In this episode, David Pogue talks about his latest book, How to Prepare for Climate Change: A Practical Guide to Surviving the Chaos.
David has a great sense of humor, although the topic of his book and this podcast is no joke. I met him when he was keynoting a digital marketing conference that I chaired in NYC. He's taken the road less traveled to where he is today. And he's more interesting for it.
After graduating summa cum laude from Yale with distinction in music, he conducted Broadway musicals, wrote for MacWorld, and eventually became a weekly technology columnist for The New York Times.
He’s a five-time Emmy winner for his stories on CBS News Sunday Morning, a New York Times bestselling author, a 5x TED speaker, and host of 20 NOVA science specials on PBS.
Ninety-seven percent of scientists agree that the planet is getting warmer because of fossil fuel emissions. To understand why it’s happening, think about the temperature inside your car with the windows rolled up in a hot parking lot. The reason the earth is getting hotter is that emissions get caught in our atmosphere.
The Earth is just one car in a crowded parking lot of planets we call the universe. when we burn fossil fuel, it's like rolling up the windows around our planet. And scientists agree that that's why climate change is happening.
The wildfires in California, Oregon and Washington, the one hundred years of hurricanes that are now happening every five years, or the hottest day ever recorded, which was in Death Valley are all the result of our planet getting hotter. And even if you think these are natural phenomena, David's book is still worthwhile because it’s not about why, it’s about what to do as a result. “Whether you think it’s natural or man-made, you still need to get ready,” he says.
Where are the safest places to live? The East Coast has rising sea levels, hurricanes, storms, bug infestations, and their associated diseases that go along with that. The South will become so hot it will be uninhabitable in some places. The West Coast also has rising sea levels, wildfires, and drought. In many places, there will also be a shortage of freshwater. The two sweet spots in the US are the Pacific Northwest — which has a temperate climate, rain, lots of freshwater and interesting people — and the Great Lakes region.
After you figure out where to live, you need to get ready for floods, heatwaves, droughts, hurricanes, tornados, mosquitos, and ticks. You need to think about how to protect your kids, how to protect your business, how to build structures, and what to invest in. “I can spend two hours talking about flood insurance,” says David. You also need to be ready for the breakdown of society as we know it.
The book ends with a positive note about where to find hope in these challenging times.
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