- Message 5: Early action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions reduces the chances that the extreme tails of damage distributions will be experienced as the future unfolds. Early mitigation is also the most effective investment in climate insurance against the chance that the climate itself will trend into its most damaging and not-implausible extremes. Put another way, investment in mitigation protects global welfare by reducing the likelihoods of catastrophic climate change and by reducing possibly existential extremes damages for any level of climate change that could overwhelm adaptive capacity. These climate extremes can be the product of climate conditions heretofore never observed. Or human and economic costs heretofore never imagined for even a usual climate event. Or (in the worst but increasingly likely permutation) both.
Following decades of experience with other environmental problems – waste dumps, urban smog, fetid streams – it is hard to keep in mind that climate change is a fundamentally different challenge. If only each of us each carried, on one shoulder, a little bird that would tweet out these five messages each time it heard us slipping into our grandparents’ picture of the problem.
On a much lighter note, as we are talking about generation gap and different perspectives on the idea of Climate Change, Dr. Yohe has collaborated with artist Baba Brinkman to produce some “rap videos” about climate change and its effects on our planet. Yohe personally fact checked all of the scientific facts mentioned in these music videos; we have listened to them, we enjoyed them, and we learned something.
So here are the titles (“Erosion” – 2017, “Destruction” – 2018, and “Redemption – 2019; all released around January 21st) and their links so that you can check out these awesome videos. Who says science can’t be fun and entertaining? Even when it keeps you up at night.