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An Inconvenient Truth Dan Miller Managing Director The Roda Group

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1 An Inconvenient Truth Dan Miller Managing Director The Roda Group

2 An Inconvenient Truth Dan Miller Managing Director The Roda Group A Really

3 Inspired by a talk at TED 2008 by Kevin J. Surace CEO Serious Materials

4 UN IPCC Policy makers and the public rely on information from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change The latest (2007) IPCC reports show that climate change will cause dire impacts on humanity But because of time constraints, political influence, and consensus requirements, the IPCC reports reflect a best- case analysis of climate change We will consider the expected case And show that the IPCC models are too conservative

5 Bell Curve of Possible Outcomes IPCC Biblical Game Over

6 “Black Swan” Rare event beyond the realm of normal expectations Usually hard to predict Large impact – changes everything Usually “predicted” in hindsight Examples: Transistor, 9-11, Internet, Global Warming

7 “Black Swan” Time Turkey’s Confidence Surprise! 0

8 Models IPCC Discontinuous

9 Discontinuities are common throughout nature H 2 O 31F 32F 33F Liquid Solid

10 Actual Arctic Melt vs IPCC Models

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12 IPCC Climate Model

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14 MIT Temperature Study  Danger 2009 MIT Study: 95% chance that “Business-as-usual” temperature increase will exceed 3.5ºC (6.3ºF) in 2095

15 MIT Temperature Study  Danger and a 50% chance that temperature will exceed 5ºC (9ºF)!

16 MIT Temperature Study

17 Temperature Impact Analogy +2°C 20 mph

18 Temperature Impact Analogy +4°C 40 mph

19 Temperature Impact Analogy +6°C 60 mph

20 Greenland Ice Now losing ~300 Gigatons of ice every year (~300 km 3 ) Rate of loss is accelerating If all of Greenland collapses: Oceans rise 20+ feet If all ice sheets collapse: Oceans rise 280 feet IPCC Models do not consider ice sheet collapse – IPCC: ~2 foot rise by 2100 – Jim Hansen, NASA Climate Scientist: “Certain” it will be 6+ feet Source: NASA

21 12,000 years old 100 square miles, 650 feet thick Models said would last 10,000 years 2002: Broke up in 3 days Was a cork holding back land-based ice Models were wrong Larson-B Ice Shelf Antarctica

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23 Pine Island & Thwaites Glaciers Antarctica In place for 20 million years Now melting & thinning at record pace 1995: 70M acre feet/year 2006: 220M acre feet/year If they collapse: Sea rises 6 feet and speeds collapse of West Antarctic Ice Sheet NASA: Weak underbelly in recent radar images British Antarctic Survey: “Thwaites in danger of imminent collapse” No collapse models exist in IPCC, so just model slow melt over time In place for 20 million years Now melting & thinning at record pace 1995: 70M acre feet/year 2006: 220M acre feet/year If they collapse: Sea rises 6 feet and speeds collapse of West Antarctic Ice Sheet NASA: Weak underbelly in recent radar images British Antarctic Survey: “Thwaites in danger of imminent collapse” No collapse models exist in IPCC, so just model slow melt over time

24 West Antarctic Ice Sheet Thwaites is the cork holding it back If West Antarctic sheet collapses, sea rise is another 18 feet IPCC Models: None Hansen: “Implausible that the West Antarctic ice sheet could survive this century” under business as usual

25 Oceans Will Rise Based on Actual Historical Data – Not Models CO 2 PPM FEET

26 North America 85 Million Years Ago

27 Amazon Rains…or Not? Warming shifts rain away from Amazon Warming shifts rain away from Amazon Multiple droughts taking their toll Multiple droughts taking their toll 3-5 years of drought kills most trees 3-5 years of drought kills most trees – Releases CO 2 which causes more warming IPCC Models: Not considered in base models IPCC Models: Not considered in base models

28 Permafrost Stores methane in Siberia and other Arctic regions Melting now and already releasing 50M tons per year – Equivalent to 1B Tons of CO 2 – Accelerating since avg. temp 32°F now – Entire region on verge of collapse Contains more equivalent CO 2 than the entire atmosphere! This is a near-term tipping point – Will overwhelm human actions to reduce CO 2 emissions IPCC Models: Assumes no collapse

29 Methane Release from Lake

30 Our Oceans  Since 1850 absorbed 130B tons CO 2 from humans  Getting warmer and more acidic so will absorb less CO 2 in the future  More CO 2 changes/reduces organisms  They die, resulting in reduction in ocean CO 2 sink  Eventually, ocean could become a source of CO 2  IPCC Models: Not included

31 A Global Time Bomb Methane Clathrates (frozen) at ocean floor Methane Clathrates (frozen) at ocean floor Massive amounts Massive amounts Will be released if ocean temperatures rise Will be released if ocean temperatures rise This happened in the past, including 55M years ago This happened in the past, including 55M years ago – Global temp rose 5 to 9C. – Mass extinctions IPCC Models: Not included IPCC Models: Not included

