Pachauri: ‘Humanity disturbing climatic balance of Earth’

Mar 1st, 2010 | By | Category: Energy Conservation

Deepti Pradhan (right) introduces Rajendra K. Pachauri, Chair of the IPCC, speaker at the Tilde Cafe, which took place at Nellie Greens in Branford, Connecticut, Saturday, Feb. 27, 2010. (photo: ct environmental headlines)

Rajendra K. Pachauri, Chair of the Nobel Prize-winning Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), spoke to those attending the Tilde Café at Nellie Greens in Branford Saturday, Feb. 27, 2010.

Climate Change

Pachauri discussed the consumption patterns of the human race and what our growing dependence on fossil fuels has done to the environment and on Earth’s atmosphere.

“The Earth has maintained a climatic balance for a long time,” Pachauri said. Now, with higher concentrations of gases, we have created a blanket that reflects heat back to Earth and “the balance is being disturbed.” This disruption, he said, is resulting in changes in precipitation and increase in extreme weather events.

The 2035 Report

Pachauri wasn’t asked directly about the 2007 report of the IPCC that reported that “Glaciers in the Himalayas are receding faster than in any other part of the world and, if the present rate continues, the likelihood of them disappearing by the year 2035 and perhaps sooner is very high if the Earth keeps warming at the current rate.” But he did begin is address to this Tilde Café speaking about the report.

Watchdogs of Science

“Scientists on the one had have a profound influence on life across human society, but at the same time they have also become much more accountable and are questioned far more rigorously and severely than was the case in the past,” he said.

He referred to a watchdog type of oversight that is developing as a “capitalism of social consciousness.” A sort of public oversight that must percolate from the grass roots level that will require enlightened choices be made in regard to the way science and technology affect human health.

Sustainability and Energy

“There are huge benefits in moving toward a more sustainable energy,” Pachauri said, “and while some countries are taking the lead on this, other countries will be left behind.”

Other notes

Regarding the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision that, in effect allows companies and unions to pour more money than ever into political races and not have to worry about abiding by disclosure rules that apply to campaign financing, Pachauri said he’s not worried. “I would hope,” he said, “that people will evaluate where (political candidates) are getting their money from.”

The Tilde Café is a “science cafe” put together by Deepti Pradhan, a former biology researcher and grant writer for Yale University’s office of development. The café takes leading scientists out of their labs and puts them in a local restaurant for an informal chat with the public.

Others who have given presentation for the Tilde Café have included Gordon Geballe (industrial ecology), Tom Pollard (evolution), Caroline Zeiss (the platypus), and by Michael Donoghue (biodiversity).

Videos are posted on the café website (http://sites.google.com/site/tildecafe).

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