The audio companion to Part 1 includes both Joyashree Roy and Julia Steinberger on reducing the demand for fossil fuels, plus a look at conflicts of interest within the IPCC process, and Max Boykoff on the media's role in climate action. Transcript is below as well!
Amy Westervelt: Hello, and welcome back to Drilled, I'm Amy Westervelt. This week, a new report came out from the intergovernmental panel on climate change. Often referred to as the IPCC report, it's actually three main reports plus some smaller, special focused reports. And this was the third of the big ones, it's on mitigation.
So it focuses on what do we do about this crisis and why haven't we done it yet? Crucially. This round of IPCC reports included social scientists and their research a lot more than previous assessments have. And you really see it in this report, in particular. There are new chapters on things like demand, which sounds like demand for fossil fuels, but in fact, it questions that whole notion altogether and asks how we can deliver the services that people need-- getting to work, having lights on in their house, being able to cook these sorts of needs-- while also reducing emissions. So it really tackles the question of how do we mitigate climate and end poverty. There are also new mentions of various things in here, including the role that colonization played in driving the climate crisis in the first place and the role that it plays in perpetuating the problem.
This is the first time that we've seen the media mentioned in an IPCC report, kind of wild given how much of a role the media has played in both informing and not informing the public. It's also the first mention of litigation as something that can influence policy one way or the other.
There's a lot in this report. And because of the way that these reports are put together, a lot of media coverage tends to not get past this Summary for Policymakers that appears at the front of the report. It's a 65 page ish summary of the report, but it's also the one part of the report that government representatives get to weigh in on and have to approve all together.
So we're talking about representatives from the governments of 195 countries having to agree on the language and content of a document, which you can imagine does not produce the most straightforward, clearly worded document. In this case, several things were removed and, or watered down. So for that reason, and because this report is particularly important, given the timing of it, I am going to spend the month of April reading all 3000 pages and bringing you information and analysis from them, both here on the podcast and on our website, at drilledpodcast.com.
Today, I'm looking at particularly chapter five. This is this totally new chapter that's never been included in an IPCC report before. I also spoke with Catherine Mitchell, one of the coordinating lead authors on chapter 13, which is focused on policy. Super interesting chapter. Obstructionism comes up a lot in this chapter as it should. And it also looks at the need for what Mitchell calls, enabling conditions. So this idea that you could have all the amazing policies you want, but if you don't have sort of a functional government, if you don't have the ability to foster behavioral change, if you don't have finance all of these things, then those policies won't actually do anything.
Unfortunately, my laptop totally ate the audio of that interview, but I did manage to catch one of the contributing authors to that chapter, Max Boykoff.
I should say right up front, that there is as expected some pretty dire news in this report, starting with the fact that we've all but lost our shot at 1.5 degrees of warming.
And in fact, this report makes it clear that even keeping it to two degrees or less is a stretch on the current trajectory. In the last 10 years, so the decade in which we've known the most about climate change, what it's going to do, what it's already doing and what we can and should do to blunt those impacts, emissions have increased. So we're going, not just not the right direction, but precisely the wrong direction. This is very bad news. It's very scary news.
However, I do want to draw people's attention to all of the many ways that this report says we can actually do something about this. Here's how.
So today I'm going to start with chapter five, which is this totally new chapter in the report that really looks at economics in a different way and up-ends the ways that we talk about energy demand. It incorporates some really new and interesting thinking from the field of economics, as well as social science and questions this kind of long held belief that the energy market is entirely demand-driven. So we're going to hear from a couple of folks who worked on that chapter.
That's coming up right after this quick break.
Okay. So each chapter of the IPCC report has two coordinating lead authors and they purposely choose one person from the Global South and one person from the Global North to fill those positions. The coordinating lead author from the global south on chapter five is a woman named Joyashree Roy, she's an Indian economist who specializes in the fields of environmental economics, energy economics, and climate change mitigation.
She's currently the inaugural Bunghabandu chair professor at the Asian Institute of technology in Thailand, as well as a professor of economics at Jadavpur University in India. I've been requesting interviews with professor Roy and I haven't been able to reach her yet, but I did find some great talks that she's given online. So I'm going to pull some audio in from one of those here.
