Presentation on theme: "Climate Change. The Yale Project on Climate Change Communication 63 percent of Americans believe that climate change is occurring, though many do not."— Presentation transcript:
The Yale Project on Climate Change Communication 63 percent of Americans believe that climate change is occurring, though many do not understand why. 66 percent correctly understand that the greenhouse gas effect refers to “gases in the atmosphere that trap heat.” 45 percent understand that carbon dioxide traps heat from the earth’s surface. 25 percent have heard of coral bleaching or ocean acidification.
Respondents also recognized their own limited understanding of the issues. 10 percent say they are “very well informed” about climate change, and 75 percent say they would like to know more. 75 percent say that schools should teach our children about climate change, and 68 percent would welcome a national program to teach Americans about the issue.
Ethical Dilemma? The most vulnerable and most at risk from climate change are least responsible for it!
Should all countries work to reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, even those who clearly need to emit more to develop? If yes, should all countries work to reduce their GHG emissions equally?
Climate Change Refugees Indonesia: Roughly 85 percent of population of about 300 million people lives within just a few miles of the coast. Bangladesh: A country of 160 million people living essentially at sea level.
Dietz et al. 2009 A 20 percent emissions reduction can be achieved in the US household sector within 10 years through some well- targeted policies aimed at changing behaviors. That’s slightly larger than the total national emissions of France and greater than cutting to zero all emissions in the United States from the pollution-intensive sectors of petroleum refining and iron, steel, and aluminum manufacturing.
“Choosing” the Automobile… How do we (society, government, taxpayers) incentivize “choosing” the car over other modes of transportation?
The car’s impact on public, community and environmental health? Social capital Community severance Habitat fragmentation Obesity Disability-adjusted life years (DALYs)
Fundamental Law of Highway Congestion New roads met with a proportional increase in driving ~ The American Road and Transportation Builders Association : adding highway capacity is key to helping to reduce traffic congestion. ~ The American Public Transit Association: without new investment in public transit, highways will become so congested that they will no longer work. “Our results do not support either of these claims.” (Duranton and Turner, 2009)
Peak Car Car use has either flattened out or declined in high-income countries. Generation Y (aka Millennials)
In 2009, China became the world’s number one consumer of energy. While the country consumes more energy in absolute terms, it comes nowhere close to outconsuming the United States on a per capita basis. More than four times the population of the United States
Maximum power consumed globally at any given moment: roughly 12.5 terawatts (TW). By 2030: 16.9 TW If planet were powered entirely by wind, solar, geothermal, tidal, and hydro power something interesting occurs…. Global power consumption would presently be only 11.5 TW.
If we invest heavily in wind power won’t world be blanketed with windmills? Footprint of the 3.8 million turbines needed to supply over half of the total future global energy demand is less than 50 square kilometers. Roughly half the size of Denver! Stick with fossil fuels, demand by 2030 will rise further than with renewables, which require some 13,000 new coal plants (and additional mining).
Wind Doesn’t Blow All the Time Smart mix of renewable energy sources will ensure something is always blowing, shinning, turning, etc. Coal plants are not online all the time either. –Average US coal plant offline 12.5 percent of the year for scheduled and unscheduled maintenance –Newest-generation wind turbines: 2 percent on land and 4 percent at sea –Photovoltaic systems: about 2 percent of the year
Clean Coal According to industry-sponsored American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, “Clean coal technology refers to technologies that improve the environmental performance of coal-based electricity plants. These technologies include equipment that increases the operational efficiency of power plants, as well as technologies that reduce emissions.”