Convincing the Climate Change Skeptics

Almost any scientist looking at a new idea views it with deep skepticism and doubts it, and that skepticism is only overcome by a consistent preponderance of evidence that keeps supporting the idea that that might be important – that global climate change driven by humans might actually be occurring. As that evidence has been accumulated, skeptic after skeptic among the scientists have decided, "Well, I'd better pay more attention to this." The physics of this is much more well understood. The models that incorporate all of our known aspects of physics and atmospheric chemistry and and climatology and so on, all predict that what we're doing is going to lead to climate change. All these bits of evidence keep falling into place. They all keep saying, "Gee, we'd better pay more attention to this global climate change idea," because when we look at some data that maybe would have rejected it, it doesn't. It supports that idea. I guess what I would say is that the idea is so real now.

There have been so many attempts to test it, so many attempts to reject the idea that we might be causing climate change which have not been successful, which keep supporting that hypothesis. I think it is now incumbent upon us to take it seriously and to do things to help slow the rate of climate change and hopefully stop it. If we find out in the long-term that climate change is not going to happen, we won't have done much to harm ourselves. But if we don't act now, we could have a runaway climate change that could basically greatly decrease the livability of the earth. The science is now solid enough that any reasonable person examining the scientific evidence would decide, "We have to pay attention to it. It's time to have some action.".

7 CRAZY Recent Breakthroughs in SCIENCE in 2017

For all those celebrity deaths and insane political shenanigans, 2016 actually gave us some pretty weird scientific developments too. From batteries that run on pee through to the world’s first three parent baby, it was a pretty nutso year. But if January’s developments are anything to go by then 2017 is gonna be even weirder, because in the past month we’ve seen a human pig hybrid, a skin printing machine and the potential discovery of a material theorised over a hundred years ago. This is is our list of seven crazy recent scientific breakthroughs. Number 7: Skin on Demand Making your own human skin suit is tough work these days, what with all the DNA to clear up, the funny looks at the dry cleaners, not to mention the kerfuffle in constructing a watertight alibi to fool the Feds. But thanks to a group of Spanish scientists this problem no longer exists, as they’ve developed the world’s first 3D bioprinter capable of producing fully-functional human skin.

This printer was the result of collaboration between the University Carlos the Third de Madrid and the less flamboyantly named BioDan Group who specialise in regenerative medicines. Their material mimics the structure of skin using a layer of collagen-producing fibroblasts, and it’s so close to the real thing it can be used in a wide range of fields, such as testing cosmetics, creating android epidermis, covering human skin loss, and of course the creation of a snappy little waistcoat for daddy. Number 6: Pig Man In the real-life sequel to Babe nobody wanted or asked for, researchers at California’s Salk Institute announced in late January the successful creation of a human-pig hybrid in the laboratory. Now I’m not sure making a creature that’s addicted to eating strips of its own buttocks is something I’d refer to as a success, but that’s because Johnny Cynical over here doesn’t understand the ramifications of this amazing development. The point of creating a human-pig chimera wasn’t to exhibit it in some circus freak-show; it was to provide a potential new source of human organs for transplant. In this experiment, pig embryos were injected with human cells to see if they could survive, and now that we know they can, we think it may eventually be possible to grow human organs inside animals to make up the organ donor shortfall.

Wow, meat, milk, skin and now organs? Thanks animals, you do a lot for us. Those damn vegetables have got a lot of catching up to do, haven’t you Mr Aubergine. Number 5: A Fitting End To Fillings I hate going to the dentist, which is why I’ve pulled out all of my own teeth and now I pay strangers to chew my food for me. But if you still own all your original chompers then a trip to the mouth doctor may soon be a lot less painful, thanks to a strange discovery made just a few weeks back. Researchers at King’s College London found that a drug used to help treat Alzheimers has a nifty little side effect, namely, it can encourage your teeth to repair themselves. Your teeth already do this on their own using dentine, but they don’t produce enough to fill large holes or cracks. However, with a kick up the pants from a drug called Tideglusib an enzyme which prevents dentine formation is turned off, and damage can be repaired naturally within as little as six weeks. I mean, that sounds great and all, but it’s not as much fun as paying a guy down the bus station to spit up food in your mouth like a little baby bird. Number 4: A New Type of Life Ever wonder why the movie Gattaca was called Gattaca? It’s because the letters G, T, A and C are the initials of the four natural bases, Guanine, Thymine, Cytosine and Adenine.

These pair up to form the base pairs of the DNA ladder, and different arrangements of these pairs create different lifeforms when arranged together. Everything from bacteria and baboons through to people and Penelope Cruz – who is not a person, she is a Goddess – everything is based on just four natural bases; until some crazy scientists decided to add two more. On 23rd January 2017, Researchers at The Scripps Research Institute announced the creation of an organism which held two artificial bases within its genetic code, making it the world’s first semi-synthetic organism. Such a development has many possible applications, including the creation of organisms tailored to fight certain diseases. But right now I’m more worried about the title of that movie. Gaxyttaxcy? Xygattyaxca? It’s like they didn’t even think about the ramifications of what they were doing to Ethan Hawke’s finest work? Number 3: An End to Old Age? In another piece of scientific razzle dazzle from the guys and girls at the Scripps Research Institute, we may have just made one of the key discoveries in the fight against cancer and aging.

In Mid-January a protein was identified which is responsible for determining the length of your telomeres, which is important, as this in turn dictates how quickly your cells age and whether they’re likely to mutate into cancer. Telomeres are like your cell’s little clocks, and this protein named TZAP could be seen as some form of battery, determining how long the clock runs for. If we can stretch your telomeres we may be able to delay the aging process, but if they’re unnaturally long they then begin to pose an increased cancer risk. It’s like riding a see saw with whirring blades above and a pit of sex-raptors beneath you – you wanna aim for somewhere in the middle. Thankfully, TZAP naturally prevents your telomeres growing too much by trimming them to keep them nice and short, and a further understanding of how they do this could help us get rid of tumours and wrinkles all at once.

Awesome, those are two of the top three things I hate the most…along with sex-raptors of course. Number 2: Hot Damn Did you know that the Red Hot Chili Peppers can reduce your chances of death? Unfortunately we’re talking about the food and not those delightful LA funk-monkeys, but that’s not gonna stop me using a bazillion song-title puns in this entry. So how does it work? Tell me baby. Well if you listen to me for One Hot Minute I will. Researchers at the Larner College of Medicine in Vermont used data taken from 16,000 Americans over 23 years, and they discovered that those who Dosed their food with spicy chilies enjoyed a 13% reduction in mortality rates from heart disease and stroke. Obviously you Can’t Stop death forever, because passing over to the Otherside is inevitable. But even if you survive a stroke you can be left in a seriously debilitating condition, as each one leaves Scar Tissue on your brain which can trigger seizures, leaving your life’s Fortune Faded. So the knowledge that we can reduce strokes and heart attacks is clearly no Minor Thing.

By The Way, this revelation is old news to some, as historically, many people Around The World already believed that spices contains mystical healing properties. But this is the first time it’s been confirmed scientifically. And do you know who’s excited about this the most? Me and my me and my me and my me and my me and my friends. We love spicy food. Number 1: Metallic hydrogen The existence of a metallic form of hydrogen was first theorised in 1935 by Eugene Wigner and Hillard Bell Huntington, with the knowledge that if the lightest of all elements could be turned into a metal it would prove to be a revolutionary breakthrough for technology. Super-efficient vehicles, improved electricity grids, stupidly fast computers and even space-faring craft are just some of the possible applications for metallic hydrogen, so you can understand why the scientific community collectively soiled itself on January 27th 2017, when one group of Harvard scientists claim they’d managed to create some.

Their experiment used two diamonds to crush liquid hydrogen at a temperature far below freezing point, because the pressure needed to create this substance is greater than you’d find at the centre of the Earth. The metallic hydrogen is still stuck between the two diamonds at the time of writing, as it must be released gradually to see if it can exist in a stable form at room temperature, so it remains to be seen whether this potentially ground-breaking material actually can be used with purpose. And furthermore, some physicists doubt whether the results of this experiment even prove anything at all, saying that further evidence needs to be submitted to give this discovery credence. But I guess we’ll find out soon enough if those naughty boys are telling porky pies or not. So that’s our list, but if you’re after more science-based intrigue of a different flavour, why not check out our recent video on the seven most devastating things mankind could discover, because these are the kind of breakthroughs you better hope we never make in our lifetimes.

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How Your Phone Will Stop Climate Change (& Save The World) | Ian Monroe | TEDxHonolulu

What’s the most important thing that you do with your phone? Calls? Email? Facebook? Getting a higher score on Candy Crush? You know who you are. What if you could do something even more important? Like solve some of the world’s biggest problems. And if you could solve any of the world’s biggest problems, what would it be? For me, the problem that I’d solve is climate change. Why? Well, for starters, I’m a scientist at Stanford University and I’m compelled by the overwhelming amount of scientific evidence that says our current fossil fuel use is endangering every ecosystem and the existence of human civilization as we know it. But the deeper reason that I care about climate change is actually much more personal. I grew up on a small farm in California and I’ve seen the seasons become unpredictable first-hand. Record floods and record droughts have become the new normal. My family had seen summer heat so intense that it split ancient oak trees.

And we’ve seen our neighbors devastated by hundreds of wildfires. We’ve also lived through our own home burning to the ground, taking the lives of two fantastic dogs, a wonderful cat, and five generations of history with it. So I care about climate change because I love my family and I want to protect my home. And I care about climate change because there are literally billions of other homes and lives in danger. I’ve had the extraordinary opportunity to work around the world for 15 years, and I’ve made many great friends along the way. Friends, whose homes, lives, and livelihoods, are often in even greater danger than most of us here, because of the interconnections between climate, poverty, hunger, disease, crime, and violence. So how can we solve climate change? Well, for starters, for the rest of the world to live and thrive, the fossil fuel industry must die. And we also need to stop unsustainable manufacturing in food production.

These are monumental challenges to be sure, but the good news is we already have all the clean energy technologies and sustainability technologies we need to solve the problem. What’s missing is public engagement that’s sufficient to put these solutions in actions fast enough to avoid disaster. So the biggest missing piece of our climate puzzle is really you. And by you, I mean all of us, myself included. We like to blame corporations and governments on climate inaction. But their decisions all trace back to our votes, our lifestyle choices, and how we spend and invest our money. So the climate problem is really our problem. Most of us already know that climate change is a huge problem, but the big challenge is bridging the gap between how much we say we care about climate change and actually what we do on an everyday basis.

