as Colonists came to America as they do you know committed genocide they built their own Empire State built an Empire of slaves in Cotton as they fought a civil war they fought World War 1 as they fought World War II everything we've done it expect one one storm of that kind in that time hurricane Harvey was the third 500-year storm to hit Houston in three years we are living in such unprecedented climate that it's impossible to look at the news and not learn that despite all of our inclinations all of our reflexes to look away I think it is sleeping in I think people are beginning to be more alarmed about it

► 01:03:59

I think alarm is really useful there people in a kind of community you think you know what's it's dangerous to scare people it turns them off but I'm somebody who's awakened to this out of fear and when I look at the history of environmental activism when I look at activism generally like we don't try to get people to stop smoking cigarettes bite like messaging through optimism we try to get them to stop because we tell him how bad it's going to be for them drunk driving nuclear proliferation same thing Rachel Carson you know wrote Silent Spring by pesticides it was called hyperbolic alarmist it led to the creation of the EPA and you know when you think about that you end directive that we should be Mobile in the scale of World War II to combat climate we didn't fight World War II help we thought were bored out of panic and I think that that should be part of how we think about the story obviously I think you know when I look around the world when I talk to anyone when I talk to my family when I watch TV when I watch move whatever read stuff it just seems obvious to me that there many more people worst

► 01:04:59

too complacent about this issue even if they're concerned about it a little bit even if they're aware of it they don't think of it as like the overarching all-encompassing story of our time that requires an existential response and even saying those words make me uncomfortable because I like it's hard it's hard for me to believe that this threat is that big but that is what the sign says and like I said before so that's not going to get more now but when you look at the full scope of it and just how just how large just how Bleak the impacts will be you realize like we really need to wake up to just how dangerous a world we're heading into and do everything we can to avoid it in addition to probably planning

► 01:05:43

true that you live in New York will you live in in New York when Tribeca flooded a few years ago yeah what was that like I mean I think in a situation like that

► 01:05:56

most people emerged from a particular disaster and think my God since this is so awful it must be an anomaly

► 01:06:07

and you know I think New York was really horrified as a city by Sandy but

► 01:06:14

there's going to be Sandy's remember the exact stat like once every five years by the end of this category storm was Sandy made landfall as a category 3 so it's not even 5 yet so if a 5 hidden is it possible for 5 to hit New York as a too far north months ago who is like one of the was one of the lead authors on that report with the New York there's a lot of Consulting with the city and I said so we can build a seawall to protect New York from flooding and he was like Manhattan real estate way too expensive to flood so we'll definitely go to see while but I never structure project like that takes at least 30 years to build and if we started right now

► 01:07:01

we won't be able to finish in time to save Howard Beach and parts of Brooklyn and Queens

► 01:07:06

we started right now he said he's at the city knows this

► 01:07:11

and you'll see in the next few years. Doing repairs on infrastructure they'll stop attending to the subway lines in those neighborhoods and even a few years after that they'll start staying explicitly the people who live there you might be able to continue living in these homes for a couple decades but you're not going to be able to leave them leave them to your kids wow this is a New York City is like the richest country in the world and yeah huge parts of a huge parts of Southern Brooklyn and Queens are going to be underwater so for the people that live there right now what parts are you talking about I'm with the one that the one that he mentioned most explicitly was Howard Beach but which is it's kind of an inch it's like a mob neighborhood and you know it's still yeah really well. Dead bodies wow I didn't know that was still in my neighborhood well yeah and yeah that's true

► 01:08:11

everywhere on the coast everywhere is not just New York New York's not exceptional you know they're projections that like 30 billion dollars of New Jersey real estate could be underwater by 2030. As warming New Jersey it's not as susceptible correct yeah yeah I didn't know they could they could build a seawall but that does that's not going to help because of the ground right so expensive so you really have to pick your poison when you look around the world you know

► 01:08:50

it's like Bangladesh the country's going to be almost entirely underwater that's hundreds of millions of people if we wanted to build a seawall they can't afford that who's going to afford who's going to pay for that and this is all because of the raising sea level because of the melting ice because of the temperature and all this is happening sea level is really a thing that happens on the coastline which it is primarily but it also increases flooding on Rivers because the water at all connected of course oh flooding in the UK is expected to grow 50-fold by the end of the century what was it like the fold London is already like underwater a couple times a year I mean not the whole city but it is this James fucked yes at 18 million residents live here that's a swamp that looks crazy like like if you are real estate projector in your flying over the air

► 01:09:50

what does apartment building so you could see the water level look back up a little bit but if you see it does not look like a water level on the like like that's going to go up to wear that orange level is fucking Christ I mean over Millennia if they're going to rise I mean it's going to take a long time but that's always been the case right there still find a find these artifacts and things in the middle of the ocean areas where people used to be able to live and now they can't live anymore I think we have to move people have to move to what's a good spot Alberta anywhere off equipment in the spot now I mean I think I would like to place that I would move to it because you know