She's talking here about CDR or carbon dioxide removal, which is something that was mentioned a lot in the IPCC report. And the authors specifically made the point of saying that just capturing carbon as it's being emitted is not the same as carbon dioxide removal.
And they specifically called out the potential need for carbon dioxide removal. What's interesting about professor Roy's take on this here is that she makes the point that, Hey, we haven't even begun to scratch the surface on what we could do to mitigate emissions and to reduce the demand for energy in ways that also improve quality of life for people. So while she's not arguing against carbon dioxide removal or CDR, she's saying, Hey, let's do all the other things first so that we don't necessarily have to spend a large amount of money on this. And we might not have to go so far as these technological solutions that aren't even really available yet. We might be able to do this with reforestation, afforestation and stopping deforestation.
[00:07:44] Joyashree Roy: All the reports are clearly showing that we have to look at the portfolio affection, the whole bunch of actions together. And from that point of view, even 1.5 report also. No shows that it is possible to mitigate in such a way so that you might not need to go beyond just the reforestation or effort stations.
So there is a pathway for the whole world to decide whether they want to go through. Hi costs to technological intervention, more and more for CDR, or they want to mitigate more, which are less costly. So when we talk of finance, we need to be really looking for where lies the least cost option. Very nice, the most benefit.
And from that point of view, You just cannot look into the CDR and how we can get the money for severe, but we should look at as a whole group of actions with mitigation and the CDR and what kind of CDR and in what timescale and how the money will be flowing, because we must remember that it, in 1.5%.
We could show him very clearly that even by looking into the mitigation options in the supply side and add to eat at the demand side responses, energy efficiency, and many other demand reduction, waste reduction, and many of those behavioral measures, which you can include in the societal scale and where you can generate more action and reach a less costly.
And then you reduce the demand for CDR more and more.
[00:09:35] Joyashree Roy: We are now seeing even the sixth assessment cycle, that from the demand side intervention, you can reduce the need for CDR a lot.
So because unless we make these choices at the societal scale, we will not be able to say that how much money you need to go to for CDR. Right? So this is very important. I don't think. Done those research. Well, so it might be that we might be putting in money in something which we could easily do more list list, cost, option, and more benefits.
I did manage to speak to environmental economist, Julia Steinberger, who was a contributing author for the chapter and whose group at the university of Lausanne in Switzerland has done quite a bit of research on some of the economic models, underpinning parts of this chapter.
Here's a bit from our conversation.
[00:10:36] Amy Westervelt: Okay. I would like to ask for your opinion on the fact that there are authors and review editors and whatnot, who are employees of oil companies, and whether that creates a conflict of interest and you know, what could or should be done about.
[00:10:57] Julia Steinberger: Just wondering... I'm just wondering how many bridges to her in here?
[00:11:00] Amy Westervelt: Here comes a thorny question!
[00:11:05] Julia Steinberger: I think, I think it does. I think it does create a conflict of interest. I, I know that there was a conflict of interest policy and so, so everybody has to fill out forms regarding their affiliation. And obviously none of this was secret. But just because that person fills out forms does not mean that they don't have other interests at heart that are not reflective of the science and the public interest, but more reflective of their employer.
And I think that, that at, you know, at this late stage, given what we know, and especially the kinds of things that your research has been uncovering, for instance, that conflict of interest is not tenable in a, in a scientific report that is examining these industries and their role in what our past, present, and future is.
I guess the other thing that I would point out is that a lot of climate scientists both on the physical science side, but also on the sort of more mitigation side, social sciences. Are quite naive and ignorant about the role of the fossil fuel industry in terms of disinformation, attacking the science and, and really their sort of long interest, long history in successfully shaping public perception of the problem.
And so a lot of people are quite naive about it. And I think that that is by itself a problem. So the fact that IPCC reports did not include that interest in understanding that aspect of the role of industry, not just emissions, but how they've intervened in politics and economics and consumption patterns, and so on over decades is that's a topic of science. And I don't think that it's a topic of science that has been sufficiently reflected within IPCC reports. Or within the climate community as large at large.
