How Insurance Works

Climate Change: A Common Sense Approach and Free Market Solution


Good evening everyone. Thank you all for
joining us tonight and welcome to Brenau University.
My name is Didi Cassell and I am currently the chair of the
Sustainability Committee here at Brenau. A couple of notes before we begin:
with your programs this evening you should have been also given an index card.
Instead of having everyone run around back and forth with a microphone to
answer questions at the end if you have any specific questions for our speakers
during their individual presentations please write them on to the index card
including the name of the speaker that your question is intended for. Towards
the end of the evening and we will collect all of the cards and then we
will try to hopefully get through all of the questions and they will be given to
each respective speaker. So a little bit of background for this a few months ago
we were approached by a faculty from the University of North Georgia and a few
members of the Citizen’s Climate Lobby and they were wanting us to entertain
the idea of co-hosting an informative event which shares some of the
developing aspects of climate change. Both Brenau University and the
University of North Georgia have been reinvigorating our efforts toward
sustainability minded programming and this event tonight is kind of the culmination of a continuing partnership between each of
our institutions. As leaders of higher education in the Gainesville area we
feel that it is our duty to provide unbiased information to members of our
community regarding a wide variety of important topics, and tonight we have
invited several key speakers that we feel will not only be informative but
also engaging and thoughtful, so that we may eventually come together and work
towards progress in unity. One of the many benefits of working in a close-knit
community such as Gainesville is that we’ve had the opportunity to present
information from several of our local leaders, and we sincerely hope that
through education you may each be able to find greater appreciation for
the topic of our changing global climate, and we encourage you all to be well
informed advocates for this cause. So before we begin I would like to invite
Gainesville’s mayor, Mr. Danny Dunagan, up to the stage to assist with some some
opening remarks. Please join me in welcoming Mayor
Danny Dunagan. Thank you! I’m very proud tonight. I tell you
it’s an interesting topic that we all have to be aware of, that’s for sure,
but on behalf of the Gainesville City Council, excuse my voice it’s a
little pollinated, I want to welcome each of you to Gainesville. I see a lot of familiar
faces out there and they know how great our city is and how giving and
caring our city is, but we really are very proud of our churches, our
nonprofits, our universities and all of our sciences that work to so hand-in-hand to make this city move forward like they move. But on behalf of the City of Gainesville, welcome, I hope y’all have a great night tonight, I wish I could stay
but my wife is out of town and my daughter is moving and I promised to
babysit for a six-year-old, so I’ve got my hands full so anyway, y’all enjoy the evening and if you’re staying in Gainesville tonight or some of you are Brenau students, visit our downtown. It’s very vibrant and there’s a lot going on. So welcome and thank you for coming. Good evening everyone, my name is Brianna Mathis and I’m a biology student here. Our first speaker this evening will be
Dr. Mark Farmer from the University of Georgia. Dr. Farmer has long been an advocate for climate change awareness in action, and has devoted his time to
give expert opinion of the data involved with our air stream to climate. Please
join me in welcoming Dr. Mark Farmer. Before I begin, thank you University of North Georgia and Brenau for hosting this event, especially I want to thank Didi for all
the work that she’s done behind the scenes she was really a tremendous asset
to all the speakers, myself included today. So I’d like to start, now they’re
all nice and comfortable, by asking you to stand up please. Alright, if you are one of the 1.4
million Georgians who make their living from agriculture or commercial fishing
please have a seat. If you are one of the hundred and 125 million Americans
who makes their home within ten miles of the coast, that means you
can walk out the front door of your primary residence and reach the coast,
please have a seat. If you are under the age of ten please have a seat. However, if you care about those employed
by agriculture, those who live near the coast, those under the age of ten, then please have a seat. Because that’s what tonight is really about. It’s…. What motivates people like myself and the other members who are speaking tonight is our concern for
those individuals who are going to be most affected by climate change. And the
actual truth is that most of us in this room probably will not. I won’t live long
enough to see the worst effects of it, but as a scientist one of the beautiful
things about science is that we can use it to explain what has happened in the
past, and rationally make sense of what has happened in the past, and use that
information to make rational decisions about the future. And that’s what Vern is
going to end up talking to us about. So I’m going to concentrate on the science
of climate change. This is a distribution of relative temperatures over the last
century and a bit starting back in 1880 up to about the present, and the zero
point is simply the average of all of that. So you can see that for much of the
early part of the 20th century temperatures were below average,
temperatures in the time that I was growing up in the 1960s were sometimes
above average sometimes below average and then for the latter part of the 20th
century the entire the the 21st century temperatures haven’t been above that
average. 2015 was any second warmest year on record. 2017, I think I’ve skipped one… Oh there we go, 2016 was the warmest year on record. Sorry. 2015 the second warmest, 2017 was the third warmest year on record. Anyone want to guess what the fourth warmest year on record was? 2014. Four of
the last four in recorded history. So what we look at those last four years, and I want to make a point specially to the students who are here today, the four
warmest years in recorded history have all occurred while you’ve been in college. Or in high school. And of the twenty warmest years
in recorded history that’s your entire life. If you were born after 1997 you’ve never known a year with below average temperatures. And so part of what those of us are on that other side of the age spectrum, part of our job is
to convey to you what it was like in the past and why many of us can see these
changes in our lifetimes are so concerned about those changes. The
question is “why?”. So the the graph that I just showed you,
that’s the data. That’s data that’s compiled by measuring temperatures on
land and in the oceans and over thousands of data points, over dozens of
years, literally millions of data points went into the making of those graphs. The
question is why is temperature going up? Particularly since the 1980s. So what I want you to do is turn to the person next to you, or if there’s two people, chat for just a
minute and come up with an idea as to why the temperature has been increasing
so 1980s. Go. Alright. Does everyone have at lease one? Everyone has at least one possible thing, okay. This audience is too large and too rambunctious and noisy for me to go
around and ask those individuals, but basically most people break them down
into one of two categories: natural things that change the temperature of
the planet, and man-induced things that change the
temperature of the planet. So if you had one of these three things: “energy coming from the Sun
is getting stronger,” well that’s one possibility for why the temperature will be
going up. It is ultimately where all of the heat on Earth ultimately came from.
“The Earth’s orbit has brought us closer to the Sun” or we’re receiving more
sunlight simply because of the way the Earth wobbles is tilts as it makes its
way around the Sun. Or “increased volcanic activity” is another
one that people have talked about as far as altering the atmosphere, changing the
composition of greenhouse gases that trap more of that heat. So just as a show of hands
how many people had one of those three things as one of the
possible solutions? Okay. Quite a few. There are other things that are attributed to
humans that may be affecting the climate. These things such as deforestation or the
production of ozone. Production of aerosols and foremost
soot and sulfur emissions. And then finally the production of greenhouse
gases from the burning of fossil fuels. So as a scientist I like to look at the data.
