A tense opening session of the 44th Pacific Islands Forum has been dominated by appeals from pacific leaders for ‘real action’ against the threat of rising sea levels associated with climate change.
Speaking at the International Conference Center in Majuro, the capital of Marshall Islands, the Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, Tuiloma Neroni Slade, responded to a presentation from Nobel Peace Prize Professor Elisabeth Holland by decrying what he intimated as the dollar approach of ‘theoretical scientists’ to an issue that requires ‘concrete action.’
Governors, Mayors, Business, Insurance, Farm, Military, Youth, Faith, and Other Voices: Enhance The Economy, Improve Public Health, Protect National Security, Safeguard Our Children, Act Justly, and Honor Our Moral Duties By Putting Solutions Into Action
“A unique bi-partisan coalition is urging President Obama to follow up his State of the Union commitment to address the climate crises by directly engaging America in climate solutions: www.climatesummit2013.org.
Specifically, the group wants the President to host a kick-off solutions-focused national climate summit linked directly with concurrent action-planning meetings hosted by state and local governments, business, civic, and faith organizations nationwide. The events would be designed to mobilize Americans to implement proven, beneficial solutions to prepare for and build resilience to the impacts of climate change, and reduce climate-damaging greenhouse gas emissions.
“To achieve the bold climate goals the President described in his State of the Union address, he must reach out directly to and engage Americans where they live, work, play, and pray,” said Bob Doppelt, director of The Resources Innovation Group and a leader of the Climate Summit 2013 Coalition.
The national leaders endorsing Climate Summit 2013 include Governors, Mayors, business, farm, insurance, youth, faith, civil rights, climate justice, former military, and other leaders, as well as top climate scientists. A growing list of Catholic leaders that support the proposal can be found here.
“Climate disruption is not just an environmental issue. It is a profound economic, health, social justice, and national security problem with deep moral implications,” concluded Doppelt. “Our proposal is consistent with calls by six scientific societies for a high-level climate summit. It will serve as a springboard to expand existing resilience building and emission reduction programs, launch new ones, and spur tremendous innovation that reaps great near and long term benefits nationwide.””
Four climate communication’s specialists present this excellent panel session at the 2011 American Geophysical Union conference.
Susan Joy Hassol director of of the non-profit science and outreach project, Climate Communications, starts this session on communication with a casual-yet-important observation that the public rarely reacts to new information unless there is an incentive.
The second speaker, John Cook who runs Skeptical Science presents practical tips for scientists respond to climate deniers and other media backlash. His approach is to provide scientific evidence to combat myths, yet he’s quite aware that this is not very effective.
Edward Maibach, who I’ve worked with in the past, runs George Mason’s 4C program (Center for Climate Change Communication), discusses a three-part strategy that anyone, even non-scientists can employ for effective communications: Trust, short messaging, and audience research.
I think this is one of the better walks through the problems of communicating climate science with the general public. From the description:
Addressing issues related to effective public ‘climate communications’ may require including subjects outside of one’s field of expertise.
This discussion explores real and perceived challenges regarding how to bridge the gap between expertise and relevant related cause and effect relationships to enhance effective climate communications without abandoning scientific integrity.
This delves into the differences between science, scientific opinion and general opinion. To convey the physical reality of climate change, it helps to convey ‘what climate change means’ to people in their everyday lives. For this reason, scientists need to consider how to discuss related issues, while maintaining scientific integrity.
On that note, this wraps up Climate Science Communications Week at Climate Adaptation! What did you think? Should I do another week to a single topic? What did you learn? Did you find videos were mo’ beddah than my text posts? Send your feedback to my ask box or to: http://climateadaptation.tumblr.com/submit
This Tuesday through Thursday: The 13th(!) annual National Conference on Science, Policy, and the Environment focuses on Disasters and Environment. It covers infrastructure, cities, resilience, climate change impacts, ecosystems, and many other enviro-bonery things. Man, I wish I could be there but work work work. Some basics:
Keynotes include Craig Fugate head of FEMA, Jane Lubenchenco head of NOAA (she’s a nice lady and likes to chat!), Mark Tercek CEO of the Nature Conservancy, Mary Landrieu Congresswoman(!) of Louisiana, Nancy Lindborg of USAID, and several others.
These diseases are caused by viruses, bacteria and parasites, and affect more than one billion people, mainly in the tropics, where the most vulnerable developing world populations are concentrated.
But the map of tropical diseases like malaria, Chagas’ disease, sleeping sickness, leishmaniasis, schistosomiasis and dengue fever, is starting to change.
Tropical diseases transmitted by vectors like mosquitoes, flies, ticks or snails are directly affected by conditions in the ecosystems they inhabit, such as changes in humidity, water levels, temperature or rainfall, experts explain.
“Global warming is ‘tropicalising’ subtropical regions; rising temperatures could bring an explosion of parasite and insect vectors that are expanding into North America, the Southern Cone of South America, Australia and New Zealand,” Costa Nery said.
One sign of this, said the president of the SBMT, is the spread of leishmaniasis in Europe by travelling persons and dogs. He explained that the disease, which is endemic in southern Europe, could continue to spread northward if temperatures keep rising.
