Phoebe Barnard: We Know How to Save the World

Phoebe Barnard was one of five co-authors of the recently published paper Scientists’ Warning to Humanity of a Climate Emergency (BioScience, November 2019), which has gathered more than 12,000 signatures from scientists around the world.

Phoebe is fully informed about the dangers to humanity and to the planet posed by climate change. And yet, she sounds cheerful! In this interview, she shares her solutions to our dire predicament, and her optimism that human beings can act fearlessly to implement them.

Phoebe believes we can and must transition to a humane and regenerative economy, which will support the restoration of the global ecosystem.

“It’s a tall order,” she says. “I only know that I am not the person with the DNA to say it’s too late, it’s a lost cause. I don’t think it is. I am intrinsically so optimistic that I will go down with the ship, still exhorting people to make changes and bail the boat.”

Phoebe talks about the messaging that is needed to encourage people to change the things they can. She describes the transition to localized economies that must occur. She explains the six specific courses of action laid out in her recent paper. And she evaluates human beings from an evolutionary standpoint, to identify the bright spots and challenges that we face.

You can learn more about Phoebe Barnard on her website at

2 Replies to “Phoebe Barnard: We Know How to Save the World”

  1. Great interview David. I find myself rather flattered to be in the company of such on the playlist.
    Looking forward to a follow up conversation this year perhaps.

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