M. Sanjayan Was Condemned to a Drowning Death

“Your child is going to die from drowning.” That’s what some astrologist prick told M. Sanjayan’s family when he was a little boy. So they kept him away from water and wouldn’t teach him to swim. Sure it defies logic, but the death of their child was foretold. What’s a freaked out parent to do? It’s several decades later, and the child has outlived the astrologer (suck it, pseudoscience). Now he’s on live television responding to questions that he wasn’t prepared to answer. Dr. Sanjayan is on the David Letterman show discussing climate change. If you watch the interview, you’ll see an admittedly skeptical Letterman challenging the optimism of a well-informed, charismatic scientist, but Sanjayan didn’t see it that way. He says he left the interview thinking, “Damn, I gotta learn about this.” During his presentation at SXSW Eco, Sanjayan explained what he decided to learn and how his work on an eight-part series for Showtime helped him do it. Despite the big names involved with the Showtime project, Sanjayan was reluctant to participate. He didn’t want to contribute to “just another show about climate change.” He told the producers that he would contribute only if the show was compelling and creditable, so they promised to do three things. First, to tell real human stories. If the story sucks but the people in the story are compelling, people will watch it. Second, to focus on things that are happening right now. Most people think that climate change is something that’s gonna happen at some point in the future, so they need to see current events. Finally, to send Sanjayan...

SXSW Eco Welcome: Christiana Figueres

  Scott Wilcox took the stage, starting off the event. After the initial introduction, Christiana was then on the big screen. She wasn’t able to make it to speak live, but had put together a nice video for those in attendance. She went over the fundamental aspects of climate change, and how we factor in the equation of undoing environmental damage caused by us (collective human race). I’m assuming she means damage that started with the industrial revolution, though she didn’t specify. The basic message from Christiana is that we all, from the private sector, to big government, have a call to...
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