To do this, we need tools that put information and incentives in the right places to change our everyday actions. Fortunately, you guys already have an amazing device that can do this. Which brings me back to where I began. That’s right. You call this a phone, but it’s really a hyper-connected super computer that it can inform all your decisions and send advice to you to change, and connect you to pretty much anyone else anywhere in the world. I’m now working with an extraordinary team of scientists and engineers to launch a service that connects the power of this amazing device as a tool to solve climate change. We’ve launched a service called OROECO that makes it fun, easy, and rewarding for everyone to be part of a collective climate solution. We started with the goal to create the world’s most powerful carbon footprint calculator. Then we’ve added personalized tips for what you can do to improve your climate footprint while saving money at the same time.

And to encourage us all to move from saying we care about climate to actually doing something about it, we’ve added in points, prizes, and real-world rewards to swing the deal. OROECO’s climate number crunching has led us to some surprising conclusions. For one, we found that many people who really say they care about climate change, actually have a personal carbon footprint that’s substantially worse than average. This is definitely true for myself. And the reason for this is that a lot of us who care about climate change also tend to fly. We want be multicultural, and go around the world, and connect with our families, too. And just one cross-country flight could easily outweigh everything else we’re doing to be more sustainable.

Another surprise from many OROECO users is how big the carbon footprint is from our dietary choices – what we eat. And that is actually matters a whole lot more for climate change to eat less red meat than it matters to eat everything local or everything organic. Because it’s not just how we spend our money but also how we invest our money that makes a difference. We’ve started to use OROECO’s data to create low carbon investment products. And here we found an even bigger, and quite frankly, much better surprise. Investment funds that are fully divested from fossil fuels and only invested in climate leaders and other industries actually perform better. They make more money than conventional investment funds. We’re now working to launch this strategy into the market, which we think can mainstream low carbon investing, and really dispel this myth that we have that dirty energy companies are necessary for a healthy investment portfolio.

And of course, there are many of other great services out there, beyond OROECO that help us align our personal values with our everyday actions. There’s GoodGuide which makes it easy to see the sustainability footprint of virtually everything we can buy at the supermarket. There’s Buycott and BuyPartisan, which show us how our spending decisions connect to money and politics. There’s Slavery Footprint which shows us sobering information about how our lifestyle choices are connected to forced labor, modern day slavery. And of course, there is Fitbit and MyFitnessPal apps that are encouraging us all to lead healthier, happier lives. What these apps all have in common is they’re taking previously invisible information about our impacts, and making it both visible and actionable. And it’s not just about information. It’s about motivation. Our phones can be a tireless coach that’s always with us, giving us just the right information and incentives, and the motivation to act and change your everyday actions.

Also, when apps like OROECO connect up to services that connect us socially so we can compare with our friends and family in our social networks, they tap into something much more fundamental. We, as humans, one of the most powerful motivating forces we have is to earn respect from people we care about. And we all like to see that we’re doing at least as well as average. But of course, this is never actually possible for all of us to always be better than average. But that’s actually a good thing. Because when an app shows us we’re not actually better than average, it encourage us to improve. And when enough of us consistently try to be better than average, then the average improves creating a virtuous cycle of continuous improvement that benefits everyone. Last, but certainly not least, our phones can inspire us through the power of storytelling which is really what TED is all about. And we’ve already been talking about this today.

This is Chai Jing. She’s a Chinese journalist who just release a low-budget documentary on how air pollution is affecting her daughter’s health. Her story, thanks to the power of social networks and mobile apps, received over 200 million views in just 48 hours. That’s about one-third of China’s urban population in a weekend. Stories that are both inspirational and important can now race around the world at the pace of Twitter and Facebook, which is to say, at the speed of ‘like’. I care about climate change because of how it connects to my own story and my own loss. And I care about climate change because of how it connects to the stories of people and places I love around the world. I’m sure you all have your own climate stories to share stories that can inspire you and many others into action. And action is exactly what we need because climate change is a massive collective action problem that requires a collective action solution.

We now have the tool we need to act together. With this, we are empowered to reinvent our future and align it with our values. With this magic wand, we have the power to change our own lives, then spread that change to everyone around us; even changing companies and governments in the process. With this, we are no longer drops in a bucket but a connected ocean of potential. So how will you change the world? The power to shape the world that you want is now literally, in the palm of your hands. Use it with love, use it with passion, use it for a little bit more than Candy Crush. (Applause).

Do the Math – The Movie

Like most people, I'm not an activist by nature. There's really not that many people whose greatest desire it to go out and fight the system. My theory of change was I'll write my book, people will read it and they'll change. But that's not how change happens. So I've been kind of forced to go against my sense of who I am most comfortable being. It seems like it's the things that's required now and I think it's probably required that an awful lot of us doing things that are a little hard for us, make a little noise, be a little uncomfortable, push other people to be a little uncomfortable. This is really the fight of our time. It's official: 2012 was the hottest year in the United States since weather scientists started keeping records. 2012 was not only the warmest year on record, but also the second most extreme, featuring tornadoes, wild fires, a massive drought. Rising seas due to climate change. Heat trapping gases from burning oil, coal and gas.

10.9 billion dollars in profits, people look at this and say that's a world turned upside down. Listening to your testimony makes me even more convinced that we need to act to prevent cataclysmic climate change. BP cut corner after corner and now the whole gulf coast is paying the price. How can you justify the record profits you're making? Well our business is one of very large numbers. Okay, let's bring out Bill, he's an environmentalism and president and co-founder of 350.org. And my guest Bill McKibben, our nation's leading environmentalist. We started this thing called 350.org. We're going out and building the kind of political movement that will change things. We just announced this road show out across the country to really try take it at the fossil fuel industry. People are just lining up to try and get involved in this fight. Well, thank you all, thank you all so much for being here today. It is a great pleasure for me to get to be here tonight and one of the gifts for me of these last few months was getting, tiring as it was in a sense, to travel around the country. And one of the things that was great was just being reminded was what an incredibly beautiful place this is.

You know, we got to Denver and it was gorgeous but the air was full of smoke from fires still burning in December after the biggest fire season ever and we got through this gorgeous farmland, much of it still-60% of it still in a federally declared drought. But it's also worth just saying that it's a terrible thing to take a world this beautiful and, for the sake of outsized profits for a few people for a little while, lay it to waste. Tonight's the start of the last campaign I may really get to fight. Not 'cause I'm getting tired but because the planet's getting tired. In the world that we've built where our institutions aren't working the way they should, we have to do more than we should. That news doesn't depress me. In a sense it excites me, because I think we know what we need to do. I think we've peeled away the layers of the onion. We've got to the very heart of things.

As of tonight, we're taking on the fossil fuel industry directly. The moment has come where we have to take a real stance, we're reaching limits. The biggest limit that we're running into may be that we're running our of atmosphere into which to put the waste products of our society, particularly the carbon dioxide that is the ubiquitous biproduct of burning fossil fuels. You burn coal or oil or gas, you get CO2 and the atmosphere is now filling up with it. We know what the solutions for dealing with this trouble are, many of the technologies we need to get off fossil fuel and onto something else. The thing that is preventing us from doing it is the enormous political power wielded by those who have made and are making vast windfall profits off of fossil fuels. Well, there have been a lot of efforts by scientists to try to estimate whether we are living sustainably in the sense of whether we're consuming planetary resources at a rate that can be continued. The threat that this combination that climate change, water shortages, food shortages and rising energy prices is enormously troubling to anyone who's aware of the data and the way these issues could play out.

You can't keep increasing your economy infinitely on a finite planet. One of the things that humanity is facing is the need to dramatically reduce its carbon footprint over the next 40 years. And we're talking in the wealthy countries about 80 to 90% reductions. We're no longer at the point of trying to stop global warming. Too late for that. We're at the point of trying to keep it from becoming a complete and utter calamity. We shouldn't have to be here tonight. If the world worked in a kind of rational way, we shouldn't have to be here. 25 years ago our scientists started telling us about climate change. I played my small role in that by writing the first book about all this in 1989 for a general audience, a book called The End of Nature. If the world worked as it should, our leaders would have heeded those warning, gone to work, done the sensible things that at the time would have been enough to get us a long way to where we needed to go.

They didn't. And that's why we're in the fix we're in. This is the biggest emergency the human family has faced since it came out of the caves. There is nothing bigger. All these issues matter: immigration and health care and education. But this one is really about the physical change of the planet. We all have been saying we need to save the planet. But as I think about it, the planet's going to be around for some time to come. What's at stake now is civilization itself. Our most important climatologist, Jim Hansen, has his team at NASA do a study to figure out how much carbon in the atmosphere was too much. The paper they published may be the most important scientific paper of the millenium to date, said we now know enough to know how much is too much. Any value for carbon in the atmosphere greater than 350 parts per million is not compatible with the planet on which civilization developed and to which life on earth is adapted.

That's pretty strong language for scientists to use. Stronger still if you know that outside today, the atmosphere is 395 parts per million CO2. And rising at about 2 parts per million per year. Everything frozen on earth is melting. The great ice sheet of the arctic is reduced by more than half, the oceans are about 30% more acidic than they were 30 years ago because the chemistry of sea water changes as it absorbs carbon from the atmosphere. And because warm air holds more water vapor than cold, the atmosphere is about 5% wetter than it was 40 years ago. That's an astonishingly large change. There's more energy coming in and being absorbed by the earth than there is heat being radiated to space, which is exactly what we expected because as we add greenhouse gases to the atmosphere, it traps heat. Now we can measure that and that's the basis by which we can prove that the human made impacts on atmospheric composition are the primary cause of the climate change that we're observing. So let's get to work. We're calling this Do the Math and we're gonna do some math for a moment. Just three numbers, okay? I wrote about them in a piece last summer for Rolling Stone.

