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William E. Rees: The Enigma of Climate Inaction – On the Human Nature of Policy Failure

3:35 PM, Thursday 3 Jun 2021 EDT (1 hour 15 minutes)
H. sapiens is a self-described intelligent species, yet seems committed to destroying its own habitat. Human-induced climate change, driven by carbon-dioxide and other GHG emissions, is one of several well-known threats to global civilization. Nevertheless, 34 climate conferences and half a dozen major international agreements in the past 50 years have failed to produce even a ripple in the curve of exponentially increasing atmospheric CO2 concentrations. Climate change is accelerating. This presentation: 1) examines some of the evolutionary, behavioural and cognitive impediments to effective corrective action by governments and international agencies and; 2) advances some ideological, political and organizational changes that must be implemented at all levels of society to avoid global climate catastrophe.

University of British Columbia
Professor Emeritus, UBC School of Community and Regional Planning, Faculty of Applied Science
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