Dean Gus Speth on an Environmental 100-Day Initiative for the next President

Topic: A 100-day environmental initiative for the next president.

Gus Speth: There's a group called the Presidential Climate Action Plan, PCAP. And our goal there is to develop ideas for a new president on the climate issue. And in part, what we really believe has to happen is that the new president has to put the-- this issue as a first 100-day imitative. There's a real risk because it's a difficult issue. It's going to be a time consuming issue that if it gets postponed into that second or third tier of actions after healthcare and other things that it will take time, and then pretty soon we will be running up against another election cycle. And somebody will come along and say, "Well, you know, this is just to hot a potato to," pardon the pun, "to take up at this time," and so we need to get it done quickly. And the other reason for getting it done quickly, of course, is that we have an increasing amount of information coming from the scientific community that suggest that we really don't have anymore time. When I was in the Carter Administration we did three reports on global warming. And we called, at that time, for a major effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Now this was 30 years ago, and very little happened. We had time, we didn't act, we blew it, now we have no time. And you have some very notable climate scientist like NASA's Jim Hansen saying that we should be capping the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere at 350 parts per million, a number we'll probable hear a lot of about. Well, we're already at 380 parts per million. So, you know, we need—- if Jim Hansen is right, we've already gone through a threshold that we should not have passed. And we need to find ways to take the carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere as well as stopping the buildup, which would among other things, necessitate either no more coal plants or coal plants that insisted on this carbon capture and storage, the sequestration of the carbon coming out of the use of coal.

Recorded on: 3/23/08

 

 

We have already gone through a threshold we should not have passed.

Live on Monday: Does the US need one billion people?

What would happen if you tripled the US population? Join Matthew Yglesias and Charles Duhigg at 1pm ET on Monday, September 28.

Ultracold gas exhibits bizarre quantum behavior

New experiments find weird quantum activity in supercold gas.

Credit: Pixabay
Surprising Science
  • Experiments on an ultracold gas show strange quantum behavior.
  • The observations point to applications in quantum computing.
  • The find may also advance chaos theory and explain the butterfly effect.
  • Keep reading Show less

    Learn innovation with 3-star Michelin chef Dominique Crenn

    Dominique Crenn, the only female chef in America with three Michelin stars, joins Big Think Live.

    Big Think LIVE

    Having been exposed to mavericks in the French culinary world at a young age, three-star Michelin chef Dominique Crenn made it her mission to cook in a way that is not only delicious and elegant, but also expressive, memorable, and true to her experience.

    Keep reading Show less

    3 cognitive biases perpetuating racism at work — and how to overcome them

    Researchers say that moral self-licensing occurs "because good deeds make people feel secure in their moral self-regard."

    Photo by Christina @ wocintechchat.com on Unsplash
    Personal Growth

    Books about race and anti-racism have dominated bestseller lists in the past few months, bringing to prominence authors including Ibram Kendi, Ijeoma Oluo, Reni Eddo-Lodge, and Robin DiAngelo.

    Keep reading Show less

    Should you grow a beard? Here's how women perceive bearded men

    Whether or not women think beards are sexy has to do with "moral disgust"

    Photo Credit: Frank Marino / Unsplash
    Sex & Relationships
    • A new study found that women perceive men with facial hair to be more attractive as well as physically and socially dominant.
    • Women tend to associate more masculine faces with physical strength, social assertiveness, and formidability.
    • Women who display higher levels of "moral disgust," or feelings of repugnance toward taboo behaviors, are more likely to prefer hairy faces.
    Keep reading Show less

    Only 35 percent of Americans know the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease

    Yet 80 percent of respondents want to reduce their risk of dementia.

    Photo: Lightspring / Shutterstock
    Mind & Brain
    • A new MDVIP/Ipsos survey found that only 35 percent of Americans know the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease.
    • Eighty percent of respondents said they want to reduce their risks.
    • An estimated 7.1 million Americans over the age of 65 will suffer from Alzheimer's by 2025.
    Keep reading Show less
    Quantcast