► 01:10:50

what are the impacts of economic growth before but the benefit economically anywhere in the North Shore Canada Russia and Scandinavia will benefit because I don't go to Scandinavia and it's right there by the Arctic Circle in Finland but it's 13° Celsius which is the historical median temperature of the u.s. Tulsa Historical median temperature of Germany what is 13 Celsius was at 60 degrees or so

► 01:11:38

who got Jamie

► 01:11:40

Google it and give it to you

► 01:11:44

night whenever I'm in town and I was like I don't know what you're saying that it's 22° 55 and so for every degree north of that you lose. A percentage of GDP of the US is now in about 13 and 1/2 degrees Celsius at a median temperature that means that we're losing about a half percentage of GDP every year from it but there are parts of the US that were cooler than 13 and are now brought up to the top, level Silicon Valley is like exactly at 13 degrees right now which is you know notable cuz they're like super productive yeah and that's going to be so that'll be true for Scandinavian General and it may be part of the explanation why there's been so much economic productivity and Scandinavia of the last generation is what they have already started doing better with temperature crops are going to be more Bountiful in Russia like Russia will have better agriculture because of global warming which is why didn't they make such a another there such a

► 01:12:43

complicated figure in the geopolitical story about climate so they are petro-state they have almost all of their economic activity activity has to do with burning oil but they're also poised to benefit from warming so they're doubly motivated to produce more global warming. Where's Canada probably there like like that even though they benefit from warming I probably get on board with any program to I've heard women but that is a that's a dilemma the faces every nation you don't like Justin Trudeau

► 01:13:14

guess you know talks a lot of shit about Donald Trump in his kind of policy but Justin Trudeau's also approving new pipelines Angela Merkel does the same but she is retiring nuclear so quickly in Germany that they're having to use dirty energy and even though they had this incredible green energy Revolution are there emissions are going up in every country in the world is it's a collective action problem every country in the world is incentivized to behave badly and let the rest of the world clean up the mess in the sky yesterday about wildfires in California is doing so great you know with all of the admission standards are basically you know holding themselves to the Paris Accords even though the country as a whole isn't but that impact isn't local its Global so it's dissipated temperature impact on California wildfires will be determined by it like I said earlier basically what China does so in terms of you know what any individual area would any any individual nation is doing

► 01:14:14

motivations are really really complicated there and in California particular this is a bit of a tangent but

► 01:14:21

the state has done incredible stuff with emission standards fuel efficiency green energy

► 01:14:28

and yet all of those games now are wiped out every year by the fires because fires are trees trees are burning trees are basically Cole in the sense that they are stored carbon when they burn their release carbon into the atmosphere to every time there wildfires like they were last year in California it literally wiped out all of the progress that the state made in all of its green initiatives. Year

► 01:14:56

yeah and you know about In-N-Out in Brazil that the president Brazil wants to like basically DeForest the Amazon the Amazon is responsible for something like 30% of the world's oxygen and is a shoots a ball plants obviously absorb carbon produce oxygen to plant life is really good for fighting climate change study for Seattle Amazon like at what scale what is he what is he talked about doing so the scientist who studies his proposal say that his plans would be the equivalent of adding

► 01:15:32

over a 10-year. Adding a second China to the world global footprint

► 01:15:39

Jesus Christ yeah and this is just a pump up Brazil's economy whatever flipping the bird to people who care about it it seems crazy now but it really won't be crazy I think a generation from now for another country to threaten at least sanctions and maybe military action to deal with that you know after World War II we built it whole liberal International order around the principle of human rights that would have been Unthinkable in the twenties and yet it led to a series of military and then interventions over the next Century half-century because people were Behaving Badly towards their own citizens if we could do that it doesn't seem all that crazy to me that's a 30 years from now empowered Imperial China looking at someone like bolsonaro Brazil would just be like I'm just going to go in and take you out

► 01:16:39

this is what I mean when I say too kind of all encompassing all impacting our politics will be shaped by it or geopolitics will be shaped by our you know everything will be shaped by it we could have planned it was like in the not-too-distant future Jesus Christ

► 01:16:56

I was just being received the book people people resisting it is there anybody that wants to debate you on this so I produced I mean was a huge sort of viral phenomenon It produced also some scientific criticism and published a fully annotated version where every single episode where every single line came from but they were still scientists who were arguing about whether the messaging was precisely calibrated whether it was too Bleak to dark

► 01:17:26

the book has had none of that I mean it's person always been the best at first week was on the Times bestseller list number 6 special in England it's been in that have diamonds on top 10 and all of the reviews have been really kind I think this goes to what you were saying before I think like the conversation is changing people are actually really interested in

