Nice to catch up with Ian Burton at the ECCA 2017 in Glasgow last week. Ian might be described as Sir (all hail!), Don (from his mafia days) or Saint (revered). I was mentored by Gilbert White and Bob Kates, and then worked with Ian on various disruptive frameworks (remember the Adaptation Policy Framework? Still cited in Google Scholar!). BKW were known back in the day as the innovative inspiration for a generation or two of work on natural hazards. I'll settle for friend and inspiration for a label.
So Trump has done what he always looked likely to do, and let the climate deniers around him pull the U.S out of the Paris Accord. This is a massive failure of U.S leadership, but how much does it really affect action on climate change? Judging from early reaction, and the noises we've heard over the last 6 months the answer is. . .not much.
The UK goes back to the polls again in June for another election (we just can’t enough of democracy!) so its worth considering what this means for climate adaptation and mitigation in the UK. Clearly at this point a huge amount is uncertain, but I think there are several implications:
The etymology of words is something that has always intrigued me, as I find it easier to spell something if I know where its roots come from. What also interests me is how words get appropriated from one discipline to another. The climate change field seems rife with these. Mitigation, Adaptation, and more recently Resilience, are obvious examples. (Mitigation, for example, stems from legal Latin of the 14th Century!)
I recently had my second child, and inevitably it got me thinking about the impacts of climate change, and what sort of world they will grow up in (because I’m a climate nerd and I can’t help it!). When we talk about a 2C-3°C rise in temperature by 2050, or the need to be emissions neutral by then, or the cost of climate damages, we’re talking about the world of their 30s, which personally helps make things a bit more tangible.