Professor Kevin Anderson of the Tyndall Centre UK talks about the “Radical Emissions Reductions Conference” December 2013 at the Royal Society in London.
Kevin Anderson: This posts pulls together a couple of recent videos featuring Kevin Anderson. First up is an interview by Manchester Climate Monthly following the December 2013 Radical Emissions Reduction Conference in the UK. Kevin answers questions on the purpose of the conference, on scientists being “political”, and on civil disobedience and shale gas.
Manchester Climate Monthly also pulled out these 2 clips – Kevin Anderson on scientists who get political, Kevin Anderson on shale gas and disobedience.
Below is Kevin’s presentation from the conference. URL
@ 7:40 mins Kevin Anderson speaks directly about those scientists who get “very political” simply by remaining silent; by not publicly defending their own work; by not publicly defending their peers; nor current Climate Science as a body of knowledge that clearly indicates dire repercussions for every society and nation.
On being Political: “There are no such things as scientists who are not political. Scientists by their nature are being political, whether they engage or do not engage with the wider debates. And I would argue that the ones that are least political are those that engage in it.”
On Responsibility and Judgement: “scientists are producing heir information, and it is being misused … by an array of people publicly […] but it is incumbent upon (climate scientists) to ensure that their work is being used appropriately.” […] “we stay quiet about that, and that is NOT our job, by staying quiet we are being very political, what we are saying is that our science and these issues don’t really matter. THAT is not a reasonable scientific judgment. ”
On Scientific analysis Vs Political judgment: “… but that’s not a political judgment, that’s a judgment on the analysis. Because it has political repercussions does not make it a political judgment.” – “… the science analysis it might start to favour one set of polices over another set of policies for reasons that can be scientifically justified […] that’s not being political (sic).”
On the Most Dangerous: “those of us (scientists & academics) who are throwing ‘political mud’ at the scientists by saying you are no longer a scientist, you’re now engaged in politics, actually I think they are the MOST Political and the MOST Dangerous of the Scientists that are engaged in these issues.”
Alt. 4min video extract Kevin Anderson on scientists who get “political”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GjrAZhymE5Q
Other views: Gavin Schmidt 2013 AGU lecture on what climate scientists should advocate for, though actually, it mostly about how science communicators should think about advocacy in general since the principles are applicable regardless of the subject area. With video & comments & related links: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2013/12/agu-talk-on-science-and-advocacy/
The #1 core issue of all the Climate Change challenges: Psychological Denial and what to do about it.
@ 13:10 to 16:00 mins The people who ought to know better, in fact often do know better, but choose to suppress or repress that knowledge, what do we do?
Kevin Anderson responds:
“I don’t know anyone who doesn’t fit into that category, myself included. I think we all fit at different levels into that category. […] we all need to support each other, to be candid to ourselves. […] At least if we know that other people are reflecting on their own positions, that gives us some power, some energy, some scope to do that for ourselves.”
“As a climate change community there’s a lot that we need to do to reflect on our own work and how we’re TRANSLATING that work to Policy Makers (Politicians). We are doing that in a particular way that actually does have this element of psychological denial, cognitive dissonance […] as academics who work on climate change we are awash with those people, all of us to some extent within the climate change community. So I don’t think it is too surprising to find that outside our own community as well.”
“Probably one of the few communities that I think has gone beyond that, but I don’t know quite where they go with it, are some of the grass root communities. Where I think they have managed to grapple with this difficult situation. Maybe it is how they *view the world* anyway that enables them to do that more easily than others of us.”
“But outside of that particular community (and only some in that community) most of us, the rest of us are still struggling to reconcile our day jobs, our research that we do day in and day out. And the understanding that has given us repeatedly and clearly for many years, with the fact that that means significant changes to many areas of our lives, and the structures of our lives. And it’s very difficult to bring those two things together.”
(God clearly plays dice) […] “our research tells us repeatedly one thing and that is counter to the way that we are living our own lives and I think that is a dilemma to us all. […] we probably have to be honest to ourselves first, and then try and drive that candid approach, that degree of honesty, that ability to reflect beyond that to the rest of society as much as we can.”