Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

Globalization and climate change. AI and VR. Donald Trump and the Flat Earthers. The world is changing so fast that we can't get a grip on how we got here, let alone where we're headed. This is your weekly podcast for a world in flux. Join Ben Charland to peel back the headlines and ask, what are the forces, people and ideas that shape the human story today? Have things always been this nuts, or are they getting crazier by the day? Just what on Earth is going on?

Subscribe to the podcast now.


        
        

Jun 8, 2018

Climate change is real, and we are causing it. At least, that’s the consensus among scientists around the world. A tiny handful of academics disagree, and that is a critical feature of science, but does this mean we should debate it as if it were an open question? Part of the reason we seem to so freely and so brazenly challenge those who have done their homework is because we lack the tools to distinguish between fact and fiction. We, as citizens, need to be literate in science in order for the real debates to be had.

Joining Ben for an impassioned conversation is renowned climate scientist Dr. John Smol.

About the Guest

Water pollution, climatic change, declining fisheries – these environmental problems are at the forefront of many people’s minds. And so are the dreaded diseases like cancer, asthma, autism, that many experts feel are linked to toxic chemicals in our environment, in particular, our fresh water supplies.

John Smol and his team at the Paleoecological Environmental Assessment and Research Laboratory (PEARL), at Queen's University, go deep below the surface of our lakes and rivers to uncover the secrets of our environmental history, written in the mud and silt.

Professor Smol’s work has been informing policy discussions and decisions nationally and internationally for many years, starting with his acclaimed role in the acid rain debates. With the help of the PEARL team, his research has enabled policy makers to make knowledgeable, proactive decisions in areas such as agricultural runoff, clearcutting, protection of fish habitats, and air pollution control.

With a public more concerned and informed about the environment than ever before, PEARL’s ongoing discoveries enable governments to be leaders in the stewardship of Canadian natural resources.

No matter how complicated paleolimnology might sound to you, to John, it’s all about one simple vision: the more we know about our environment, the better decisions we can make to protect it.

Learn more about John.