So what did the data tell us about these possible causes of that large red spike
at the end of the 20th century and into the 21st century? Well, here’s that same data portrayed a little bit differently but basically you
can see going back to 1880, temperatures were low and they’ve progressively gone up
since that. So this is a time line going up to about 2014. So I don’t even have the four
warmest years on this graph. Let’s look at some of those possible causes.
Well, what are the changes? Does the Earth change in its orbits?
Does more or less sunlight periodically strike the Earth? Yes it does. And there are three things
that happened, and again I’m not going to get into the differences but the
eccentricity or maybe the elliptical nature of the orbit around of the Earth
around the Sun, the obliquity, the way it tilts back and forth in what’s called
the procession. If you’ve ever seen a top at the end when it’s about the
stop spinning that happens. And all three of those things are called
the Milankovitch Cycles. And periodically they line up in such a way that either a lot more sunlight is striking the Earth, or a lot less sunlight is striking the Earth. And we know that that in the past has been the cause of glaciation events, in some cases
extending almost down to the equator. We also know that there been times on Earth
when it’s been extremely warm and the tropics and palm trees went
almost up to the Arctic Circle. But if you look at the effects in the
time period that we’re talking about, the 1880s to the present, you can see that the
orbital changes shown in green, have had virtually no effect on the
temperature over that same period of time. What about the Sun? Well, the Sun
actually goes through solar cycles. Every 11 years, approximately,
it has this peak and ebb, peak and ebb. And if we looked at the strength of how the Sun’s energy has changed over that same period of time, shown in yellow,
you can see that it does change. But the net effect has been virtually
stable over that entire period of time. What about volcanoes? Surprisingly volcanoes can have a
massive cooling event, as shown in red. The eruption in 1991 of
Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines resulted in this very large dip right here. And that’s caused by the massive amounts
of ash that they put up into the atmosphere. That ash physically blocked sunlight
from reaching the Earth. Less sunlight reaching the Earth means a cooling. But if we look at the observed
temperatures shown in black, and the effects that should have been
observed by the volcanoes, we see that for most of the 20th century there
was no effect and for the latter part, the part where it’s been going up, volcanoes
should have been cooling the planet down. So something else must be pushing.
If it’s not orbital changes, if it’s not strength of solar cycle and it’s not volcanoes it must be
something else. Let’s look at some man-made effects.
Excuse me, this is all three of those three combined. And they’re dominated by the volcanoes.
So that’s the natural causes of climate change. Man-made climate change.
Deforestation. Cutting down forests in order to have agriculture. Surprisingly, this actually cools the planet a little bit. It’s a little bit counter-intuitive but
it’s because bare ground reflects light better than green trees absorbing.
So in terms of the energy balance when we cut down a forest to turn it into
agriculture we’re actually very, very slightly influencing the climate in the
negative direction. And remember the observed temperatures have been going up. So this can’t be the cause. What about ozone? Ozone is an interesting
molecule because where it is in the atmosphere can have either a cooling or a warming effect
depending on whether it’s high in the atmosphere or low in the atmosphere.
The net effect of ozone production through human activity and industrial activity over that period of time is essentially zero. Aerosols, which also are associated
with human activity, also associated with industry, have the same kind of cooling
effect as do volcanoes. But they don’t go off just periodically, we’ve been doing a lot of this
over that same period of time. So we now have six of the seven possible causes of climate change looked at and none of them have a positive reinforcement. they all are either flat or slightly negative. Or strongly negative,
in the case of aerosols and volcanoes. So what possible cause is left? Greenhouse gases. If we look at the matching of greenhouse gases, particularly carbon dioxide and methane, over that same period of time we see
that it matches almost exactly with the observed temperature changes. In science we call this a correlation, but that’s not good enough.
You also have to have causation. You have to have an explanation
for how these molecules, these tiny fraction of the atmosphere can have such a profound effect on the
Earth’s climate. If we combine all of these things, so this is all the natural causes
and all the man-made causes combined into a single graph, you see
that it matches up almost perfectly. So what do people accuse scientists
of not having accurate models, this is a model. This is a model in red showing the
predicted temperatures. The line in black is the actual temperatures. The model is pretty good and because of that we can confidently say that as
those other things change, we can’t predict when volcanoes are going to go off, but we can predict what’s going to happen with aerosols, we can predict what’s going to
happen with greenhouse gases, and making those assumptions,
our models tell us the temperature is going to continue to go up. Those of you who have
lived your entire lives of the warmest part of the… it’s just going to get hotter. It’s not going to get cooler in your lifetime. So what is the greenhouse gas?
We’ve all heard about it. We’ve all tried to rationalize the problem. Probably most of you came up with that as “the Greenhouse effect is what
keeps the Earth habitable.” And, I these four… again, will take 30 seconds. Go through this list and say to your neighbor which of these greenhouse… How do greenhouse gases actually
increase global temperatures? Alright, normally in my class I’ve got
the clicker system, Do you guys uses those at Brenau? Maybe your classes aren’t big enough
to use the clicker system. I’m going to ask you to hold up a finger:
1, 2, 3 or 4, corresponding to A, B, C or D or E. Alright, so we’ve got five choices here.
On the count of 3 hold up which finger do you think
explains the greenhouse gas. 1, 2, 3, Go. Wow. A lot of 5s. I’m going to pick on Vern in here.
