2018 Ritter Memorial Fellowship Lecture
All are invited to a free public lecture on May 23, 2019 by Scripps Oceanography’s 2018 William E. and Mary B. Ritter Memorial Fellowship winner, Joshua P. Howe from Reed College.
12:00 p.m. Public Presentation | Pizza will be served before talk
Joshua P. Howe, Associate Professor of History/Environmental Studies, Reed College
Lecture Title: "Telling Stories about CO2: History, Science, and the Politics of Climate Change"
Description: In 1958, Scripps Oceanography's Charles David Keeling began measuring the concentration of carbon dioxide in the earth’s atmosphere at the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii. His project kicked off a half century of research that has expanded our knowledge of climate change. Despite more than fifty years of research, however, our global society has yet to find real solutions to the problem of global warming, and the problem is only getting worse. Why?
Author of Behind the Curve and Making Climate Change History, Joshua Howe uses the narrative lens of tragedy as a way to make sense of our collective historical failure to mitigate global warming in a meaningful way. Howe follows the story of rising CO2—illustrated by the now famous Keeling Curve—through a variety of historical contexts, highlighting the ways in which scientists' and environmentalists' well-intended efforts to use more and better science to shape good global warming policy have at times actually undermined their ability to implement solutions to the larger global problem. Science is essential to our understanding of global warming, Howe argued, but a primary and often exclusive focus on science in global warming discourse over the past half century has left advocates for progressive climate change policy vulnerable to political opposition—an important lesson for citizens, scientists, and policymakers in a dangerously warming world.