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Climate change is boring.
Don’t get me wrong.
It is incredibly important.
It is just that the story of climate change is not especially compelling.
And that is when the carbon dioxide concentration reached 400 parts per million.
When I started making this video I thought that everyone knew the story.
But apparently I was wrong.
What do you feel about climate change?
>> So I think Australia is the most affected by the climate change.
That is because, I would say, there are some layers and layers... a hole in those layers.
I think, I reckon, yeah?
>> And whereas before there used to be a natural layer up there that blocks things...
>> That layer seems to be getting...
>> It is ... it is... thinner out.
Thinner something?
>> Thinner, yeah.
>> And so more heat is coming down.
>> The ozone layer and therefore our seasons are changing.
>> The hole in the ozone layer is causing a problem.
>> Yeah, yeah.
>> Ok, the hole in the ozone layer is a problem, but it is not a major cause of climate change.
To recap, we are burning fossil fuels, releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, which
traps slightly more thermal energy, causing the overall temperature of the planet to rise.
>> Have you changed anything about your life because climate change is happening?>>
I recycle now.
>> We recycle more.
>> We recycle a lot in England.
>> In England, yeah.
>> Oh, yeah, we do more things like recycling.
>> Recycling.
Recycling plastic and paper.
>> Just putting plastics in the right bin and paper in the right bin and stuff like
this.
>> Ok, again, recycling is very important, but it is not really going to reduce greenhouse
gas emissions which come mainly from energy use and transportation.
So what I have learned is lots of people don’t know how climate change works and don’t
know what to do about it.
What’s worse is there is so much confusion that some people don't think humans are responsible.
>> I am a doubter.
>> What does that mean?
>> It means I don’t know whether it is or it isn’t truth.
>> You get so many conflicting opinions on it they all seem to be coming from reputable
sources.
>> Here is the thing.
The vast majority of climate scientists agree that climate change is happening and that
humans are playing a significant role.
But the public doesn’t see this broad consensus because, well, there are arguments made to
the contrary by businesses with vested interests, those who stand to lose if a price is put
on carbon.
Now these people will make up stories, whatever they want, things like Al Gore and his pals
just invented climate change in order to make themselves rich and famous.
Meanwhile the scientists respond with carefully worded predictions.
That would result in a rising of temperature of between 1.4 and 2.6 degrees Celsius, that
is, within a 90 percent confidence interval, by the year 2050.
I don’t want to listen to this story again.
This is why scientists have had such a tough time informing the public about climate change.
It is much easier to tell a compelling story if you can make up whatever you want than
if you have to stick to the truth.
Climate change is like Armageddon.
Just instead of a giant earth crushing asteroid it is slightly more of an invisible, odorless
gas.
And instead of the immanent destruction of the planet, it is a gradual warming over decades.
See, our brains are well adapted to deal with clear and present danger.
They are not so good at handling complex, long term, probabilistic forecasts, which
is kind of why we have governments.
They are meant to act in our best interest, especially in the case of complex, long term
problems.
And, in fact, last year the Australian government implemented a carbon tax, which seemed to
be working great.
It was reducing carbon emissions.
And then this year they repealed that carbon tax, the first government in the world to
do something like that.
And my question is: Why?
You know, there is a UN climate summit coming up next month and you can actually win a trip
to go there and ask your questions to the world leaders.
If you are between the ages of 13 and 21, head over to AskWhyWHyNot.org where you can
submit a one minute video asking why, why not questions, like: Why would you scrap a
carbon tax that was working?
Why not join the rest of the world in putting a price on carbon?I mean, the real reason
I find climate change boring is because we know what the problem is.
The science is well established.
And the solutions are fairly obvious.
And yet action is not being taken.
So if you feel like I do, perhaps you should take some action and maybe we can change this
story and make it a little bit more interesting.
This video was sponsored by the Climate Reality Project, but it really opened my eyes because
I really thought we already all knew the facts.
But clearly we don’t.
So maybe we need to spend more time educating the people around us.