Engineering Innovation Podcast and Radio Series

Climate Change Resolution

PostedJanuary 8, 2017

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Anchor Lede: Like a New Year’s resolution, deciding whether to do anything about climate change may boil down to human nature.

Randy Atkins: Sure, some of it’s politics says Katharine Hayhoe, a climate scientist at Texas Tech University. But she says that’s mainly because there’s a perception that the only solutions to climate change involve government regulations.

Katharine Hayhoe: About half the country would rather cut off their arm than have the government tell them what to do.

Randy Atkins: Still, Hayhoe says the majority of Americans do think climate change is both real and caused by humans…but many believe only polar bears need to be concerned right now.

Katharine Hayhoe: We are psychologically unsuited to deal with long-term problems.

Randy Atkins: Consider retirement savings, exercise, diets.

Katharine Hayhoe: Even things that we agree on, we don’t do.

Randy Atkins: Hayhoe says in order to prevent potentially dangerous future effects from climate change we need to go on a fossil fuel diet quickly…and the way to do that may be less about regulations than technological innovations offering alternatives. With the National Academy of Engineering, Randy Atkins, WTOP News.