32 Other Dangers: All Already Happening Reduction of ocean’s ability to absorb CO 2 Collapse of forests / increased wild fires Spread of deserts Mega-droughts Mass extinctions More extreme weather Reduction in global food production

33 Potential Impacts Wars over resources Abandonment of many major cities Massive shortages of food and water Collapse of economies Runaway greenhouse effect: Venus Syndrome

34 Choices

35 To Act or Not to Act: 4 Outcomes No Climate Change Yes Climate Change We Act We Do NOT Act  Waste Money  Invent new technology  Reduce reliance on oil  Spend Money  Save 1B Lives  Invent new technology  Reduce reliance on oil  Life goes on  Billions die  Large wars  Horrible famine and drought  End of world as we know it  Total economic collapse Concept from:Greg Craven

36 IPCC Estimated Costs A) Mitigation now: Reduce GDP by 0.6% to 3% -or- B) Do Nothing: Total Economic Collapse ??? $  $$  $ $  0$  0

37 Why Don’t We Act? Failure of the “Risk Thermostat” We respond strongest to threats that are: Climate Change is: VisibleInvisible With historical precedentUnprecedented ImmediateDrawn out With simple causalityWith complex causality Caused by another “tribe”Caused by all of us Have direct personal impactsUnpredictable & indirect impacts

38 Denial Strategies Displaced commitment“I protect the environment in other ways” Condemn the accuser“You have no right to challenge me” Denial of responsibility“I am not the main cause of this problem” Rejection of blame“I have done nothing wrong” Ignorance“I didn’t know” Powerlessness“I can’t make any difference” Fabricated constraints“There are too many impediments” After the flood“Society is corrupt” Comfort“It’s too hard for me to change my behavior”

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41 Risks to Your Business Decline in demand for carbon-intensive products and services Climate change impacts on facilities, employees, suppliers, and customers – Extreme weather, drought, pandemic, war, sea level rise Disruption of “optimized” systems – Watch out for “Just-in-time” and “global supply chain” – Build robustness into every process and product There will be many unforeseen impacts – Must plan for the unexpected

42 What to Do?

43 What Can You Do? Ask your children for forgiveness Buy a fuel-efficient car Eat less beef Change your light bulbs, wear a sweater, etc. Talk to your family, friends, and colleagues Get your company to “Go Green” Talk to your elected leaders

44 What Can Countries Do? Implement a Cap & Trade system or tax for CO 2 Mandatory energy efficiency standards Ban new coal-fired power plants Quickly Phase out existing coal-fired plants Eliminate subsidies for fossil fuels Give subsidies & incentives for clean energy Increase energy/climate research spending 100x

45 What Can Countries Do? (Cont.) Phase out beef Prepare for extreme weather, drought, global instability, agriculture impacts, sea level rise Research geo-engineering remedies Develop 3rd and 4th generation nuclear plants Support global family planning Support & sign an aggressive treaty in Mexico City in 2010 (Copenhagen follow-on)

46 Geo-Engineering Intentional planet-wide changes meant to mitigate impacts of global warming Probably our only hope because, at this point, reducing emissions alone won’t be enough – But we still need to dramatically reduce emissions! Like chemotherapy, many geo-engineering solutions have bad side-effects

47 Geo-Engineering Examples

48 Block Sunlight Put smoke in the upper atmosphere or use ships to create low-level clouds – Stop the permafrost and Greenland from melting

49 Put Iron in the Ocean Grows algae, which eat CO 2 then die and sink to bottom

50 Turn Plants into Biochar Turns into solid carbon instead of CO 2 Put back on ground... helps plants grow

51 Reforest the Planet

52 Build Large Scale Carbon Capture and Storage Systems Suck CO 2 directly out of the air & pump it underground

53 Some Good News We can still avoid the worst effects of climate change – But must act now – Need to phase out coal plants in 10 to 20 years and keep tar sands and oil shale in the ground – Move back to 350 ppm (from 387 now) Transitioning to a low-carbon world is the biggest economic opportunity ever!

54 Further Reading The Weather Makers by Tim Flannery With Speed and Violence by Fred Pearce Six Degrees by Mark Lynas Storms of Our Grandchildren: The Truth About the Coming Climate Catastrophe and Our Last Chance to Save Humanity by James Hansen (coming Dec. 8)

55 For More Information Please visit:

56 Q & A

57 Please think Dan Miller

58 “They go on in strange paradox, decided only to be undecided, resolved to be irresolute, adamant for drift, solid for fluidity, all-powerful to be impotent… Owing to past neglect, in the face of the plainest warnings, we have entered upon a period of danger. The era of procrastination, of half measures, of soothing and baffling expedience of delays, is coming to its close. In its place we are entering a period of consequences…. We cannot avoid this period, we are in it now…” - Winston Churchill, November 12, 1936


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