[00:12:51] Amy Westervelt: Yeah. That's really interesting. I did see, I mean, I, I do feel like both in working group two and in this report, I haven't made it all the way through, of course, but I'm getting there. But, that there was more, reference to sort of entrenched interests and obstruction and misinformation and those kinds of things then I've seen in the, the past. But yeah, that's interesting to hear. Okay, so I want to talk about your chapter in particular. And was hoping that you could tell me, you know, what areas you focused on in particular in this chapter?
[00:13:30] Julia Steinberger: Okay. So there were two chapters where I stuck my grubby little nose in. So chapter three, which is the one I was assigned to as a, as a lead author, responsible for section 3.7 and the box on inequality and poverty in there.
So it's a chapter, it's the section that basically says, what are the longterm trends in terms of, what are, what are consequences of long-term trajectories of mitigation and sustainable development? And, so that's, that's what that section does. And, the other chapter I'm was quite involved in, in terms of my actual, my research expertise.
So in chapter three, it was more like, you know, do your job of reviewing the literature basically. But, chapter five is the one that reflects my research more. And so I was a contributing author on chapter five and a lot of my, my research and my PhD students and sort of general group's research is pretty much all over chapter five. I think we did good there.
[00:14:26] Amy Westervelt: Yeah. I was going to, I that's what I thought I was like, wait, I thought I thought Julia was, and then I looked at the list and I was like, wait, what did I confuse this? But, okay. That makes sense now.
[00:14:35] Julia Steinberger: I mean, I signed up for chapter five and then they didn't choose me for it because you know, they had to choose a whole bunch of people and everybody wanted to be on chapter five it's the new, sexy chapter. So there wasn't room for me. It was like, oh, well, nevermind. I won't do the IPCC this round. And then, I was convinced I was convinced to stay on in chapter three. They thought I could be useful there. So I ended up, I think my section ended up being okay.
[00:14:58] Amy Westervelt: Yeah. Yeah. I'm, I wanted to ask you about this because I feel like I'm, I'm seeing a real resurgence recently of the sort of "energy poverty" argument for fossil fuels. And I know that you've done a significant amount of research that sort of debunks the idea that, you know, that the only way out of poverty is paved by fossil fuels.
[00:15:20] Julia Steinberger: Yeah. But in fact, what we found, what we were able to demonstrate was actually the contrary that, I mean, that's one of the statements that's very clearly in the supplement in the summary for policymakers is that there is no sustainable development. Or development full stop, but you know, sustainable development is not possible without climate mitigation.
Like unless you mitigate climate, the impacts are going to catch you every step of the way and just make like people's lives increasingly hard and miserable, especially in developing countries you know, or sort of Global South countries. And, and, and so there, there that this pathway of fossil fuel development is really a myth.
It's not there, there, there is no substance there because of the destructive power that it comes to. As well as the negatives, I mean, you have negatives in terms of air pollution and air pollution gets even, you know, localized air pollution on climate emissions. And it gets even worse with, with heating and heat waves.
You know what I mean? It's just, it's just a mess. So, yeah, so that was a, that was actually quite interesting that it was that we were able to make that, that statement quite, quite so clear.
[00:16:18] Amy Westervelt: Yeah. Yeah. When I saw that in the, in the summary, I was like, oh good. This will be very helpful in this because I just it's like the zombie that will never die that, that argument. Okay, great. And then, for chapter. Five. Can you walk me through some of the, the pieces that either you or your students, sort of contributed most to in that?
[00:16:42] Julia Steinberger: Okay. So actually there's one thing that we contributed to that's quite, we're, we're, we're basically all over in chapter five from the sort of concept aspect to the results. There was one nice thing that, So there's one piece that we contributed which is the, the, the first decent living global decent living energy model. So decent living energy is a framework that was put together. I mean, I don't want to pretend like we're the only a research group here. Absolutely not.
Decent Living Energy is something that was, a research effort by Narahsima Rao and his group at Yale. But we did the first global model as part of my group, as in collaboration with Narahsima. And, so that's one of the things and we also have, we also did, so basically Millward Hopkins. That's us. So the first piece, and that's reflected in the Summary for policymakers in the summary for policymakers, I think it's section C 10 that says that it's possible to have decent living conditions for everybody at half of current energy use.