He’s heard my talk before so he knows the answer. The answer is actually B. So what happens is that those molecules absorb infrared energy coming from the Earth, momentarily get shakey, and that’s a the molecular level, and then they re-emit
a photon of infrared. Sometimes that photon of infrared keeps on going back into outer space like what is supposed to. But a bunch of the time it gets redirected
randomly back down towards the Earth. And this is essentially how a greenhouse works. The light penetrates through the atmosphere, or in this case the glass windows. Much of it reaches the plants inside, in this case it reaches
the oceans of the land. Heat is then produced as a result of that and then that heat should radiate
back out into the atmosphere, in the case of a greenhouse, well back into outer space in the case of our planet. But if you’ve got glass panes here
that reflect that heat back down you trap the heat inside of
there and that’s exactly what greenhouse gases
are doing in our atmosphere. So if you want to make the analogy think about adding panes of glass to a greenhouse. So if you started with a greenhouse
and it only had one or two panes of glass it wouldn’t hold that much heat, would it? It would retain some. But then if every year you added
another pane of glass, and another pane of glass, and another pane of glass, the heat inside the greenhouse would continue to go up even though the amount of sunlight hasn’t changed. And that’s effectively what we’ve been doing. So the greenhouse gases work like putting additional blankets on the Earth every year. Or in this case, if you want, a Snuggie. It’s okay to make fun of Clemson here. So, we call these things radiative forces because we talk about the difference between the amount of energy received by the Earth and the amount that goes
back into outer space. And as it turns out water vapor
plays an important role here. Water vapor is the dominant greenhouse gas. But water vapor hasn’t been changed by human activity. Carbon dioxide has. Methane has. And so this greenhouse, effect as we increase the amount of greenhouse gases we recycle more and more of that heat back to the Earth. And that is what is responsible for the warming since the turn of the century And it’s been a lot of them. Now, climate models,
how that’s going to affect weather patterns, how that’s going to affect all sorts of things,
can be very difficult to figure out. And so I’m not going to spend time
trying to explain have all this works. Mostly people is I myself don’t fully understand it. In the interest of full disclosure. I have colleges who do. But we can make predictions of what it’s
going to mean for our part of the country. And as it turns out the Southeast, and in particular Georgia, has shown a very, very slight cooling event. You may think it’s hot, but compared
to the rest of the planet Georgia has not heated up very much and
that’s why I said most of us are not going to feel the worst effects of
climate change in our lifetimes. The rest of the United States is not the same
and the rest of the planet is not the same. So you have these Geographic differences. What it will mean, though, these are precipitation and what is shown in red reflects
increasing precipitation. Georgia is going to get slightly wetter. Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana
are going to get a lot wetter. And it’s not going to be spread out nicely. The model predictions are that it’s
going to come down in major events. And so the southeastern United States
can expect an increase of 27 percent of what we call
“two inch rain falls” or more. And that’s basically what’s gonna happen. The Northeast as you can see
is really gonna get hammered. And we have already seen some examples of this. Now, this was caused,
obviously, by Hurricane Irma And Hurricane Irma is the strongest
hurricane that has ever been recorded by humans in the Atlantic. Does that mean that climate change
produced Hurricane Irma? No. Hurricanes have been occurring
for hundreds, thousands, probably millions of years. But what we do know as scientists
is that the temperature of the water directly correlates to the
strength of the hurricanes. And we know for a fact that
the temperature of the oceans has been going up over that period of time. And we know that at greenhouse gases
continue to accumulate the temperature is going to
go off even higher. So when scientists say we are likely to have
more and more severe storms into the future, it’s based on the fact that we know some basic principles about what fuels a hurricane. And what’s actually happening on our planet. There will be winners and losers. And Vernon will talk a little bit about this and so I’m gonna just… But this is a paper that came out last year looking at economic models as to which parts of the
country will benefit from climate change, increased temperatures,
and which ones will suffer. You see where we live? The Southeast is going to have
a net negative effect. Florida is probably going to be the worst affected. But if you want to invest in places like North Dakota, hopefully no one is here from North Dakota that I’ve just insulted, that would be a good investment because
they’re gonna actually benefit from from this. So what about the future?
I said that we can use science to explain what’s happened in the past. Can we use it to explain what’s
going to happen in the future? Well, this is what’s been happening
to carbon dioxide over my lifetime. And I say literally my lifetime
because they started collecting on Mount Mauna Loa in the Hawaiian Islands
in 1958, the year before I was born. And you can see that progressively
the amount of carbon dioxide that’s been produced in my lifetime
has gone steadily up. And we actually have hard numbers for this. When I was 1 year old it was
about 317 parts per million. Then a decade later 326. Decade later 339. 354. 370. 390. And today as of last month it’s at 406. That’s, excuse me, 408. That was last year that was 406. Which means that every year it’s increasing by about 2 parts per million per year. That sounds like a really tiny amount. But think about my analogy with blankets again. How many people like to sleep in the summer with maybe one or two light sheets over them? What if every year someone snuck into your house and put another sheet on? And another sheet on? And another sheet on? And they did that your whole life. Would you be comfortable with you’re my age? No. Because you have this much blanket on top of you. That’s effectively what we’ve been doing, even with these tiny mats. Now I want you to remember that
number, 2.21 or just round it up. 2 parts per million per year. How does that compare to what’s
happened naturally in the past? Well, we know the answer to that too
because we have ice core data Going back almost half a million years. And for all of that time CO2 levels have gone between a high of 275 and a low of 175. And that’s shown graphically here.
And they go down and they go up and down and up and down and up and down and up. And they do so at a rate of about 200
parts, that’s 100 down and 100 up, periodically about every 100,000 years Anyone want to guess why that
period is a hundred thousand years? Offscreen: The Milankovitch cycles. That’s the Milankovitch cycles. Okay, so those are those orbital changes. So they do have a real effect on the planet’s climate. And that we know from ice core
data what that effect has been. Notice what’s happened since the
Industrial Revolution, though. The line has gone straight up to where we are today at
about 400 parts per million. Do you remember that rate of change I told you? Two parts per million per year? What’s the natural rate of change?
Drop a couple of zeros. Two parts per million per thousand years. This is the most important slide I hope you remember. We are changing the planet’s atmosphere. And the planet’s ocean chemistry at a rate that is 1,000 times faster than is natural. As a biologist I can tell you that gradual
environmental change leads to evolution. Sudden environmental change
leads to extinction. And we know that that is
a proven fact on our planet. And we are now changing the atmosphere
and the chemistry of the oceans at a rate that is a thousand times
faster that naturally would occur. So it’s not so much that things are getting warmer or cooler, it’s really the rate at which they’re happening that’s so alarming to those
of us who are scientists. It’s like driving the car 60,000 miles an hour and thinking
nothing Bad’s gonna happen. So I’m going to leave you with
one more automotive slide. From one of my favorite movies, Thelma & Louise. Even if we’re not willing to hit the brakes, shouldn’t we take our foot off the gas? Thank you. Good evening ladies and gentlemen. I’m Dr. Kevin Mace, associate professor of mass communication here at Brenau. For the past several decades the Northeast Georgia area has been
fortunate to have local religious leaders who are compassionate about the
environment and active in educating the public about environmental issues.
