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Genius medical researcher Ajit Varki on his book "Denial: Self-Deception, False Beliefs, and the Origins of the Human Mind." Erika Spanger-Siegfried from the Union of Concerned Scientists on American military bases endangered by rising seas.
Interviews by Alex Smith of Radio Ecoshock
Background music by Alex Smith
Varki interview suggested by listener Rob Mielcarski at https://undenial.wordpress.com
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After decades of great science showing how climate change operates - we get an incoming American Administration composed of climate science deniers. How is that possible? A listener suggested I contact Ajit Varki, about his book "Denial: Self-Deception, False Beliefs, and the Origins of the Human Mind."
So now we are in for a treat. We'll spend a little time with an awe-inspiring Professor of Medicine and pioneer researcher, from the University of California in San Diego. Following his beginning in India, Ajit Varki has led American explorations into cellular and molecular medicine. His multi-faceted mind also ventures into the origins of humans, and as it turns out, a critical mechanism of human consciousness. Understand the role of denial, says Varki, and you understand a lot about your own life, and the civilization around us.
The climate threats faced by the American military are many, and they know it. In fact, climate issues are rising up in armed forces training and long-range planning. Of course, that's one of the problems we face: the climate fundamental to so many things is changing slowly, but can manifest itself as "surprising" shifts. One of the slowest moving, but most inevitable and life-changing impacts, is the expansion of oceans as the world warms.
If you look at a map of America, it's dotted with over 1200 military bases. Many of these, especially for the Navy, are located right at tide level. Tide level is going up, and so are storm surges, as we saw with Hurricane Sandy.
The Union of Concerned Scientists is reliable and authoritative. Early this year they issued a major report "The US Military on the Front Lines of Rising Seas (2016)". The lead author and project manager for that report is Erika Spanger-Siegfried. She's a senior climate analyst in the Climate and Energy Program, for the UCS.