Meet the Canadian behind the frank U.S. climate report

A Canadian scientist who helped author the exhaustive draft report on climate change awaiting approval from U.S. President Donald Trumps’ administration says Canada is on the right path implementing a national carbon tax.

The U.S. report, written by scientists from 13 federal agencies, concludes that the United States is already feeling the negative impacts of climate change, with a stark increase in the frequency of heat waves, heavy rains and other extreme weather over the last four decades.

“The reality is, we need that policy mechanism to point us in the right direction because otherwise, we as humans are just resistant to change. We’re like, ‘Why can’t we do it the way we’ve always done it?’ Well, we can’t because we’ve found out there are side effects,” Katharine Hayhoe, director of Texas Tech University Climate Science Center, told Chris Hall in an interview on CBC Radio’s The House.

“Which of these policies is best is not really a scientific question. As a human being though, I do support a price on carbon because it actually allows the free market to then kick in and say, ‘Ok you have a  choice. You pay for your choices but if you really want to drive a gas guzzler you still can. Nobody is trying to tell you you can’t.'”

The report, which is part of the National Climate Assessment, calls the long-term evidence that global warming, is being driven by human activities “unambiguous.”

“Because this document is based on the solid, peer-reviewed science of climate change it does flatly contradict many of the statements people in the U.S administration have made over the past year,” Hayhoe said.

Listen here: