Climate Change – Time Is of Essence

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Climate Change – Time Is of Essence

Climate Change – Time Is of Essence

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  • 1. ClimateChange1 A Sense of Wali Memon 2011
  • 2. A paradox No one sets out to change the climate or diminish the Earth‘s ability to sustain us. Yet that is exactly what is happening. Why? Collectively, the climate surprises us – it doesn‘t behave the way ‗common sense‘ might suggest. Systems like the climate — massive, slow to change, complex — fool our human intuition. We explore four capacities that allow individuals to respond creatively to the2 challenges climate change brings before us. Wali Memon 2011
  • 3. Four Capacities for Response toClimate Change  Through despair to empowerment  Climate change– a working knowledge  Vision, its importance and how to envision alternatives  What is climate change telling us? Learning from the Earth3 Wali Memon 2011
  • 4. Through Despair to EmpowermentClimate change is in the room.When I think about climate change …4 Wali Memon 2011
  • 5. Emotions as Guides Fear — pay attention Anger — protect something precious Sadness or Grief — accept the things that cannot change Happiness or Excitement — seize the opportunity Numbness — response when short-term and long-term are conflicting; it is a5 signal to transcend that trap Wali Memon 2011
  • 6. The Basics – the CO2 influence on the Earth‘s temperature6 Wali Memon 2011
  • 7. Before the burning of fossil fuels CO2levels in the atmosphere weresteady7 Wali Memon 2011
  • 8. CO2 levels were in balance for hundreds of years prior to our Industrial Revolution 400 380 360Atmospheric CO2 (ppm) 340 320 300 280 260 1500 1600 1700 1800 1900 2000 2100 Year 8 Wali Memon 2011
  • 9. With the burning of fossil fuels, CO2emissions grew larger than removal9 Wali Memon 2011
  • 10. Today, we release more than twice as much CO2 as can be absorbed; the rest accumulates in the atmosphere Accumulates Emissions Absorbed10 Wali Memon 2011
  • 11. CO2 accumulations 400 380 360Atmospheric CO2 (ppm) 340 320 300 280 260 1500 1600 1700 1800 1900 2000 2100 Year 11 Wali Memon 2011
  • 12. CO2 in the "recent" past 400 380 360 340 320 300 280 260 240 220 200 180 16012 Wali Memon 2011
  • 13. CO2 in the past 8000Atmospheric CO2 (ppm) 7000 6000 5000 4000 3000 2000 1000 0 600 500 400 300 200 100 0 13 Wali Memon 2011 Millions of Years Ago
  • 14. A useful image: higher CO2 levels mean a thicker blanket around the Earth, slowing the Earth‘s cooling 1750 1950 200514 Wali Memon 2011
  • 15. If you reduce the rate at which something cools, it warms up15 Wali Memon 2011
  • 16. If you reduce the rate at which the Earth cools, it warms up, too16 Wali Memon 2011
  • 17. So far average temperatures have increased by about 1.3 F17 Wali Memon 2011
  • 18. Climate Change –A Working Knowledge Four Surprises 1 – Growth 2 – Delays 3 – Thresholds 4 – Conditions for stability 18 Wali Memon 2011
  • 19. Surprise #1 Exponential Growth – the problem gets worse more and more quickly 19 Wali Memon 2011
  • 20. Yearly Carbon Dioxide Production From Human Activities 8 7 6 Gigatons C/year 5 4 3 2 1 020 600 Wali Memon 800 1000 1200 1400 1600 1800 2000 2011 Year
  • 21. Yearly Carbon Dioxide Production From Human Activities 8 7 6 Gigatons C/year 5 4 3 2 1 0 600 800 1000 1200 1400 1600 1800 200021 Wali Memon Year 2011
  • 22. Yearly Carbon Dioxide ProductionFrom Human Activities 8 7 6 Gigatons C/year 5 4 3 2 1 0 600 800 1000 1200 1400 1600 1800 200022 Wali Memon Year 2011
  • 23. Yearly Carbon Dioxide ProductionFrom Human Activities 8 7 6 Gigatons C/year 5 4 1896 Svante Arrhenius describes the phenomenon of the greenhouse effect 3 2 1 0 600 800 1000 1200 1400 1600 1800 200023 Wali Memon Year 2011
  • 24. Yearly Carbon Dioxide ProductionFrom Human Activities 8 7 1979 Ad Hoc Study Group on Carbon Dioxide and Climate 6 Gigatons C/year If carbon dioxide continues to 5 increase, the study group finds no reason to doubt that climate 4 changes will result and no reason to believe that these changes will 3 be negligible…. 2 1 0 600 800 1000 1200 1400 1600 1800 200024 Wali Memon Year 2011
  • 25. Yearly Carbon Dioxide Production From Human Activities 8 The world has already reached the 7 level of dangerous concentrations of 6 carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Gigatons C/year We need immediate and very deep 5 cuts in CO2 emissions if humanity is 4 to survive. -- Dr. Rajendra Pachuri 3 Chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, in January, 2005 2 1 0 600 800 1000 1200 1400 1600 1800 200025 Wali Memon Year 2011
  • 26. Yearly Carbon Dioxide ProductionFrom Human Activities 8 7 6 Gigatons C/year 5 4 3 2 1 75 years 0 600 800 1000 1200 1400 1600 1800 200026 Wali Memon Year 2011