A piece that went oddly viral. It was the issue with Justin Bieber on the cover, but here's the strange thing: The next day I got a call from the editor saying, "Your piece has gotten ten times more likes on Facebook than Justin Bieber's." Some of that is doubtless the result of my sort of soulful stare, you know. But mostly it's because we managed to just kind of lay out this math in a very straight forward way that people needed to understand as we were going through what turned out to be the hottest year that America has ever experienced. Before we get to those three numbers, here's where we are so far: We've burned enough coal and gas and oil to raise the temperature of the earth one degree. What has that done? There was a day last September when the headline in the paper was "Half the Polar Ice Cap is missing." Literally. I mean if Neil Armstrong were up on the moon today, he'd look down and see half as much area of ice in the arctic. We've taken one of the largest physical features on earth and we have broken it. Shall we work through the numbers? There are three, and they're easy.

The first one's 2 degrees. That's how much the world has said it would be safe to let the planet warm. In political terms, it's the only thing that anybody's agreed to. Some of you may remember that climate summit in Copenhagen. There was only one number in the final two page voluntary accord that people signed. Only one number in it: 2 degrees. Every signatory pledged to make sure the temperature wouldn't rise about that. The EU, Japan, Russia, China, countries that make their money selling oil like the United Arab Emirates, the most conservative, recalcitrant, reluctant countries on earth. Even the United States. If the world officially believes anything about climate changes it's that 2 degrees is too much. Second number that scientists have calculated is how much carbon we can pour into the atmosphere and have a reasonable chance of staying below two degrees. They say about 565 more gigatons. A gigaton is a billion tons.

That's not a perfect chance, that's worse odds than Russian roulette, you know. Sounds like is should – it is a lot, 565 billions tons of CO2. The problem is we pour 30 billion tons a year now and it goes up 3% a year. Do the math and it's about 15 years before go past that threshold. So that's sobering news. But the scary number is the third number. The third number was the important one and the new one and it came from a team of financial analysts in the United Kingdom. And what they did was sit down with all the annual reports and SEC filings and things to figure out how much carbon the world's fossil fuel industry, how much they had already in their reserves and that number turned out to be 2795 gigatons worth of carbon. Five times as much as the most conservative governments on earth think would be safe to pour into the atmosphere. It's not even close. I mean, it's five times more.

Once you know that number, then you understand the essence of this problem. What the fossil fuel industry is doing is locking us into a future that we can't survive, that humanity cannot survive. And we know this because just at the end of 2012 we heard this from three different conservative sources simultaneously: The World Bank, The International Energy Agency, Price Waterhouse Cooper, hardly a hippy outfit. All told us that if we do nothing but more of the same, if we dig up those reserves, we are headed toward 4-6 degrees warming celsius. These numbers show, and I want to be absolutely clear here, these companies are a rogue force, they're outlaws. They're not outlaws against the laws of the state.

They get to write those for the most part. But they're outlaw against the laws of physics. If they carry out their business plan, the planet tanks. We have all the engineers and entrepreneurs we need. The thing that's hold us back above all else is the simple fact that the fossil fuel industry cheats. Alone among industries, they're allowed to pour out their waste for free. Nobody should be able to pollute for free. You can't, I can't. We can't walk out of here and go litter for free. If you do, you get a fine. If you run a small business, you can't just dump the garbage in the road, you've got to pay to have it hauled away or you get a fine. The only people who can pollute for free are these megapolluters when it comes to carbon: big oil, big coal. If you get a $25 fine for littering, you're going to pay $25 more than all of the industrial polluters have ever paid in 150 years for the carbon they've been dumping. That's how whack this whole thing is.

It's almost how we define civilization. You pick up after yourself unless you're the fossil fuel industry. Then you pour that carbon into the atmosphere for free and that is the advantage that keeps us from getting renewable energy at the pace that we need. We should internalize that externality. The only reason we haven't is because it would impair somewhat the record profitability of the fossil fuel industry and so they have battled at every turn to keep it from happening. These are rogue companies now. Once upon a time, they performed a useful social function. For a long time, the US's engine was fossil fuels like oil and coal to power trains, to power cars, to power industry. In the mid 1900's we realized there were consequences. If you look at industries like coal now, we just did a report with Harvard Medical School that showed that if they actually paid for what they're doing to us, what we're paying indirectly for that electricity, coal would cost anywhere from 3 to far more times their current cost.

They would be out of business and that is just, financially and morally, bankrupt. When a utility burns coal, it is the cheapest source of fuel, but they're not paying the full price. The externalities, the additional costs to society, to human health, to the environment, are not factored in as a cost of doing business. We subsidize the fossil fuel industries. We are paying them to continue to keep polluting and this means all kinds of things: it's tax breaks, it's loans, it's the fact that armies protect their pipelines and protect their trade routes. You're helping them stay on top and preventing their competitors like renewable fuels from competing. What we need is a level playing field. We could be using that public money, tax-payer money, to make the shift to green energy. Occasionally they will pretend to be seeing the light.

Ten years ago, BP announced that their initials now stand for Beyond Petroleum and they got a new logo and put some solar panels on some gas stations and they invested a tiny bit of money, a pittance in solar and wind research. Even that proved too much, three years ago they sold off those divisions and said that from now on they were going to concentrate on their core business. Which turned out to be basically wrecking the Gulf of Mexico. Why are they so fixated on hydrocarbons? Because these are the most profitable enterprises in human history. The top five oil companies last year made 137 billion dollars. That's 375 million dollars every day. That's a lot of money. They got 6.6 million dollars in federal tax breaks daily. They spent $440,000 a day lobbying congress.

Rex Tillerson, the head of Exxon, made $100,000 a day. Which, by the way, one of my favorite talking points is that climate scientists make up their findings because they're in it for the grant money, okay. The only problem that these companies have now is that the scientists are watching in real time while they pull off this heist and it's getting harder to deny. In fact, they're being to kind of admit what's going on. Last summer, for the very first time, the CEO of Exxon, Mr. Tillerson gave a speech in which he said, yes, it's true. Global warming exists. Clearly there's gonna be an impact so I'm not disputing that increasing CO2 emissions is going to have an impact. It'll have a warming impact. But since the only way to stop that would be to take a hit to the company's profitability, he immediately tried to change the subject.

It's an engineering problem and it has engineering solutions. Really? What kind of engineering solutions were you thinking? Changes to weather patterns that move crop production areas around, we'll adapt to that. Look, I mean all respect, but that's crazy talk. We can't move crop production areas around, okay. Crop production areas are what people in Vermont refer to as farms, okay. We already have farms every where that there is decent soil on earth. It is true that Exxon has done all it can to melt the tundra, but that does not mean that you can just move Iowa up there and start over again. There is no soil. If fossil fuel companies want to change, here's how we'd know they're serious: One, they'd need to stop lobbying in Washington. Two, they'd need to stop exploring for new hydrocarbons. The first rule of holes is that when you are in one, stop digging, okay.

And the third thing they'd need to do is go to work with the rest of us to figure out the plan where they turn themselves into energy companies, not fossil fuel companies and figure out with the rest of us how to keep 80% of those reserves underground. The thing that really does make this almost pathological is the fact that when we already have almost five times as much carbon as we can possibly burn, I mean Exxon alone: 100 million dollars a day exploring for new hydrocarbons. By this point we're scraping the bottom of the barrel. I mean we're in tar sands, we're doing shale oil, we're doing fracking, we're doing mountain top removal, we're doing deep sea drilling, we're taking apart the earth to look for the last bits of gas and oil and coal. I find that when I get depressed, the best antidote by far is action and I think that that's true for most people.

The problem with climate change is that it seems too big for any of us ourselves to take on. And ideed it is. It's only when we're working with other people, as many other people as possible, that we have any hope. So that's why I spend my time trying to build movements. I think it's the only chance we've got. Anybody can get involved. There's always stuff to be done and more of it all the time. That's what movements look like. We started 350.org in 2008 and when I say we I mean me and seven undergraduates at Middlebury College. We had the deep desire to try and do some global organizing about the first really global problem this planet's ever faced. And we spread out around the planet and for the next year or so we found people all over this earth who wanted to work with us. We asked them all to take one day and this was our first big day of action was in the fall of 2009. We said, Will you all join us for one day? Will you do something on that day to take this most important number, 350, and drive it into the information bloodstream of the planet? For the next 48 hours, pictures just poured in many a minute.

Before it was over, there'd been 5200 demonstrations in 181 countries. CNN called it the most widespread day of political activity in the planet's history. Cities across the globe have gathered today to rally for solutions to climate change. Locations around the globe. Hundreds of environment campaigners gathered in Edinborgh today. So we've gone on since then to do more of these big days of action. We work in every country but North Korea. We have had about 20,000 rallies or so. And we've gone on to do more direct things: spearhead the fight against the Keystone Pipeline, organize the largest civil disobedience action in thirty years. Now the high stakes battle over whether the Obama administration should approve a major oil pipeline bisecting the US. It would transfer tar sands from Alberta, Canada down to the Gulf of Mexico. The type of oil the pipeline would carry is far more toxic. Among the dirtiest of all fossil fuels.

This pipeline has proven to be very controversial. To the federal government to decide whether or not to give Keystone XL the green light. Tar sands is destructive in and of itself but it's also symbolic of a way of developing, a way of growing our economy that just can't be sustained. Right now a company called TransCanada has applied to build a new pipeline to speed more oil from Cushing to state-of-the-art refineries down in the Gulf Coast and today I'm directing my administration to cut through the red tape, break through the bureaucratic hurdles and make this project a priority. August was the beginning of the people's veto of this whole proposal. We will never give up until the very idea of Keystone XL is dead and buried. Tar sands are the turning point in our fossil fuel addiction. The fundamental fact is that as long as fossil fuels are the cheapest energy, they will continue to be used. The solution is to begin to put a price on carbon emissions. We the American people should not have to sacrifice our land and water to meet TransCanada's bottom line. We stand here right now because we are at our lunch counter moment for the twenty-first century.

President Obama, do the right thing. We are at a tipping point in America's history for this environmental movement. If you are going to be risking arrest, you're going to be lining up on this sidewalk. When I saw the acts of civil disobedience in front of the White House, people saying I will not let this Keystone pipeline be built, I won't let us be committed to an energy plan based on fossil fuels. You know the people who got arrested in front of the White House, those were not all people who were all self-identified as environmentalists. Those were farmers and ranchers, those were people from indigenous communities, those were business leaders, those were grandparents and moms and dads. We're really starting to see an expansion of the group of people that are fighting this fight, but we have a lot further to go on that. I've been forced to do things I didn't imagine I'd ever do: stand up on a stage in front of thousand of people, go to jail.