► 01:17:48

I'm talking seriously about just how big a deal this is in a way that they might not have been just a year ago where is the resistance in general 73% of Americans believe climate change is real 70% of Americans are concerned about it those numbers are up 15% since 2015 who are the 27 that don't mean I think it's you know it's hard right now but you know we live in a culture now or like most people's worldview passes through a prism of partisan politics or like you know this amazing studies that show that

► 01:18:27

in the night in early 90s there was no partisan divide between on the question of whether OJ Simpson was guilty when you control for race Republicans and Democrats had the same idea about OJ Simpson's guilt that is totally Unthinkable today and there's now a huge part of split on whether 12 years of slave deserves an Oscar partisanship is like totally taken over our minds such that the fact that we have 73% of Americans who believe global warming is real and happening to me that's a really fucking high number act right because one of the two part I don't think the Republican party is really any more a dinner party I think they're just a party of Skeptics and self-interest they want it like look out for business interests which actually the calculus there is changing to talk about in a second but people don't want to believe that horrifying things are real because who would it's terrifying but 73% of the country that's a lot I mean that's that's more support than there is for just about any

► 01:19:27

so I'm like basically Undisputed I wish that those numbers have grown as well since 2015 credible and I do think that the economic logic is really powerful here so used to be the case that there was economic conventional wisdom that action on climate was going to be really expensive cuz you were quite massive upfront investment and it would mean also forgoing economic growth

► 01:19:57

but all the new research the last couple years were verses that logic totally so

► 01:20:02

there's a big report 2018 that said that we could add 26 trillion dollars to the global economy through Rapid decarbonization by just 20-30 I'll make it avoid all of these horrible 600 trillion-dollar impacts that were talking about if we decarbonise rapidly and they're all so obviously business opportunities there their whole shoulder Empires to build their whole new electric grid to build the economic conventional wisdom is now the fast action on climate is better for the economy then slow action on climate that hasn't yet totally taken over the perspective of our policymakers globally but I think it will soon and when it does I think that we'll see like a real sea change in in their perspective because I think for a long time even people who cared about climate thought well I want to do something but if I have to like call some people some jobs and cost like a percentage point of economic growth that's not worth it let me just kick the can down the road this is a slow-moving phenomenon willing

► 01:21:02

and our way out of it will grow our way out of it

► 01:21:05

but all the new research says like let's get started right now and we'll see how that plays out I mean if we really have to have Global emissions by 2030

► 01:21:16

it means really really aggressive action which I don't think is possible but I do think it will see much more aggressive action in the decade had to move out of the decades in the past so you think that once there is a financial incentive for people to either some sort of an industry that produces carbon or something along those lines industries that are working to mitigate global warming that once there's a financial sort of a benefit for these people to to innovate into to move forward with this. That's going to see real change I mean direct investment of particular companies but also government leaders who look around and say if the economic picture is going to be better 10 years from now if we make massive investments in green energy than it would be an end even like

► 01:22:02

pass laws regulating safe fuel efficiency or even Banning internal combustion engines which I think will happen within a couple decades if that's going to be a few economic picture of taking that path is much Rosier than the economic picture of inaction I think I'll go down that path of action and what form but I do think that you know I do think the incentives will be different 5 years from now than they looked five years ago and that'll be that were huge so that you think would be a great motivator for people to shift their perceptions and particularly right-wing folks may be amongst the 27% that are in denial there's a little bit of it in the UK but it's a totally American phenomenon and we understand that the u.s. is only 15% of all Global emissions is just typical American arrogance like what it what is it what do you think is the root

► 01:23:02

I think it's it's basically bad behavior by the oil companies I mean they've like put out really aggressive disinformation and denial of Doubt yeah perfect example that right I know the people who wrote the book to a really really great and you know it's especially horrifying because in the sixties and seventies the oil companies were like doing some of the most ambitious research on climate so they are you know then they ended up going forward but they knew about how the planet was going to change before any of the rest of us will you know if we had started decarbonization in 2000 which just coincidentally was the other Al Gore won the popular vote for president we would have had to globally

► 01:24:02

emissions by about 3% per year to get below 2° we're now at a spot where we have to cut them by about 10% per year and we wait another decade we're going to have to cut them by 30% per year which is like an unthinkable we would have had to take such aggressive action if we get started early we would have had to just be doing moderate kind of on the margins changes but we're now in a situation where the problem is way too big for that and they're people who want to talk about the solutions that could have been useful 20 years ago now the carbon tax is like one quite popular things to talk about the UN says in order to be effective the carbon a global carbon tax we need to be perhaps as high as $5,500 a ton and there's nowhere else in the world there's nowhere in the world where there's taxes even 1/100 is that right now in the place in the world where they do have carbon tax is everybody's emissions are still growing up so that there was a time when like the kind of like you don't have to change anything we'll just like fit on the margins here could have worked

