August 23, 2018 | By Karen Weigert

Wait Just a Minute: Karen Weigert

Our new web series, Wait Just a Minute, asks experts to answer complex questions about global affairs in 60 seconds. In this episode, our senior global cities fellow, and former chief sustainability officer for the city of Chicago, Karen Weigert answers questions on climate change.

Wait Just a Minute: Karen Weigert

Is the earth’s climate changing?

I wish the answer were no. Unfortunately, the answer is yes, and we’re seeing that around the globe. Examples are more heat waves, melting of ice in places in the world, and sea-level rise.

Why is the warming limit of 2 degrees Celsius a big deal?

Two degrees Celsius is a big deal because the best science tells us that’s as close to stable as we can keep the broader atmosphere and climate. So, that’s really meaningful in terms of what it will be like as weather patterns change in response to climate change.

What change would help the most?

The big picture change is actually where everyone actually gets involved and prioritizes this topic. If you look at people’s views on climate change, the majority view it as a real challenge but it’s low on the list. So, the big change is to prioritize it.

What change would help the most?

I think I would enjoy having a conversation with the president. I think, in particular, he’s got a golf course in Ireland that had to build some seawall protection, and they cited climate change as the reason for that. So, golfing is certainly at risk, as are a few other things, but there’s also a lot to be gained. There are tremendous jobs that could be created in every community in the country, from efficiency to renewables, and we need those jobs too.

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