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English Detective # #95- 3 sources of hope for climate change, 11-21-17
November 21, 2017

#95- 3 sources of hope for climate change, 11-21-17

I have been hesitant to talk much about climate change in English Detective. It’s already so well known—and often so controversial. What could I include that you don’t already know?

However, I just found a couple of resources that seem so outstanding to me I just have to share them—even if many of you will have seen at least one of them already. (Quite a bit of follow-up research added a few more. Choose the ones you have time and interest for.) As usual, there is some vocabulary practice below the photo.

TED just released a new (15 min.) talk by Per Espen Stoknes on how to change people’s attitudes toward climate change by changing the way scientists and activists present it. He discusses his research into the psychology behind different attitudes. Then he suggests ways to encourage engagement—a willingness to take small actions that can begin to reduce the big problem.

Vox has a short summary of Stoknes’ research, including the perspective of other psychologists, here.

Stokne has also written an article about very hopeful recent economic and tech changes that could make it possible to reduce carbon emissions more than looked likely just a few years ago.

A much longer and more detailed Guardian article looks at Seven Megatrends that could beat Global Warming.

Both discuss technological and economic reasons for hope, though they make it clear that we’re not “home free”—there will be some major disruptions caused by the global warming that has already happened. There are also no guarantees that these hopeful trends will happen fast enough and massively enough to prevent the most serious or irreversible effects on the climate—when even stopping ALL carbon emissions will be too late to prevent future warming.

However, these scientists do see more reason to hope. Maybe we can prevent the worst damage, and gain a little time to work on the problems that cannot be avoided.

Psych, Tech, & Economic Vocabulary for Reducing Climate Change

I made a crossword puzzle of the most used new or less common vocabulary in the talk and those articles. I hope it will help you check your understanding of what you’ve read. (Several of the words have more than one meaning. I’ve used the meaning in the climate change and psychology context.) The answers are here.

One thing I couldn’t include on the crossword was a good explanation of renewable energy. “Renewables” are solar energy and wind power, available energy coming from the sun; so we have an unlimited, renewable supply and won’t run out of them. Fossil fuels are not renewable: when they are gone we cannot get more.

There are more definitions and vocabulary practice on the Climate Change and Weather Vocabulary page on EnglishHints.

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