► 01:25:02

play chicken if we had really been focused on it but we're sort of past that point now unfortunately but it's interesting you know that I think I think there was more for denial but I also think that denial is not all that important in American politics because when you look around the world you see many countries would fit with very different politics even quite universally focused on climate issues are not behaving any better when it comes to carbon than we are and so you think will what is the sickness here is at the Republican party and their climate denial or is it the fact that all of us just want you no more better cheaper stuff and we have a really hard time conceiving of different pads that don't

► 01:25:46

Porsche sport towards more consumption and you know more more than that we sort of assumed old keep accumulating overtime I mean people say capitalism is a problem with somebody for that few but I also look around the world I see social democracies were behaving really poorly when it comes to carbon I see socialist countries were behaving really poorly when it comes to carbon it seems on some level I can't even deeper than the system that we have to organize and manage our cultural priorities and there are now you know going back to the villainy of the all companies during all these lawsuits that are being brought against them for they see on the model of the of the cigarette company is like that for climate damages and that maybe

► 01:26:30

they may be victorious they may put some of these companies out of business I think it's not that likely but it's possible they're also other lawsuits they're having a really interesting is one in the Netherlands that some people held

► 01:26:44

the Dutch government this way Dutch government was not honoring the Paris Accords and citizen Sue to hold them to that and won the case so the Dutch government is now obligated legally to do better on climate than they were doing in there and the US there's this amazing court case call Juliana first United States which is a lawsuit being brought by kids using this kind of ingenious use of equal protection Clause they're arguing that their generation has been exposed to climate damages that they're the previous generation of parents generation were protected from and so they're saying this climate policy is a violation of the equal protection Clause you're not protecting us in the same way you protected our parents that's at the district court in Oregon which is just one level below the Supreme Court I think will win in the district court almost really want one of the Supreme Court but if it did when the Supreme Court it would immediately obligate the US to a totally maximalist climate policy because it's literally impossible

► 01:27:44

protect the Next Generation from climate damages as fully as the previous generation was but they'd be obligated to do everything I could which would mean sort of suddenly something like that the World War II position at the UN calls for which would be really kind of traumatic incredible and I think that's one path for just through litigation because so many places in the world it's not just politics are in American politics are inert it's just there's a lot of slow-moving bureaucracy and slow-moving public opinion and in the same way that a lot of civil rights victories were fought and won in the courts I think we might be able to make some progress in Intercourse on climate to we'll see if you had a magic wand and if they made you the king of the world and they said you you can decide what we do what would you what would the first step be the first step is just ending fossil fuel subsidies I mean there's no reason why this company should be receiving public money and why are they just incumbency advantages are well-connected company is a lot of them

► 01:28:44

I really big and powerful and any government in the world is not going to want a major industry to like completely collapse but you know if we're really subsidizing in 5 trillion dollars that's a ton of money that could be poured into green it like to R&D of new technology it can be poured into the carbon capture like we talked about before that's just an unbelievable resource and the decline of coal in particular and another oil other fossil fuel businesses which would be great but it's slow moving you know there's stuff about people taking action in all different ways at all different levels which I think is basically necessary cities in Europe where cars are now being banned yeah in the city yeah

► 01:29:35

adjust bike rides around you even living at altitude you can only have an electric car you know maybe 10 years from now like it'll be illegal in the US to build like it you know a gas-guzzling car I got an electric car recently and it's amazing the blowback from my friends what are they saying well first of all it's always homophobic or or or feminine after you about your estrogen levels on your manhood it's like it's a weird it's kind of like a space I haven't drove in 1 years ago and I wasn't that impressed I want to say like maybe 5 or 6 years ago but now I have one of the new ones that's crazy fast it doesn't even make sense

► 01:30:35

they're stupid they're stupid and you spend all that money on gas why would you want to do that but I mean they're stupid like they don't work is good like that thing is way better than any car I've ever driven don't even make sense how fast they are and they drive themselves yeah I get this little thing go to do and it just fucking steers it takes over like it drives it's stated in the speed limit and you can just kind of half-ass spaced-out is keep your hand on the steering wheel and if it breaks was cars in front of you and slow. It's very strange leaving change lanes for you talked it's weird it's weird inside is very difficult to let go and to give in like that but that the strange thing that I felt was the blowback from my friends like and they're obviously most my friends are comedian but it's it's hilarious when people have hackled me about it I feel it like just at the aesthetic level I understand that

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does the Tesla is actually a piece of shit it's like a responsible we like cigarettes and whiskey and mock someone eating a salad