We're probably not going to be able to stop them all one pipeline, one mine at a time. We're also going to have to play, you know, offense. We think one thing the fossil fuel industry cares about is money so that's what we're going to go after. You want to take away our planet and our future? We're going to try and take away your money. We're going to try and tarnish your brand. This industry has behaved so recklessly that they should lose their social license, their veneer of respectability. We need these guys to be understood as those outlaws against the laws of physics. We need to take away some of their power and there's a lot of ways we're going to do it. One tool, the first tool, is divestment. We're going to ask or demand that institutions like colleges or churches sell their stock in these companies. The logic could not be simpler: If it's wrong to wreck the climate, it's wrong to profit from that wreckage.

That argument has worked in a big way exactly once in US history. There has been scattered violent incidence in the Athlone mixed race neighborhood. Authorities returned fire without warning. Organized, vocal and committed students urge the university to divest itself of all investments in South Africa. That's what happened during the fight against South African Apartheid. At 155 colleges and universities, people convinced their boards of trustees to sell their stock. And when Nelson Mandela got out of prison, one of his first trips was to the US and he didn't go first to the White House, he went to Berkley to say thank you to the University of California students who had forced the sale of 3 billion dollars worth of Apartheid tainted stock. Here's what we demand: One, no new investments in fossil fuel companies. Two, a firm pledge over the next five years that they will wind down their current positions.

It's not unreasonable. It's hard but it's not unreasonable. I'll give you a piece of news: The first college in the country to divest all its stock from fossil fuel companies was a college in Maine called Unity College with a 13 million dollar endowment. And none of that 13 million dollars at this point is in fossil fuels any place. Divestment really in one sense was a no brainer for us. When you look at other institutions and their struggle with whether or not to divest, it really boils down to one simple thing: willingness. The mayor in Seattle, he said, I spent the afternoon with my treasurer and we're figuring out how we're going to get the city's funds out of fossil fuel companies. Welcome everyone to our event tonight: Divesting from Fossil Fuels, a conversation with students from Barnard, Columbia, the New School, NYU and Hunter College. Students are asking for divestment. The fact that we have over 250 movements on different campusus around the country means that we have severely challenged that veneer of social respectability. They understand, like the religious denominations and cities that are also doing this, they understand what those numbers mean.

It's inconsistent with the reason these institutions exist for them to continue to invest in something that is dedicated to the destruction of civilization. We're asking the administration at NYU to divest the university endowment from the fossil fuel industry. We can re-invest in our antiquated infrastructure and make our buildings more energy efficient. People are always looking for this silver bullet, instead its the silver buckshot. How this campaign fits into the greater scheme of things is that this is just one of those ways in which we can take action. These are the kind of solutions that the university should be leading on and they should be saying, we're going to take the money that's piled up in our endowment that right now is either doing nothing or doing harm and we're going to take that money away from the problem makers and give it to the problem solvers. Once you know what's evil, now if you're ignorant you get a pass, but once you know what's evil, you have a moral responsibility to withdraw your energy from it.

We are participating in the destruction of our own world even if we don't want to because the fossil fuel industry is so intertwined in so many aspects in American life. They rely on our cooperation to continue what they're doing. But what if we said no? The divestment work is a piece of that and what it does is it has the ambition of transforming hundreds, thousands of institutions in the US to be allies rather than adversaries. We, as everyday people, have so much power. If you are a member of a church, you have the ability to work with your fellow congregants to make sure your church is not investing in fossil fuel companies. If you are a student on a college campus, not only do you have the opportunity, I think you have the responsibility to work with your fellow students to make sure that your institution of higher learning is not investing its endowment in the companies that are destroying your future and this planet. We have to send a message, a very clear message, to big oil, big energy that we are going to hold them liable and we are going to divest if they won't themselves being to change.

There is nothing, and I mean nothing, radical in what we are talking about here. All we're asking for when we talk about climate change is a planet that works the way that it did for the last 10,000 years, a planet that works the way the one we were born onto works. That's not a radical demand. That's, if you think about it, a conservative demand. Radicals work at oil companies. If you wake up in the morning to make your $100,000 a day, you're willing to alter the chemical composition of the atmosphere, then you're engaged in a more radical act than anyone who ever came before you. And our job is to figure out how to check that radicalism, how to bring it to heel, how to keep it from overwhelming everything good on this planet. And here's the good news, since I've been giving you lots of bad news, here's the good news: There's plenty we can do. The long-term solution to climate change is very clear.

We need to make the leap to renewable energy and we need to do it quickly, which will be hard. It will be the hardest thing we've done since gearing up to fight World War II or something but it's by no means impossible. When I feel a little overwhelmed with all the things we need to do, I go back and re-read the economic history of World War II. It was just a matter of months, you know, from the US automobile industry producing cars to tanks and planes and ships. It didn't take decades to restructure the US industrial economy. It didn't take years. It was done in a matter of months. And if we could do that now then certainly we can restructure the world energy economy over the next decade. And it's going to require some hard choices. It's going to require a real change in how we get our energy and how we move around. But the good news is that we have the solutions. You know, we have the ways.

We know what we need to do to get to a world where we're not buring as many fossil fuels. Why would we build a thousand mile pipeline taking almost a million barrels of oil from the most carbon intensive fuel source on the planet when wind energy is a whole lot cheaper and a whole lot cleaner? Why would be drill in the arctic when we know that solar power can meet our energy needs across the country? Why would be frack our countrysides and our watersheds when we know that energy efficiency would save more energy than natural gas can provide? I think that we're coming to that point now where extreme energy sources are so bad that the questions and these challenges are going to become easier and easier. Our whole economy is going to be dependent on how we respond to this crisis. Competition between countries will be between those who will be advanced in developing the technology and who will be selling it to others or those who stay back and don't seize the opportunity. We should never underestimate our ingenuity and resolve. If those people that say we cannot do anything about this do not know who we are, do not know what we can do.

I think this is the moment where we dig deep and say okay we are ready. The solutions are in front of us and no longer in good conscience can any of us, everyday citizens, elected officials, religious leaders, stand idly by. All the big problems that we have, they all have very local solutions and finding what those solutions are actually results in a whole bunch of different benefits from an environmental standpoint, economic standpoint and social aspect. We are in a situation where we're going to have an ecologically sustainable economy for everybody or ultimately we won't have one for anybody. It's just the smart thing to do to bet on the future and to being to invest in the future. The past has a lobby and it's a well-paid lobby and it comes right out of big oil and big coal. The future doesn't have a lobby until now. We have to be as sophisticated as the system we're trying to change. The legislation that Senator Boxer and I are introducing with the support of the leading environmental organizations actually addresses the crisis. A major focus is a price on carbon and methane emissions. I think a lot of people wondered, maybe still wonder, whether our political system is up to this task.

In the largest sense, I don't know if we can win this fight. There are scientists who think we've waited too long to get started. Clearly the power on the other side is enormous. Everyone once in awhile I get discouraged. There was TV reporter who was sort of grilling me who said, Well this just seems impossible. You're up against the richest industry on earth. This just seems like one of these David and Goliath stories. What chance do you have? And I was thinking, oh, you're right, this is terrible. But then I thought, and since we're in church, maybe this is apropos, you know, I thought, I know how that David and Goliath story comes out. David wins against the odds, okay. I don't know if we're going to win, but we have a real chance. We know that civil disobedience has helped to achieve great things. It's helped secure for women the right to vote. It's helped to end segregation.

And so we know that we can't win on climate change if we continue to dither, if we continue to talk about it but not do anything. We have a moral catastrophe on our hands. We have to do this because our democracy has been subverted, our laws have been subverted. I say it's criminal. I say that not lightly. When you have no recourse in our democracy, legally or democratically, we not only have the right but we have the duty to break the law to show our discontent. As a nation, we can come together. This is not about Republican or Democrat, it's about humanity. We're connected to each other and that organizing has got to be the basis for this kind of larger fight. We're very glad to be here, some of us are especially glad to be here because we're glad to be out of jail where we spent much of yesterday in this demonstration about the Keystone pipeline and that's, of course, of the reasons Americans are descending on this city this week. Thousands of people marched past the White House and urged President Obama to take strong measures to combat climate change.

In the second high profile event organized in a week by groups including the Sierra Club and 350.org. I'm here because I have an obligation to my children, my ancestors, our future generations. If this pipeline goes through, it will be at the cost of human life. When disaster strikes, it's not going to know race, color or creed. The fossil fuel barons, their lawyers, their spindoctors are losing their grip on our countries psyche. We're not going to create the clean energy economy when one side beats the other, we're going to win when we all come together for solutions that work for all of us. And the good news is that in this country, when we finally decided that we're going to take action on a moral question at the question of who we are we tend to respond, when we respond, explosively. That is the epic struggle of this century and we're going to meet it. If we don't we won't have a twenty-second century. Whenever a great generation stands up, it stands up based on idealism. It stands up based on moral courage and that's what's happening now.

This is the last minute of the last quarter of the biggest most important game humanity have ever played. The reality of our movement is this: if we fail, the consequences are dire. None of you could be in a more important place than you are right now. Part of this battle against the very deepest problems we've ever faced, very few people on earth ever get to say, "I'm doing the most important thing I can be doing any place on the planet at this moment in time" but you guys get to say that because you are on the front lines of this all-important battle. I think we can win this fight. I think we can win it if we act as a community, if we do not do anything that would injure that community but instead build and knit that community together in a way that allows it to take powerful action. We know the end of the story. Unless we rewrite the script, it's very clear how it ends with a planet that just heats out of control. So that's our job: to rewrite the story. All I ever wanted to see was a movement of people to stop climate change and now I've seen it. Today at the biggest climate rally by far, by far, by far in US history, today I know we're going to fight the battle, the most faithful battle in human history is finally joined and we will fight it together.

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Climate Change Info-graphic Video | Abhineetam Chaurasia | Ace Alchemy

CLIMATE CHANGE IS REAL! Climate is defined as the general weather pattern over a region for a long period of tim A notable change in climate, is very slow, but when it is observed for a long period of time, we get some interesting results. Now if you look at the temperature increase over the last 13 decades, you will find that earth has warmed approx. 0.85 degree Celsius. With that kept in mind, our last few decades have be warmer than average consecutively. Most of us are generally aware of changes in geographical conditions due to climate change like melting of polar ice caps, leading to rise in water level and shrinking coastlines. But today! We are going to focus on something less talked about: HUMAN HEALTH. Rise in temperature contributes directly to diseases from cardiovascular and respiratory diseases “According to French Institute of Health: more than 70 000 excess deaths were recorded during the heat-wave of summer 2003 in Europe”.

