"bridges" Lecture Series 2010:

Debate on Global Climate-Change Policy with Roger Pielke, Jr., David Goldston, and Alexander Ochs

bridges vol. 28, December 2010 / Noteworthy Information

The challenge of addressing climate change inspires fierce, divisive debates, pitting science against politics, environmentalism against commerce, and the most powerful nations in the world against their less-developed neighbors. Roger Pielke, Jr. , professor of environmental studies at the University of Colorado , bridges columnist, and a renowned expert on science and public policy, attempts to take on this challenge. In his new book, The Climate Fix: What Scientists and Politicians Won't Tell You About Global Warming , he seeks to propose a novel, alternative way of looking for solutions for the climatic changes the earth is experiencing.

Climate Change - Pielke Lecture: from left to right, Alexander Ochs, Roger Pielke Jr. & David Goldston


{access view=guest}Access to the full article is free, but requires you to register. Registration is simple and quick – all we need is your name and a valid e-mail address. We appreciate your interest in bridges.{/access} {access view=!guest} The Office of Science and Technology at the Embassy of Austria chose the occasion of the publication of this book to invite Roger Pielke, Jr., and two more experts on the issue – David Goldston and Alexander Ochs – for a debate with the audience on global climate-change policy. David Goldston is the director of Government Affairs for the Natural Resources Defense Council and previously served as chief of staff for the chairman of the US House of Representatives’ Subcommittee on Science and Technology. Alexander Ochs works for Worldwatch Institute , directing its Climate and Energy Program. 

The event, organized as the third of the annual bridges Lecture Series events, took place December 14, only four days after the close of the two-week UN climate summit in Cancún, and attracted over 200 scientists, policy makers, and managers in R&D. After welcoming remarks by Austrian Ambassador H. E. Christian Prosl , Philipp Marxgut, Austrian attaché for S&T and director of the OST , introduced the three experts. As moderator, Ochs directed the discussion and asked Pielke and Goldston for their opinions on different climate-change issues before opening the floor to questions from the audience. “We need to invest in policies that foster technological innovation. But at the same time, we also have to maintain a stance of technological agnosticism,” Pielke observed, calling for an approach to policy that fosters not simply research and development, but also encourages testing, deployment and scaling of diverse energy technologies beyond those that are fossil intensive. The role of the media in addressing the issue of global warming was also debated, as was the viability of the goals of the US, Europe, and China for reducing carbon emissions.

Pielke Lecture: Audience

The evening closed with a book signing and an Austrian holiday reception, at which guests could approach the experts with individual questions or continue the discussion among themselves while enjoying hearty Austrian cuisine and a glass or two of mulled wine.