► 01:31:54

it's very weird it is very weird but I was an American problem I got a part in the world. They're not is attached to their trucks but there's something particularly strange about being on that side of it cuz I was I want to I don't want to say I was pessimistic about electric cars but when Elon did the podcast I told my boss I was telling me how great their I'm going but I really did not expect to like it as much as I do and then once I got it I was like okay now I get it but then I was thinking about my own resistance to it because I like cars I have no muscle cars I have a couple of an older Porsche I love them they're fun I like those kind of cars but they're stupid they really are dumb that's a dumb way to get around that the test was a way better way to get around you and you know he's got one that's coming out in 2020 that's going to have a 660 mile range

► 01:32:54

which isn't Sammy drive all the way to San Francisco and back with one charge Tesla and SolarCity incredibly important and actually I don't understand why there are more people in Silicon Valley who are focused on climate in this way like obviously they want like these are people who see themselves as Gods who want to be World historical figures who do you think is doing that you don't know I read those text messages he sent to that check out I would say that you should be lucky to get this dick all the space exploration stuff you know all that likes people are obsessed with end of the life extinction extinction side effect of having a hundred fifty billion dollars

► 01:33:54

into space exploration project which is like I mean I'm excited by space to I think it'd be cool to go up there but there's some pressing problems here which we could really benefit you know that money could really benefit and I agree but long-term I think the philosophy is that we're going to have to get off this planet it if the human race is going to succeed but I'm not just the threat of global warming but I've asked her to mail it is fact it's an asteroid thing I think my mean for me yeah there's a lot of factors of climate there's just no way that the Earth is going to get the ball is Mars's show the idea of building a colony there as a hedge against global warming is just crazy we could it is ridiculous by the positive note if we could fix that shit all yeah I can imagine what we could do here at Paradise you have all the ideas terraforming right that they had to go there with some kind of massive machine is going to create oxygen in the environment yeah well that's a good place to practice cuz no

► 01:34:54

what is there so you can do all kinds of GloFish it go well good news and bad news the good news is we figure out a way to terraform the bad news is we fucked up Mars so we can try another spot where to go to get a Venus used to be actually quite earth like a really rapid global warming is a penis an area ultimately the sun's going to burn out right look at the future something something has to be done you know I mean this is the the grandest of brand scales did the concept of some sort of interstellar arcs I'm with it I just think the time scale of the threat that we that we need to a very tight space exploration that's a timescale of Millenia yes we have a lot of new technology developed over the next thousand years that allow us to do it better and more efficiently the climate change the time scale is like

► 01:35:54

so we need to focus on it now know everyone tells the opportunity to do why do you think it's sexier to go to space is that what it is like the rockets and I mean I think for these dudes it's a big metal dick in the atmosphere that's what we're doing trying to fuck space actually made that argument about Mars it's like they're shaped like dicks yet something to that place of this generation of people really grew up in the in the age of like the the Space Race I mean it's and the aftermath of landing on the moon and I think there is like Peter Thiel talks about this there's this kind of unfulfilled sense of future that we all liked anybody who grew up in the post-war years in a 67 they were like you know whatever is famous line we promised flying cars and all we got was 140 characters or whatever let me get that applies to the space exploration stuff is like well the government is no longer doing the really ambitious shit but we can do it privately on the other hand there is a government in the world that is doing that shit in China

► 01:36:54

they just landed on The Far Side of the Moon they're doing really aggressive space exploration and I haven't been there in twenty years but the people I know who would live there say there is so much faith in the future they just believed in a very inherent deep down way that like the future will be better and sci-fi in an exciting way and that's so far in from the way that Americans think about the future is that part of the benefit of having a dictator run things I think it's just like they're on a huge upswing and so I mean that's what I'm saying before it's I get it give you some hope for climate it's like she's in pain is just like okay immediately no more call the law stop yeah this Bezos thing I mean I'm not criticizing you because I think it's a very common thought but why is it that we will look at these Super Rich billionaire billionaire characters that are on the top of the Heap why do we

► 01:37:54

think of them is like having these tremendous Eagles and looking like Gods isn't it sort of just that's just how you're always going to look at someone who lives in of a hundred million dollar house and it's possible I think when you look at me not to get to like armchair psychologizing my business but when you look at the physical transformation that he's put himself through when you think about like a life extension what is he done physically he's just like if you look at photos of him and he's like a young man he's you know just kind of like to EB Action Hero is Bill's jacked am I missing something let me show you

► 01:38:35

Google pull up pull up some images of Jeff Bezos jacked I didn't know I mean bigger than I just I just have thin skins on the worlds

► 01:38:54

I guess I guess he's got some arms. Wow that's a big difference but he's also got a pretty big yeah I mean in most ways are not a business hater I think Amazon has been actually really pretty great, yeah I like to listen to the guy talk I loved his letter to the National Enquirer there it is right there yeah so he looks fit for the King Kong Rampage movie