Reverend John Cromartie and Reverend Bill Coates are well
respected in their positions and they have the ability to reach a wide
variety of community members. Their comments tonight are about how the public, you and I, can become more responsible
about the environment and provide stewardship for
generations to come. First Reverend Cromartie will speak
and then Reverend Coates. Thank you. Well I’m kinda jealous about those slides. We’ve been babysitting all week and I
couldn’t put together these slides, but I like… I love your slides. Thank you. Well, a change of pace. Let me confess one thing: I do believe that our perspective, our point of view, our mindset with which
we approach any subject will shape how we ultimately view that subject; how we read a situation; how we react to it. And let me confess right from the outset: I bring a particular perspective to this
subject of creation care environmental stewardship. And I guess I’ll get it on the table. I’m an avid hiker. I love the trails that we have in the United States, especially the Appalachian Trail. I love climbing a summit,
that arduous climb to the top. When you get to the top
the rush of the wind, the beauty all around you. I love the interaction with birds and bears and snakes and porcupines and all sorts of creatures and in this time of year I
love the gorgeous spring flowers that we are blessed with every spring. I love that green tunnel that goes from Springer Mounter and all the way to Katahdin. I love the rock climbs and I love the starry nights and sounds the nighttime in the tent. And I even love the changing weather patterns along the trail. To paraphrase Wendell Berry “my mind, my wife, becomes more
beautiful by the sight of these things.” You see we in this community are
blessed with nearby resources. I think of Elachee and I think of all of the
parks and I think of the mountains that are just very close to us and I think about the oceans and I think about our rivers. I think about all those resources
that are so very close to us. And I tell you this,
and I know most of you know this: once these experiences touch your souls, we’re never again the same. Yes, I love my time out in nature
and I want the same for my children, for my grandchildren and
my great-grandchildren. You may not believe this but we just bought
a pair of $120 Leki hiking poles for our two-year-old granddaughter and she loves
to hike and loves those hiking poles. I mean what beauty. What beauty we have all around us. But I have a special place in
my heart for the mountains. Have you ever been hiking down or up a mountain? You walk down and down and down
and you come to what’s called a gap. Or a call, in the North it’s called. Or a saddle. Or a notch. You’ve been working hard, you get down, as you get ready to go up that mountain and invariably what happens in that gap is that you feel a gentle breeze. It can be
the hottest day of the year but you feel that breeze and you relax a little bit
and you realized that the Spirit is shifting through that gap. For me it’s a myth, a moment of mystery and awe. There’s a Georgia poet that grew up
and lived all his life fairly near us. North Neal’s gap up in North Georgia in Union County. His name is Byron Herbert Reece and he loved these mountains. He loved them, lived his whole life up here and his soul grew deep in these mountains. And he was filled with awe and wonder when he felt the gushing winds and the breezes and he
wrote a poem about that obsession with the wind. He said
“I am obsessed with the wind
summer and winter
through all day and night
and all weather
the wind is in my mind
I sigh when the wind is still I am the wind’s worshiper
I love the sound of the wind I name it when I first hear
it soughing and sighing behind
a hill of pines in the night
and then I am
O, I know the wind is more
than movement of air unseen
with swift and invisible power
it blows to me from the door
in which the angels lean
Hour on eternal hour. you see he fell in love with the beauty of the mountains
with the beauty of God’s creation so first I had shaped by my love day out
but I’m also shaped by my faith my faith is that of the judeo-christian faith and
my understanding from that of God’s deep carry for the creation that he created
and the Bible is simply folk stories of God’s caring for the creation and the
instructions for his creatures to care for that creation God created all that
is and when God finished with his creation the Bible says that God smiled
and said that’s good and he created all of this and then he commended one group
the humans in that creation to take care of to take care of that creation we are
faced now with tremendous problems climate change scarcity of fresh water
threats to biodiversity degradation of the oceans of the world unsustainable
agricultural practices deforestation and I would add to that overpopulation and
up in urbanization and we can already see around the world how the lack of
usable water is creating migrations around the planet deserts are growing in
Africa and migrations of people are happening from that making the wars that
will fight in few years will be around the
issue of water that people disagree upon specifics about the environment and
about what to do about environment but I do believe that the religious community
is united in our commitment to care for God’s creation that he has given over to
us responsibilities for the care of the environment and the care of the people
that are damaged by problems with the environment and Scripture and live with
instruction and wisdom about what to do and if we had more time in another place
we could go through the story in Genesis stories of Psalms but I’ll leave that
for another day and of the place suffice it to say that Creation Care is a major
subject in Scripture but I tell you this the warnings of the prophets are strong
and most often they speak in terms of environmental degradation listen to
these words from Jeremiah waves of destruction will roll over the land it
will be made desolate the whole land will make it desolate and
you can go through the Prophet Hosea as they have similar words did a new Bible
app called the Green Goblin you know the red letter Bible takes the
word of Christ put them in grid this Bible puts the environmentally-sensitive
words in green and so you can pick up the Bible and see throughout the Old
Testament and the New Testament the references to environmental issues or to
close with this thought from one of the writers in this wonderful resource boy
Bible study and for reflection of the environment the person writes this
clearly if our thinking the extent beyond me myself and I extends beyond
that to our neighbors human and non-human as surely the gospel teaches
it should we realize that our neighbors downstream suffer from our water
pollution downwind from our air pollution and downhill from erosion
I would also say uphill and when we consider my neighbors and time as well
as space we start thinking differently about our children our grandchildren and
more distant descendants he concludes by asking this question what toxins are we
sending down streams in time to poison them what kind of world you want the
Queen to those downstream from us in time I do believe that God’s plan is
very clear his instructions are very clear that we are to care for this
precious creation and likewise the Bible is clear about our responsibility when
from this my friends we have vital work to do and it is our responsibility as
people of faith to do that work John said everything I was going to say
thank you very much what a clap I’ll cried like this when I can’t reach didi thank you thank you for putting
this together thank you to all the sponsors for this
tonight I am passionate about this subject so I want to begin by asking you
how many of you think that a reasonable circumstances you will live a few more
years would you stay thank you I’m in my element of hockey –
Roxanna spinel and I’m an optimist I’m an eco conditional optimist and I’ll
tell you what I mean by that in a little bit but then you begin by saying this
whether you believe that Jesus was the Christ or whether you believe that he
was one of the great sages of history either way his words and ideas deserve
our attention and respect we know that he has had a major influence on history
and culture and Part A and this is why I think the churches with mr. down through
here Jesus was more but he was not a moral hazard morality is what is right
and good for life and live moralizing means demeaning and dehumanizing and
demonizing those who failed to do right or those who don’t agree with what we
think is right Jesus was not a warlock he never gave in
the event and thanked Jesus taught and came out of a tradition that taught the
principles of balance his tradition one of the prophets had jaundice referred to
goes like this what does the Lord require of you but to do justice and a
little personal balance Jesus himself said in Luke chapter 11 these things you
should have done he was talking to Pharisees these things you should have
done keeping your religious obligations and pay your tithes
but you should not have left the other unknown and by that he’s referring to
taking care for the people around you if we’re going to take care of the people
around us we don’t have any choice but to take care of the earth that is home
for all of us so I’m caring for creation how do we achieve balance that’s the
question I want to address just briefly I think there are two extremes in the
