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The Tragedy of Climate Change

A public lecture by Dr Joshua Howe (historian, Reed College, USA) on the science and politics of global warming in the United States

Author of the recent book Behind the Curve, Joshua Howe uses the narrative lens of tragedy as a way to make sense of our collective failure to mitigate global warming in a meaningful way. He tells the story of rising CO2 – illustrated by the now famous Keeling Curve – through a variety of historical contexts. In so doing Howe highlights the ways in which the well-intended efforts of scientists and environmentalists to use more and better science to shape global warming policy have at times undermined the political ability to implement solutions. Although science is essential to understanding global warming, a primary and often exclusive focus on science in public discourse has left advocates for progressive climate change policy vulnerable to political opposition. This is the tragedy of climate change.

Dr Vladimir Jankovic, historian of science at the University of Manchester, will offer a response.

The lecture will be followed by a drinks reception.


Dr Joshua Howe | talks
Dr. Vladimir Jankovic | talks


Date and Time:

7 January 2015 at 6:30 pm


1 hour 30 minutes



Edmond J Safra Lecture Theatre
King's Building
King's College London, Strand

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Organised by:

Public Engagement, King's College London
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