Variation in temperatures also leads to variable rainfall patterns. At some places it leads to water scarcity and in other, floods. Both in the end lead to poor hygiene and multiple health related illnesses. WHO assesses that climate change is expected to cause approximately 250 000 additional deaths per year between 2030 and 2050. All populations will be affected by climate change. People living in small islands, Children and Elderly people in developing nations and Polar Regions are particularly vulnerable. To counter these problems, many policies and individual choices have to be made in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.In 2015, the WHO Executive Board endorsed a new work plan on climate change and health. This includes: Partnerships, awareness raising and support for implementation of the public health response to climate change. We need to promote cleaner energy systems, and safe use of public transportation and active movement – such as cycling or walking as alternatives to using private vehicles, etc.

So let us reduce our carbon footprint. Thank you..

8 Negative Effects of Climate Change

Climate change is real, and it’s affecting us all. From severe heat waves to extreme flooding, here are 8 negative effects of climate change. You’d wish it was all just a hoax… Number 8: Destruction of archeological sites We often think about how changes in the climate are threatening the lives of humans, animals, and plants on the planet. But we fail to realize that it’s not only the living that are affected by climate change. In fact, archeological sites – priceless windows to our past – are suffering as well. High sea waves are hitting Easter Island, the famous site of the moai – mysterious giant head-and-torso statues built by ancient Polynesians. The platforms supporting the moai are slowly being damaged by sea water, and if this continues, the monolithic figures might fall off and end up at the bottom of the ocean one day. Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado is also at risk, and is cited as one of the places most vulnerable to climate change in the US.

There are thousands of archeological sites here, constructed by the ancient Puebloans thousands of years ago. But rising temperatures have caused frequent wildfires, and with it the destruction of rock carvings. This also causes the exposure of new sites and artifacts that become vulnerable to erosion and flooding. These are just two examples of many priceless ancient artifacts and ancient archeological sites in the world that are at risk. Archeologists seem to be in a race against time to document and protect these places before they are gone forever. Number 7: Food shortages We’ve mentioned how climate change and global warming leads to drought, deforestation, and pest infestation. All of this combined causes one major problem – it inhibits the ability of farmers to grow food. In order to grow, crops need to be on fertile land, which becomes largely unavailable due to water shortages.

Food shortages have not occurred widely yet, and international trade will likely prevent any major famine to affect us soon – at least not in the near future. But at the rate we’re going, food prices will soon skyrocket, both due to shortages and the need for refrigeration when extreme heat waves come hitting. Third World countries on the other hand, have it harder. In less developed countries, drought equates to star facial and suffrage sing. Prolonged drought and conflict have left 16 million people across East Africa on the brink of star facial and in urgent need of food, water and medical treatment. Number 6: Rising CO2 levels Since the Industrial Revolution over 2 centuries ago, we’ve gradually been producing more and more Carbon Dioxide on a regular basis. With large scale industrialization and the burning of fossil fuels, we’ve put a total of 2000 gigatons of CO2 in the atmosphere, and about 40% of it has stayed there.

Humans have only been roaming this planet for a relatively short period, yet today’s CO2 levels are the highest they have ever been for millions of years. C02 is one of the main gases contributing to the greenhouse effect, the process by which radiation from the atmosphere heats the planet’s surface. The greenhouse effect is essential for supporting life on the planet, but its extreme intensification has led to global warming. Number 5: Global Warming Global warming – it is the main form of climate changing, and the 2 terms are even often used interchangeably. As of right now, the Earth is warming at a scary rate, 10 times faster than at the end of the Ice Age. Since we started measuring global surface temperature in 1850, each decade seems to surpass the previous, and that rate does not seem to be slowing down. This directly affects us in a number of ways, mainly in the form of drought and extreme weathers. Since the previous century, mega droughts have been appearing everywhere all over the Earth.

Rainfall has been scarce, farms get deserted, and lakes are drying up. Some lakes have even dried up completely, and are no longer existent. An example is Bolivia’s Lake Poopo, which was once its country’s second largest lake. The process of global warming brought increased temperatures to the region, and its evaporation rate multiplied exponentially since the 1990s. By December 2015, Lake Poopo had completely dried up, leaving only a few marshy areas. According to scientists, it is unlikely that it will ever recover. While some places are affected by drought, other places are more vulnerable to extreme weathers in the form of heat waves and storms. The frequency and duration of heat waves has increased greatly within the past half century, and are only going to get worse. Heat waves alone kill more people in the United States compared to natural disasters like tornadoes, earthquakes, and floods combined. Global warming also affects storm formation, by decreasing the temperature difference between the poles and the equator.

Some experts have found a correlation between global warming and the intensity of recent Atlantic Ocean tropical cyclones such as Katrina, Wilma, and Sandy. Number 4: Losing our forests Climate change affects all life on the planet, and this includes forest ecosystems, many of which have been destroyed indirectly by global warming. Bark beetles are major pests that feed and breed between the bark and wood of various tree species, damaging them in the process. These insects thrive in warm temperatures, and as a consequence of global warming, have expanded their ranges and proliferated widely in the forests of North America and Europe. Millions of acres of forest have been destroyed due to bark beetle infestation in recent years. Another cause of widespread deforestation is wildfire. While climate change does not directly cause trees to burn up, wildfires are generally the result of forests getting extremely dry.

Global warming lessens the humidity of forest areas, making them vulnerable to catch on fire. Forests in the western coast of USA, particularly in California, get set ablaze often during dry seasons. If rain fell more often, these forest fires would be extinguished much quicker. There has indeed been a notable increase in wildfires in California within the last decade compared to the decade before, meaning a correlation with climate change is very much likely, and would probably get worse with rising temperatures. Number 3: Insufficient energy to meet demands Since the dawn of mankind, people have learnt of various ways to keep themselves warm – from starting simple fires to creating electric-powered heaters. One of the main reasons for energy demand used to be heating, as people needed to survive long and chilly winters. But a global trend that started in the past century has seen a reversal, especially with the invention of cooling devices like refrigerators and air conditioners.

With the climate getting warmer and warmer, the demand for cooling has skyrocketed. With the increase in carbon emissions and the resulting hot temperatures, the demand for more energy to produce cooling is getting out of control. The worse thing is that this creates a neverending heat-producing cycle. More demand results in more power plants and cooling devices being created, which when used, emits more carbon that heats up the environment. Our only hope is the creation and use of clean energy sources that could keep up with the demands while breaking this vicious cycle. Research and development in solar power shows promise. On the other hand, hydro-electric power is expected to fall behind, as global warming and droughts have caused a decrease in river water levels. Without enough water flow, generators at the dams will not be able to provide energy.

Meanwhile, sea levels are rising, creating a potential risk of flood and storms that could cripple power generators along coastlines. This would disrupt power transmission to entire cities, and create a more desperate demand for energy. Number 2: Melting ice caps & rising sea levels Water covers more than 70% of our planet, and they absorb most of the heat added to the atmosphere. So it’s only natural that is where the extreme changes of climate change are seen. Sea levels around the world have been rising a 10th of an inch every year, and they’re already up 8 inches since 100 years ago. There are two reasons for this. One water expands as it gets warmer. Two, because glaciers, ice caps and icebergs are melting, so they add up to the ocean’s water volume. White sea ice is essential in reflecting sun rays back up into the atmosphere.

Without an ice layer, the dark ocean absorbs the heat rays, feeding the cycle forward. Summer sea ice in the Arctic has decreased a staggering 40% since just 40 years ago, making it the lowest in 1400 years. Antarctica is also experiencing a similar thing, with its western glaciers melting at an alarming rate. At this current rate, the oceans would be up a meter higher by the end of this century. Coastal settlements would be flooded, and many of them would become uninhabitable. And it’s not just cities, but entire nations are also at risk of being wiped off the map. The island country of Maldives is particularly endangered, and is at risk of being swallowed up by the ocean within the next few decades. Their leaders’ pleas to the world to cut global greenhouse gas emissions have been generally ignored, and they are already looking into purchasing new land from neighboring countries to settle their people in the future. Number 1: Animal extinction All the damages caused by climate change is not only affecting us humans, but nearly all the other species on the planet are also struggling to adapt to these changes that we have caused. A lot of animals, mostly birds, are seen beginning their seasonal migrations a lot earlier.

For instance, scientists have found that the Icelandic black-tailed godwits have started migrating 2 weeks earlier than normal to escape the summer heat. Some animals are moving away from their natural habitats towards cooler areas in higher elevations. The distribution patterns of Adelie penguins across Antarctica have also changed significantly. They are known to mainly feed on Antarctic krills, which are small crustaceans that stay under ice caps. But with fewer ice caps remaining, Adelie penguins find themselves in short of food supply leading to mass migrations. All this migration of various animal species is indeed a sign of the climate getting warmer every year. We have also seen a disturbing change within the behavior of several animals. The melting of polar ice in the summer has led to Polar bears channel arising their own cubs out of desperation in order to stay alive. The ocean is our planet’s largest carbon sink. With more Carbon Dioxide released into the atmosphere, more of it ends up dissolving into the ocean, causing a decrease in the water’s pH levels.

Although still far away from turning the ocean into acid, creatures with calcium shells are really sensitive to these slight changes. The ocean is on the course of hitting a pH level of 7.8 within a century, which would mean the end of about one third of the ocean’s species. The Orange-spotted filefish has already gone locally extinct around Japan due to extensive coral bleaching and hypersensitivity to warm waters. Some animal species have already gone totally extinct. The Golden toad that was once native to the forests of Costa Rica was last sighted in 1989, having likely all bite off due to high temperatures. They were known to mate in wet conditions, and the repeated dry seasons presumably ended their species..

Margaret Atwood on Climate Change: Anti-Science Can Only Be Surmounted by Economics

If you look at the history of what happened to Darwin when he published, what would you call that? Yes he was hugely attacked at the time. And it's often a case of people do not want to give up their cherished beliefs, especially cherished beliefs that they find comforting. So it's no good for Richard Dawkins to say let us just stand on the bold bear promontory of truth and acknowledge the basically nothingness of ourselves. People don't find that cozy so they will go around the block not to do that. And that's very understandable and human. And religious thinking, you know, the idea that there's somebody bigger than you out there who might be helpful to you if certain rules are observed, that goes back so far. We probably have an epigene or something or a cluster of epigenes for that and you see it a lot in small children that there is a monster under the bed and you can't tell them there isn't.