approach is that I have known over the years one is the – dismissal in other
words it’s all a hoax this whole business about the earth getting warmer
and all that now that’s one extreme is ridiculous but there are people who hold
to it but equally ridiculous is is this alarmism that you sometimes
hear the sky is falling and we’re all gonna die remember I told you have an
optimist and then echo conditional optimist let me tell you why I say that
the truth is always at the middle of extremes almost always and we balance
facts and science and reason reasonable engagement we balance all of these
things together put phrases one of my heroes caused this the mysterious
network of engagement between things think about that phrase the mysterious
network of engagement between things in other words all of life on Earth is
connected as we already to this room I’ll give you a small
example how I keep my house and how I keep my yard a fix my name it takes my
neighborhood is it actually can affect the prices of the homes in my
neighborhood right now but let me give you a larger exactly something much more
serious from February of this year just a few weeks ago a 33-foot sperm whale
washed up on the shore inspecting scientists wanted to know what it killed
they found out you know it was peritonitis in other words it could not
digest the 64 pounds of plastic bags pieces advance and plastic water
containers that were found stuck in the intestines and stomach but this
magnificent creature we’re upstanding the balance
we’re upsetting the balance we’re neglecting the mysterious engagement
between neighbors and women and see in this instance and by the way you’re all
aware that there are 150 million tons of plastic in our oceans
right now by 2070 is estimated there will be more plastic than they would be
fish in the cities so let’s talk about what we get for it tonight what is the
balance in climate change how do we achieve balance because I think balance
is essentially how do we achieve it when it comes to climate change
they dimension just a few things one reason and science I am a big believer
in science I’m a big believer in religion and a big believer in reason
and I believe that our problems are solvable the main main portion of what’s
happened with the warming of our atmosphere there
solvable in fact there are already some major strides being made to solving some
of those puzzles there stumble through government policies and they are
solvable through technology policies that reduce fossil fuel dependency
amazing technological advances that are already making those reductions possible
and I think even ii believe in enough economic growth listen to this richer or
educated countries turn their attention to quality of living poorer countries do
not they will conserve a survival poorer countries are more apt to cut down the
trees in order to have firewood in order to light their stoves which creates all
the smoke burning in their houses that happens in poorer countries richer
countries more educated ventures turn their attention to making our quality of
life you people better the more developed the country becomes the more
it values two factors Iceland given it pristine pure clear
view and by the way guess where the great vast amount of their energy comes
from yes geothermal it’s right there beneath they tap into it it has zero
effect on the environment and they have some of the cheapest electricity bills
in the world in other words it’s already happening in some places and another
good example would be the Nordic countries the Scandinavian countries who
by the way enjoyed a high higher than that of our country and
they’ve been able to achieve it by will and education that’s where they’ve got
that’s how they got there the third part how we can achieve balance and the
problem you’re talking about is dematerialization we don’t today the
technology we don’t have to use as much material as we once did your cell phone
is a very good example how many devices has the cell phone already practically
made obsolete right there in the palm of your hand and that tiny device
it already has supplanted so many other devices that you have taken up a lot
more space and would’ve needed a lot more material to make them safe and cell
phones don’t require cutting down more trees or telephone poles and cell phones
don’t require the manufacturing of more medals or phone lines so you see it’s
only beginning to happen we are already D materializing that’s
why I’m gonna be coke optimist a conditional ecological but the last one
I want to mention so they may not over here we’ve got to give the most energy
with the least emissions of greenhouse gases and there’s one way for sure to do
that nuclear energy and what you may not
realize nuclear energy over the past thirty years has become phenomenally
more safe than it’s ever been so cure of creation I think is about balance we
balanced reasonable policies innovative technology along with religious and
human values all working together in balance with one another so I told
you how made eco conditional optimist that is a as a passive optimist who just
says well it’ll all get worked out you know will take care of itself somehow
I’m not that kind of audience that’s foolishness of a conditional optimist
because my optimism is based on conditions it’s based on facts and I’ll
just give you two in closing over the last 10 years deforestation has declined
reforestation is actually taking place even the new parts are not being creepy
that’s a great sign it’s already happening sorry starting and of a
hundred and eighty countries that have been tracked over the past decade all
the two of the lemonade all the tubes have shown significant gains in air
quality water quality and overall quality of human habitats the wealthier
the country the cleaner the environment with Nordic countries leading the way
and the laggards you can make importantly Afghanistan Bangladesh as
some of the sub-saharan African countries but therefore so Indira Gandhi
City probably best of all poverty is the greatest polluter poverty is a major
problem even when the emission of greenhouse gases because the poorer we
are the last week we’ll be able to have the will and the education to Rahsaan
responders richer more anything and we’re already on that bad so to you
fella optimist out there congratulations if you pessimist will phooey I ready to
read Steven Pinker’s enlightenment than that it will help you with perspective
and also heavily the optimism thank you good evening my name is dr. Tom Harry and it’s my pleasure to introduce the
next speaker dr. Melanie Dixon the third exam is currently the leader of a
citizen planet Lumi chapter located in Iowa City Georgia also expands reduce
miss mydas carrier in psychiatry he has do many in his time during retirement
searching for spiritual peace and in forgetting for policies that address of
changing planet you will be presenting a solution to reduce greenhouse gases
emission but as the ability to appeal to a matter of American society please join
me in welcoming dr. Nelson thank you and it’s just overwhelming to
see everybody here this is great so why should we care
this is my wonderful great niece she is so precious in the world always full of
precious people like her and precious people like her going to come home for
generations and generations to generations and that’s why we should do
this because if we don’t do something these people are not going to have a
decent world we can’t we just can’t let that happen
my journey to this came I shared a lot of the beliefs of the I guess I’m a
Eagle Rock finish top so I turn it again many years ago 20 plus years ago with a
series of really deeply religious spiritual experiences that I’ve
continued and it shown me you know what Jesus said you know we are all mature
godly lives and heavy one of us it is the my responsibility to take care of
her yes it is yes it is that’s why I’m here so what is carbon fee and dividend this
is what we have not good at the technology – what what what good what is
cognitive dividend this is what we advocate for it’s a simple thing you put
up feed on the price of the production of carbon and source code or natural gas
you return all that money in a monthly cheque to all of us all the less
citizens and there’s a border adjustment so that it won’t hurt American
industries so what does this do well why do we do it what do we say we do this
fossil fuels have a big college and that couch is not borne by the fossil fuel
companies themselves it’s borne by us all the damage tips that can be college
mark talked about climate change and we’re looking at temperatures going up
anywhere between if you look at the lower parts three or four degrees by the
end of the century – nine to ten degrees Fahrenheit by the end of their safety
most people say six to eight degrees and what’s that going to cost
sea level rise most people stay from 1 to 4 feet other people stay 8 to 10 feet
back that’s going to be that high – you through be one foot is palpable or like
the three to four feet but that’s going to cause tremendous poverty and then the
next entry will be another six to eight feet and then that Scituate eight or ten
feet so mr. professor gets worse the temperature goes up 10 cm
storm goes up it gets hotter it gets drowned we get more droughts we get more
starvation we get more lots of crops and you read the studies that say with every
one degree centigrade that one point eight degrees Fahrenheit increase in
temperature you get somewhere between a 50% to 200% increasing wildfires now we