At the same time, climate variation in the tropics and its effects on the frequency of flooding and drought “could also modify the dynamic of the transmission of diseases,” with the emergence of vectors that alter the population’s immunity and resistance.
There’s cheese tastings…and then there’s the Festival of Cheese, at the American Cheese Society Rally in Raleigh 2012, the annual cheese industry conference which draws cheese makers, mongers and enthusiasts from all over North America (US, Canada and Mexico). 1700+ cheeses were submitted to the competition, and after the winners were announced on Friday, Saturday saw the Festival, at which conference-goers and the general public get to actually taste all those cheeses.
The event was held in a large ballroom, with a dozen or so expansive buffets, organized by category (eg Soft-Ripened, Washed Rind, Farmstead, Blue, etc), each loaded down with a dizzying array of cheeses. The sheer volume of cheese is hard to explain, actually — the choice can be a little overwhelming (I spent a few minutes wandering around trying to figure out where to even start), but once you dive in, it’s an incredible — and completely unique — opportunity toget a snapshot of the state of cheese making today (and engage in extreme cheese consumption at the same time!).
The next ACS Conference will be in Madison, WI, so put it on your calendar!
The world is close to reaching tipping points that will make it irreversibly hotter, making this decade critical in efforts to contain global warming, scientists warned on Monday.
Scientific estimates differ but the world’s temperature looks set to rise by six degrees Celsius by 2100 if greenhouse gas emissions are allowed to rise uncontrollably. As emissions grow, scientists say the world is close to reaching thresholds beyond which the effects on the global climate will be irreversible, such as the melting of polar ice sheets and loss of rainforests.
”This is the critical decade. If we don’t get the curves turned around this decade we will cross those lines,” said Will Steffen, executive director of the Australian National University’s climate change institute, speaking at a conference in London. Despite this sense of urgency, a new global climate treaty forcing the world’s biggest polluters, such as the United States and China, to curb emissions will only be agreed on by 2015 - to enter into force in 2020.
”We are on the cusp of some big changes,” said Steffen. “We can … cap temperature rise at two degrees, or cross the threshold beyond which the system shifts to a much hotter state.”
Kind of a weird article from DeSmogBlog accusing PR agencies of illegally using psychological military techniques against land owners in order to, I don’t know, sell their land or something. The author gives evidence by 1) pointing to a PR guy blabbering at a PR conference and 2) pointing to a gas fracking FAQ flier left in a woman’s driveway.
Making the connection from tactless PR to scary-illegal seems more than a stretch, it’s wishful thinking.
As CNBC reported, Range spokesman Matt Pitzarella boasted to the audience:
“[“…looking to other industries, in this case, the Army and the Marines. We have several former PSYOPs folks that work for us at Range because they’re very comfortable in dealing with localized issues and local governments. Really all they do is spend most of their time helping folks develop local ordinances and things like that. But very much having that understanding of PSYOPs in the Army and in the Middle East has applied very helpfully here for us in Pennsylvania.” [**Listen: MP3**]
At that same conference, Matt Carmichael, External Affairs Manager at Anadarko Petroleum Corporation, suggested three things to attendees during his presentation:
“If you are a PR representative in this industry in this room today, I recommend you do three things. These are three things that I’ve read recently that are pretty interesting.
“(1) Download the U.S. Army/Marine Corps Counterinsurgency Manual [audible gasps from the audience], because we are dealing with an insurgency”
Some highlights from our climate conference, GreenGov2011, which we ran with the White House. In 2009, Obama signed EO 13514, which told the Federal Government to go green and GreenGov showcased the results. Hung out with climate expert Heidi Cullen (who was on Colbert recently) and the handsome and ocean/environmental tv star Philippe Cousteau Jr., among other climetey people. I also met Kevin Johnson, former NBA star and now Mayor of Sacramento. He surprised all of us with an inspiring talk on urban planning and sustainability. Retired Marine and author of the then anonymous (as “Mr. Y”) and controversial “National Security Narrative”, Mark Mykleby, was just phenomenal on national security and climate change. He got a standing ovation. Wish I took more pics, but since it was my event, I had to shake hands with guests and work with my fantastic, incredibly hardworking staff…
Science needs your help. It is under attack from deniers - people who deny the facts and people who deny that it can be AWESOME. I, and many others, are working to change that.
ScienceOnline is an annual conference that brings together the best in science journalists, creators, researchers, artists, filmmakers and bloggers (and more!) to pave the way into the future. It’s an un-conference, and everyone who attends contributes.
I am a graduate student who runs this blog by himself, and I can’t thank everyone enough for the positive response I have gotten over the past year and a half of doing this. I am motivated by you every day. I want to go represent what we are doing on Tumblr (and across the web in general) at ScienceOnline. And after that, I hope to continue to bring the message anywhere I can (even your town).
So if anyone would like to help by contributing to travel costs and to support the growth of this effort, I have put up a PayPal link on my blog page. If you find joy in the science and want to help, however modest, thank you.
