Question: Is there anything we can do to stop the increase in tropical storms? 

Ernst Weizsäcker: It is a fact that the terrible tragedy of the Katrina Hurricane destroying much of New Orleans has created a lot of awareness in America on the dangers of climate change and if an increase of heavy storm events leads to more awareness building in the United States, but also in the tropical countries, of course, then the chances for getting not-so-popular policies through Congress, or through the respective Parliaments worldwide, are greatly improving.  But one should not fall into the illusion of quick battle winds.  If we move into the right direction, it may still take 20, even 50 years before good results can be measured.  But this is not an argument against doing it because if we continue hesitating, then the price will be much higher; the damage will be much bigger.  This is the reasoning of Lord Stern in the Stern Review, and later of saying, the longer we wait, the more expensive will the transition be.  So, we’d better act now.

Recorded on April 9, 2010 

The chances for getting climate change policies through Congress—or through Parliaments worldwide—are greatly improving thanks, in part, to the terrible tragedy of Hurricane Katrina.

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