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BOSTON PUBLIC RADIO
Tue December 4, 2012
Climate Change, Biology and the Quest to Save Humanity from Itself
Hurricane Sandy's winds, water and devastation once again thrust climate change back in the spotlight. The costs of cleanup will run into the tens of billions. City leadership now wrestle with how to head off rising coastlines and the imminent threat of superstorms and hurricanes.
The debate over climate change hasn't been completely settled, and neither has consensus on what to do about rising global temperatures.
If it all seems overwhelming, according to author Charles C. Mann, that's because nobody — no other earthly animal — has wrestled with a problem on a scale this large.
The great Yankees manager Yogi Berra once said, "When you come to a fork in the road, take it." Though tongue-in-cheek, Berra neatly encapsulated what we've decided to do up to this point: avoided any major decisions.
As storms swirl and temperatures tick up, Mann says we're left with two solutions. The first is to rely on scientists to effectively innovate a way out of the ensuing crisis. The second is to reduce, reuse and conserve resources at hand, to limit carbon emissions and things thought to directly contribute to climate change.
Charles Mann joins host Kara Miller to talk about the daunting task humanity faces, and what decision of the two – if any — we're now ready to make.
- Charles C. Mann, author of 1491 and 1493. His piece in Orion Magazine is called State of the Species: Does Success Spell Doom for Homo Sapiens.
13.7: Cosmos And Culture