The Squeaky Wheel Gets the Grease

As has always been true with effectively reducing human impact on the environment, the main change required to make progress is the social view of the severity and urgency required to make change. In the both the IPCC reports it is of course stated that there must be ““rapid and far-reaching” transitions in land, energy, industry, buildings, transport, and cities”, but more importantly that citizens and nations have a realistic and motivated approach to the issue rather than moving forward with denial and negligence (IPCC 2). Technology can help humans create systems to lower our CO2 emissions, find and use energy alternatives, and possibly even partially reverse damage that has been done, but standing alone they certainly can not prevent us from surpassing a 2 degree celsius rise in global temperature. This is where socio-technological fixes must be employed, a united view of what we as humans must do to change our course. If a large enough population of United State citizens, who combined consume 24% of the world’s energy, decide to neglect the facts of climate change and therefore choose not to change their practices, it would be incredibly difficult to make global progress. This is why socio-technology if often times more important to consider than technology itself.

Reidy’s article regarding Tyndall, one of the greatest scientists of the Victorian era, certainly helps disprove the claims of climate contrarians that climate science is still in its infancy. In Tyndall’s paper to the Royal Society of London in 1861, Tyndall states through one of his experiments that, “Any changes to the constitution of the atmosphere “would produce greater effects on the terrestrial rays and produce corresponding changes of climate” (Reidy 13). We can confirm here, via the first explanation of what we now know as the greenhouse effect, that climate science is far from its infancy. Furthermore, as covered in both IPCC reports, there is an incredibly large amount of research from an extensive pool of scientists, researchers, authors and editors that goes in to each and every statement made by scientists regarding the impact of climate change.

1 thought on “The Squeaky Wheel Gets the Grease”

  1. Hey Ellie- Very organized thought process.
    I really enjoyed reading your blog post because of the way you simply and systematically went through the steps of explaining your thought process. My only qualm would be that sometimes the quotations you used were difficult to understand (especially the first one) but I see this as just a simple mistake rather than intentional neglect or carelessness. I found it impressive how you were able to extrapolate as much information as you did from the data given in the IPCC papers. I know I at least felt very lost when reading through all that data so I commend you for the way in which you were able to communicate what you read. Nice work!

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