Heard on Detroit Today with Stephen Henderson

Author Eric Dean Wilson Talks Climate Change and “The Terrible Cost of Comfort”

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Image credit: Russ McNamara

In his new book “After Cooling,” Eric Dean Wilson focuses on air conditioning as an example of a “comfort” that might not actually be making us more comfortable.

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Today, there’s a growing debate about what we need to give up in order to abate the warming planet, and it’s opened the door to many questions. How much of our own personal comforts matter in the face of a problem much bigger than any one of us? What do we owe to others — both in the developed and developing world — who bear the brunt of a warming world but did the least to facilitate it? These questions and more are probed in the new book, “After Cooling: On Freon, Global Warming, and the Terrible Cost of Comfort.”

How can we make tangible, how can we make real, the destruction to our planet that is maybe unintentional, that is less difficult to perceive with the senses?” — Eric Dean Wilson, author of a new book on climate change. 


Listen: How to reshape our ideas and beliefs to create a world that is not so destructive for so many.


Guest

Eric Dean Wilson is the author of “After Cooling: On Freon, Global Warming, and the Terrible Cost of Comfort.” Wilson says that climate change is not just experienced in the large, destructive moments that grab headlines, but also in the slow violence that we commit to others when we use simple devices, like air conditioning. He says his book is trying to make others more aware of the small, almost imperceptible things we do that contribute to a changing climate. “How can we make tangible, how can we make real, the destruction to our planet that is maybe unintentional, that is less difficult to perceive with the senses?” he asks. 

Wilson notes that there is no way to reach our climate goals unless we, as humans, acknowledge that our actions impact others, and recognize that we rely on each other in ways we infrequently see. “We need each other, and we have to understand that to go forward in the future,” he says.  

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