So that's a pretty big result because it basically puts together a lot of the things that we're talking about in chapter five. It says all we need is services. We don't need the energy use itself. Hey, let's think about how we deliver those services in a more efficient way, but one that we can demonstrate exists already and you get to these results that are really quite staggering, that you can really do things very, very differently.
Oh yeah. So if you look on page 25 of chapter five, so that the figure that basically highlights factors, socioeconomic factors that allow societies to have, better living. So higher need satisfaction at lower energy use. That's that's the paper that comes from my group says for my PhD student and that's pretty cool result.
I think it came in just under the wire in terms of the IPCC lit deadline. And it basically shows that things like equality and public services and infrastructure help a lot and extractivism and economic growth, not so much.
[00:18:37] Amy Westervelt: Right. Yeah, right. This is great. I feel like this whole, chapter is a really helpful rebuttal to the like poor people need fossil fuels story.
[00:18:50] Julia Steinberger: Yeah, because the funny thing is, so there are lots of myths about the way we understand the economy. One of the myths is that it's demand driven when it's not it's supply driven. There there, you can imagine that phase of the economy's sort of been like, you know, when everybody's in poverty, then you know, there's going to be a lot of demand that drives production. But after a certain phase, basically have an overproductive industry.
That's constantly driving productivity and competitiveness through, competition. And so at that point you start having overproduction and you need to find an outlet for that. Otherwise you get economic crises, and the outlet for thatis various kinds of over-consumption or, things like, you know, planned obsolescence, like you have all these basic mechanisms for the economic production consumption system to not, not have a crisis due to overproduction.
[00:19:44] Amy Westervelt: And so the, the can we totally see with fossil fuels? I mean, you see it in the, in just the plastics move right now.
[00:19:49] Julia Steinberger: Exactly. So you basically. So it's basically like a production is looking for outlets and this, this was identified and turned to the treadmill of production by Schneiberg and Gold, and why am I going in this direction? So the, who are very famous, American sociology, environmental sociologists. And so this idea of the treadmill of production is basically the fossil fuel industry is, is, is using. The narrative of demand, sort of this, this, this, this fake story of narrative of a demand driven production, to sort of excuse their activities. But as soon as you look at demand, the story crumbles. And so what's really interesting. This is the first time we've ever had a chapter on demand because there was just this sort of like head, you know, really sort of basic idea that demand will increase with economic growth.
Everybody wants economic growth, so everybody wants demand to increase. So that's untouchable. So, and as soon as you start questioning it, you realize, you realize that it's a, it's a God with clay feet, that you just can you can do a lot better with a lot less. There's nothing preventing us from doing a lot better and using a lot less, including, including resolving poverty and deprivation around the world.
Like material poverty and deprivation around the world.
Max Boykoff is a long time researcher in this realm. He has specifically looked at media and climate, and that's something that made its way into the report for the very first time in this mitigation report in chapter 13, which is focused on policy. Role of media, not only in helping to create the conditions for passing policy, but also how it has been used as a weapon to spread disinformation and how various forces like the fossil fuel industry and various trade groups have tried to use the media to block policy.
Boykoff runs the media and climate change observatory at the university of Colorado Boulder. And I asked him for his take on this report and his work in it and what he would like to see people do with it.
Amy: So I was hoping you could start with telling me, I know I've heard from a couple of people that there was a push in the last, you know, I don't know, five, six plus years to really get more social science and social scientists involved in the IPC process. Not that they weren't involved before, but just kind of like involved in a more serious way. And I wonder if that holds true to your experience and, and kind of what you've seen, that sort of look like.
[00:22:22] Max Boykoff: Yeah, I think that's right. I think, you know, it's happened for several reasons, but I think that's what led to the invitation that I received back in 2019 to start to get involved. I just think there's a greater understanding that that there's much more work to be done in the social sciences and even humanities than simply more and more in the natural physical sciences.
And so I, said yes to the invitation to see what I could do to try to push things forward from a social sciences perspective.
[00:22:51] Amy Westervelt: And, and what was the experience like? What you know, how did it go? Do you feel like you succeeded in that effort?
