Global Warming in the Trump Era

Date: Monday 3rd December 2018

Time: 7pm

Venue: Waterstones, Sauchiehall Street

Speakers: Derek Fabel

The principles of global warming have been known about since the mid-1800s and scientific evidence gathered since then is clear about what is causing the accelerated warming Earth has experienced in the last 50 years. The impacts of global warming are less certain but are largely considered negative. People generally do not welcome bad news, especially when that news comes with uncertainties. Sea levels will rise; how much or how fast is uncertain. Uncertainty is part of science, but in the ongoing global warming debate it is used to generate confusion by those who feel threatened by the actions necessary to mitigate global warming. In previous environmental debates, it was the broad public understanding of the science that made the scientific knowledge actionable for policy makers. Inward looking politics, and narratives that attempt to undermine public confidence in experts, add to the challenge faced by those of us fostering such broad public understanding. We need to enlist the full breath of those who benefit from climate science to meet this challenge; scientists’ voices are essential but insufficient.

Derek Fabel works at the Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre where he is a Geomorphologist (studies Earth surface processes and landforms) and AMS Scientist (measures the concentration of extremely rare cosmogenic isotopes in minerals and organic materials). As Head of the NERC Cosmogenic Isotope Analysis Facility he is involved in quantifying natural processes that shape the surface of the Earth. His own research focuses on quantifying the rate of change of ice masses on our planet, and the effect this had on global sea level. He has participated in four Antarctic expeditions (most recently 2018).