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UP #115: Climate Emergency In A New World Order With Paul Beckwith

UP #115: Climate Emergency in a New World Order with Paul Beckwith

Abrupt anthropogenic climate change is here and has now taken on a life of its own. It’s no longer a question of if or when, it’s a question of how to cope in a rapidly collapsing world where the masses just don’t give a damn.

Despite increasing episodes of epic flooding, drought, wildfire, earthquakes, Arctic sea ice melt, and the frightening rise of methane and CO2 in our radically altered climate system, business-as-usual arrogantly plods along. Abrupt climate change is not to be taken lightly however. As it now stands, planet Earth may become totally uninhabitable in a matter of months or years (single digit) rather than decades or centuries. Many scientists are deeply alarmed by the accelerating changes that are becoming increasingly unpredictable. One of these scientists is Paul Beckwith.

Paul is a climatologist and part-time professor at the University of Ottawa in my hometown of Ottawa, Canada. After months of trying to connect for this podcast, Paul and I finally made it work only days after Donald Trump was crowned king of the USA. Needless to say, the conversation I originally planned to have with Paul was tossed out the window in favor of a spirited discussion about the beginning of a very dark new world order—including the very real possibility of expedited biosphere collapse.

Paul is well known for his comprehensive Youtube videos of sometimes daunting subjects, especially in relation to the climate, weather, oceanography and Earth Sciences. He has a knack for explaining complex issues in language that is easily understood.

Paul is a proponent of geoengineering, of which I’m not because I feel that we’ve already tampered with the Earth more than enough. Despite my beliefs however, Paul offers many nuggets of wisdom about the state of emergency we are now in with our climate, along with some interesting thoughts about the uncertain direction of the world with Donald Trump at the helm.

This week, we chat about:

  • The uncertainty of Trumpism.
  • Why we should be concerned about record low levels of Arctic sea ice.
  • How the swing to the far right is a desperate attempt to revive the familiar in deeply troubling times.
  • How the turn towards nationalism creates racism.
  • The twilight zone of climate change denial.
  • How Trump manipulated the media to destabilize the country.
  • How climate change is a threat multiplier.
  • How we are now living in a climate emergency.
  • The oceans are sick with acidity and warming.
  • What is a blue ocean event?
  • What is biomimicry and geoengineering?
  • The problem with human overpopulation.

With his extensive scientific knowledge and profound critical thinking skills, Paul Beckwith offers a sobering perspective that can no longer be denied: we are living in a climate emergency in deeply troubling times.


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This Post Has 5 Comments
  1. Very nice to hear this conversation. Thank you both for all you’ve been doing to create more awareness.

    I was thinking about the Trump election. Probably many of the people who voted for him are climate change deniers. This meme has been very successfully spread amongst the less (un) educated by those who actually know the facts, but have been suppressing this knowledge for many years. We can’t blame most of these deniers for their view, since they have been denied the basis on which to form their opinion independently based on their own understanding. So they tend to get their opinions from prominent people and media venues they hope they can trust. Their chance of getting and holding jobs also dependent on compliance to the established, mandated, thought pattern.

    Imagine if there was a massive change of direction for society and WW2 scale initiative to try to slow down and possibly stop global overheating. The people who would need to be hired to install all the solar panels and so forth would be largely amongst those who have been following the denier agenda for the past decades. Considering the problems with polls and the numbers of non-voters, this could be well over 50% of the population. In order to get a true consensus and broad-based support it would be really helpful to have all these people not resisting, but supporting the effort.

    It’s possible that Trump, having gained the trust and credence of his supporters, can then gradually try to reshape their opinion and understanding regarding certain issues, critically the global heating issue. This can be further reinforced by the US Navy’s and other military branches’ statements on the issue, that this is the number 1 challenge they face in the future. Apparently the military is the least untrusted branch of the US government. Maybe the new people in charge could then Make America Great Again by creating a “yuuuge” infrastructure program focused on making the US the most carbon neutral ( or carbon sequestering? ) country in the world.

    Just wishful thinking, but consider that the military are major Trump backers and they really do know the score with what’s coming. If such a change could be done, Trump would have a better chance of moving the opinions of the more recalcitrant types then would Sanders have had.

    1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Who knows how it will all play out in the end. The uncertainty is overwhelming this time around. I think that we all know (consciously and unconsciously) that change is necessary. What kind of change we will we get is the question. So many different possible scenarios…

  2. Thank you for this episode, Deb. You put it best when you said the US election was essentially a case of damned if we do, damned if we don’t. Similar to how you disagree with Paul’s views on geoengineering, I (respectfully) disagree with his analysis of this election.

    As you pointed out, Clinton represented status-quo. And, as many of us knew, more status-quo meant more corporatism, militarism, and imperialism. It also meant more lip-service to climate change while cavalierly fracking the world over and laying more oil pipelines—in the face of indigenous people laying their bodies on the line, no less. The moniker of “crooked Hillary” was hardly a nefarious concoction of Trump, Russia, WikiLeaks, the FBI, or the media. She cultivated this image all by herself in her behavior, voting record, backroom deals, speeches to Wall Street, and, yes, dubious email communications. That she, a corruption queen, represented the answer to a fascist king is the true disaster of modern American politics. Denying this reality is, to me, akin to denying the reality of our collapsing world itself. In other words: Clinton was to Trump what hopium is to climate change.

    Fortunately, this collapsing paradigm is giving way to a new kind of politics led not by fear and separation, but by courageous truth-seeking and free-thinking. Is it mainstream? No. Will it win out in the end? Maybe not. But as you frequently say: Doing the right thing isn’t contingent upon a successful outcome. We do it because it is right, regardless. I, like many others, voted for Dr. Jill Stein of the Green Party. She represented transformative change and integrity. And as such, she didn’t win. However, she inspired new levels of fierce opposition to the dominant narrative of conformity and compliance. Like the work that you do, that is itself a win.

    Speaking of: I’ve always felt that Jill Stein resonates deeply with your show’s mission, vision, and values—so much so that I’ve considered emailing you about her for months. Your latest episode only confirmed it. She’d be perfect for the show, Deb! Even with the election over, her story (the doctor healing our sick political system) is completely inspiring and worth sharing. ✌️

    1. Thank you Richard. I’m smiling with gratitude for your passion and willingness to speak your truth. It’s a truth that resonates deeply—especially your words, “Clinton was to Trump what hopium is to climate change.” I could not agree more.

      Being Canadian, I don’t know much about Jill Stein, but I’m eager to know more about her and will look into her work. Like you, I voted for the Green party in Canada’s last federal election knowing that it would likely make a difference only in my heart. Integrity is motivation enough for me to vote with my heart and I’m grateful to know that I’m not alone in voting from the heart. Canada got the status quo last fall (Trudeau), the US got…ummm…radical uncertainty. They both suck.

      I’ll add Jill to my roster of interviewees to connect with in the New Year. Who knows, I may actually be able to reach her. 🙂

      Thank you again Richard!

      1. Smiling with gratitude for you, Deb. Not surprised one bit that you’d walk the walk in bringing your values and principles — uncompromised — into the voting both. Thanks for your authenticity, openness and expansive content. You’re the best. ❤️

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