Brown University hosted a one-day conference on the economic and political consequences of climate change. Featuring U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, panelists included top scholars and policy analysts engaged in the climate change challenges facing Rhode Island and the international community.
“I’m grateful to Brown University for hosting this conversation, which is so important for our economy and way of life in the Ocean State," said Senator Whitehouse. "In a post-Citizens United world, fossil fuel interests have used immense power to control our political system through unlimited spending in elections. It’s going to take all hands on deck to overcome the industry’s interests and curb the coming effects of climate change.”The implications and solutions to climate change are complex and themselves shifting. The event pulled together economists and sociologists to consider crucial topics that are quite inter-related: the under-valuation of services provided by a stable planetary climate system, the fragile state of financial systems built on ignoring those risks and costs—to coastal properties and financial assets, and what coalitions are blocking action in the United States. Throughout the day discussions turned to solutions, and pushing back on those denying the severity of this crisis and the viability of ambitious action. Senator Whitehouse offered keynote remarks to a packed crowd, entitled, “All this risk: Why are we unable to act?"