They don't find that reassuring. What you can tell them is yes there is a monster under that bed but as long as I put this cabbage right in this spot it can't come out. So yes anti-science. When science is telling you something that you really find very inconvenient, and that is the history of global warming and the changes that we are certainly already seen around us. First of all it was denial. It could not be happening. Now there's grudging admission as things flood and droughts kick in and food supplies drop and the sea level rises and the glaciers melt big time. I have seen that; been there. You can't deny that it's happening but you then have to pretend that it's nothing to do with us. So therefore nothing so we don't have to change our behavior. That's the thinking around that. And that can get very entrenched until people see that by trying to solve the problem jobs can be created and money can be made. And that will be the real tipping point in public consciousness in this country. Other countries are already there.

Norway, which is an oil state, is a huge green country because they know that the fossil fuel thing is going to run out so they are already preparing for that. If we were tall forward looking more of us would be doing that, although Elon Musk is the wave of the future. He's got the all electric car; he's got the rapid pre-charger for it; and he's got the Powerwall, which is a home battery storage unit that you can recharge through solar and then run your appliances off it when it's dark. And that is probably going to be the connecting link. When that becomes cheap enough and efficient enough you ask anybody, I don't care who they are, if you could get off the grid and have a car you could recharge your self and appliances you could run yourself just off some units on your roof or in your backyard would you do that? Everybody says yes. So that's the idea whose time has come. And now it's a matter of the price.

So mentalizing the entire world with wind turbines is not going to be the answer, it's going to be individually owned and controlled off the grid electrical systems..

Teachers Endure Balancing Act Over Climate Change Curriculum

LULU JEFFREY BROWN: And now to our series called Coping With Climate Change that examines how communities around the country are dealing with unfolding changes. Tonight, Hari Sreenivasan focuses on the challenges of teaching about climate science. CHERYL MANNING, high school science teacher: Talk about what is — what have you heard? HARI SREENIVASAN: Cheryl Manning, a high school science teacher in Evergreen, Colo., starts her lessons about climate change by asking questions, not giving answers. CHERYL MANNING: I ask them to think about what they already know. And then from that list of what they know, what they think they know, I want them to form some questions. HARI SREENIVASAN: That’s because so many students today enter the classroom with preconceived notions about climate change.

CHERYL MANNING: They hear it on the news. They see it in the newspaper. They hear their parents talking about it. There are people who say that climate — the climate may be changing, but it’s not our fault, or the climate isn’t changing at all; this is a natural cycle. There are all sorts of things that the kids hear. They want clarification. HARI SREENIVASAN: In fact, in a recent survey by the National Science Teachers Association, teachers say they’re facing skepticism about climate science; 82 percent of science teachers say they faced it from students, and 54 percent say they faced it from parents. RENEE DOMICO, mother: You can put the spoons on there. HARI SREENIVASAN: Parents like Renee Domico of Colorado, a mother of five. RENEE DOMICO: My biggest concern is that my kids are going to come home from high school and say: The world is warming up.

We’re too industrialized. We drive too many cars. We have too many people. And human nature is polluting the world. HARI SREENIVASAN: Cheryl Manning knows that skepticism firsthand. CHERYL MANNING: I had students looking at data sets that were published online by NOAA and NASA and other international science organizations. And I had them comparing and looking at those and looking at projections and models, what were the models indicating. And I had some parents come to me during parent-teacher conference, and they were very upset that I was teaching about this. And they referred to peer-reviewed sciences, the Kool-Aid of the left-wing liberal conspiracy. And it was at that point where I realized what I was up against with this group of parents, and I knew that I needed to get some help. HARI SREENIVASAN: Manning sought help from Susan Buhr.

Buhr directs education outreach for CIRES, a cooperative environmental science research institute between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the University of Colorado, Boulder. SUSAN BUHR, outreach director, Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences: Teachers in science classes are always going to want to talk about the science. And, increasingly, it’s difficult for them to do so because of resistance from parents or from students to hearing about the evidence of climate science and climate change. I want to talk a little bit about the threats that come at a higher level than your classrooms. HARI SREENIVASAN: To help teachers respond to concerns from students and parents, Buhr and colleagues have developed climate change workshops, even curriculum and lesson plans on how to keep the science in the classroom and the political controversy out. SUSAN BUHR: It is significant enough to some teachers that they don’t want to get into this topic.

So it can shut down instruction. HARI SREENIVASAN: Parents and students are also influenced by what’s in the air or, during a political season, what’s on the airwaves from politicians. Mitt Romney echoed views held by many in the Republican Party. MITT ROMNEY (R): My view is that we don’t know what’s causing climate change on this planet, and the idea of spending trillions and trillions of dollars to try and reduce CO2 emissions is not the right course for us. HARI SREENIVASAN: President Obama said the climate change issue will be part of his 2012 campaign in this month’s “Rolling Stone” magazine — quote — “I will be very clear in voicing my belief that we’re going to have to take further steps to deal with climate change in a serious way.” Cheryl Manning’s challenge with parents in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains ended with her superintendent supporting her, but she says the experience was exhausting. Climate science education faces challenges at the state levels. This spring, Tennessee enacted a law requiring teachers to present scientific strengths and scientific weaknesses on topics that arouse debate. In Louisiana, the Science Education Act passed in 2008 requires schools to promote open and objective discussion of scientific theories being studied, including evolution, the origins of life, global warming and human cloning.

CHERYL MANNING: In the popular culture, the word theory is a weak concept. It’s an idea. In scientific culture, the word theory is equivalent to the word survivor. HARI SREENIVASAN: Science teacher Cheryl Manning says the distinction is important. CHERYL MANNING: It is the idea that best explains a phenomenon and has had lines and lines of evidence supporting it, and it has been tested and tested and tested, and it survived all those tests, whereas a theory in popular culture could just fall under the bus and disappear. HARI SREENIVASAN: The National Earth Science Teachers Association encourages teachers not to be influenced by social commentary. In fact, 36 percent of science teachers around the country say they have been influenced enough to teach both sides of climate change. Roberta Johnson is the association’s executive director. ROBERTA JOHNSON, National Earth Science Teachers Association: The science classroom is about using science — fundamental principals, fundamental principals of science and our ability to look at evidence and analyze it and draw evidence-based conclusions.

It’s not about talking about policy debates. It’s not about whether something is socially acceptable. It’s evidence. HARI SREENIVASAN: Some questions may be sorted out when new science standards for grades K-12 are introduced this year. For the first time, the national standards will link global warming trends to manmade emissions. The standards are based on a framework by the National Academy of Sciences. The Academy says 97 percent to 98 percent of the most published climate researchers say humans are causing global warming. Still, persistent skeptics remain unconvinced. NARRATOR: They like to scare you, tell you the Earth is on fire. HARI SREENIVASAN: A well-known conservative think tank, the Heartland Institute, doesn’t trust the science behind the upcoming standards. Instead, they will try to influence teachers directly. The institute has announced they will create their own K-12 climate science curriculum.

Heartland sees global warming has been a net positive. James Taylor is a senior fellow at heartland. JAMES TAYLOR, Heartland Institute: We have seen that soil moisture globally has improved. We have seen that droughts have become less frequent and less severe. We have seen expansion of forests. We ve seen crop production reach record levels. ve seen tornadoes and hurricanes — to the extent that we can ascribe trends, we ve seen that they have become less frequent and less severe. Across the board, we ve seen that warmer climate, warmer temperatures have always benefited humans, and continue to do so. HARI SREENIVASAN: These are views challenged by scientific evidence. In Cheryl Manning’s classroom, she is trying to get her students to tackle both the validity of the science behind climate change and what society can do about it. CHERYL MANNING: I want you to look for a couple of things.

I want you to look for, number one, when did the conversation change from being just among scientists to being amongst more than that, amongst policy-makers, amongst industry people, and amongst the general public? HARI SREENIVASAN: She now asks her advanced placement environmental class to create a timeline. Students chronicle both significant scientific advances and political events. CHERYL MANNING: My hope is that they walk away with a clear understanding of, there’s a difference between the scientific understanding of the processes and the political conversation that’s going on. I don’t want them to confuse the politics and the economics and all of that with the actual — actual data that exists. So, I want them to be able to identify it and separate it from each other. HARI SREENIVASAN: Manning is now sharing the lessons she has learned with other teachers through online and in-person workshops throughout the country. JEFFREY BROWN: And other teachers explain the creative ways they ve engaged students on our Coping With Climate Change page on our website.

Plus, join us tomorrow for a live online chat at 5:00 p.m. Eastern time with some of people featured in tonight’s story. gd&| gd&| :p&| urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags PlaceType urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags PlaceName urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags State urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags City urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags PersonName urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags place JEFFREY BROWN: And now to our series called Coping With Climate Change that examines how communities around the country are dealing with unfolding changes Normal Microsoft Office Word JEFFREY BROWN: And now to our series called Coping With Climate Change that examines how communities around the country are dealing with unfolding changes Title Microsoft Office Word Document MSWordDoc Word.

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Drug Sentencing Changes & Climate Change & Dementia Care

Next on "Arizona Horizon," the Justice Department proposes big changes in federal drug sentencing laws. We'll talk about the changes with former U.S. Attorney Paul Charlton. We'll hear from an ASU professor and student who participated in a global climate change conference. And we'll see how a local facility is improving the care and treatment of those with dementia. Those stories next on "Arizona Horizon." >>> "Arizona Horizon" is made possible by contributions from the Friends of Eight, members of your Arizona PBS station. Thank you. >>> Good evening, and welcome to "Arizona Horizon," I'm Ted Simons. U.S. attorney general Eric Holder today suggests changes to sentences laws for low-level drug cases with the goal of reducing federal prison populations. We will discuss with it former Arizona Attorney General Paul Charlton.

