Vice talks with Gill, Sandweiss about surviving climate crisis

Vice cited University of Maine scientists Jacquelyn Gill and Dan Sandweiss in its article “Actually Humans Probably Will Survive the Climate Crisis.” Vice referenced a March tweet by Gill: “With the fossil record, the Earth is literally teaching us how to get through this. That makes me want to roll up my sleeves.” The paleoecologist who scours the past for clues about survival and resilience says that in the fossil record some species were more adaptable than others in the face of climate change. “We can use this tremendous wealth of information that we have, and this tremendous ingenuity, and make really good evidence-based informed plans for how to move forward,” Gill told Vice. “We have the tools and the capacity to move forward. We just need the will.” Humans share traits with past survivors of mass extinctions — including adaptability, mobility and ability to modify environments. Learning from past periods in history could be helpful to implement solutions. Archeologist Sandweiss, who studies El Nino’s effects on Peru, said some innovations there arose as a response to climate change, which can be a prompt for societal growth. In coastal areas of Peru, for instance, complex societies with big monuments, hierarchical society leadership and irrigation canals often didn’t appear until after disruptive and catastrophic El Nino events, according to the article.