A few months after his daughter was born, author Mark Hertsgaard had an epiphany. He was on assignment in England, seven weeks after Katrina, working on an article for Vanity Fair for its first green issue. He had just interviewed British science advisor David King:
“David King told me climate change had arrived one hundred years sooner than scientists had expected. And that wasn’t the worst of it. He went on to explain that the physical inertia of the climate system—the laws of physics and chemistry—guaranteed that average global temperatures would keep rising for another thirty to forty years, even if humanity somehow was to halt all greenhouse gas emissions overnight. The upshot was that our civilization was locked in to a large amount of future climate change no matter how many solar panels, electric cars, and other green technologies we eventually embraced.”
After the interview, walking across Westminster Bridge in London and hearing children playing, he suddenly realized that his daughter would have to live through that world.
He also made a conscious decision to not despair, as he explains to Michael Krasny in the audio interview below.
Even if the odds were 10 to 1 or 1000 to 1 against him, he would do anything, he said, for his daughter’s sake.
Among the interesting questions asked by callers in this interview is: “Will there still be a Lake Tahoe when there is no longer a snowpack in fifty years?”