The Scientist

Taken from the University of Toronto Magazine

“Climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe (BSc 1994 Victoria) is the director of the Climate Science Center at Texas Tech University. She was recently named one of the United Nations Champions of the Earth. One of the most frequent questions people ask her is “Is it too late to save the Earth?” Below, she answers.

“The answer is yes and no. It’s kind of like we’ve been smoking a pack of cigarettes every day for decades. We don’t have emphysema, we don’t have lung cancer and we’re not dead. But the time to stop is as soon as possible.

“It’s the same with climate change. I study the difference between the future where we continue to depend on fossil fuels versus the future where we transition to clean energy. And I can tell you there is a night- and-day difference. There is the future where there are significant impacts, but we can adapt to them, prepare for them and build resilience so that when they come we’re ready. Or there is the future where the changes overwhelm us far beyond our capacity to adapt.

“So in that sense, it is very much not too late. But if we decide it’s too late and we do nothing, we will ensure our failure. The choices we make now, and in the next few years, do matter.”C446C961-6293-48CD-A95F-6B5D9F83D9C8

 

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