When James Hansen created one of the world’s first climate modelers—then termed "Model Zero"—thirty years ago, he sounded a novel and somewhat abrupt alarm. The world, he predicted, is getting warmer, a claim that would later be echoed by the bulk of the scientific community. Today, as his findings fuel one of the biggest debates in planetary history—“What to do about climate change?”—Dr. Hansen, currently of NASA and Columbia University, sits down with Big Think to discuss his latest and still graver conclusions: not only is the climate’s current rate of change unsustainable, but if we can’t dramatically curb emissions soon, Earth will become uninhabitable for the human race.
Years ago, when the climate debate was still called ‘global warming,’ climatologists believed that the world would be safe if CO2 emissions reached a maximum of 450 parts per million of the atmosphere. Today, that claim appears woefully optimistic, as 350 PPM has become the absolute minimum ratio for anything resembling a sustainable future. The problem? We’re already at 387 PPM, and are witnessing an unprecedented rate of global industrial development.
So, can the proposals on the table help alleviate this situation? Not in the least, says Hansen. If we want to truly confront global catastrophe we need to be having an entirely different conversation, one where legislation drafted by the polluters –i.e. the cap-and-trade bill—isn’t the only progressive option, and the need for a steadily increasing carbon tax that goes directly back to the public is finally acknowledged.
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A new study explores how certain personality traits affect individuals' attitudes on obesity in others.
- The study compared personality traits and obesity views among more than 3,000 mothers.
- The results showed that the personality traits neuroticism and extraversion are linked to more negative views and behaviors related to obesity.
- People who scored high in conscientiousness are more likely to experience "fat phobia.
Meanwhile, Spaniards are the least likely to say their culture is superior to others.
- Survey by Pew Research Center shows great variation in chauvinism across Europe.
- Eight most chauvinist countries are in the east, and include Russia.
- British much more likely than French (and slightly more likely than Germans) to say their culture is "superior" to others.
The history of the Geneva Conventions tells us how the international community draws the line on brutality.
- Henry Dunant's work led to the Red Cross and conventions on treating prisoners humanely.
- Four Geneva Conventions defined the rules for prisoners of war, torture, naval and medical personnel and more.
- Amendments to the agreements reflect the modern world but have not been ratified by all countries.
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