David Roberts Quotes:

  • “People’s gut impressions and instincts are not reliable guides to social policy.”
  • “We need to be all guns blazing on mitigation.”
  • The only people capable of changing the minds of the right wing base on climate change…is right wing elites. There’s no set of magical words that environmentalists can say to break this spell of denialism…”

In episode 51 of America Adapts, Doug Parsons talks with famed climate and energy writer David Roberts of Vox online news (and formerly of Grist).  David discusses his transition from his long time perch at Grist to the much bigger platform at Vox.  Doug and David then dig into recent hurricane media coverage; the morality of climate mitigation versus adaptation; and the near hopeless politics of climate change. It’s a dense, fascinating and humorous discussion.

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In this Episode:

HURRICANE MEDIA – Doug and David talk about how the media has covered the two recent hurricanes and if it’s an appropriate to talk about climate change during storm coverage. We also discuss if Rush Limbaugh had a point in his criticism of hurricane coverage.

GRIST TO VOX – David shares his writing history, starting at Grist environmental news (and the freedom Grist gave him to ‘ponder’ subjects for writing), to Vox and he also explains the challenges of producing regular content at a much more deadline driven news shop like Vox.

SURE, LET’S ADAPT – We discuss why David ‘has it in for adaptation.’ He describes his evolution of thinking on the subject and he explains the moral case for both mitigation and adaptation

ADAPTATION POLITICS – Doug and David discuss:  Who will own adaptation politically, Republicans (if and when they come around on climate change) or Democrats?

FORTRESS AMERICA – David describes how getting people to abandon their homes due to climate change will require a huge level of trust between government and people, a trust clearly lacking now.  David also explains that when climate impacts come into full view, we’ll likely pull inward as a country and protect ourselves in ‘fortress America.’

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Links in episode:
https://www.vox.com/authors/david-roberts
http://grist.org/climate-energy/understanding-the-social-limits-of-adaptation/
http://grist.org/climate-energy/preventing-climate-change-and-adapting-to-it-are-not-morally-equivalent/
https://www.vox.com/2015/8/24/9194707/katrina-climate-adaptation
https://www.vox.com/energy-and-environment/2017/9/8/16272538/what-is-worth-saving
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Producer Dan Ackerstein
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Doug can be contacted at americaadapts @ g mail . com

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