We live in The Good Place. And we’re screwing it up.
Ezra Klein Show podcast
Welcome to the first episode of our climate cluster. This isn’t a series about whether “the science is real” on climate change. This is a series about what the science says — and what it means for our lives, our politics, and our future.I suspect I’m like a lot of people in that I accept that climate change is bad. What I struggle with is how bad. Is it an existential threat that eclipses all else? One of many serious problems politics must somehow address?I wanted to kick off the series with someone who knows the science cold. Kate Marvel is a research scientist at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies and a professor at Columbia University’s Department of Applied Physics and Mathematics. But Marvel isn’t just a leading climate scientist. She’s also unique in her focus on the stories we tell each other, and ourselves, about climate change, and how they end up structuring our decisions. We discuss:- How a climate model actually works- Why this is the good place- Why there is so much variation in climate scientists’ predictions about global temperature increases- Why global warming is only one piece of the much larger problem of climate change- Why a hotter planet is more conducive to natural disasters- The frightening differences between a world that experiences a 2°C temperature increase as opposed to a 5°C temperature increase- Whether the threat of climate change requires solutions that break the boundaries of conventional politics- The underlying stories that animate much of the climate debate- Whether the planet can sustain continued economic growth- What it means to “live morally” amid climate change