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Building Hope in an Era of Melting Glaciers
 

Building Hope in an Era of Melting Glaciers

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BUILDING HOPE ...

BUILDING HOPE

Positive Psychology, a new branch of psychology focused on the empirical study of such things as positive emotions, strengths-based character, and healthy institutions. This emerging field offers guidance on how to feel more satisfied and engaged with life, regardless of one’s circumstances. Nineteen different scientifically-validated questionnaires on everything from love, compassion, grit and gratitude are building a robust body of data about what makes people happy and resilient.

What is hope? Hope is:

• a belief in a positive outcome related to events and circumstances in one's life
• A feeling that what you want is achievable and that events will turn out for the best.

Happiness, on the other hand, is a state of mind or feeling characterized by contentment, love, satisfaction, pleasure, or joy. Hope is about the future and happiness is about the present. You could say that people aspire to want hope and have happiness. To put it another way, hope is a means to having happiness.

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  • It is important that champions of sustainable business be able to explain their case to the doubters and deniers. The climate crisis is real; it has been a scientific certainty for over a decade. It is true, however, there there is uncertainty. Will the oceans rise 18 inches? 3 feet? 6 feet? Will the Greenland Ice Sheet completely disappear in our lifetime, or will it happen when our grandchildren are old? There is an enormous amount of money going into research about these issues and the science is getting better each year. If you want more visual proof, check out extremeicesurvey.org, the largest land-based, time-lapse photo survey of glaciers around the world. As you can see, the ice is melting, FAST! I believe it is very important to confront the deniers and challenge their distortions and lies. There are numerous sites that do a good job of responding to the deniers claims. These sites include www.desmogblog.com, grist.org, and skepticalscience.com. The extent of the climate threat is also highlighted by a UN report that suggests global warming is already killing an estimated 300,000 people per year — equivalent to the loss of life that resulted from the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.
  • It is important that champions of sustainable business be able to explain their case to the doubters and deniers. The climate crisis is real; it has been a scientific certainty for over a decade. It is true, however, there there is uncertainty. Will the oceans rise 18 inches? 3 feet? 6 feet? Will the Greenland Ice Sheet completely disappear in our lifetime, or will it happen when our grandchildren are old? There is an enormous amount of money going into research about these issues and the science is getting better each year. If you want more visual proof, check out extremeicesurvey.org, the largest land-based, time-lapse photo survey of glaciers around the world. As you can see, the ice is melting, FAST! I believe it is very important to confront the deniers and challenge their distortions and lies. There are numerous sites that do a good job of responding to the deniers claims. These sites include www.desmogblog.com, grist.org, and skepticalscience.com. The extent of the climate threat is also highlighted by a UN report that suggests global warming is already killing an estimated 300,000 people per year — equivalent to the loss of life that resulted from the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.
  • One of the drivers of US enormous energy consumption is our mobility. This chart shows the change in population that has occurred over the past 40 years. You can see there has been a vast outflow from the north and center of the country to the south and coastal areas. Needless to say, our comfortable lifestyle is fueled by vast energy usage for things like air conditioning and automobiles. You can find this chart, and many others, in a fantastic report entitled Global Climate Change Impacts in the US at http://www.globalchange.gov/publications/reports/scientific-assessments/us-impacts.
  • 2010 Election: "yes" vote on the climate bill hurt at least 12 Democrats who lost their seats on Tuesday 27 of the 43 Democrats who climate legislations opposed it lost last night On the flip side, the tiny group of Republicans that voted for the Waxman-Markey bill did very well last night. All five who were up for reelection won, despite a lot of "cap and traitors" rhetoric in the weeks following the vote. ENVIRONMENT- 50%of elected republicans deny the existence of manmade climate change
- 86% are opposed to any climate change legislation that increases government revenue John Boehner, 2008: “I think most members think that the climate change is a serious issue that needs to be addressed,” he said. “The question is, how do you address it?” “ The idea that carbon dioxide is a carcinogen that is harmful to our environment is almost comical,” Mr. Boehner told ABC News in an April 2009 interview. “Every time we exhale, we exhale carbon dioxide. Every cow in the world, you know, when they do what they do, you’ve got more carbon dioxide.”
  • So, now we have to answer 2 key questions: What difference can individuals make? And, How much do individuals KNOW they can make a difference? To the first question, McKinsey & Company, the prestigious management consulting firm, has done some of the most sophisticated research into energy consumption and efficiency. They estimate that consumers have direct or indirect control over half of all total emissions. In other words, all the smokestacks, power plants, office buildings and large trucks on the road account for about as much emissions as all the actions you and I take. Here is a short quiz: which room in your house (and the activities associated with it) has the biggest footprint: the garage, the kitchen, the laundry room? Food accounts for 15 - 25% of household emissions. (http://www.relocalize.net/do_food_miles_matter). Cold water washing in front-loader and air drying 50% of time would be equivalent to removing 14% of all cars in the US! So, yes, CONSUMER ACTIONS MATTER!
  • Both Time and Newsweek have devoted significant coverage in September 2009 to conscious consumers and green business. Newsweek had a first-ever ranking of large corporations produced in conjunction with KLD Research & Analytics, Trucost, and CorporateRegister.com to rank the 500 largest U.S. companies based on their actual environmental performance, policies, and reputation.
  • Sweden has begun listing the carbon dioxide emissions associated with food production on grocery items and restaurant menus. But despite many consumers’ ingrained taste for red meat and other high-carbon foods, the New York Times reports that since the emissions counts started appearing on the menu, sales of climate-friendly items at Sweden’s largest burger chain have risen 20 percent, no small potatoes in the fight to stop climate change. 
  • Wal-Mart's vision is being implemented through the Sustainability Consortium, a joint venture of Arizona State and the University of Arkansas. In May, with very little fanfare, Wal-Mart introduced an extraordinary new tool known as GreenWERCS. GreenWERCS assesses the composition of chemical intensive products – which is just about any non-food item on a Wal-Mart shelf that you can pour, squeeze, dab or otherwise apply to your body or use in or around your home or car. GreenWERCS analyzes the composition of individual products from ingredient data entered by manufacturers, examining its potential impact on human health and the environment.
  • Wal-Mart's vision is being implemented through the Sustainability Consortium, a joint venture of Arizona State and the University of Arkansas. In May, with very little fanfare, Wal-Mart introduced an extraordinary new tool known as GreenWERCS. GreenWERCS assesses the composition of chemical intensive products – which is just about any non-food item on a Wal-Mart shelf that you can pour, squeeze, dab or otherwise apply to your body or use in or around your home or car. GreenWERCS analyzes the composition of individual products from ingredient data entered by manufacturers, examining its potential impact on human health and the environment.