► 01:39:23

hey looks pretty good

► 01:39:26

okay I guess physical transformation but I don't see a problem if I you know I I interviewed Kurzweil a while back when I was in the Sci-Fi show and I went to the sub 2045 conference they had in Manhattan and it was these guys they're talking about something that they think will be invented and they're acting as if it's been invented that the solution is already here in the sense that way I will just solve it as I know that's a weird thing that we do though right we we always looked like I was someone's going to handle this on the brain upload stuff is interesting to me with regard to climate just because it's like a a portal through which we can escape environmental degradation of the world is on fire

► 01:40:26

and full of suffering maybe we can just upload our minds to some machines and not not live in the real world anymore and when I think about you in my relationship to my phone like Tech addiction generally we're sort of being taught to think of the world on our screens as more real than the world that surround us and that sounds in a lot of ways like the kindness and whatever but I also think it may be a kind of coping mechanism for a world we're about to head into weather is that much more suffering and when I when I see for instance like the whole Wellness movement I think they're intuitions they are about like the toxicity of the world and we have to avoid it I think the way that it will reshape our own sense of self and relationship to the world and idea of our place in nature and history all of these things are really

► 01:41:15

up in the air and will be affected by climate change I think you know in ways that we don't yet appreciate or understand so the to wave the wand what would be a step number one men's fossil fuel subsidies to just massive R&D investment mamatha investment in R&D and new infrastructure taking a positive or taking a negative and look at the positive aspects of mitigating the problem

► 01:41:53

and new energy sources that I mean that you know you are really there are already new business Empires that are from the climate change are there new solar Empire Empires

► 01:42:05

but that can happen globally that needs to happen globally and you know that's what we have to deal with agriculture

► 01:42:14

which may be about seaweed and maybe about lab grown meat I don't know but you know what it's like

► 01:42:20

the big picture it's all carbon it's all just how much carbon would put into the atmosphere so I think it will come to be the case that in the decades ahead everything about the way that we interact with the world will be described it understood in terms of carbon so that for instance you walk down the aisle in the supermarket she organic food you see non-GMO food you'll also see like carbon free food that'll be a big part of the way that we consume everything that they will be advertised that way promoted that way but globally we just need to really focus on reducing carbon is like and wherever it is which is almost everywhere we need to figure out new ways to do whatever it is we're doing that's that's causing a problem we need to make it trendy in Iowa have some organic gluten-free carbon free food I feel like people realize there's two

► 01:43:20

yeah I mean I think a different different parts of the world people will relate differently to it so yeah in China there is scheduled to have this huge boom in these consumption and dairy consumption because it's expected that as a country gets richer the people will adopt him or Western diet but it's also possible that they want that like the new Chinese middle class will be still really interested in you know tofu less interested in beef and

► 01:43:58

it might be a might be easier to have them follow that path and it will be to make the American average American eat less beef butt

► 01:44:09

you know it's it's everywhere like ever ever you everywhere you look there's some there's some problem little problem to solve but then when you pull back it really is just carbon it's like absolutely everything if you if you think about everything you do in terms of the carbon impact it has then

► 01:44:25

you know the solutions to suggest themselves and I do think that in the coming decades if even if you and I don't start to think in those terms are policymakers well that like everything will be entering into a new trade agreement with Japan what's the carbon budget here like what kind of has their carbon Behavior or like you know this providing some public subsidies for this Factory over here what's there like a mission situation like can we ask them to bring along some carbon capture plants that produce their level to level of the individual like talking about buying a Tesla are buying a you know buying a Range Rover whatever I think we'll start to think in terms of carbon and that'll be a sign of just how total climate change will have a totally clammed jingle of Concord

► 01:45:18

the world so that there won't be an aspect of Modern Life that will be not just one touch but in a certain way kind of ungoverned by it yeah what about is there a way to educate people in in a way that's not preachy that sort of moves the needle in that direction I think conversations like this report and I think your books are important and I think you know interviews that I'm sure you're doing right now and all these different shows are important and everything kind of like UPS the needle or UPS the perception of it a little bit but it is there anything else that can be done that could educate people in a way that's it's not preachy or it's not it does it's not aggressive in the way that annoys people it's a horrible thing to say but in the medicine you know what ya the song from Mary Poppins in general like climate message incoming Communications really suffered for a long time because it was so preachy because it was so holier-than-thou

► 01:46:18

people that get involved in a part of the reason why they get involved in its virtue signaling I'm flying a little bit less Define really makes me feel guilty but otherwise I basically haven't changed anything because I do think of politics and policy of the most important impact you can have and I'm expressing the word whether like a couple few or hamburgers here just doesn't really matter that much but the idea that you would ask a newcomer to the movement

