This interview (https://www.labxchange.org/library/pathway/lx-pathway:825945a0-367c-45dc-82b7-3d160c6e6f7a/items/lx-pb:825945a0-367c-45dc-82b7-3d160c6e6f7a:lx_simulation:fa741ca2) with UC Berkeley’s Professor of Energy Dan Kammen delves into climate change and the future of energy on Earth. While watching the interview, I was surprised by Professor Kammen’s emphasis on the importance of individuals outside of STEM fields getting involved in the conversation about climate change. He discussed the “tyranny of the engineer” and suggested that humanists and social scientists need to be equally valued in addressing this global threat. While I understand that experts from a variety of fields can play an important role, I assumes that STEM experts were likely the most essential players given they have a better understanding of the causes and potential effects of climate change. However, this interview reminded me that the way in which factors like human psychology impact our response to climate change is an equally important part of the puzzle.
If I had the opportunity to conduct an interview with Professor Kammen, I would have asked him what the potential impacts of climate change are on different regions of the world and how we can prepare for these impacts. I’ve found that many conversations about climate change emphasize the universal impact of rising temperatures and extreme weather conditions. However, certain parts of the globe will bear the brunt of these environmental impacts, and many of these areas are already under-resourced. I would be interested to hear more about how scientists can forecast differential impacts on countries near the equator vs. closer to the polls as well as wealthier vs. poorer nations. Professor Kammen did mention that many wealthy cities have formed a coalition to address climate change and plan to share their findings with less wealthy cities. Nonetheless, I would be interested to hear more about how different actors plan to cooperate in order to support those regions most affected by climate change.
Renee, thank you for reminding me about appreciating humanists and social scientists when addressing the threat of global climate change. I agree that often times, their voices get silenced by "tyrannous" engineers and STEM-heads. If we are to combat climate change, we must do so together. The human psychology piece of finding a solution to climate change is of utmost importance, and I think the scientists need the humanist's help to determine a path forward that is feasible.