[00:22:58] Max Boykoff: Yeah, I have mixed feelings, but overall I really do still believe in the power of doing this work collectively. I do think that, it was worth it, although it did take a considerable amount of time. I took the job seriously. I was kind of a second wave of contributing authors. There's the 278 main authors. And then I was one of the 354 contributing authors. But nonetheless, I spent a lot of time scouring the literature, trying to put together some cogent contributions across a few different areas of the report.
And, I think that he was successful in that a couple of statements appeared that I had written and contributed to, that I hadn't seen before in IPCC reports. I was kind of amazed at how much heavy editing it really does go on. But to the point, the, the pieces that I'm glad are in, there are a few statements about climate, contrarian counter movements, and then also around media, and media representational practices.
And so I had, been asked to, you know, by I think some forward thinking, lead authors to, put together some like, It was heavily scrutinized. I had really pushed for a particular passage to get into the summary for policymakers that ended up on page 111 of the technical document. I can get into that if you'd like, but it didn't, and I should've known better, just knowing that the summary for policymakers is the one that's subject to line by line scrutiny from government delegates about 195 countries. I think that. Difficult for them to probably take it on board. My best guess is they just struck it. But the technical summary is one that's prepared by authors of the report.
So it does go through review process by governments and experts, but ultimately authors have a say there. So that's where I'm actually, you know, I feel a little bit optimistic that some of those statements made their way through.
[00:24:58] Amy Westervelt: Would you be willing to read that passage for me?
[00:25:02] Max Boykoff: Yeah. Yeah, as I read through it so far,
I've probably found seven places where I think my fingerprints are keyboard currencies on them, but there's two that do that. I'll highlight. The first is on page 11 of the technical report. There was just this passage at the end of a, sort of a table about signs of progress on the left and continuing challenges on the right.
And one of the continuing challenges was that the statement: accurate transference of the climate science has been undermined significantly by climate change counter movements in both legacy and new social media environments through misinformation. So that was the first one that I think could be of interest to you and your audience.
The second one is on page 111 in my pagination. So a bit longer. Here goes, I'll let it rip: the media shaped the public discourse about climate mitigation. This can usefully build public support to accelerate mitigation action, but can also be used to impede decarbonization. Global media coverage across a study of 59 countries has been growing for about 47,000 articles in 20 16, 17 to about 87,000 articles in 2020 to 2021.
Generally the media representation of climate science has increased and has become more accurate over time. On occasion, the propagation of scientifically misleading, information by organized counter movements has fueled polarization with negative implications for climate policy.
So the reference to those numbers comes from a work that I do based here with a group of two dozen researchers called our Media and Climate Change Observatory.
The second one that I read to you on page 111 was the one that we were pushing for to get into the summary for policymakers, but failed.
[00:26:58] Amy Westervelt: Yeah. The other, I mean, I saw an earlier draft of the summary for policymakers that did include reference to, you know, vested interests and things like that. But, it seems like all of that got removed from the summery.
[00:27:16] Max Boykoff: Reading through the summary --and I'd be interested to hear what you think-- it just that there's no, no responsibility really garnered on anyone on that.
[00:27:25] Amy Westervelt: The summary to me feels a lot like talking around the key issues, which is weird because the rest of the report actually really does a pretty great job of not doing that. I think it's like one of the most direct iPCC reports I've read.
[00:27:42] Max Boykoff: Yeah, it's sort of like, the SPM is like saying my car hit your car and then I'd take a responsibility. You're I hit it. You know, it's just a real striking first.
[00:27:55] Amy Westervelt: Right, right. It's very, yeah. Yeah, to me. Yeah. There was like a real stark contrast between the summary for policymakers and the rest of the report. And, you know, I talked to Catherine Mitchell and a couple of other folks who were kind of like, well, people get too hung up on the summary for policy makers and, you know, at the end of the day, like sure, government officials can, you know, kind of neuter the language, but they can't do anything to change the underlying arguments. And, you know, that's still very strong in all the chapters. Which I think is true. But unfortunately, I also think that because of the way that the IPCC release schedule is, the vast majority of media are probably not going to make it much past the summary for policy makers.
[00:28:47] Max Boykoff: Oh absolutely, I agree.
