Can We Afford to Prevent Global Warming? Making Sense of Global Climate Change
The realization that society’s reliance on fossil fuels is resulting in alarming changes to the Earth’s climate is forcing people to evaluate a host of issues concerning energy consumption and its effect on the environment. This public event addresses these issues and endeavors to educate concerned citizens about the challenges that lie ahead. In the first half, David Keith, an expert on energy and professor at Carnegie Mellon University, describes the world’s current consumption of fossil fuels and suggests future options for energy that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Keith presents the surprising idea that fossil fuel consumption can continue without its harmful side effects provided energy companies pursue carbon sequestration technologies, which Keith argues are both possible and practical. In the second half, Stanford University professor Steve Schneider talks about the challenging policy dilemmas presented by climate change in both the developed and developing world. As a possible model for pursuing environment-friendly policies, Schneider offers the case of Bhutan, a developing country that has favored environmental and cultural production over the material benefits of Western-style industrialization. This event is part of the Walter Orr Roberts Public Lecture Series. Recorded on July 25, 2000 in Aspen, Colorado.