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British science journalist and author Gaia Vince will discuss her book NOMAD CENTURY How Climate Migration Will Reshape Our World (Flatiron Books, 2022) with Tapio Schneider, Caltech’s Theodore Y. Wu Professor of Environmental Science and Engineering, in a pre-record conversation as part of Caltech Public Programming’s Behind the Book series. Gaia Vince is an award-winning science journalist, author, broadcaster, and speaker. She is also the author of Transcendence and Adventures in the Anthropocene.
This pre-recorded author talk on Tuesday, November 15, at 6 p.m. PT, can be attended online, followed by a live discussion of Caltech’s involvement in climate science now and in the future, with Schneider and his Caltech colleagues and students. All Behind the Book events are free and open to the public. For information, please visit events.caltech.edu. To make a free reservation, or learn more about the event, visit the Caltech Public Programming event page.
As climate change dominates the headlines, award-winning science journalist Gaia Vince (The Guardian, BBC, New Scientist) is at the forefront of one aspect of this crisis that most don’t know is already underway: climate migration. In NOMAD CENTURY: How Climate Migration Will Reshape Our World, Vince breaks down the effects global warming will have on emigration, which will force billions from their homes as countries become increasingly uninhabitable. “You will be among them, or you will be receiving them,” Vince writes with sobering clarity, arguing that it will be climate migration, not climate mitigation, that will come to define the 21st century.
Major climate events are already displacing millions across the world, but in the coming decades we’ll see a mass migration on a scale never before seen in human history. Drawing on a career of environmental reporting and more than two years of travel to the front lines of climate migration across the globe, Vince cites that, due to raging wildfires, extreme heat, severe drought, and catastrophic flooding, 1.5 billion people will have to leave their homes by 2050, a number that will double to 3 billion by 2070, with most of the displaced coming from the global south, the tropics, and coasts. Similar to how Bill McKibben’s The End of Nature brought global warming to a general audience, Vince brings climate migration, which she calls “the biggest human crisis you’ve never heard of,” to the forefront of the climate conversation.
“NOMAD CENTURY is the most important book I imagine I’ll ever read. Gaia Vince calmly―without drum-banging or hand-wringing―sets forth likely consequences and end-of-century projections for our rapidly changing planet. It’ll knock you flat. But before you hit the ground, she hands over an impressively detailed survival plan: supporting radical migration from newly uninhabitable regions, rethinking urban structures and food practices, and restoring climate.”―Mary Roach, author of Fuzz
“The climate crisis already has millions of people on the move, and that number will steadily grow higher till it breaks the political structures of the planet―unless, as Vince suggests, we start now to remake those structures so they can cope, and indeed benefit, from the flow of humans that is now inevitable. An important and provocative start to a crucial conversation.”―Bill McKibben, author of The Flag, the Cross, and the Station Wagon
“This book is a rather astounding addition to a growing body of thought that suggests the twenty-first century is going to include, and even require, lots of human migration―and that handled correctly, this could be part of a good adaptation to the climate and biosphere crisis we are now entering. What Vince gives us here is some cognitive mapping to understand the situation and see a way forward.”―Kim Stanley Robinson, author of The Ministry for the Future
“NOMAD CENTURY is a landmark work―terrifying in its message and urgency, but ultimately empowering in its conviction about a path forward. Gaia Vince lays bare the scale of the challenge before us, and the grand ideas that will be needed to meet it. We must be ready; this book shows us how.”―Ed Yong, author of An Immense World
Tapio Schneider is the Theodore Y. Wu Professor of Environmental Science and Engineering at Caltech and a senior research scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. His work has elucidated how rainfall extremes change with climate, how changes in cloud cover can destabilize the climate system, and how winds and weather on planetary bodies such as Jupiter and Titan come about. He is currently leading the Climate Modeling Alliance (CLiMA), whose mission is to build the first Earth system model that automatically learns from diverse data sources to produce accurate climate predictions. He was elected a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union, named one of the “20 Best Brains Under 40” by Discover magazine, was a David and Lucile Packard Fellow and an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow, and is recipient of the James R. Holton Award of the American Geophysical Union and the Rosenstiel Award of the University of Miami.
For more than 50 years, Caltech Public Programming has welcomed world-class artists, renowned scientists, and esteemed speakers to campus, striving to make the arts and sciences accessible, entertaining, and inspiring through a variety of lectures, events, and performances.
Behind the Book is one of Caltech Public Programming’s newer series created in response to the pandemic. Authors whose works are linked to the sciences are paired with Caltech researchers and professors to discuss their works on live webcasts. The viewing audience is invited to submit questions for the Q&A session included in most Behind the Book programs.
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