Today Dave Lowe dreams of seeing her wan - Corriere.it

Today Dave Lowe dreams of seeing her wan – Corriere.it

His atmospheric journey began in the 1970s, more than 50 years ago. He was 23 years old, he studied Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics A Wellington, New Zealand. He was already a dreamer at that time, when in his early twenties he received a call to change the future of the planet. Dave Lowe He hit upon what would have been the most important discovery of his life at eight in the morning in 1972. I was home and I will never forget that phone call: “Hi, I’m Charles David Keeling,” (beautiful American accent). It was he, a scientist at the University of Illinois, who made the terrible discovery that carbon dioxide is increasing in the northern hemisphere, and that data is sorely needed.. It is narrated by Lowe today, at the age of 72, who rose to the position of Assistant Professor of Atmospheric Chemistry at the University of Victoria’s Antarctic Research Center in Wellington, New Zealand, Half a century after coming to the conclusion that carbon dioxide is increasing steadily and inevitably in the Southern Hemisphere as well.

The professor of atmospheric chemistry at the University of Victoria today supports the struggle for a youth climate and tells his story in the Netflix series “Stories of a Generation with Pope Francis”


Lo fa in streaming, su Netflix, in the format “Stories of a Generation with Pope Francis”, a four-episode documentary series based on the book of ink by Antonio Spadaro, wisdom of timeAvailable from December 25 in all countries. The episode that explains its history closely related to the history of the Earth is entitled “Dreams”. A title particularly apt for those who have pursued their own for fifty years: seeing awareness of climate change grow and witnessing a strong and decisive response to it.

Netflix Series Poster
Netflix series ‘Stories from a Generation with Pope Francis’ poster, available on Netflix in all countries from December 25 (Ph. Courtesy Netflix)

new enemy

They should have known what was happening in the southern hemisphere, they encouraged me to find a place to sample the air that represented much of the Pacific Southwest — Lowe explains in the series Stand By Me produced. It was a huge responsibility. We soon learned that we live on a fragile planet and that we need to act now. At the time no one (or almost anyone) knew anything about climate change or carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Lowe chose Baring Head as a base for his surveys: a south-facing reef in New Zealand, stretching thousands of kilometers from the open sea to Antarctica. Today, the little room in the lighthouse where he discovered Lowe who changed the way of reading forever, the atmosphere remains the same, from the color of the walls to the ceiling. Here he made the first-ever measurements of carbon dioxide in the mid-latitudes of the Southern Hemisphere using a Keeling balloon. Today it was 407, 50 years ago 320: more than 30 percent difference, a massive increase.

Nobel prize

I have lived with this horror all this time, watching the atmosphere of the planet deteriorate year after year, worse and worse.. The first reaction when I realized that the steady growth of carbon dioxide came as a shock: the discovery of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere that year after year increasing in the mid-latitudes of the southern hemisphere was shocking to me, a young physics graduate – explains it Planet 2021 -. However, fifty years ago there was no evidence of an equivalent rise in global temperature. Thanks to my knowledge of physics, I knew that the Earth must be warming, but fifty years ago this was not so obvious. Then three hundred scientists from around the world were working on the report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the United Nations Climate Panel. His goal became to make his discovery known by speaking to hundreds of people and publishing studies and papers. Suddenly we receive a message – he tells it in the episode of the series – The IPCC report I worked on won the Nobel Peace Prize.

dream change

Has anything changed? No, but Lowe didn’t lose his optimism. The dreams I had at the time were that more and more people were aware of what was about to happen and that immediate action should be taken to reduce carbon dioxide emissions – he explains – My dream now is that in the time I leave to live, humans act in time and to see the horrific increase in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere stop and levels drop..

Deniers yesterday and today

At that time there was no thought about global climate change, It wasn’t even comprehensible – he continues – There were very few scientists who thought there would be terrible problems if we continued to emit carbon dioxide into the atmosphere at increasing rates.. Today the topic has spread to any context: from the field of science it has spread to all areas. Politics was recognized as responsible and asked to do more: politically she was not on the radar at the time, and there was no widespread knowledge of the problems. Now in the twenty-first century there is a much greater awareness, all over the world almost all scientists and most politicians realize that catastrophic problems lie ahead if we continue to emit carbon at ever-increasing rates. Unfortunately, however, awareness does not necessarily translate into action. Across the world, despite the facts that the climate is changing rapidly and for the worse, politicians are not moving fast enough with measures to reduce carbon emissions.

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Generations stories

The Netflix series directed by Simona Ercolani tells “Stories of a Generation”. In 50 years, the generations have changed a lot, but it seems that the dream of saving the planet is the prerogative of the youngest of them today. Do you dream in vain? No, youth struggle for the climate is by no means a dream In a sense, it’s a long way off – explains Lowe – we already have the technology and knowledge to reduce carbon emissions into the atmosphere. Organizations around the world, including financial institutions such as giant international funds and insurance companies, are divesting the fossil fuel industries. But weak political will, it is the politicians who must target and change the youth and others.

Worry is no longer an insult

In the past (and even more recently) it was necessary to confront climate deniers. In the era of the pandemic, everything is becoming more realistic and believable. If earlier those who supported theses about global warming and predicted a future consisting of melting glaciers and flooded cities were referred to as “disturbing”, today the perception that the alarm is sounding is useful, indeed overdue,. David Lowe compiled his story and findings in a book published this year by Victoria University Press, which he called the big “Frightening – Fifty Years of Measuring Climate Change”, (Frightening, Fifty Years of Measuring Climate Change). I was very upset when my editor suggested giving this title to my book – he explains – I just wanted to call it “atmosphere”, because the word “alarm” has a derogatory connotation. But the publisher was right and I had to identify myself in the title, which I’m proud of. The meaning of the word has changed, becoming prevalent and here in New Zealand as well as internationally it has become understood that Scientists are sounding the alarm about the terrible danger facing the planet’s ecosystems.

Battle story

When asked what battle he is fighting today with his research and history, he replied: To make people understand The urgent need to reduce carbon emissions into the atmosphere immediately. That’s what I’m fighting for now, working with young people. This is what emerged from the series “Stories from a Generation” on Netflix. I will never give up fighting for him. We’ve done a lot of damage to our unique atmosphere. We need to stop this before it’s too late.

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