  • 27. Implications of exponential growth of CO2 emissions… Our scientific and social processes take time to respond to change; meanwhile the problem gains momentum.  Delaying our response means taking on a much bigger problem in the future.  If you don‘t know when problems are triggered and something is growing exponentially, ―as soon as possible‖ is the right time to act. Seeing the momentum in the system helps focus us on how to address the problem– the drivers of this growth in emissions are the keys to stabilizing the climate27 Wali Memon 2011
  • 28. Surprise #2 - Delays – the climate responds slowly to changes in CO2 levels – CO2 levels respond slowly to changes in human decision making 28 Wali Memon 2011
  • 29. Three key delays  The slow process by which CO2 in the atmosphere leads to changes in temperature  The lifetime of carbon in the atmosphere  The lifetime of the stock of CO2 producing capital29 Wali Memon 2011
  • 30. Slow warming  A pot of water doesn‘t warm up instantly when you put its lid on, and the earth doesn‘t instantly warm under its CO2 blanket either.  We‘ve only felt the full impact of the layers of the blanket added up to about 1970.30 Wali Memon 2011
  • 31. The emissions that have had time to impact Earth‘s temperature 400 380 360Atmospheric CO2 (ppm) 340 320 300 280 260 1500 1600 1700 1800 1900 2000 2100 Year 31 Wali Memon 2011
  • 32. More warming is inevitable 400 ? 380 ? 360Atmospheric CO2 (ppm) 340 ? 320 ? 300 280 ? 260 1500 1600 1700 1800 1900 2000 2100 ? Year 32 Wali Memon 2011
  • 33. Delays plus exponential growth 400 380 360 340 320 300 280 26033 1500 1600 1700 1800 1900 2000 2100 Wali Memon 2011
  • 34. Surprise # 3 Thresholds – at unknown temperatures climate change could begin to feed on itself 34 Wali Memon 2011
  • 35. Warming can lead to more warming- 1 average temperature reflectivity ice at poles35 Wali Memon 2011
  • 36. Warming can lead to more warming- 2 average temperature methane release from thawing soils warming arctic36 Wali Memon 2011
  • 37. Targets, to avoid ‗runaway‘ warming Status quo achievable with scale up of 500 known technologies 400-500 ppm CO2 recommended target to avoid 400 serious risk of "runaway" warming 380 360 Atmospheric CO2 (ppm) 340 320 300 280 to return to the pre-industrial 260 climate 1500 1600 1700 1800 1900 2000 2100 Year37 Wali Memon 2011
  • 38. Surprise #4 Emissions must fall to removal rate – CO2 levels won’t stabilize until emissions fall to removal rate 38 Wali Memon 2011
  • 39. Emissions need to fall to the rate of absorption before CO2 will stop accumulating in the atmosphere Accumulates Current Global Emissions If Kyoto Adopted stabilize CO2 Absorbed Needed to Emission Rates39 Wali Memon 2011
  • 40. Reflections  In small groups -- what are your reactions to what you have heard so far?  What (if anything) surprised you?  What (if anything) moved you?  What are you thinking?  What are you feeling?40 Wali Memon 2011
  • 41. The Bottom Line: Understanding the four surprises means…  Recognizing that some change is inevitable:  Even if we stopped CO2 pollution today the world would continue to warm for decades because of the emissions of the last 30 years41 Wali Memon 2011
  • 42. The Bottom Line: Understanding the four surprises means…  Recognizing that some kinds of changes will only result if we refuse to change our lives:  If we don‘t stabilize CO2 levels we run the risk of triggering runaway warming.42 Wali Memon 2011
  • 43. Understanding the four surprises means… Recognizing that some kinds of change could be ours if we were to take bold action:  Cutting our yearly CO2 production in half would allow CO2 levels to stabilize  If we want to make this choice, the sooner we do, the lower the risk and the more of the diversity of the Earth‘s cultures and species we retain.43 Wali Memon 2011
  • 44. Surprise #5 – TremendousOpportunities – there’s an abundance of actions waiting to be taken 44 Wali Memon 2011
  • 45. We‘ve yet to employ the technologies we already have45 Wali Memon 2011
  • 46. Electricity  25% of energy from renewable sources in Sweden  45% in Norway  4.2% in the US46 Wali Memon 2011
  • 47. Cars and trucks Rocky Mountain Institute‘s Amory Lovin‘s "hypercar" design is projected to be able to travel 90 miles on one gallon of gasoline The mass produced Prius and Insight get more than 50 mpg Current US fleet average is 25 mpg47 Wali Memon 2011
  • 48. Bikes More than 50% of all trips in some Chinese cities are by bicycle In some cities in the Netherlands, Denmark and Germany, bicycles account for 20 to 30 % of all trips. Bikes used for less than 1% of trips in US and Canada  but40% of all trips in US are 2 miles or shorter  90% of emissions in a 7-mile trip are generated in the first mile before the engine warms up48 Wali Memon 2011
  • 49. Lighting, heating, cooling, wind, hydro, solar….. In all these areas the gap between what is possible and what is being implemented is astounding.49 Wali Memon 2011
  • 50. Many energy efficient habits improve quality of life, too  Local food  Less stuff more fun  Finding our satisfaction where we are  Others?50 Wali Memon 2011
