Author event brings local discussions on climate crisis
Author Samuel Goodman will be signing copies of his latest book, “Beyond Carbon Neutral: How We Fix the Climate Crisis Now” at 11 a.m. Saturday at Off the Beaten Path.
Having studied climate change for years, Goodman sets out to prove that the climate crisis is a solvable problem, and he discusses step-by-step actions that need to be taken to avert the climate crisis. Explore Steamboat caught up with him to learn more in advance of the event.
Explore Steamboat: Let’s start by hearing a little bit about your new book.
Samuel Goodman: The real driving force behind the book was my desire to see if there is a solution to climate change and what that would look like. This book explores the use of technology to reach a complete solution and identifies potential roadblocks along the way, as well as looking at how we can overcome those roadblocks.
What: Author signing with Samuel Goodman
When: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 16
Where: Off the Beaten Path Bookstore, 68 Ninth St.
ES: What inspired you to write this?
SG: A lot of it came from frustration. I’ve been interested in this topic and worked in and out of the field for years now. I kept seeing the same kind of poor arguments, poor ideas floating around that never got resolved and don’t go anywhere. Part of it was working through some of those ideas and trying to tackle it from a technology standpoint but also from a social standpoint in trying to figure out where the barriers are that we keep running our heads up against.
ES: You say that climate change is the defining challenge of our age — when do you think we started to realize this and are we doing enough about it?
SG: The science behind how climate change works is something that we’ve known since the 1890s. It has been a process of accommodating that reality, and certainly, there are forces working against it. Now, it’s a matter of getting over that initial hump — our system is based on fossil fuels right now. If we replace that, it requires a lot of societal will power. But once we’re able to replace our current system with renewable energy, that becomes self-sustaining. So it’s more about getting over the initial hurdle to get on the right track.
ES: Do you think that’s something that we’ll see in our lifetime?
SG: Well, you have to be an optimist. It’s really easy to throw up your hands and say, “I’m going to give up and not even try,” but that’s not a healthy mindset. You have to approach it as a solvable problem. It’s something we either do because we have to, or essentially, things collapse, and it won’t matter.
ES: Are there things that we can do in our everyday lives to help mitigate climate change?
SG: That’s a very important question because so often, what we see about taking action comes down to marginal consumer options, like bringing your own bags to the grocery store. Fundamentally, all our small individual actions don’t matter a lot in the grand scheme of climate change versus working together in our communities to create a more systemic change. That can have a much larger impact than one person deciding to cut back on one thing a couple of days per week.
ES: How did you get interested in the subject of climate change?
SG: My interest goes all the way back to when I was in my high school English class delivering a speech about why global warming is a real thing — I think the outline for that is still in my parent’s basement. That guided a lot of my choices throughout my schooling in terms of what I focused on studying. At this point, I’ve spent the past five years working towards the intersection of science and public policy. I’ve worked in the (Washington, D.C.) area — getting a handle on the social aspects of solving these problems.
Sophie Dingle is a contributing writer for the Steamboat Pilot & Today. She can be reached through the editor.
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