Nice to see you. >> Thank you. >> What Eric Holder wants to do is reduce the number of people currently incarcerated for the low-level offenses. We have approximately 220,000 people currently in federal prisons, a percentage of them for drug related reasons. If you have, for example, five grams of methamphetamine and you're brought into the federal system, you must serve if convicted a minimum of five years in prison. Eric Holder wants to begin to change some of those rules. >> When did that particular mandatory minimum sentencing start, and what has been the impact? >> From the 1980s to the 1990s there was a pendulum shift in the way we looked at criminal justice. We wanted to take away the discretion that judges and prosecutors had, and we wanted to force prosecutors and judges to give certain and severe sentences. As a result, we did see a decrease in crime. Now Eric Holder says that cost is about $80 billion too much for the current budget to handle and we need to find a way to be smarter about the federal justice system.

>> Too much because of federal crowding? >> We are at about 40% over our current capacity. It's costing too much and he believes this is one way to reduce the costs and reduce the number of people currently in prison. >> Over half of these people are in federal prison. Is it low-level drug offenses or drug offenses in general? >> 40% of any kind. Eric Holder wants to find those low-level, nonviolent, not associated with larger criminal gangs and give those individuals the opportunity to receive a sentence less than a mandatory minimum might be. >> How do you figure out these people are supposed to be worth taking the risk? How do you keep them from becoming high-risk second and third offenders? >> Many of the offenders released from the federal system reoffend. How do you determine who will not reoffend? If we're picking nonviolent offenders, low-level individuals that they are less likely to reoffend.

>> Okay. Is there indication that that is the case? Have we seen studies? Seems like I've heard about studies that showed a lot of times these lower level drug cases, these folks do wind up leading to other problems. >> A number of people will tell you there is a direct correlation between the number of people in prison and the reduction in the rate of crime. If we let more people out of prison or give them a lower sentence, there is a risk we might see again an increase in the crime rate. The trick is to find a way to release people who won't reoffend, and that is going to be the difficult challenge here. >> Has criminal justice research and studies, have they changed over the decades to where it might be a little easier to say, A, and B, if they are released and put into a treatment program, how much of a factor that is? >> There are different states that have acted as the laboratory for our democracy. They have had some success in that regard.

Texas is one of those states that Eric Holder pointed to today, a state that we, the federal government, should be looking at to determine whether or not releasing individuals into society, keeping them out of prison for longer periods of time, might reduce costs and still keep the communities safe. >> U.S. Attorneys, are they ready for this? >> I think U.S. attorneys will largely embrace the opportunity to exercise greater discretion on their own. Any federal or local prosecutors, or any U.S. Attorney, they will say I would like to make the decision myself about whom to charge and what charges to bring. The risk there, Ted, you may see discrepancies between the kinds of charges brought for example on a marijuana case in Tucson and the kinds of charges brought on a marijuana case in Buffalo, New York. Different communities will require different sentences and they will see different charges.

That discrepancy is sometimes difficult for people to accept. >> And we're emphasizing, this is the federal prison population, these are federal drug laws as opposed to state laws, correct? >> Federal prison population is only about 13% of the overall population of prisoners in the United States. So this is a small impact on a small percentage of prisoners. But the Department of Justice has oftentimes taken a leadership role in making these decisions. >> Is the country ready for this? We've discussed, had debates on this program before, and there was a movement in the state legislature to lessen drug sentencing laws, and it didn't get too far. Is the country ready for this, the idea that we can look at different ways to treat people who are only incarcerated for low-level drug crimes? >> Soft on crime has never been a winning motto for politicians. But there is this. In the Senate right now senator Paul from Kentucky, and Senator Leahy, the senator from Vermont, and others are working on giving judges greater discretion on charges. So there does seem to be an increased appetite among our political leaders on both sides of the aisle for reduced sentences. >> How much will that appetite be impacted by the private prison industry? I would imagine they are looking at this and saying, hey, let's get active here, let's start moving.

>> I don't think there's a bill passed in Congress that doesn't see its share of lobbyists. You're identifying one very much involved in the criminal justice system. >> Incarceration should punish, deter and rehabilitate, not merely convict, warehouse and forget. >> There are many people, as an old prosecutor, I would say that applies to. There are those it ought not to apply to. There are certain individuals I would be happy to put into prison and forget about, and I'm sure the surviving family members agree, as well. We do need to find a way to reduce costs but keep the community safe. Whether or not Eric Holder has found that correct balance, only time will tell. >> The other thing is we can't incarcerate and prosecute our way to a safer nation.

Some would say we already have. >> Crime rates are down. Whether it's because we have been prosecuting our way or not, the sociologists will have to tell you. >> Good to see you. >> Good to see you, Ted. >>> Get the inside scoop on what's happening at Arizona PBS. Become an Eight Insider. You'll receive weekly updates on the most anticipated upcoming programs and events. Get the "Eight Insider" delivered to your email inbox. Visit azpbs.org. >>> A group of professors and students traveled to a U.N. convention on climate change in Bonn, Germany. Here to discuss the trip and the conference is Daniel Bodansky, USA professor of law, ethics and sustainability, and also joining us is Ashley Votruba, one of the ASU law students who presented research at the conference. Good to have you joining us.

>> Thank you. >> This is an international U.N. conference. Give us a better idea of what was going on here. >> There was a convention adopted in 1992, a meeting under the U.N. convention. It's a meeting of countries from all around the world to try to develop a new agreement to try to develop — >> That is a framework, that is what that means? >> Now there are various things going on under that to try to push the process forward. >> Is it similar to the Kyoto protocol and those things? >> That was developed under the framework. >> And you guys are over there presenting white papers on a variety of research? >> That's right. The idea of the project is to try to inject some fresh thinking into the climate change process. The process tends to get bogged down and gets very task dependent.

It's hard to move from one track to another track. The idea of academia is bringing fresh ideas. >> And your idea is about lands, and arid and semi-arid. What did you bring to the conference? >> My project is, is there something we can gain from a bottom-up approach. It's one where we can let our states and countries choose their own commitment levels. I choose the convention as examples of conventions that have developed a bottom-up approach, and whether or not those things can be useful and effective. >> What were those approaches and how universal were they? >> It's difficult to say how useful they are. Some of the advantages are increased state participation, states are more willing to get involved if they are able to set their own commitment levels. There are funding opportunities that come with adopting those approaches and there are of course downfalls, as well. Difficult to maintain a high level of stringcy from a bottom-up approach. >> How did you research that, what did you do? >> You do a lot of reading into academic literature published on those institutions. The ransar convention started in the 1970s, so it's older. There are papers written on its effectiveness.

There are papers written on the research out of different conventions. >> You're looking at depletion of plant life. >> Desertification convention, yes. That's one of the measures, seeing if there are ways to mitigate desertification from happening and looking to see if it's been successful in certain areas or not. >> Do you look at Arizona or places trying not to become like Arizona? >> The goal is to look at places trying not to become like Arizona. There are countries in Africa that have taken measures to move forward in preventing desertification from happening. >> I worked at the State Department and I have been involved in the process for about 20 years now. We were trying to find something where ASU could make a contribution and give students real-life experience. Papers on the process, rather than just academic purposes.

I developed in conjunction with the U.S. climate change secretariat and tried to find something they would think is useful to the negotiations going on right now. >> Sounds like an independent research project. >> That's right, it was. The idea was not just to do an academic exercise, but something that's applied and really practical and makes it actually useful to the people involved in the negotiations. >> We heard what Ashley focused on. What were some of the other areas of interest that ASU students participated in? >> One was the human rights treaty system, how that evolved. It hasn't been that successful. Our idea was to look at other systems where it's been more evolutionary, step by step, incremental. That was one of the other ones we looked at.

We looked at the intellectual property regime, and we looked at private international law dealing with commercial law aspects. >> I was going to say, trade law, intellectual property law, all of this and climate change, that's some pretty deep weeds there, isn't it? >> We're trying to identify what are some of the key things facing the negotiations. Do they try to develop a single agreement or a series of different agreements. The intellectual property regime is an example of a lot of different treaties. It's been successful, so we're trying to see why that is the case, why it's worked as well as it has, and if there are some lessons we can learn. >> What kind of response did you get from the white papers? >> We had people interested in the work and talking to us afterwards.

Hopefully some of these ideas will move forward and turn into something. >> How do you know if the ideas have moved forward? >> It's difficult to see. We'll look to see if pieces of what we presented will turn up in an agreement in the future. >> Is there a way to track what ASU students presented? >> I think it's difficult to see where the exact influence goes, but you can watch and see whether somebody's ideas can be traced through. >> And as far as the students, what did you want them to take from all this? >> We wanted to try to give them some sense as to how the international process really works, so they would have a better understanding as to really when countries are negotiating, what are they concerned about, how do they interact, so they are not just studying it from afar but they can actually see it in practice.

>> And Ashley, what did you take from all this? >> Much similar to what he said. The opportunity to see the delegations in action, how it works. It really provided a different perspective. >> Going to change your career plans? >> Maybe a little bit, we'll see. It's still a ways away. I certainly have an interest in international law and climate change. If there was a way to weave that into my future I'd be up for it. >> It's kind of a life-changing situation here? >> I think it's really eye-opening to go to one of these meetings and see what it's like in practice. >> Thanks for joining us, we appreciate it. >> Thank you. >> Thank you. >>> We want to hear from you. Submit your questions, comments and concerns via email at Arizonahorizon@ASU.edu. >>> Beatitudes Campus has created replicable ways to decrease prescribed drugs, eliminate physical restraints and generally keep patients more comfortable.

Reporter Lorri Allen and photographer Scot Olson visited to see the principles in use. >> These have been there, we see those every once in a while. >> Joann and Phillip Young married soon after they met. >> On our first date she laughed at my jokes and she was a good dancer. I figured that's about all I really needed. We've been laughing together and having a great time. >> 60 years later, Phil visits his wife several times a day at a place unlike typical dementia communities. >> Here you are, sweetie. You're going to get your picture, too, aren't you? >> Comfort first is the philosophy, with an emphasis on creating a sense of home. >> The home they are asking for may not be reality any longer. But we're looking for those elements that stress the importance of home, those things that connect us to a broader sense of community, and those things that ultimately at the end of the day are the things that give us peace. >> All things really boil down to what makes you comfortable.

