There’s still time to avert global climate change disaster. But saving the planet requires dramatic action, said renowned scientist Michael Mann at a full-capacity presentation Oct. 21 at the University of Delaware’s Science, Technology and Advanced Research (STAR) Campus.
The event was sponsored by the Delaware Environmental Institute (DENIN), marking its 10th anniversary as an interdisciplinary network of research, knowledge and solutions dedicated to safeguarding the environment.
“We believe in investing in people and the tools scientists need to do their work,” said Donald Sparks, DENIN founding director.
In “A Climate Dialogue with Michael Mann,” the Penn State scholar was interviewed byMcKay Jenkins, UD’s Cornelius Tilghman Professor of English, Journalism, and Environmental Humanities.
“As a former journalist, we thought McKay was the ideal person to engage Dr. Mann,” said Holly Michael, DENIN interim director.
Mann advocated for a carbon tax as an incentive for industry to switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy. He said the costs of conversion outweigh the losses.
“The damage being done by climate change is now trillions in terms of the global economy,” he said. “The cost of action is less than the cost of inaction.”
What can individuals do? Jenkins told of UD English students who planted 700 trees, their contribution toward the trillion trees needed to offset greenhouse gases. Vegan diets will reduce the water needed to raise beef cattle and the methane gas produced by their waste.
Mann called for reducing carbon emissions to zero by 2050.
“We can avert catastrophe,” he said. “But the need is urgent.”