In this episode, I interview Gary Yohe, the Huffington Foundation Professor of Economics and Environmental Studies at Wesleyan University. Most of his work has focused on the mitigation and adaptation sides of climate change.
A quick reading of Professor Yohe’s bio will give you a sense of what a heavy hitter he is:
He is the author of more than 175 scholarly articles, several books, and many contributions to media coverage of climate issues.
He has been involved since the early 1990’s with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), he received a share of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize as a senior member.
He was a Lead Author for four different chapters in the Third Assessment Report that was published in 2001 and as Convening Lead Author for the last chapter of the contribution of Working Group II to the Fourth Assessment Report that was published in 2007.
He was a Convening Lead Author for Chapter 18 of the Contribution of Working Group II to the Fifth Assessment Report on “Detection and Attribution” and a Lead Author for Chapter 1 on “Points of Departure”.
Most recently, he has been a contributing author to the IPCC Special Report on a 1.5 degree temperature target for mitigation.
Professor Yohe continues to serve as a member of the New York (City) Panel on Climate Change (NPCC); the NPCC was created in 2008 by then Mayor Michael Bloomberg to help the City respond to the risks of climate change. The third iteration of NPCC reports was released on March 15, 2019, at the offices of the New York Academy of Sciences.
He has testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on the “Hidden (climate change) Cost of Oil” on March 30, 2006, the Senate Energy Committee on the Stern Review on February 14, 2007, and the Senate Banking Committee on “Material Risk from Climate Change and Climate Policy” on October 31, 2007.
In April of 2011, Professor Yohe was appointed Vice Chair of the National Climate Assessment Development and Advisory Committee for the Obama Administration by then Under-Secretary of Commerce Jane Lubchenko for the Third National Climate Assessment. The Third National Climate Assessment Report was released by President Obama in a Rose Garden ceremony on May 6, 2014.
He served as a member of the National Research Council Committee on America’s Climate Choices: Panel on Adapting to the Impacts of Climate Change between 2008-2011 and the National Research Council Committee on Stabilization Targets for Atmospheric Greenhouse Gas Concentrations that was chaired by Susan Solomon from 2009 through its release in 2010. His more recent activities include the National Academies serving as the Review Editor for their report on the “social cost of carbon” and as a member of their Panel to review the 4th National Climate Assessment. He was also a member of their Panel that prepared the 2017-2027 Decadal Survey for Earth Science and Applications from Space for NASA in 2018.
Professor Yohe is currently Co-editor-in-Chief, along with Michael Oppenheimer, of Climatic Change (since August of 2010).
His opinion pieces now frequently appear in various national media venues.
All of that is a long way of saying Professor Gary Yohe is an expert that has dedicated much of his career towards the fight against climate change, and anything I may accomplish on my journey is standing on his (and people like his) shoulders.
In this episode we discuss:
Professor Yohe’s history at Wesleyan and how his views of climate change have and have not changed since he entered the field in the early 80’s.
His views on the three choices our planet has in response to climate change.
How an economist approaches the issue of studying and addressing climate change as well as Professor Yohe’s work with the IPCC.
Professor Yohe’s views on the political climate and the role policy and regulations play in climate change, including his thoughts on the Green New Deal.
Professor Yohe’s thoughts on Tobacco, Big Oil, President Trump, Bill Gates, Michael Bloomberg, and Michael Bennet.
His advice to people who are looking for ways to get involved in the fight against climate change.
I hope you enjoy the show!
You can find me on twitter @jjacobs22 and email at email@example.com, where I encourage you to share your feedback on episodes and provide suggestions for future guests or topics you'd like to see covered on the show.
Links for topics discussed in this episode:
Gary Yohe Biography from Wesleyan University: https://gyohe.faculty.wesleyan.edu/
Bill McKibben: http://billmckibben.com/
Michael Mann at Penn Station: https://www.michaelmann.net/
Doughnut Economics by Kate Raworth: https://www.kateraworth.com/doughnut/
Michael Bennett: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Bennet
The Paris Agreement: https://unfccc.int/process-and-meetings/the-paris-agreement/d2hhdC1pcy
Center for American Progress: https://www.americanprogress.org/
Resources for the Future: https://www.rff.org/
Environmental Defense Fund: https://www.edf.org/
National Climate Assessment: https://nca2018.globalchange.gov/
Song Gary commissioned with Baba Brinkman, Erosion: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EEx-F-pSdXA
Song Gary commissioned with Baba Brinkman, Destruction: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9W68mLkxYWg
Song Gary commissioned with Baba Brinkman, Redemption: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d0awFSnTeI4