For the record


Sometimes a sound bite from an interview can alter the meaning of what you were trying to say. Here’s a small example.

I was interviewed for a program called Marketplace, which aired October 24 on National Public Radio.  The tight little two-minute segment asked about what could account for a recent near-term drop in U.S. greenhouse gas emissions (such as the fuel-switching from coal to natural gas), and how this might relate to the international situation.  The interviewer used one of my sentences, from a 20-minute conservation. Which was OK, except that the sentence was extracted from a paragraph that had a meaning different from the single sentence taken alone. Here’s the paragraph, for the record, underlining the sentence that aired:

If you eliminated all the emissions from the industrialized western countries and didn’t do anything with the developing countries, that would be enough to push global warming past the dangerous tipping point.  Or if you eliminated all those emissions in China and other developing countries there would be enough in the West over time to push climate over a tipping point of global warming. So everybody has to be involved. The question is what is the equitable, sustainable way to allocate that global carbon emissions budget so that people can be brought up out of poverty and still address the problem of limiting climate change.

More in these earlier posts:

The American ‘99%’ as part of the global ‘1%’ in contributing to climate change

On the Durban climate conference, Part 2:  The problem of international distributional equity

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