In this episode, I speak with physicist, engineer, and popular science communicator Paul Beckwith. Paul is well known for his approachable and comprehensive analysis of the global climate crisis through his popular YouTube channel, where he provides a multidisciplinary examination into climate science data and research through his deep understanding of meteorology, oceanography and the Earth Sciences in general.
At the beginning of this interview, I ask Paul to go over the latest scientific data of global climate change, which includes a thorough description of the alarming levels of warming we are witnessing in the Arctic region, and how this is producing a dramatic loss of sea ice cover and the albedo effect (reflection of the sun’s heat) in the region, potentially leading to what has been described as the “Blue Ocean Event” (an ice-free Arctic during the warm season). I ask Paul to explain what these rapid changes mean for global weather patterns, in particular how these rapid shifts in the global climate system is leading to more abrupt and severe floods, droughts, wildfires, and storms across the planet. As Paul explains, the implications are vast and dire, in particular when it comes to global food production and distribution. After exploring the science of these broad global trends, I ask Paul to describe his views on what can be done in light of these abrupt changes, including various geoengineering schemes to cool the Arctic region, and other techniques that may give humankind the time needed to avoid the worst impacts of abrupt climate disruption, including but not limited to the extinction of the human species. I contend a bit with Paul’s views on this subject, and pose some objections I have with these proposals, including the unintended consequences that would likely result from these attempts, and what these geoengineering schemes may end up serving within our current infinite-growth economic paradigm. We go over these subjects in depth in this episode.
Paul Beckwith is a physicist, engineer, and part-time professor at the University of Ottawa. He has earned a Masters in Science in Laser Optics/Physics, and a Bachelors of Engineering in Engineering Physics. He is a known and respected creator of entertaining and comprehensible videos of sometimes daunting subjects, especially in climate system science, meteorology, oceanography and earth sciences on YouTube.
- Learn more about Paul and his work: https://paulbeckwith.net
- Subscribe to Paul’s YouTube channel: http://bit.ly/YTbeckwith
- Follow him on Facebook: http://bit.ly/FBbeckwith
- Follow him on Twitter: https://twitter.com/PaulHBeckwith
- Read Mirna Wabi-Sabi’s essay ‘Trending Topics Don’t Matter’ discussed in the ending response: http://bit.ly/2VtB0WR
- The songs featured in this episode is “Tidal Waves Uprising” and “The Open Hand Avows” by Daedelus from the album Righteous Fists of Harmony.