What Are We Missing?
Tufts experts discuss the climate change questions we're not asking (but should be).
A decade ago, global warming was not a front-burner issue. Nowadays, it is emerging more prominently into public dialogue. This month's awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to former Vice President Al Gore and the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change—of which Fletcher School professors William Moomaw and Adil Najam were members—only underscores the heightened focus on this issue.
But beyond the headlines, there are the important questions left to answer. Is technology the answer? Will we shake our dependence on coal? Who's enforcing policies like the Kyoto Protocol? How will politicians learn to embrace climate change as a viable issue? We asked experts across Tufts, representing a wide range of disciplines, to tell us what we should really be talking about when it comes to climate change.
While their responses draw from divergent backgrounds and areas of research, the overarching message is that more needs to be done, and we need to make the commitment to do it. For these Tufts professors and other climate scholars, talking about global warming is more than an academic exercise; it is a call to action.
Shafiqul Islam, Civil & Environmental Engineering, School of Engineering
Paul Kirshen, Civil & Environmental Engineering, School of Engineering
Gilbert Metcalf, Economics, School of Arts & Sciences
Adil Najam, The Fletcher School
Kent Portney, Political Science, School of Arts & Sciences
Ann Rappaport, Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning, School of Arts & Sciences
Michael Reed, Biology, School of Arts & Sciences
Jay Shimshack, Economics, School of Arts & Sciences
Flo Tseng, Wildlife Medicine, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine
Interviews by Georgiana Cohen, Office of Web Communications
Homepage photo by John McConnico / Associated Press. Tseng photo by Melody Ko, University Photographer. Islam, Metcalf, Rappaport, Reed and Shimshack photos by Alonso Nichols for Tufts University. Portney photo by Zara Tzanev for Tufts University. Kirshen photo by Aaron Schutzengel (A'07) for Tufts University. Najam photo by Brian Loeb (A'06) for Tufts University.
This story originally ran on Oct. 22, 2007.