Please join us at our upcoming Senate briefing, bringing together four prominent scientists and four leading evangelical Christians to share their concerns about climate change. Rarely have these two groups spoken with one voice, but they are coming together with a shared sense of urgency about the profound implications of climate change for human health and for the natural support systems that sustain all life on Earth, and about the political paralysis in Washington on this issue.Speakers
- Dr. Eric Chivian, Director, Center for Health and the Global Environment, Harvard Medical School
- Rev. Richard Cizik, President, New Evangelicals
- Dr. Jim McCarthy, Alexander Agassiz Progressor of Biological Oceanography, Harvard University
- Rev. Joel Hunter, Senior Pastor, Northland Church, Chairman of the Creation Care Advisory Team, National Association of Evangelicals
- Dr. Nancy Knowlton, Sant Chair for Marine Science, Smithsonian Natural Museum of History
- Rev. Gerald Durley, Senior Pastor, Providence Missionary Baptist Church of Atlanta
- Deborah Fikes, Executive Advisor, World Evangelical Alliance
- Dr. Tom Lovejoy, chief biodiversity adviser to the president of the World Bank, senior adviser to the president of the United Nations Foundation, and president of the Heinz Center for Science, Economics, and the Environment
Every carbon dioxide emission adds to climate damage and increasing risk of catastrophic consequences.
In SuperFreakonomics, however, Levitt and Dubner claim that Caldeira believes “carbon dioxide is not the right villain in this fight.”
The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) invites you to a briefing about the stockpile of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) in old equipment and building infrastructure, and the enormous potential for these potent greenhouse gases to accelerate climate change. These CFC “banks” store the equivalent of 18 billion tons of carbon dioxide, approximately one-third of which will be emitted over the next decade under business as usual. This briefing will explain how CFCs contribute to climate change, opportunities in international treaties and pending federal legislation such as the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 (H.R. 2454) to incentivize safe collection and destruction, and the pros and cons of alternative gases.
Speakers for this event include:
- Paul Ashford, Managing Director, Caleb Management Services; Co-Chair, Montreal Protocol Task Force on Ozone Depleting Substances Bank Management
- Jeff Cohen, Senior Vice President of Science and Policy, EOS Climate
- Kevin Fay, President, Alcade & Fay
Decades ago, CFCs were identified as detrimental to the stratospheric ozone and are being effectively phased out by the Clean Air Act and the 1987 international treaty known as the Montreal Protocol. These chemicals are now also known to be greenhouse gases with a global warming potential of up to 11,000 times as strong as carbon dioxide. Unfortunately, millions of products such as refrigerators, air conditioners, fire extinguishers and aerosol cans that contain CFCs are still in use around the world and are nearing the end of their usable lives. The next 10-20 years present a unique one-time opportunity to prevent emissions from these products as they are retired and therefore mitigate ozone damage and global climate change.
This briefing is free and open to the public. No RSVP required. For more information, contact Amy Sauer at (202) 662-1892 or email@example.com.
The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) and Clean Air-Cool Planet, in conjunction with the Royal Norwegian Embassy, invite you to a breakfast briefing to learn about the climate change impacts seen today in the Arctic. Climate change continues to grow as an issue of global concern, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions is a top priority for the Obama administration. Major international climate negotiations will take place in Copenhagen in December and a debate on comprehensive climate legislation is anticipated in the U.S. Senate this fall. These policy discussions come against a backdrop of rapid and continuing warming of climate in the Arctic as reflected by the shrinkage of the extent and thickness of Arctic sea ice, and melting of glaciers and permafrost. At this briefing, top scientists from Norway and the United States will discuss the latest research in this vulnerable region and its implications. Speakers for this event include:
- Nalan Koc, Director, Center for Ice, Climate and Ecosystems (ICE), Norwegian Polar Institute
- Eugenie Euskirchen, Research Assistant Professor, Institute of Arctic Biology, University of Alaska Fairbanks
- Bob Corell, Chair, The Climate Action Initiative; Senior Advisor, Global Environment & Technology Foundation (GETF)
If current greenhouse gas emission trends continue, impacts are expected to become even more visible and intense. Reductions in carbon dioxide, methane and other greenhouse gases should serve as the backbone of the global effort to avoid the vast consequences of an even warmer world.
This briefing is free and open to the public. Breakfast will be served. No RSVP required. For more information, contact Laura Parsons at (202) 662-1884 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Farmers and those in the agriculture economy have a lot to lose if the trends in billion-dollar weather disasters continue – particularly when it comes to drought and water shortages, as recent news indicates. “Central and South Texas are in the midst of an epic drought that has sapped soils of their moisture, dried up stock ponds and turned cornfields from green to beige.” California’s “Central Valley farmers will receive an additional 100,000 acre-feet as part of a water loan to deal with the three-year drought plaguing the state.” As the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee begins hearing testimony this week on climate change legislation, “Billion Dollar U.S. Weather Disasters” – a catalog of 90 costly weather-related disasters dating back to 1980 assembled by the National Climatic Data Center – is a good place to start when considering the costs of inaction on global warming:
- In 2007, a severe drought with extreme heat across the Great Plains and the East brought some $5 billion in damages and costs. Wildfires in the West that same year cost more than $1 billion.
