Our Changing Planet
In this Olio, we will explore whether there is a causal link between the simple CO2 molecule and changes we see in the weather. Yes, we admit, a bit of science will be presented but, really, without it, all you have is opinion. Without it, all you have is “Who knows?”
Planet Earth is undergoing changes at an unprecedented rate. What used to take millennia now takes 50 years. The changes in 2019 alone are striking: an atmospheric river deluged portions of Northern California in late February; Anchorage shattered an all-time record at 90F; France hit its highest-ever temperature of 114.6F. This year has been no better: In the first six months, Siberia had unusually high temperatures and a record-breaking 100F in Verkhoyansk.
But there has always been extreme weather; what’s different now? What’s causing this havoc? Carbon dioxide, scientists say. But without it, Earth would be a frigid planet, inhospitable to life as we know it. How did it go from benign to baneful?
In this Olio, we will explore whether there is a causal link between the simple CO2 molecule and changes we see in the weather. Yes, we admit, a bit of science will be presented but, really, without it, all you have is opinion. Without it, all you have is “Who knows?” Without it, many people (1-in-3) can deny it. And those who believe it, believe it but don’t know it and so are not motivated to change their behavior. But now you will know. It’s all rather simple. We promise.
We will discuss the changes, the science, the psychology, and how this all turned from science into a political debate. But we also discuss a glimmer of hope. People, especially young people, are demanding changing policies to rescue a changing planet. And we will end on the final ingredient that can save us.
Pay what you can $10/$15/$20
Teacher: Spiro Alexandratos
Dr. Spiro Alexandratos is a professor of chemistry at Hunter College and in the Ph.D. program at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. He received his doctorate at the University of California at Berkeley. He is a Fellow of the American Chemical Society and a Fulbright Scholar with an ongoing program in France.
*All proceeds to the speaker will be donated to Food Bank for NYC Community Kitchen (252 W. 116 Street) in the name of Elijah McClain.