► 01:46:50

to demonstrate their commitment by making themselves the most optimally committed that I possibly could be that's just going to alienate so many people and this is obviously an issue where we need more people engaged in a more direct profound way so I think for me it's like anyone who wants to care about climate wants to build about climate like come on like you know Hollywood can be really important here I mean it since I've been out here a couple meetings about shows and stuff and I do think that we had a really corny storytelling about climate change and that there are actually opportunities for like really incredible new kinds of Storytelling I mean in the book I read about the story that have a couple years ago where

► 01:47:38

you know Anthrax that was that killed a reindeer in Russia in the early Twentieth Century the reindeer was frozen in permafrost for the entire 20th century permafrost melted the reindeer thought all the anthrax was released and killed at least one boy and a number of other reindeer in Russia so in the ice in the Arctic Ice are we know of rock is like a record of geological history Isis also record of geological history so they're like the Bubonic plague is trapped in ice that the Spanish Flu in 1918 that killed hundreds of millions of people trapped in the Arctic ice from before humans were around which means the human's immune system have no experience with them

► 01:48:24

there's so many horrible if you can make about this subject holyshit I even think of that I didn't know that the Spanish Flu is trapped in ice conditions anyway they've revived bacteria that are millions of years old once Russian doctor literally injected a bacteria that he had revived from like 35,000 years ago it's been frozen for 35,000 years you brought it back to life and injected it into himself why would he do that just to see what we that's a fucking Marvel comic book The Red Skull or some shit is so big we will be reading about diseases coming out of the Arctic Ice will be reading about tropical diseases arriving in Copenhagen because now mosquitoes are there because the temperature allows them to live there in a way that they never lived before we will be reading about time of conflict will be reading about

► 01:49:24

you know I mean all this shit it's it's it's everywhere if you know air pollution increases the rate of autism and ADHD it changes on the development of babies in utero it's like it's all-encompassing

► 01:49:38

wow the disease in the ice things really freaking me out I never even considered that the yeah but that is something to think about along with the methane and carbon is going to be emitted into the atmosphere as it melts will let me tell you the story so there

► 01:49:54

we know there is there this species of antelope called a Saiga Antelope they're mostly in Siberia

► 01:50:03

they're kind of dwarf antelopes and they've been around for millions of years and all of a sudden in 2015 or 2015 they literally all died it's called a Megadeth the entire species died they're extinct there now extinct Cheese's and that happened because a bacteria that have been living inside their guts was changed by temperature conditioned it was unusually hot unusually humid summer and this bacteria that have been living inside them presumably for millions of years

► 01:50:38

comfortably as a kind of peaceful cooperator became a killer and killed the entire species now we have inside us

► 01:50:50

countless bacteria and viruses scientist believe millions in every human so our guts are full of bacteria that do our digestion for us they monitor our moods another some scientists to think it's really misleading to even think of the human as a unitary animal rather than a kind of composite Queen of the system and most of those bacteria and viruses are not going to be dramatically transformed by a degree or two degrees of warming but there's so many of them

► 01:51:22

the chances that one could is hard to dismiss that and whether that would mean we'd all immediately go extinct probably not but what if that means suddenly schizophrenia increases by 15% because schizophrenia is related to the bacterial infection called Toxoplasma got things bacteria Toxoplasma Gondii parasite that triples your chance of getting schizophrenia in our bodies are so complex such intricate ecosystems like you say that if one little thing gets Disturbed it could have really catastrophic impacts on us and that's true of the planet as a whole I think that's bait that's one of the big lessons in my book is at this is such a delicate system it's been stable for all of human history and now it's not stable what that means for how we live we don't know yet that the changes will be significant will be profound but it's also true of the individual you know our bodies will be living differently in the world is two degrees warmer than they are today

► 01:52:22

really predict with those impacts will be but it could be quite dramatic and they could be things that we can't even imagine today because you know by some counts millions of bacteria inside us that we haven't even identified yet

► 01:52:34

Jesus Christ you're freaking me out day that God damn it's a crazy world out there they would not just crazy but it seems like

► 01:52:43

when when you talk about things like this we talked about climate change affecting our actual gut parasites or gut biome and that this literally could change what human beings behave mean these are all things that I've never discussed and it did it just it's really terrifying really is and part of the problem is people here in like I'll relax everything's fine this is this constant thing that we do wear if it's not affecting us currently right now in the moment is not a fire in front of us we don't worry about it it's a weird compartment compartmentalization thing that human beings do ya and

► 01:53:23

it's because you think that Evolution would have trained us differently you think that Evolution would have trained us over time to have at least some long-term capacity and I guess we do have some long-term planning capacity but it's we choose to think when really short term was just about all the time out how's your book going to freak me out more and more of this Jesus man how do you sleep at night you okay I mean I sleep through compartmentalization and denial to I'm not that holier-than-thou thing that's not who I am I'm not environmentalist until a couple years ago when I started really worrying about this stuff I had the same disinclination to take it seriously than that most people do you know it's real I thought it was something that we need to worry about a deal with but I thought it was like a small problem that could be dealt with without much changed my life and