- In 2006, widespread drought affected the Great Plains, the south, and the far west, costing about $6 billion.
- In 2002, a broad drought cost $10 billion, affecting large parts of 30 states from the West to the Great Plains and much of the East. Western wildfires associated with the drought cost $2 billion.
- In 2000, a drought and heat wave centered on the south central and southeastern United States caused 140 deaths and cost $4 billion.
- In 1999, An eastern drought and heat wave brought “extensive agricultural losses” of more than $1 billion and cost 502 lives. *In 1998, “Very severe losses to agriculture and related industries” accompanied a drought affecting the central and eastern U.S. with estimated costs of $40 billion and 5,000 to 10,000 deaths.
The House’s narrow approval of the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 on June 26 came only after House leaders satisfied some of the concerns of farm state lawmakers. Senators, too, will be sensitive to those interests, so it is critical they understand some of the stakes for agriculture if Congress fails to pass comprehensive clean-energy jobs and climate legislation.
Drought and changes in water supply will be one of the main challenges. Over the last half century, the recently released government report “Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States” says, droughts associated with rising temperatures have become more frequent in much of the Southeast and Western regions of the country. That trend is expected to continue. “In the future, droughts are likely to become more frequent and severe,” particularly in the Southwest, according to the report.
Water shortages will likely affect a whole range of critical economic sectors, from limiting electricity production by nuclear and coal-fired power plants that have high water demands to increasing shipping costs on the Great Lakes and Mississippi River – as happened in 1988 when a drought stranded 4,000 barges on America’s most important commercial waterway. Drier conditions in the West will also increase the extent and cost of wildfires, which have already soared in the last decade.
These events and their impacts are not abstractions. They are costly, disruptive, and affect millions of Americans, including many who make their living raising food and livestock. Few lobbyists for these interests will mention these costly impacts to our already challenged rural economies.
Senators have a responsibility to protect farmers from more and worse droughts even if the farmers’ hired guns won’t.
From the Wonk Room.
“House Democrats filed a 1,201-page energy package late Monday night,” the latest version of the Waxman-Markey American Clean Energy and Security Act (H.R. 2454), “and said they are confident that they will resolve all outstanding issues in time for a vote Friday.”
The Charleston Gazette reports: “Coal mining costs Appalachians five times more in early deaths as the industry provides to the region in jobs, taxes and other economic benefits, according to a groundbreaking new study co-authored by a West Virginia University researcher.”
“Switzerland’s glaciers shrank by 12 percent over the past decade, melting at their fastest rate due to rising temperatures and lighter snowfalls, a study by the Swiss university ETH showed Monday.”
From the Wonk Room.
Global warming “could lead to the greatest human migration in history” uprooting between 200 million and 700 million people by 2050, according to the International Organization for Migration.
“New green jobs sprouted faster than the overall workforce expanded across the nation from 1998 to 2007,”according to a study released Wednesday by the Pew Charitable Trusts,” and “California led the nation in all categories measured.”
The Obama administration “plans to announce Thursday a proposal to eliminate the expedited reviews that have made it easier for mining companies to get approval” for mining “the Appalachians by blasting off mountaintops and discarding the rubble in stream valleys.”
From the Wonk Room.
Global warming has “virtually wiped out” the most complex Caribbean coral reefs, “compromising their role as a nursery for fish stocks and a buffer against tropical storms,” a new study finds.
“Badly outnumbered and months behind in the debate on energy and climate change, House Republicans plan to introduce an energy bill” drafted by global warming denier Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) today, “setting a goal of building 100 reactors over the next 20 years.”
“China is planning a vast increase in its use of wind and solar power over the next decade and believes” it can achieve 20 percent renewable power by 2020,” even as the U.S. renewable standard in clean energy legislation has been whittled down to less than 15 percent by 2020.
The New York Times reports that “cows at 15 farms across Vermont have had their grain feed adjusted to include more plants” instead of corn and soy, reducing their enteric methane emissions (burps) by 18 percent, without any loss in milk production.
“President Obama may attend world climate talks in Copenhagen this December, marking the first visit to the annual U.N. conference by a sitting U.S. president since George H.W. Bush’s 1992 trip to Rio de Janeiro,” according to House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD).
The Washington Post finds that “corporate lobbyists have won billions of dollars of subsidies in the Waxman-Markey green economy legislation, including $500 billion for electric utilities and $12 billion for the auto industry.
Putting the Waxman-Markey climate and energy bill “on a fast-track” for passage, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi “issued an ultimatum to her committee chairmen: move climate change legislation by June 19 or risk losing jurisdiction over the bill.”
“Stephen Ward, chief of staff for Senate Energy Committee Chairman Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M, said Wednesday that lawmakers fear a ratepayer backlash” if carbon pollution is capped, telling “a room full of alternative-energy financiers at the Lazard Capital Markets Alternative Energy Investor Summit” that he foresees “a more modest bill” than Waxman-Markey coming from the Senate.
Researchers have discovered that the Phragmites “super weed” emits toxic chemicals to kill competitors, and “the poison becomes even more toxic” because of global warming’s effect on ultraviolet radiation.