[00:28:50] Amy Westervelt: It's still important. Other, I mean, I think if it wasn't important, the government representatives probably wouldn't fight so hard for certain things in it.
[00:28:59] Max Boykoff: Yeah. I just think it's sort of a bummer, cause it turns out to be a bit of a smokescreen for what's really the important part, which is the technical summary. Because you know, like the process has been fraught since its inception in 1988 and the first report in 1990. 195 government representatives have to sign off on it is you know, it's just, it's just super problematic as a scientific body then, is that where the SPM, Summary for Policymakers is captured by governments. And so the distinction that I, that I pointed out about how the technical summary was controlled by the authors of the report is actually a lot more important than I think people ever really talk about?
[00:29:41] Amy Westervelt: Yeah.
[00:29:42] Max Boykoff: I'd rather people just skip the summary and go right into the technical report. We've got the stomach for it.
[00:29:47] Amy Westervelt: Yeah. It's not that much longer. And it's like, it's much. I don't know. Just more, more robust.
[00:29:55] Max Boykoff: Yeah. Well, that's where you can hear the voices of those of us who have written on it.
[00:30:01] Amy Westervelt: Well, and they did put that out along with the summary for policymakers.
As someone who studies, you know, in, in part I know you study lots of things, but I know one of the things is, is media and coverage and, and all of that. So I'm curious to hear what you think about how the IPCC sort of handles It's relationship with the media. I saw a lot of what I'm assuming is your stuff in chapter 13 around, the role that the media plays in in all of this, but also just in terms of the, kind of the process for releasing these reports.
I'll just tell you that I heard from a lot of authors that like, well, We don't really expect journalists to cover this the day it comes out. So it doesn't really matter what time it comes out or how much time they have to read the report, because obviously it's a 3000 page report.
They're not going to cover it the day of, and I was like, that is so cute, but that's not how media actually works anymore. So, I just, I feel like there's this giant disconnect between, you know, Yeah, I dunno. I, one person put it to me that they, they felt like the in a way that there's more attention paid to sort of protecting the process than the report having impact. And I'm curious what you think about that.
[00:31:19] Max Boykoff: Yeah, it's interesting. The process is really fascinating and I think troubling in some ways. I think the IPCC bank on just being a legitimate legitimate and high profile scientific body. And so when they got the report coming out, they could release it whenever they feel like it. And they know that media will cover. And so, you know, I've heard from some journalists that are frustrated, I think quite understandably by just how opaque that final plenary negotiation sessions are. I too, myself, am really unclear. I just happened to get inside, you know, insights from people who are involved. Otherwise it's just not well described. And so to have a fairly untransparent process, doesn't really, you know, bode well for the IPCC really getting out what it wants to get out. And so it's kind of living by these fictions that we've, you know, critiqued so many, so much over times that good work will find itself to the right people, but we know that doesn't work.
That sounds a little bit unfair. I do know that there are actually, there is an increasing group, a media group and , they do good work with the capacity that they've got. And so I don't mean to disparage that at all.
[00:32:31] Amy Westervelt: No, I know, I know that there's a huge capacity issue and a resourcing issue too. So I think there's basically like one person handling all the press, which is wild.
[00:32:46] Max Boykoff: And that person is doing heroic work.
I mean, honestly, to me, that just, it's like, it's similar to the fact that like all of the authors are just putting in tremendous amounts of work for, for free, you know, like, I dunno. I'm like, this is a really important thing. It seems like maybe it's time to actually fund it appropriately.
[00:33:08] Max Boykoff: Yeah. It's a funny thing, isn't it?
[00:33:10] Amy Westervelt: Yeah. But then it's funny. Cause I was, I was talking to someone else who was like there are a lot of issues that I would like to see addressed, but I also don't like to talk about the issues publicly because you know, the IPCC is so vulnerable and people are always wanting to like take funding away from rather than, you know, put resources towards actually solving these things.
So it's just a, it's a funny thing.
[00:33:34] Max Boykoff: I agree. I agree. There is, there's a balancing act, right? Like, I mean, I, it already, and I'll say it again, like I support this work. I see the value of it. That's why I just dedicated the time I did to it. However I think any good relationship involves honesty about what's good and what can improve.