  • 51. Our collective wealth hasn‘t been directed at the need US military spending US solar energy51 Wali Memon spending 2011
  • 52. We understand the collective actionsthat could help Carbon limits Carbon taxes Renewable energy infrastructure Investment Sharing clean energy technology with developing nations52 Wali Memon 2011
  • 53. Two levers for tapping these resources  Individual habits and choices  energy efficiency  investment (E.g., carbon offsets); many promising resources already  Collective action  local, state, federal, change the rules, charge the full costs of pollution, make collective investment in clean energy53 Wali Memon 2011
  • 54. Individual Change, Collective Action  Both are vital  Many powerful resources already in place54 Wali Memon 2011
  • 55. Impossible to know if individual change and collective change will be enough, fast enough Status quo achievable with scale up of 500 known technologies 400-500 ppm CO2 recommended target to avoid 400 serious risk of "runaway" warming 380 360 you are here Atmospheric CO2 (ppm) 340 320 300 280 to return to the pre-industrial 260 climate 1500 1600 1700 1800 1900 2000 2100 Year55 Wali Memon 2011
  • 56. A Third Lever – Creating TheCapacity to Live Within theClimate System If the global system shifts in time the innovating groups and individuals will be thriving. If the system doesn‘t shift in time, local strength and adaptability will be essential. Creating the new makes it easier for others to follow Wali Memon 56
  • 57. Stepping Into the World We Want Creates It # of bike paths # of bikers57 Wali Memon 2011
  • 58. Stepping Into the World We Want Creates It cost of solar technology # of solar panels purchased58 Wali Memon 2011
  • 59. Stepping Into the World We Want Creates It # of people eating local food # of farmers producing local food59 Wali Memon 2011
  • 60. From Vision to Shared Vision to Action Envisioning what we want, what we truly want from a place of expandend indentification is the basisShared vision is formed out of our individual vision – taking the time to envision what we want Development of socially shared goals depends on our shared vision of what kind of world we are trying to create Our ability to create workable models also depends on articulating clear, feasible, socially shared goals. Models are validated or disproved based on available information-- distortion of information or misinformation compromises the quality of the models we can build. Implementable policies are based on our models- individual and societal. The quality of the model with which we are working in turn affects the quality of the policies that we can implement. Implementation of policies is where things get done. It is the active, visible phase of achieving a goal and the most discussed phase. Good policies have their roots 60 Wali Memon in a clear vision and well articulated goals. 2011
  • 61. Steps of Policy Formulation Vision “individual” High leverage possible at this Shared Vision level, but little time spent Goals Information When Vision Models guides Implementation, can have high Most Policy creation leverage actions time/effortspent at this level Implementation = DO THINGS!61 Wali Memon 2011
  • 62. Envisioning the world we want  Picture the place you live today, your street your neighborhood, your piece of land.  Now begin imagining it in twenty years, or fifty, in a time when fossil fuel use has been cut in half-worldwide.  What does your place look like, what are people doing, what does it smell like, feel, like?  What‘s added compared today and what is missing?  Share in small groups62 Wali Memon 2011
  • 63. Climate Change,the Teacher?Many people say that learn a great deal from painful and difficult experienceseven those that can be very frightening.What can we learn from climate change?I can learn that…I can learn how…63 Wali Memon 2011
  • 64. Creating the New  What elements of what you saw in your vision of your world free of fossil fuels could you begin to create today?  What would you need?  Where will you start?64 Wali Memon 2011
  • 65. OCO Nurtures Two Processes (1) Education Individual # people Change taking action Collective Rules # people Changesperceived urgency for action teaching others Our Climate Ourselves # of citizens understanding climate system 65 Wali Memon 2011
  • 66. OCO Nurtures Two Processes (2) Vision Creation # people daring to envision a healthy society # people building the new awareness of our growing collective capacity to live within the limits of66 Wali Memon the climate system 2011
  • 67. Opportunities for participation in Our Climate Ourselves Host a follow-up meeting for this group.  Subscribe to the electronic OCO news for updates and essays Make a donation.  Share your vision the future and Host an introductory OCO program at your home. the steps you are taking towards it – for our visions of the future Learn to present this web-page. Introductory Session. 67 Wali Memon 2011
  • 68. 68 Wali Memon 2011