have some bad line found here a year and a half ago there was no 27,500 a for
fire burning about four miles from my house that never happened before in the
area because we therefore let’s drive because we had any rain and these kind
of things are going to happen more frequently with interspersed between
heavy rain so you know I don’t that for firfer for the future generations war
war war and famine the problems go on so who pays for these problems health
problems many health consequences right now fossil fuel companies don’t we do we
say it’s fair that we put a price on the production carbon dioxide methane that
they produced and then we get it back to us and if you look at this just one
study this shows the premature test probably the better estimate is to two
hundred thousand guests just from particulate matter of burning fossil
fuels per year now the fat MIT if you look at death from this an economic
caller the Harvard Medical School estimated between 350 to 500 billion
dollars per year that’s over a thousand dollars per person maybe a little bit
that may make it more we’re paying for this now and so what is what is it going
to do what can it do well when you put that a fair price in the production of
these carbons from fossil fuels rapidly they become more expensive than the
production of energy from wind and solar and you clear little rapid switch over
to these in the net we get clean energy and we get the reduction of the
greenhouse gases that’s what we have to get in that on a net if the price of
fuels goes up you know we’re going to use less of it – and then you studies
show that most people get more money back in these dividends then it will
cost them you’re saying yes talk to me boy run my phone yet but you’ll get more
money back I just going to be a big driver of economic productivity
particularly of solar wind with it’s gonna cause a green revolution so let’s
see what it’s going to do when the carbon fee and dividend it’s gonna
within 10 years heaven 33% decrease in greenhouse gases within 20 years
52% be placed and I think it’s going to be much bigger than that I don’t think
they’re calculating that correctly so two point one needed new job these
astronauts are going to be creative with this but the madness returns getting
more solar will win or nuclear jobs and within
2.8 million new American good-paying jobs and under cronic they exhibit in its going to be increased the gross
domestic product around 70 to 85 billion dollars per year in over over 20 years
of professionally increasing the price of this it’s going to be at one point
three seven five trillion dollars to the most domestic part and you know I talk
about this I say we need to do this we need to do it for the Dorothea James
that was her name if I were you and for future generations but even if it wasn’t
for that this is an economic pops city solution that can grow our economy give
back a lot of their jobs that we involved and what is gonna do about life
saying well this goes by a very very low EPA which is very very narrow 227,000
like saved over this period of time it’s gonna pop me people like a million to a
million and a half jumps and what value do we put on those and we talk about we
can’t afford you but how much is it going to cost to move Miami inland in
New York City in New Orleans you know a lot so a carbon fee and dividend how
much do you get back this is for an average family of four to ten years two
hundred eighty eight dollars per month twenty years almost four dollars a month
that’s not was five thousand dollars a year extra that people would get that to
spend the way they want it to now some people say you should have it back to
reduce to debt or you should use it by the programs that we say I know we won’t
have the final say so that we should let child decide what you want to do with
this way it’s a conservative solution I come from a very conservative background
I think you need to pay for things in this dummy solutions of beers for people to come
after her and that can also grow our economy at the same time because we
destroy our economy that’s not going to do it any good so it’s there I mean it’s
a fair problem because for people who calls from the pollution you know they
should pay for that not me when I pay for it
it’s fast it’s cheap it’s simple it’s capable it’s predictable yes
international which must prefer to EPA regulation in big government I’m not for
that actually but some people are you know maybe they can work together I
don’t know if you look at this heavy fat five up there it’s the top percent of
the most national problem gross domestic product that we are losing with if we do
not act if you see a gulf double tariff something catastrophes is catastrophic
you know reaching almost eight percent about 2100 now if we decide to act now
that strongly is that kind of flatlined there it’s kind of closed it down to
teaches to a very more manageable figure if you look at the dotted line there
that’s the cost of action which is less than the far left in there damaged it’s
going to be called there it’s going to save us money in the long run and that’s
been true to be true to all the things like the Clean Air Act and the Clean
Water Act and they looked at these in a dumpster days he has shown that every
dollar invested in these we’ve gotten two to three dollars in savings over
time so this is we don’t pay a lot of attention to that it’s the time I made
it up it’s not real good but what it says in this shitty shitty stated body
you know that pretty pretty big group and they have no money they say that if
we act now in invest in clean energy it’s going to save the world 1.8
trillion dollars in electricity and gasoline bills by the year 2040 go up a
little while but then it’s going to go down but if we do not act the costume
that acne will be 44 trillion dollars by 2060 for the negative effects of climate
change and that’s the big bang and this is looking at our level ice cost of
energy by was hard probably the world’s expert on this you look at even now we
in so our own power or lower than the cost of production electricity for
everything all the other things – psychic coal nuclear one of the
problems has been with it is it’s kind of expensive hopefully we can make that
better we don’t advocate for or against nuclear we just want good clean energy yeah but we you know it’s coming down
now and we have this new revenue neutral carbon tax and rapidly they’re going to
convert over to clean energy now you look at the jobs that we can have here
on the top is sober and right beneath it is those jobs from all of the fossil
fuel companies put together so burners twice that and then when it’s beneath
that and then nuclear so so we were up until this last year when policies kind
of changed was the fastest-growing employer in the United States and will
we get it if we do this it’ll grow much much faster we say this is a fair free
market solution because what you do is you put a fair price on the production
of carbon from the fossil fuel companies and when you do that you let the free
market take over there and get the government out of it it’s taking a lot
of conservative people now I don’t know if any of y’all sure I hope there are
some people I hope people will hear this then that questions about it at least
there is a group called a conservative case for carbon dividends you could read
this they believe that inside a carbon fee and dividend is what they’re talking
about to strengthen the economy grow jobs combat climate change it’s got a
lot of great names from their coach James Baker and Henry Paulson Jordan
Shorty’s were former secretaries of State Secretary of Treasury under the
maybe Bush administration Rob Walton Ted homestead Martin felt found 15 other
people there advocating for a carbon fee and dividend they’ve taken it to the
capital they are pushing for this there’s there’s a little bit different
than ours they advocated a lot more about decreasing government regulations
we know we don’t say anything about that for that their plans mean it’s very
conservative plan another reason why we say that this is getting the traction
this is something called a bipartisan climate solutions talkers now believe it
or not citizens of times body found in this a little over a year ago they found
by gap getting one Republican in the House of Representatives joining then
they had to invite a Democrat in so it goes in and guess who’s how many people
they have now but the last year or so they have 7236 Republicans in thirty six
Democrats you actually sit down and talk to each other to try to work out common
sense solutions to climate change this could be done you know I don’t think God
looks down or the earth looks down and says oh this is a Republican popular
it’s a popular bladder in our world we all have to get together to work on this
and I’m an optimist I believe if you can people can talk to
each other hey what a novel idea and it works because we have so much in common so what about a serious news the
platypus we are international group we are
nonpartisan we’re not because we’re not Democrat we work with people on all
sides now you know what it’s going to take everybody to solve this problem
we’re nonprofit and we are solution focused we look at our carbon fee and
dividend and citizens climate Lobby is me and thousands of tens of thousands of
people like me all over the world and we work always with respect appreciation
and gratitude is the best group of people I have ever worked with in my
life my vision is a livable world and we do