Building Hope in an Era of Melting Glaciers Building Hope in an Era of Melting Glaciers Presentation Transcript

  • BUILDING HOPE IN AN ERA OF MELTING GLACIERS Jim Jubelirer Sustainable Futures
  • Our Choice “ Not too many years from now, a new generation will ask us one of two questions. Either they will ask, “What were you thinking? Didn’t you see the glaciers melting before your eyes? Didn’t you care?” Or they will ask instead, “ How did you find the moral courage to rise up and solve a crisis so many said was impossible to solve?” Our Choice: A Plan to Solve the Climate Crisis
  • The Science is Sound
  • Extreme Ice Survey
    • The Extreme Ice Survey is the most wide-ranging glacier study ever conducted using ground-based, real-time photography.
    • EIS uses time-lapse photography, conventional photography, and video to document the rapid changes now occurring on the Earth's glacial ice.
    • The EIS team has installed 38 time-lapse cameras around the world which provide a compelling visual image of melting glaciers
  • If You Need Visual Proof 1984 2006 1300’ loss of ice in 22 years
  • Latest Evidence – November 14, 2010
    • Researchers have recently been startled to see big changes unfold in both Greenland and Antarctica.
    • As a result of recent calculations that take the changes into account, many scientists now say that sea level is likely to rise perhaps three feet by 2100
      • Would pose a threat to coastal regions the world over
    • Rise could conceivably exceed six feet
      • Affecting thousands of square miles of the American coastline
      • Displacing tens of millions of people in Asia.
    New York Times, Nov 14, 2010
  • Gimme My Air Conditioning! Global Climate Change Impacts in the US
  • How Much Pollution Can the Earth Take? How Long Will It Last? 387 Where we are now 350 Where we should be 600 With current treaties and goals 1700* After we burn all the coal and oil! Atmospheric Concentration of CO2 (Parts per million) The climate change that is taking place because of increases in carbon dioxide concentration is largely irreversible for 1,000 years after emissions stop…. * Climate Change – Adapting to the Inevitable Institute of Mechanical Engineers (UK)
  • Unscientific America
    • One minute is devoted to science for every five hours of cable news
    • The number of newspapers with weekly science sections has shrunken by two-thirds over the past several decades
    • 31% of Americans believe humans existed in our present state since beginning of time and therefore reject the science of evolution
    Public Religion Research Institute
  • The Issue Has Become Politicized “ The science is beyond dispute… Delay is no longer an option. Denial is no longer an acceptable response.” President Elect Barack Obama (Nov 08) “ The science of global warming is unproven. It just is.” Senate-elect Ron Johnson (WI) “ The threat of catastrophic global warming is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people.” U.S. Sen. James M. Inhofe(R-Okla) 19 senators elected in 2010 are some form of climate change deniers. 45 of 97 Republican freshmen and 85 of 166 re-elected Republicans are confirmed climate change skeptics or deniers.
  • What Is Hope?
    • What is Hope?
      • A belief in a positive outcome related to events and circumstances in one's life
    • What is Happiness?
      • A state of mind or feeling characterized by contentment, love, satisfaction or joy.
    Hope is about the future Happiness is about the present
  • Positive Psychology
    • New branch of psychology
    • Focused on the empirical study of how to feel more satisfied and engaged with life, regardless of one’s circumstances.
    • Building a robust body of data about what makes people happy and resilient
      • Nineteen different scientifically-validated questionnaires on everything from love, compassion, grit and gratitude
  • The Largest Cooperative Effort in Humanity
    • InterGovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
      • 2500 scientific expert reviewers from over 40 countries
      • The most recent report (AR4) was issued in 2007
      • AR5 scheduled for 2014
    • Summary for PolicyMakers (SPM), 23-page summary
      • All nations have to agree with every word
