Schneider talks about the intersection of science and politics, and the difficulty of tackling a complex scientific subject like climate change in the charged atmosphere of today’s ideologically divided nation. He discusses such difficult questions as how uncertainty comes with the territory, what risks the changing climate poses to the global economy, and ways to approach solving the problem, especially in light of the well-funded disinformation campaign being waged by special interests.
Schneider says that policymakers should fund more research to invent our way to a cleaner future rather than betting so much on a cap-and-trade or carbon tax regime for carbon pollution. He believes the price of carbon should ultimately reflect the impact of spewing millions of tons of CO2 into the atmosphere, but recommends a realistic sequence for enacting climate policy. Schneider stresses that policy formulation is a risk management problem in which value judgements play a key role. As always, Schneider’s talk is alive with clarity and humor.