Climate Scientist Alex Hall – Don’t Ask Me If Global Warming Has Us Totally Screwed (Especially When I’m Drinking)

Alex Hall studies the climate system from both regional and global perspectives as a professor in the UCLA Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences. Before participating in a panel on learning to live with climate change, he talked awkward cocktail party questions, his butterfly stroke, and ugly hand-me-down furniture in the Zócalo green room.

Q:What’s your favorite thing about Los Angeles?

A:The way it’s changing and developing. It seems like it’s becoming a much more sustainable city. The burgeoning public transit network here is exciting, and the development of new neighborhoods that are now walkable is a lot of fun. I like the direction that L.A. is heading.

Q:How are you different from who you were 10 years ago?

A:I would say that my life is much better defined. When you’re in your late 20s and early 30s, you’re still really scrambling to define yourself. And I think when you reach where I am now—I’m 41—you kind of feel like your life is very defined, and you know exactly what you’ll be doing for quite a while.

Q:What’s the craziest question you’ve ever been asked about climate change?

A:There’s a question that comes up a lot at drunken cocktail parties, which is, “Are we totally screwed?” I never know how to answer that. Partially because I’m usually drunk myself but also because that’s very open-ended.

To read the full Q&A click here