Tag Archives: @ClimateTalker

The Adam Smith Plan for Climate Finance

The Adam Smith Plan for Climate Finance: Because the Climate is Too Big to Fail!

This is PDF of my PowerPoint Presentation, and “a big bold plan” to rethink Climate Finance altogether: It’s a much larger fund ($6.7 Trillion Annually), it’s easier to administer, it’s run by Private Banks so no need for Presidential or Congressional obstruction, and the wealthiest in the world, who taxpayers bailed out in 2008, will be the only ones to pay it (and it’s so minuscule, they won’t even notice). The best part is that it will unleash investments worldwide in new industries and jobs and boost Global GDP and reduce income inequality that threatens economies and national security. The “Invisible Hand” that Adam Smith envisioned.

Thoughts welcome. Just register free to comment!



My Response to the Climate Change “Puzzle” Q

Green Biz Asks: Can we really solve the million-piece climate puzzle?

Great Question.

The Chief Climatologer at GreenBiz.com, Mark Trexler @ClimateRoulette posed an excellent question about just how complex the Climate Change solution is, and queries about how we can solve a puzzle with so many millions of pieces to it. A great think-piece that deserves responses. Here’s mine:

I like the puzzle analogy because there are so many pieces to it, but those pieces (different ecosystem effects, predictions & modeling, technologies at economies of scale, public opinion, etc.) are pretty much solved. It’s more like climbing Mt. Everest, only to be stopped before the peak by a powerful few who think they own Mt. Everest, and because of their power (and money), they’ve succeeded in keeping their narrow self-interest above the collective interest of survival itself (Putin, Big Oil, US Politicians, OPEC). But no one owns the Earth. The Paris Agreement was witness to that.

As with all historical struggles between the Powerful Few and the People, the People eventually prevail. From the tyranny of religions, Kingdoms, Gilded Ages & Dictators, people prevail (albeit it through blood and strife usually). With climate change, we are seeing the people rise in peaceful protest across the world. The People’s Climate March in 2014 shocked the UN with 400k in DC (I was there and it was powerful). Seeing the Scientists themselves this past weekend motivate 600 marches in the US and on 6 Continents was a crucial step. As a doctor doesn’t simply tell a patient they have cancer and leave it at that, scientists have spelled out what needs to happen and began aggressive advocacy for their patient, the Earth, by taking to the streets. On the 29th, yet a larger People’s Climate will take place as well.

Back to the analogy, there are defectors from the wealthiest atop Mt. Everest, and more and more politicians hear the people, the polls, the marches and know they can’t maintain their thrones without addressing those calls. Republican legendary leaders like Secretaries of State George Schultz and James Baker along with huge businesses are vocally supporting a carbon tax and dividend. The necessity of invention providing renewables to the masses in the developing world is driving markets positively for clean tech and negatively for fossil fuels, faced with oversupply and competition with OPEC and non-OPEC suppliers driving oil futures into insolvency.

Like every good movie thriller, there will be a denouement, a tipping point, and the good guys will prevail. Just how, when and where, I’m as unsure as most on this crazy rollercoaster. But just as we know the movie will somehow turn out, I believe with so many younger people coming of age knowing nothing but the truth about the climate challenge and heirs to the result, that it will happen.

The current wave of populism that propelled Brexit and Trump, has already hit speed bumps as the world sees that recoiling in narrow self-interest and blaming the World, isn’t working out so well. The French Election points to smoother sailing as the centrist Macron is consolidating support against the nationalist Le Pen. Donald Trump, and his administration of deniers is facing the worst approval ever and almost no accomplishments in its first 100 days. In other words, people may be mobilized by Fear in the short run, but Hope is far more powerful in the Big Picture (or Puzzle).

Lots of deep breaths, marches and plain ‘ole “Keep Calm and Carry On” is the charge. The pieces will fall into place.

Global Science Friction – We Marched!

Scientists Take To The Streets

The March for Science started as a spark of an idea from the bonfire that was the Women’s March, immediately following Trump’s shocking victory. According to Vox,

Who started the March for Science, and why?

On the day of the Women’s March on Washington, Jonathan Berman, a biology postdoc at the University of Texas Health Science Center, was reading a Reddit thread about an article headlined “All References to Climate Change Have Been Deleted From the White House Website.” One comment caught his eye: “There needs to be a Scientists’ March on Washington.”

“The only way to make things happen is to do them,” Berman told me in February. So he purchased the web domain MarchForScience.com, and set up a Facebook and Twitter account. The march will “send the message that we need to have decisions being made based on a thoughtful evaluation of evidence,” he says. And all of a sudden, he had a movement. (Some 521,000 had “liked” the march on Facebook as of Tuesday.)

And with that it went viral.  A post-doc lit the match that created this map of satellite marches across the US alone and 600 events across the world on Six Continents!

Source: Vox Media

Most media covered the event as a response to Donald Trump’s threatened budget cuts to science agencies and especially to climate change programs and that scientists felt threatened by the repudiation of science by policymakers altogether in the Trump administration.

While that is all true, I believe it goes much deeper. It’s been brewing for a couple decades as climate scientists have had to come to terms with the political implications of their research findings that the climate is warming, and we humans are responsible. Unlike the Ozone problem, and the Montreal Protocol, where Ronald Reagan cited “the global scientific consensus” and praised international cooperation at his signing of the agreement, the oil industry congealed fast and ferociously to fight them. It was no match.

The largest and most powerful industry in the world set out to change, challenge and confuse the facts long enough, while funding the politicians, think tanks, and forcing (somehow) the media to cover the issue of climate as two equally opposing views (in the name of balance) for far too long, instead of objectivity, that would rely on the vast consensus of scientists to guide its reporting.

All scientists watched as Climate Scientists were on the front lines of the “war on science”, being attacked professionally and personally, watching on as the bogus “Climate E-Mail Gate” was taken up as a genuine controversy in most outlets, and in outlets like Fox News, called “a purge and deletion of all climate data” as I experienced personally as a guest in this segment. I was forced to do something very uncomfortable and unusual in my many years on national TV, call them “liars” on the air.  It was just too much. I had debated deniers for years on TV and Radio and presented facts and logic in debates against pundits whose talking points came straight from the every-changing alt-fact set of think tanks like Heritage and Heartland Institutes and the American Petroleum Institute. I was just mad as hell and couldn’t take it anymore as they say.

It was no surprise to see Michael Mann, Director of Penn State University’s  Earth System Science Center (ESSC), (and Climate Talk Radio Contributor) leading the march as he reluctantly became the poster scientist for abuse, lawsuits and personal attacks after releasing the iconic “Hockey-Stick Graph”, but what did surprise me was to see the sheer diversity of the scientific community that came out on Earth Day, from every discipline in a non-partisan almost primordial scream at the establishments of government and media that should hold them accountable, to defend the underpinning of American progress: evidence-based peer-reviewed science.

Nerdy signs and slogans abound, “What do we want? Evidence-Based Science! When do we want it? After Peer-Review!”

But make no mistake, scientists are mad as hell and they’re not going to take it anymore!