this to try to try to help people like you understand that you can do things
and get you to doing the college you know we are our country what do we do we
meet with Congressman we talk to them about their spoke plan each congressman
in the United States we meet we have three to four times a year we write
letters to Congress we call them we put we meet with the media and we give talks
like this and we try to educate people we have chapters we now have over 450
chapters for the United States and what can you do you can exercise power agent
one you can write they’re saying that you believe that
this is the imported area you can write you you can vote your conscience you can
encourage other people to do this you can call your Congressman you can write
letters and you yourself can can decrease your carbon footprint and then
tell us with other people about it and the biggest thing I’d like to say is I
hope that you can join citizens climate Lobby we’re going to be available
outside afterwards to talking about this we’re going to have an organizational
meeting is in your folder on April the 18th 5:30 and first back to church in
the winter room I’m going to be there I hope I’d like to see our loving God
show up and say hey we’re interested in forming a group we want to do something
we want a patch-over a better life to our children and what am I talking about
this what about there’s no such thing it’s
time to change what are we destined was that cleaner healthier more prosperous
America I think that’s not bad and how much will
we tolerate I mean if there was a 97% chance which is the consensus now should
we act on this what about it was a 50% chance that we would have a pass on a
banking devastated world to future generations and this gets up there
interchange up there for hundreds of thousands of years so we’re not talking
about dirt saloon while we’re talking about hundreds of thousands of years
your problem if there were a 30% tax the gifts that happen should we act you know
if ever than 20% of 10% I wish to reach on the right I think we
should really available afterwards out there okay so at this time can I have all of
my student assistants go around and collect any of the question cards and
also my faculty helpers if you have written that question on is hard please
make sure that you write the name of the speaker that it is intended for there
will be students at the end of the Browse I think most of them are over on
this side so if you have a question card please end it down this way we have a sign-up sheet out there if
people won’t be signed up to get on the newsletter there’s monthly usually and
I’ve seen out a weekly action alert we don’t show your name anybody and you can
get out of it intended to do so we encourage you to sign up for that so I
would like to invite all of our speakers back up onto the stage I don’t know
about you all but I have certainly been enlightened by this conversation and so
I have had the distinct pleasure of working with all of these gentlemen and
they’re members of the community as we have been in the planning stages for
this event and I think probably the first and the biggest thing that I would
like to say is that each of these gentlemen not only are they passionate
about what they do they are truly caring for the environment they truly believe
in what they are speaking about and I hope that at least one person could step
away from this meeting this evening and say you know maybe I could do just a
little bit more and so that is really the goal that we are trying to achieve
here do we have all of our questions there’s one over there and up top to get
you right up there there’s a student that’s coming down that’ll help you also
as a side note like I said at the beginning and I am currently the chair
of Brunei University sustainability committee a lot of my and many other
roles and duties that I served from the University but I have been very
fortunate and very blessed to be able to serve in this position because I get the
opportunity to work with people like this in our community
and I also get the opportunity to work with other other faculty from the
University specifically I have dr. Korean ordinary dr. Kevin mace and dr.
Nicole browning who are here joining me this evening so please give them a round
of applause let’s see this one is for all panelists
during your experience of being involved in environmentalism how have you seen
the environmental conversation evolve and where do you see it going let’s
start with dr. farmer there we go really when I was born there was no
environmental movement that were naturalist or people like Wendell Berry
and others lovely the outdoors but the whole idea of approaching
environmentalism from a science perspective really started by with a
book by a woman by the name of Rachel Carson and over my lifetime I’ve seen
tremendous progress as Dartmouth as Roberto said you know being an optimist
and again those of you in the audience or my age you remember when rivers in
Ohio caught on fire you remember when you couldn’t see the Los Angeles skyline
because of the smog you remember when the blood level of lay in our inner
cities was a hundred times higher than it is today you guys probably don’t even
know what we have on leaded gas deep because you don’t know about catalytic
converters that were instituted in the 1980s that have fundamentally changed
our atmosphere in a positive way so we’ve already shown that we can identify
a problem and collectively as a nation address that problem and something and
so in terms of Optima this is certainly doable I completely
agree with Vernon that this is something that can happen should happen and with
your help will happen I think that is kind of a little I think I think that
the tone of it all is much better in the last year so it’s got a little smoke
here overall one of my disappointments is that while
the national international organizations of the church have wonderful statements
about creation carrying the environment you go to local churches look at their
web sites crazy carriers regimented which demonstrates that it is not one of
the priorities of the local church now where I’m encouraged I spent about a
month or so there’s some on the trail and meet young people and young people
care and I salute you and I salute your passion you need to change our world and
we over folks are offering a handout to help you with the process but I’m very
encouraged by the attitudes of young people
today they know this is a problem they know it’s all of our responsibility and
I see evidence that there are changes underfoot and thank you for that so just
as a side note we do have quite a few questions which I am absolutely thrilled
that we do and we will try to get through as many as we can we want just a
few minutes left I’ll say we may go about five minutes over if we can so
that we can try to get some of these answered so the one that we had from
upstairs I think is very pertinent this is the idea of a fossil fuel fees may be
a solution but with the oil and coal companies having such a large influence
on the government how are we to convince these companies
to change this beeper to charge this B for us to use less of their product ie
oil and coal they are in the business to make money and this is for dr. Dixon
sign up back there for citizens climate Lobby I’m serious
in that you know people aren’t going to change when we let them know that we
need to change we let that heart issues know that we want something different if
we’ve got people that have know their illness and yes it’s true they have got
an awful lot of money there’s in the fossil fuel business but we have
an awful lot of enthusiasm and I believe in people power and we make it known
that we want this to change it’s going to change you we if we just at least sit
back and say something I would do something about this
then nothing’s going to happen if you what Stephen Grabill I shall pass
through this world of once so whatever good I can do whatever kind
of your second show let me do it now for I shall not pass this way again we have
we have to do this if we do it and if we make it you know you like your
Congressman join citizens climate Lobby show up in fast write letters to the
editor call them once a week and let them know we did you won’t take changes
that’s how Clean Air Act came about – now the Clean Water Act that it was
under Nixon he didn’t believe in all this the person’s good he saw what
people wanted it so we wanted it I think it’s going to happen but we gotta let
people know the good point this next one is for reverence / Marty
and cokes this writer says I myself am a leader
and they say overpopulation seems to be an undeniably leading to increased
greenhouse gas emissions increased industry automobiles leading to
increased co2 levels how do you reconcile also Chris the Christian view
on the same to give life with the realization that
overpopulation is an issue in relation to global warming and how do we balance
that human population my answer to that question would be something I said
earlier when we were wealthier the nations are wealthier and more educated
guess what happens women have fewer children and not under
they have three children they they also tend to have their children later and
and because you’re paying a highly educated wealth a trencher and many
other countries like that where the proclamation is actually holding the
decrease so that would be a partial denture on thank you depression Wow the
Bible says be fruitful and multiply we’ve done that Creation Care seems to