      • For AR4, US demanded that an unambiguous phrase like "will happen" be changed to a less clear "will likely happen” more than a hundred times
    “ ClimateGate” was a fraudulent crime against humanity to discredit science
  • Ecological Footprint
    • Track the biologically productive land and water area a human population requires to produce what it consumes and absorb its waste under prevailing technology
    How much nature do we have? How much do we use? Who uses what?
  • Ecological Footprint
  • US Federal Government Be the Change
    • Sweeping new executive order for federal energy conservation and environmental policy.
    • EO 13514 requires every federal agency to establish quantitative greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction targets and to develop policies and programs to achieve them.
      • Reduce vehicle fleet petroleum use 30% by 2020
      • Improve water efficiency 26% by 2020
      • Achieve 50% recycling and waste diversion by 2015
      • Meet sustainability requirements across 95% of all applicable contracts
      • Implement the 2030 net-zero-energy building requirement
      • Develop and carry out integrated strategic sustainability performance plans
    Pew Center for Global Climate Change
  • Greening the Military
    • For the first time, the Pentagon has ranked global warming as a destabilizing force
    • Quadrennial Defense Review will direct military planners to keep track of the latest climate science, and to factor global warming into their long term strategic planning 
    • In 2009, the CIA opened The Center on Climate Change and National Security
    • Great Green Fleet, a Navy strike group composed of nuclear and hybrid ships, and aircraft flying on biofuel
      • The military accounts for nearly 80% of the US government's energy consumption
      • Gallon of gas can cost up to $400 in a war zone 
    • Emerging green technologies will get a boost from Pentagon procurement budgets.
  • Local Action
    • Localities have a strong history of climate action
    • Cities are working together to achieve their goals through a number of programs and mechanisms
      • International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives
      • Clinton Climate Initiative
      • U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement, which has experienced dramatic growth in participation
  • Consumer Actions DO Matter! Consumers have direct or indirect control over more than half of total emissions and three quarters of all economic spending
  • Responsibility Revolution
    • “ There is a new dimension to civic duty that is growing in America – it’s the idea that we can serve not only by spending time in our communities and classrooms but by spending more responsibly. We are starting to put our money where our ideals are. Nearly half of Americans say protecting the environment should be given priority over economic growth.” [Source: http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1921444,00.html]
    • 6 in 10 Americans buy organics
    • 82% say consciously supported local or neighborhood businesses
    • 40% have purchased because they liked the social or political values of the company that produced it.
    • Socially responsible investment (SRI) now account for 11% of assets invested
  • Will Ecological Intelligence Be The Tipping Point? Product rating websites are gaining awareness and usage
  • Changing Retail Landscape
    • Major retailers committed to significant reductions in environmental impacts
      • Wal-Mart goals for zero waste, sustainable agriculture, energy efficiency, etc.
      • Sustainability Consortium
      • Major commitments from other major players, including P&G and Unilever
      • European retailers even more sophisticated
    Long-term goal: Bring social and environmental scorecard data right to the label at the point of purchase. If given a clear choice, will consumers chose the more beneficial product?
  • Wal-Mart Heritage Agriculture Project
    • 2015 goal to double sales of locally sourced produce
      • Mid-America: apples and potatoes
      • I-95 (FL to NY): moving season of vegetables and fruits
      • Delta: replacing cotton and tobacco with produce
  • For More Information Jim Jubelirer Sustainable Futures (919) 969-7818 [email_address]
  •