► 01:54:21

I still basically feel that way I mean I you know I'd like going on vacations in nature but I'm not someone who's like Spends months hiking the trail or whatever I've never even had a pet I don't love animals you know but my the more I looked at the science the more I just realized this isn't about affecting some part of nature over there

► 01:54:41

it's about affecting all of human life every aspect of human life as it's lived on this planet and that really terrified me but even knowing that even staring at it straight in the face I mean I still get up in the morning and you know what ever do the same shit go to the gym watch basketball go to my day job and I don't think that we should be ashamed of that I think all of us have are going to have different reactions to the story different perspectives on the crisis and that's good that's human but spreading the word generally making people a little more alarm is going to make people take some more action than that's what we need

► 01:55:22

but you know

► 01:55:24

the psychological guy said before the psychological biases are so strong that like when I imagine my daughter's life I'm not Imagining the hellscape I'm imagining the life the world that I grew up in and again that's not like

► 01:55:39

that's how everybody that's how everybody waits release the world and it's just a reminder how important is to look really directly at the science because the world as it exists today is not a good Guide to the world that will be living in a decade or two there's no way that the climate system as it exists today will be stabilized forever it will get hotter all of these things will get worse every tick upward of temperature will make will create more climates a friend somewhere in the world and we get to really traumatic levels of warming that suffering will be basically everywhere

► 01:56:15

we can't continue orienting our perspective on the future on the world as it is today we have to take seriously this range of temperature temperature is 2 degrees to 4 degrees that were on track for the Centre has a way of generating sufficient

► 01:56:31

activity in response and adapting as we need to if we keep looking at the window and thinking the world as it is now will continue we're not going to do anything and that's what we've done over the last 30 years we have been catastrophic I think that message is really important and I think that also the message of that we need to change and evolve as a civilization but as a human being you need to still enjoy your life and that you know it just it's it's a it's not all oh my God I need to drop everything I'm doing that leaves any sort of a carbon footprint its we need to address it as a civilization if your average American had the carbon footprint of the average European

► 01:57:13

America's carbon emissions would fall by like 35%. I don't think of likes the difference what do they do differently Drive less it's weird cuz they make the best cars are too many people in in Europe would like commute an hour and a half to work everyday that's Ignacio income in America their diet is better Carbon wise and they have more aggressive green energy stuff going on

► 01:57:49

that's just wasted carbon and you know I think the number of electricity is like 70% of American electricity is wasted because of how bad the grid is like it just is so bad at delivering for one session at this is one reason why it so they said he is so important because the battery can be a much more efficient transporter of electricity is no excuse for California I mean something this winter it's sunny everyday yeah but so if 70% of American electricity is wasted it's like and if we were less wasteful we love you no less of a problem on our hands but we still like order twice as much food as we wanted to throw it out I mean I know that you know

► 01:58:34

yeah so you can understand why someone would say to you like what are you doing but it's that sentiment behind it it's kind of gross right I'm looking apocracy what I see is like you know you want the world to be a better place than you yourself are doing yes it's like that to me it's like we think of the positive quality you believe we should be behaving in a way you are not just whatever needs to do what you need to do as well conscious of the need to change and like you know if someone believes in say like better Healthcare we don't ask them to donate all of their money to hospitals that's what taxation is for policy directs our cultural energy towards targets that we want to reach so again as a civilization we need to adjust

► 01:59:34

we're so that we promote and support this idea of a civilization shifting listen man thank you thanks for scaring the shit out of me thanks for coming down here I tell people what was the name of the book one more time please call the uninhabitable Earth the subtitle is life after warming it's on my Instagram and we'll put a link to it on Amazon on Twitter and thank you David on that manuscript to me to good luck with your book now they really I think to make a big impact thank you thank you everyone for tuna to the show and thank you to the cash app the number one app in finance in the app store for a very good reason download the cash app today in the app store or the Google Play Market order your cash card and of course when you download the cash app and to the referral code Joe Rogan all one word $5 will go to you and $5 would go to support our good friend Justin Ren's fight for the Forgotten charity helping to build Wells for the pygmies in the Congo

► 02:00:32

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► 02:01:32

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► 02:01:49

did you get scared I got scared it's one of those things this the subject that and we talked about this on the on the show itself it's just doesn't seem real while everything's okay but I think it's important to to read stories like God the uninhabitable Earth in the read books about it and really understand where we're headed it's fucking terrifying so thank you to David I really really appreciate that and thank you to all for tuning in I love and respect you all much love and kisses and love them and will talk to you soon bye bye