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Think Out Loud

Is Changing Climate Changing You?

What are you doing to stop global warming? More interestingly for this hour: in the words of a therapist, how does that question make you feel? Do you roll your eyes? Do you feel confident that recycling, biking, and swapping your incandescents for fluorescents will do enough to change the planet? Do you figure the problem is too big — and you live inland anyway? Or does the whole thing just depress you?

Lewis and Clark economics professor Eban Goodstein decided a big conversation about climate change would be a good thing. Dreaming in their attic office, he and his wife imagined students nationwide in a focused discussion about how to stop the planet from uncontrollably heating up. Their dream will become a reality on Thursday, January 31st, and OPB is broadcasting one such conversation — students questioning elected officials about climate change policy.

Think Out Loud is looking back and forward. What did it take for climate change to move from scientific research to a laden political debate to a constant refrain? Is it a mainstream movement in the US yet? What will it take to move on to action to really chop carbon emissions? Do past movements — for civil rights, say, or for clean rivers — offer any insights?

The most interesting thing Eban told me when we briefly talked this week is that he wants to steer the message now away from individual responsibility. “This is not about not driving to work,” he said. “We keep it away from the personal choices that make people despair.”

Are you despairing? Disinterested? Or doing something?


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