Weekly Commentary: Listen To Science And Invest In Critical Resilience to
Dr. Aaron Lerner 30 January, 2021
This week President Biden issued Executive Order on Tackling the Climate
Crisis at Home and Abroad
I read it with great interest and was struck by the introduction:
"The United States and the world face a profound climate crisis. We have a
narrow moment to pursue action at home and abroad in order to avoid the most
catastrophic impacts of that crisis and to seize the opportunity that
tackling climate change presents. Domestic action must go hand in hand with
United States international leadership, aimed at significantly enhancing
global action. Together, we must listen to science and meet the moment."
And this promising line:
"...The United States will also move quickly to build resilience, both at
home and abroad, against the impacts of climate change that are already
manifest and will continue to intensify according to current trajectories."
So let us listen to the science for a moment:
The consensus among the scientific community is that under the best of
situations, even if all the nations meet their goals, there is a very
significant possibility that our world will face a serious crisis. And
that is in the best of situations.
Among the major elements of the crisis in no particular order:
- Rising sea levels forcing large populations out of their homes: This
requires an unprecedented worldwide construction boom.
- Climate change rendering the current spatial distribution of crop
production unsustainable: Feeding the world will require not only developing
and implementing crops which are appropriate for the changed climates
(temperatures, water salinity, etc.) but also the development and
implementation of appropriate growing techniques.
- Increasingly severe water shortages: Addressed by affordable
desalination, reduction of water lost in transmission and intensive
- Increasingly severe weather impacting infrastructure: Requires designing
infrastructure to withstand and/or be rapidly restored in the wake of severe
Yes. "Together, we must listen to science and meet the moment."
Let science set the priorities and not ideology.
I sincerely hope that Mr. Biden does indeed listen to the science.
We here in Israel have much to contribute to meeting this challenge with our
leading edge position in, among other fields, agriculture, water treatment
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