This is the third interview with Philip Sutton, coauthor with David Spratt of a recent report titled Climate Cod Red: The Case for a Sustainability Emergency. The first interview reviewed the latest scientific understanding of climate change and established an appropriate target for temperature change and atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations. The second interview discussed the socio-political implications of the latest scientific understanding—namely the need to go into "emergency" mode, abandoning business and politics as usual in order to make a rapid transition to a fossil-fuel free economy before catastrophe unfolds.
When we realize that our survival is at stake, business as usual no longer applies. Familiar analogies include times of war when factories shifted from producing unnecessary consumer goods to what is needed to feed, clothe and arm troops. During these times, civilians accept sacrifice and social cohesion is high because the shared threat is understood. In our current situation, we need to adopt an emergency mode of conduct in politics, business and civic life that achieves the survival goal of sustainability.
While our task is daunting, today’s interview will show that it is still possible to stabilize the climate.