Science Ninjas Unite! Together we can change science. Oh, and if anyone else wants to come along, I’d love to see you in North Carolina at ScienceOnline 2012 :)
If you’re just here for the star pictures or the puppies or for my cool t-shirt, please disregard everything you have read.
As you probably know, I’m helping organize Obama’s climate change conference, to be held this weekend. If you’re in the DC area, we’re in need of a few volunteers. It’s competitive, and screening is tough. You have to be polished. If you make it in, you’ll make incredible connections. Here’s the application: GreenGov Volunteers Application.
China. Xi’an International Horticulture Expo 2011. Above is one of four new parks. This one is the Theme Pavilion. Note the main buildings, top-right on the water. The geometric landforms are various showcase plantings lined with walkways. The expo is spread out over the city of Xi’an, capital city of Shaanxi Province (think - Terra Cotta statues). It’s really an architecture, landscape architecture, and business expo with a good shake of horticulture.
The Theme Pavilion, one of the four landmarks of the International Horticultural Exposition 2011 Xi’an, is centrally located and was designed to be integrated with the surrounding water and land terrains. Its architectural layout is in the shape of the Chinese character “王” consisting of irregular tri-wing geometrical objects. External wall faces made of bronze, wood, or shrubbery function as irregular interfaces. The exhibition in the pavilion will showcase new achievements and products in horticulture and floriculture as well as new environmentally-friendly and energy-saving technologies and materials.
Youth Forum on Climate Actions and Mountain Issues, 8-12 August 2011
Here’s a submission from one of my readers, sahrawi. Thanks for sending! Looks good!
"Mike, I got this announcement via the ICIMOD email listserv. I’m not a national from an Asian country, but it sounds like a neat opportunity for someone who is."
Youth Forum on Climate Actions and Mountain Issues, 8-12 August 2011
With the grand success of youth focused events in recent years (Café Climate, Youth Forum, Youth Corner, Graduate Conference, seminars and talk programmes, various capacity building workshops and publication of the special issue of the Asia Pacific Mountain Courier on ‘youth and climate change’ among others), we are pleased to announce Youth Forum 2011 on Climate Actions and Mountain Issues.
The overall objective of the Youth Forum is to celebrate International Year of Youth 2011/12 and International Youth Day, 12 August, through continuation of series of activities started in 2008 to build the next generation leadership in sustainable mountain development and climate change adaptation in ICIMOD Regional Member Countries (RMCs) and beyond, especially in the context of upcoming UNFCCC CoP 17 and Rio+20 meeting.
We offer a unique opportunity for students and speakers across the Asia Pacific region to engage each other in addressing the challenge of applying and adapting broader principles of sustainability, climate change and mountain development to locale-specific solutions. The programme will feature eminent speakers and there will be an emphasis on the issues specific to mountain development in the Hindu Kush-Himalayan (HKH) region and beyond,especially in the context of ICIMOD’s work, and ongoing and planned regional and global processes on relevant topics.
The event is financially supported by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).
Environmental Markets Association’s 15th Annual Spring Meeting | 11-13 May 2011 | Washington, DC
The Environmental Markets Association (EMA) has put together two days of critical sessions with high level officials and industry practitioners focused on getting back to basics.
Join EMA on May 11-13, 2011 in Washington, DC for this interactive discussion on all things environmental markets. Sessions include:
State of the 3P Bill and US Environmental Markets
Energy Market Issues
EPA’s Proposed Transport Rule: The End of Trading as We Know It?
Renewable Energy Standard v. Clean Energy Standard
Tackling the Uncertainty of REC pricing and Forecasted Electric Load
Congressional Outlook Roundtable: 3P Bill, Renewable Electricity Standard, Clean Air Transport Rule, CES
Regional CO2 Markets: California Greenhouse Gas Markets Update and Potential for the Western Climate Initiative coming online and working with California
Solar, Wind & Bio Gas: What Technology Does it Take to Support the Market? Outlook for Financing Projects with the Recovery Act
Media View on Emissions Trading and other Environmental Issues
Confirmed speakers include:
- Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) - Scott O’Malia, Commissioner, CFTC - David W. Conover, Bipartisan Policy Council - Darren Samuelsohn, Reporter, Politico - John A. Anderson, Credit Suisse - Tom Hewson, Energy Ventures Analysis Inc. - Thad Huetteman, Power & Energy Analytic Resources, Inc. - Chris MacCracken, ICF International - Roman Kramarchuk, PIRA - Mike McKenna, MWR Strategies - Judi Greenwald, Pew Center - Kedin Kilgore, Barclays Capital - Steve Fine, ICF International - Brannen G. McElmurray, NRG Energy
The NCCR Climate, Switzerland’s centre of excellence in climate and climate impact research, invites scientists to the Climate Economics and Law Conference that will take place on 16 and 17 June 2011 in Bern, Switzerland.
Key issues covered by the conference are: * Mitigation, adaptation and technological change * Trade regulations and unilateral climate policies
Each topic includes two keynote plenary lectures and numerous parallel sessions.
The conference is open to all interested researchers. Contributions from a broad spectrum of climate economics and law research issues and from the two key topics, in particular, are welcome. Overall, the conference aims to foster cross-disciplinary links.