My name is Steve Schmidt, and I’m a Climate Convert.
I’m a Climate Convert.
As a well-traveled mechanical engineer, I have lots of respect for the scale of our earth: the continents and oceans; vast forests and mountain ranges; incredibly powerful events like hurricanes and volcanoes. The immensity of our natural surroundings can make us feel small and insignificant. So for many years I was highly skeptical that our coal plants could make an impact on a truly global scale.
But during the years I was in denial of human-induced climate change, I slowly realized two things. First, I didn’t really know the science at all – I was relying on my intuition and believing the people who lined up with it. Second, most of the smart people I knew or read about who really did know the science were becoming very worried.
I’m smart enough to know that I can be wrong. So beginning around 2004 I started reading about “global warming” and “CO2 trends from Mauna Loa” and “Hubbert’s peak oil theory” and “temperature records from ice cores and brain coral” and “ocean acidification”. It was the ocean acidification that got me.
I’m a scuba diver, and have been lucky enough to dive in some incredibly beautiful areas such as the Caymans, Belize, Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, Martinique, and the Bahamas. The data is very clear regarding how increasing CO2 effects the oceans, and coral reefs in particular. There is very little debate about it. Coral reefs around the world are dying, and some expert believe our grandchildren may grow up in a world where the only thriving reefs are in aquariums. Just the possibility this might be true was enough for me.
Since then I’ve become more and more involved in climate change, volunteering to develop our town’s first greenhouse gas inventory and more recently starting a new career in the “clean tech” industry. I also spend a lot of time discussing these issues with good friends who are still skeptical. I bring up coral reefs pretty frequently, and occasionally they do the trick.
Founder & President, High Energy Audits, Inc.