So the individual who has napped in their living room, the person who likes their recliner better than their bed, should still have the opportunity to have those same kinds of patterns that have always made sense to them. It's not my reality that's important, it's not what I say that matters, but it's rather what this person says that really counts. >> Yes, that's for you. >> Alonzo calls the fourth floor the neighborhood. And taking away the dietary rules here helped. >> One, it's not too fattening. >> No, ma'am, it's not. >> When people have dementia, it's important to know folks may not have the same kind of clock everyone else has. Being able to eat whenever you're hungry is really important. Being able to sleep whenever you want to is really important. If the person happens to be hungry or thirsty, there's something always available to help them provide a sense of comfort and security. >> You want to sit down for a little bit? >> Alonzo is credited with many of the common sense ideas behind comfort first.

She'll tell you it's a team effort; like almost everyone she works with Alonzo got into this career because a loved one suffered. >> My grandmother was my mentor, and someone that I looked up to more than anyone else in lifetime and when she succumbed to dementia and started to show all the symptoms that we normally see, it was really heartbreaking for my family. But what I learned out of the experience that is there had to be something more, there had to be quality of life. There had to be an opportunity to embrace who she truly was. And so I've been in pursuit of that. >> That pursuit has meant the elimination of restraint, diapers and many drugs. >> All right, good. >> Instead of scheduled activities, play is spontaneous. >> What we're trying to do is get people to realize that indeed, there's this person inside this, beautiful, beautiful person. And there are so many other ways to make meaningful connection beyond the language of the brain, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

The language of the heart and soul through touch, through taste, through song, through a kiss, a smile, all of these things. From a change perspective, isn't this feasible? Isn't this easy to replicate? Does it cost a lot of money? No. Where is it taking place, the change? Between our ears and in our hearts. let me call you sweetheart I'm in love with you >> That was beautiful! >> Thank you. >> Gallagher, a professional singer for 30 year,s, has found a new audience. It happened when she started working for Hospice of the Valley and collaborating with the Comfort First program at Beatitudes. >> It's the most fulfilling thing that I've ever done in my life, every single day. It's difficult but it's very fulfilling, you know.

Think about it, people with dementia lose their ability to think and interpret. So Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia are diseases of the brain. But they are not diseases of the heart, the soul, whatever elements of a human being you want to label it. >> Everyone can do this. It is changing the way you think about giving the care. >> And the comfort first philosophy saves money. >> When you anticipate someone's needs, you don't have to spend the money on products to keep someone dry. You don't have to buy expensive supplements or nourishments because they are eating good too. When you have someone who is comfortable, the staff that you have doesn't have to spend time trying to fix because they are uncomfortable. So the same staffing that we had back 10, 15 years ago, is exactly what we have now. We always make sure that we have staff who know how to take care of the person. And so it is very economical.

Being able to know that you helped somebody to smile or feel that there was a special moment is priceless. It is the kind of thing that nurtures your own soul. >> You know, 83 yeah, I would want to go. >> This is an intricate type of hanging and tapestry, but we comment every time we go by because it's so pretty. She can forget sometimes day to day but it's so nice again to be able to see something familiar like that, something we appreciate. Joean's had her memory problems, it goes back Eight or 10 years really, but it was to the point where we knew we were going to have to have some additional help along the way. And Beatitudes has an outstanding program for that kind of memory support. >> It's kind of funny sometimes, she'll go, okay, she'll say, I know he's messing around with other women.

He laughs and gets a chuckle out of it and brings daisy his little dog over, when she tells you I've been with other women, this is the only other woman I've been with. He has his little dog in his arms. They are so loving, you can see it when they are together. >> O you're so cute. Honey I love you. >> We get by, we know we have to take it one day at a time. There's comfort in that. >> Comfort First considers what some call innovation as simple common sense. It allows residents the flexibility to live in a relatively unstructured manner within a long-term care environment check out the Beatitudes website at Beatitudescampus.org. That is it for now. I'm Ted Simons, thank you so much for joining us. You have a great evening..

Local effects of climate change: protecting Dublin from flood risks

Ireland has experienced devastating floods in recent years which has affected thousands of people and caused millions of Euros worth of damage. Nowhere in Ireland has remained untouched by the deluges now part of our annual weather pattern. I met with Ray McGrath from the National Weather Centre to find out how Ireland is being affected. Ray have we seen changes in our weather patterns in recent years? Well in the case of rainfall it looks like there has been an increase in the amount of rainfall that is falling over Ireland. And is it more deluges of rain or what’s the pattern? The heavier rainfall events have increased in frequency. Are we seeing changes in our oceans also? Yes. The most obvious change is that the temperatures in the oceans are increasing and this is leading to more moisture being pushed into the atmosphere. That of course means that there is a greater potential for more extreme weather.

Of course this is more likely to lead to flooding events. The east coast is now susceptible to surge events bringing higher than usual tides which combine into perfect storm scenarios such as what happened in 2002. The way it works is the surge actually sucks up the ocean surface and this in combination with a wind which may be pumping, pushing the water towards the coastline this is what effectively creates the surge conditions. If this happens to coincide with a high tide, it obviously worsens it so you can get a much greater surge effect affecting the coastline and the research we have done in Met Éireann it does indeed suggest that in the future climate change will bring more intense surge events to these coastlines. Being on the frontline is something Dubliners have known about for a long time. 200 years ago Dublin was a sea port on a wide estuary surrounded by marshland. We’ve a long history of reclaiming land that was liable for flooding but back then the big storm was looked on as a rare event.

Not anymore. The residents of Dublin’s East Wall were badly hit in 2002 and have been living in fear of another storm ever since. Most of it came from the sea originally to that point but it was a mixture of canal and sea water because it came up the Liffey, up the canal and of course once the canal level went too high it overflowed. It was terrifying for me walking around in it I have to admit but in saying that, the elderly people and to look at their faces, and to look at their homes devastated with the dirt five foot up the walls; it was absolutely horrendous. We were out of the house for 7 months. Had to get the builders in: floors, walls, furniture everything thrown out, rip it all up. It wasn’t just a matter of drying out stuff, this stuff was destroyed. Over €6 million has been spent in the risk area on defences and early warning systems have been put in place to give the residents the highest levels of alert.

There is a number of defences put out there. There’s a monitor out at the Kish which’ll give us advanced warning of the sea and there’s depth warnings in both of the rivers in the Tolka and in the Liffey which at least is a help. At least we will know in advance if something is going to happen. Dublin City Council has an emergency plan coming into force soon. We have a lot of volunteers in the area, at the moment we have the church set up in case of an emergency that we can bring people, particularly the elderly. It’s the elderly and the infirm we need to get out of the area quickly if we did have another flood. The changes coming mean rethinking our strategies for everything: from river and sea defences, to where we build and live in the future.

Mark Adamson from the OPW showed me the first line of flood defences for Ringsend being built on the Dodder by Dublin City Council. These are flood protection works that we are currently building to protect against tidal flooding, such as the very severe event that happened in February 2002 here in Ringsend. What happened? Well the sea level came up the river and spilled over the banks flooding some areas to a depth of maybe 3 metres so the wall we are currently leaning on here is to protect against exactly that kind of flooding. So all of these houses here were flooded in 2002? That’s right yes. So what are they actually doing? Well over here they’re currently putting in piles and they’ll be building a defence wall to protect against the high sea levels. So what sort of work have we got to do in the future to protect us against what’s coming with flooding? Well we’ll obviously keep building flood protection schemes such as these for areas of significant existing risk. We’re also producing flood maps to identify other areas that are at risk or that could be at risk if people were to build in them.

The massive development that has changed the face of our cities over the last 10 years hides what’s happening beneath our feet. Under the millions of tonnes of concrete, are water courses now cut off and rivers and streams we’ve diverted. Tom Leahy told me about the Dublin City Council strategies to future-proof the city. we’ve seen some big floods in recent years are we going to see more floods in Dublin? Well Duncan, Dublin is located in the floodplain of 3 major rivers. 200 years ago the land we’re standing on was once under the sea. That’s just one of the challenges we face. Over the years Dublin has grown. It’s been intensively developed, houses wherever you see and we’ve changed water courses as well. So each of those poses its own challenge and hazard which we have to deal with. So how are you going to deal with these sorts of challenges? Well we have noticed that the weather patterns have changed quite significantly. We’ve also noticed the phenomenon called pluvial flooding, now that’s a very technical term, the Dutch have a much better name they call it “monster rain”.

What it means is very heavy monsoon-like rainfall that falls over a short period of time will overwhelm any drainage system. So that’s a challenge, one of the challenges we’re going to have to deal with. Is this the sort of flooding we’ve seen in the last couple of years? Yes, particularly last August and September that’s exactly what happened to Dublin. We had 3 floods in 2 months and the intensities were the sort of recurrence period that would be one in 150 years. Dublin City Council’s new strategy is being created and funded in tandem with European partners who face the same problems we do. The Flood Resilient Cities Programme follows on from the Safer Programme and looks to deal with the effects of “monster rain”. Well the sort of things that we can do, we can look at ways to control water flow at source, we’ve also identified the areas that might be at risk and logically they’re close to the coast and then if we know there is a high risk at a particular time we can mobilise all the resources of the State, fire brigade, emergency services, our own City Council personnel.

We can also link in with householders because everybody has a part to play in making their own property that little bit more flood resilient. When the next flood comes another team ready are Commandant John Moriarty’s Civil Defence volunteers. They’ll be on the front line to back up the fire brigade and I joined them on one of their drills. We learned a lot from the floods back in 2002 where we didn’t have the equipment; people were going into flooded areas and contaminated water in fire gear whereas now we have dry suits to protect them and so on. They’ve been trained by Dublin Fire Brigade in water awareness; our boat people obviously are trained in relation to water and so on. So there’s been a lot of training has been going on over the past number of years and we’ve also a lot of vehicles, a lot of four wheel drive vehicles which are very suitable for the flooding scenarios. Right guys how’s it going there? There is a way of laying these is there? There is a way of laying them yeah. You bring them close to each other first is it? Yes.

It’s the first line across and the next ones go in between and you can see where they cause the seal here. And that’ll totally seal water? That’ll totally seal and have a look at the door we went in with a line then right across the front of the lower part of the lower sandbag as well when we were finished building up. The fear at the back of my mind is that we get the combination of torrential rain with a very high tide and onshore winds and we get a combination of coastal flooding and torrential rain and rivers overflowing. That’s kind of a nightmare scenario. Flooding is a problem we all share throughout Ireland. As an act of nature it can’t be totally avoided, but we can lessen its worst effects. As we look for the solutions for the future we should focus on the underlying causes of climate change that we are currently failing to address..