Today the Royal Society of Canada invited Dr. Mark Jaccard, Professor with the School of Resource and Environmental Management at Simon Fraser University to talk about climate change modelling. He presented a very good talk about how and why we will not be meeting any of the emission reduction targets.
Abstract: Two decades of research into the risk of human-induced climate change has focused on climate science and the costs of greenhouse gas mitigation. It is increasingly obvious, however, that the research focus must include understanding the reasons why humans have been incapable of effective action in spite of scientific consensus on the climate threat, economic consensus on the relatively modest cost of mitigation, and continuous commitments by political leaders. This talk will combine science, economics, policy design and human cognition to explain how self-interest biases in human cognition have fostered delusions about the problem and its solution – and what to do about these.
- Mark Jaccard calls out Stephen Harper on oil sands (deepclimate.org)
- A brief guide to the scientific consensus on climate change (dailykos.com)
For a while now I have spent some of my mornings every week at Nature’s Garden an organic coffee and eatery. Their food is excellent and their coffee is the cheapest on campus (Burnaby Mountain Campus, SFU). The places bustle and atmosphere has many-a-time inspired me to write while under the pressure of a course or conference deadline.
In fact, I am here now writing this post. Your should come by and say hi to Bill and Dolores (the owners).
Last night I was privileged to be invited to a dialog sponsored by SFUs Burnaby Mountain College called Are We Just a Bunch of Ecopaths? A Dialogue on Our Environmental Paradox. William Deverell (famous author) and Buzz Holling (eco-complexity scientist) were the honourary guess. Elizabeth May (Green Party Leader) was also invited but could not attend. Burnaby Mountain College is a project that brings together visiting scholars, postdocs and graduate students from all the different SFU schools in to on common place for discussion and debate. This interdisciplinary forum allows for the exchange of ideas and for graduate students to meet others outside their own school.
It was very inspiring hearing Bill and Buzz talk about how we are living in a paradox. A very interesting discussion point postulated on the idea of “media fair and equal coverage”, this has caused special interest groups to refute scientific fact without any credible evidence. Bill approached his work with passion and activism while Buzz uses his sense of calm curiosity. Both gentlemen have different approaches to their work but have the same goal; change the attitudes of people so that our planet can sustain human and other species, not just this generation but all future generations. The discussion and exchange of ideas was broad, but all were connected.
I did a search for the definition of “echpath” on the web. Urban Dictionary came up with two definitions:
- A person so obsessed with “environmentalism” and “being green” that they deem any sort of infraction against their misguided mindset as the ultimate sin. Possessed of a gigantic “holier than thou” attitude. Were this type of person given a choice between cutting down a tree and strangling a newborn baby…well, sorry baby!
- Someone who uses the environment in a destructive fashion purely for their own gratification without regard for the common good of life on earth. These people have no sense of remorse or guilt or remorse about their destructive impact on the environment. Ecopathism is a personality disorder much like sociopathism.
It is interesting that there would be these two contrary definition… perhaps here lies part of the paradox…
Hi, I am a Computing Science PhD Student at Simon Fraser University. I plan to blog about my research into smart homes for energy conservation, and sustainability. I will be posting information on how I setup my home (and others) to achieve this. My main area of research in is intelligent systems. So we will see how this goes….