And so, I'm also sharing that with you and it's not hopefully not to be taken out of context because I think everybody recognizes that there's more and better, more effective work that can be done through this process. Yeah. Yeah. I believe this was the first time that the report really included media in this way. Is that, is that true?
[00:34:13] Max Boykoff: yeah, so that's, I mean, that's pretty exciting that, you know, that that it was included and that you were able to get in the stuff about how, it can be weaponized so easily. It's good. And then that's where I said yes to it. And that's why I still think it was worth, worth taking part. And I really I do also appreciate the work of the lead authors on that chapter that you referred to. That that is where I was contributing mostly. And they too had a vision and commitment to seeing that through. And so I really think the lead authors did good work.
[00:34:45] Amy Westervelt: I mean, I, I do think that it's noticeable just to me as someone who's who reads these reports. I think there's a very noticeable difference between air five and AR six specific to like greater inclusion of social scientists and like a more kind of interdisciplinary approach in general. There's there was a bunch of stuff in this report that I've never seen.
[00:35:10] Max Boykoff: We're just in a really different place than we were back then, even at AR five. And I think that's led partly to this. I mean, the shift to renewables, the clean energy revolution, the fact that solar wind batteries come down, you know, 85% in the last decade, all that stuff contributes to, I think, a more of an appetite, more recognition of inclusion of these important pieces
[00:35:35] Amy Westervelt: Is is there anything in particular in this report that you really want to draw people's attention to? Because you know, it isn't 3000 page, roughly. There's a lot of detail in it. I think there's a lot of things that can get missed. So, yeah. I'm curious. What what are the things that you particularly want people to know?
[00:35:56] Max Boykoff: Yeah, there's, there's several, if I had to just pick a. I think the recognition that, that politics and status quo interests, not science, money, or technology are now the primary barriers to meeting climate targets. The fact that the IPCC can say that even in a guarded manner shows where we are. I mean, walking that tight rope of policy relevant, but not policy prescriptive, the mantra of the IPCC for all these years, can't get away from the fact that politics and status quo interests play a part. And you know, hand-in-hand with that, I think it was, there was some fascinating moments in the news conference this morning. Did you get a chance to, to watch that?
[00:36:41] Amy Westervelt: I did, yeah.
[00:36:41] Max Boykoff: I mean, two things stuck out. One is UN secretary general, Antonio Guterres his, I mean, it was very striking just how straightforward his comments were.
[00:36:53] Antonio Guterres: The jury has reached the verdict and it is damning. This report of the intergovernmental panel on climate change is a litany of broken climate promises. It is a file of shame, cataloging the empty pledges that put us firmly on track towards an unlivable world. We are on a fast track to climate disaster. This is a climate emergency. Climate scientists warn that we are already perilously close to tipping points that could lead to cascading and irreversible climate impacts. But high-emitting governments and corporations are not just turning a blind eye. They're adding fuel to the flames. They are choking our planet based on their vested interests and historic investments in fossil fuels. When cheaper, renewable solutions provide green jobs, energy, security, and greater price stability. Climate activists are sometimes depicted as dangerous radicals, but the truly dangerous radicals are the countries that are increasing the production of fossil fuels. Investing in new fossil fuel infrastructure is moral and economic madness.
[00:38:06] Max Boykoff: And then at the end of the press conference, I think it was a question from Sarah Kaplan, from the Washington post Jim ski about you know, okay, this, this politics, instead of co-insurance, what are, what are you going to do about it then? What do you what's what should we do? And he went so far as to say that he was deliberately skirting the issue. And it just demonstrates that there is, there are limits to the IPCC as an organization that can really address political or corporate power. And so, it's looking to me that while the IPCC has, has taken these steps, and I'm really glad that this, the passages that I shared with you were in there, it shows that we can't yeah expect too much of this body. This is something that provides a foundation for further and ongoing work. And so that, that's one thing that I just sort of came away with as I've been digesting it just today. There's certainly a lot of language within the report that is, that is fascinating and interesting, but that kind of larger, that larger kind of, yeah way in which it was presented through the press conference I thought it was striking.