will steffen: what you can do about global warming

a brief interview with professor will steffen, one of the authors of the recent article, “trajectories of the earth system in the anthropocene.” the article, published in pnas, has received a tremendous amount of attention from the media. this is of interest to me not only because i’m a father, but also because infectious diseases such as vector-borne pathogens are affected by climate change (i.e. west nile virus). but so are others such as water-transmitted pathogens (i.e. cholera). 

phil- thanks so much or answering my questions, professor steffen. i know how busy you are! first, i was wondering, where were you born and where did you grow up?

will- i was born in norfolk, nebraska, usa, and grew up in north-west iowa (spencer, to be precise). i emigrated to australia in 1977; and became an australian citizen in 1985.
phil- interesting. so you’re an american. why did you pursue a career in science?
will- i’m curious about how things work, so science seemed a natural pursuit. I should add that my BSc (from University of Missouri, 1970) is actually in chemical engineering, but I was more fascinated by the science than its application to went on to do a PhD in chemistry (University of Florida 1975).
phil- what are your hobbies?
will- bushwalking, trekking and climbing, along with photography.
phil- what can people do to stop the effects of climate change?
will- there is a very long list of what people can do, but because climate change is first and foremost a collective action problem, people should get active politically and support (and vote for!) those people who are actually going to do something about climate change.
phil- thanks so much will!

 

PS-

If you found this post useful, please continue the discussion. go to “leave a reply” at the bottom of this page. thanks!

dr. phil lederer

Screen Shot 2018-08-12 at 8.49.20 PM
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from the pnas paper: a schematic illustration of possible future pathways of the climate
Screen Shot 2018-08-12 at 8.52.47 PM.png
nebraska to iowa
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eventually on to Australia

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