be has to do with the sanctity of life and that means every human being and I
remember as illegaly attorney has been 27 years of legal aid attorney I
remember being in a particular argument with a governmental agency spending days
talking about things and during those two days a half-dozen of my clients in
Macon Georgia died of heat exhaustion because of the efforts to slow down some
litigation we have brought to try to change this just situation in public
housing fire my clients died during that time that too is the sanctity of life
and right now we just got the overwhelming fact that so many swaths of
our world are draining into deserts a week people living there without the
means to take care of themselves that has to do with the saint of life as well
we need to read the fullness the Bible and be attentive to that and I think we
would begin to reshape by view that more and more and more people can come on
earth and be in a sustainable situation and we need to be mindful of the
that are here and take care of them alright so the next one let’s do this
one is for dr. Dixon and they’re a couple that are related to this question
so hopefully it’ll be more of an overarching theme
it says how would you rank George’s congressman on environmental issues that I have no comment well we’re not
partisan and I really don’t want to get into the partisanship I think Georgia
congressman actually have done a lot of good things to do about clean air and
clean water they have been teacher believers in climate change I’m a member of the advocacy CL group
until I’ve also I’ve come up here to Gainesville tobe with with
representative Colin staff and as well as going to be with representative Jerry
Tyson staff and one of the things that I would say is that when we meet with
their staff they’re all people your age they’re in their 20s and they get it and
part of what I think needs to then happen is hearing from people your age
connecting with these young staffers who work for quite frankly older white male
congressmen and getting them to think differently so it’s not so it’s the
change happens in that way and so if you really want to change the way your
particular congressman or other congressmen and women are acting you
guys are actually the perfect group to empower them because you will connect
with their staffers who are just a few years older than you are and that’s who
then gets the ear of the congressman and I would also say that there has been
some movement among Georgia’s congressman I think that embracing this
carbon fee and dividend is whether or not they believe in climate change maybe
Luke that this may have some some good things
that can help our economy it leads him and do something for the environment at
the same time so we had a question regarding whether any of our panelists
are climate scientists and to go along with that I will revert this other
question also to dr. farmer so you can answer the first question as well as do
you believe that an equal warming temperatures were higher than today and
what was the carbon dioxide concentration at this time or over
history I’m not a climate scientist my training is in cell biology but I have
in the last few years really immersed myself into the field and read a lot of
primary literature papers on this I do feel like I’m a well-informed scientist
but climbing has done my research in terms of the medieval warming it’s
undeniable that until the Industrial Revolution the things that affected the
planets temperatures were those things I mentioned solar cycles orbital shifts
volcanoes and to the best of my knowledge there were periods in in
recorded human history in which the solar cycle as measured by sunspots
because remember in those days we didn’t have the way of directly measuring the
output of the Sun and so we used sunspots as a proxy for that and humans
have been looking at sunspots for hundreds
thousands of years I think Chinese astronomers started counting sunspots
there is evidence that solar activity changed significantly during that period
which resulted in a temporary warming and consequently there was another
period in which there was a significant cooling so there was no significant
changes as I showed the ice core data the co2 levels have remained relatively
stable going between 175 and 275 for the last half million years and that
includes that that very time that you refer to what has changed is now that
disconnect and again that becomes most profound from 1980 to the present in
which the natural cycles and even to some of the man-made cycles are in a
flat or declining and yet the observed temperatures are going up and that’s why
we think that this is a very different time unlike that of any time and then in
the past natural history of the planet certainly unnaturally compared to
anything that’s human beings have ever experienced before the Medieval Warm Period it was he’s
been warm in some places other parts of the world it was cooler and the census
from what am i reading is that it was warmer but not if warming
and it did not last for that long period timing there was that increased up a
long period of time that there was increasing the Sun activity of what they
were so occasionally it happens like this like a hundred years or something
like it’s a four also increases that activity and that’s what accounted for
that that period okay so I think we will only take two more questions and then if
any of your questions were not answered all of the speakers will be available
briefly after we adjourn and I’m trying they’d be glad to speak with you at that
time so our second to last question is for
Bill Coates and you mentioned nuclear energy as a possible solution
that says how does nuclear energy work and what are the possible consequences atoms are split just you made to say
that I really don’t understand the workings of nuclear energy but what I do
understand is that it is clean I know it’s expensive but what I’ve been
reading lately you suggest learning that maybe the cost on that will begin to
come down saying there’s a lot of optimism about that but I don’t know all
of those is that it’s it’s clean it doesn’t it doesn’t you’re poor co2 into
the air but then you’ve also got solar energy because there it’s clean we and
that’s a good solution but I think they said what when do to the windows in
buildings killed some like a thousand so that’s gonna be birds but unfortunately quick quick fact on bird deaths wait turbines kill on average in the
United States about 250,000 Birds a year house cats kill 1.4 billion yeah I think all nuclear nuclear power
has drawbacks and radioactive waste is one of the big drawbacks
especially with uranium-fueled fission reactors there are alternative reactors
which again the US and they pursue things such as throwing liquid fluoride
salt reactors which have a much greater potential for safety and less
radioactive waste there is no free lunch of the world we only enjoy lights I
enjoy driving up here today you know we all live in the society that’s energy
hungry the question is how do we generate that energy and do so as least
damaging the way we can and I think what we’re all saying here is that carbon
dioxide is the biggest threat to future generations of humanity and if nuclear
is part of the temporary solution to get us to a completely clean energy economy
then it should be considered ok so our last question very briefly without going
on this is also for dr. Dixon and a couple
of the questions are also very interrelated here
so this says how realistic is this solution how would you convince
policymakers or people in office to be a fossil fuel production when it would
cause significant economic distress particularly on industry families who
may benefit but industry would suffer well the economic studies showed that we
would have a net gain of 2.8 million jobs over 20 years for this now there’s
some some industries would lose jobs obviously the fossil fuel industries but
you saw thinking losing jobs already there’s just a fraction of a third of
what jobs are winning so already I personally think we should have some
sort of job training program for these people to have trouble but the I think
the policymakers are going to hear what we say that this is an economically good
program and then it is going to be good for our environment and what’s wrong
with enough people prosperous wealthier nation I think that makes makes a lot of
sense when people so thank you again to all of our
speakers who joined us this evening thank you very much to everyone who
joined us in the audience just a couple of quick notes real quick any of our
Bernau students if you are interested in getting involved in sustainability
activities on campus please contact me pointing out some of my lovely students
back there but anyone here from the University of North Georgia our contact
person for this event was dr. John O’Sullivan and I’m sure he would be
happy to refer you in the right directions never go back and if you
would like to get involved in the community and dr. Dixon is very
interested in helping to start a chapter of the citizens climate Lobby here in
Gainesville which is what the interest meeting is for on April 18th if you are
interested in learning more about that they have a sign-up sheet in the lobby
and you are more than welcome to attend that event just to get more information
so thank you all for joining us this evening and I hope that we have made an
impact in your lives


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