Climate Change

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Chapter 12: Energy, Air Quality, and Climate Change:

Chapter 12: Energy, Air Quality, and Climate Change John Corcoran EBS 6635 April 13, 2013


Climate change is the biggest environmental issue of our time Scientists agree: “climate change is occurring, is caused largely by human activities, and poses significant risks for – and in many cases is already affecting – a broad range of human and natural systems” (National Research Council 2010d) Focal points of the chapter: Mitigation and Adaptation Introduction

Main Cause of Climate Change:

Main Cause of Climate Change Human caused emissions of carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels

The Problem: Demand for Energy:

The Problem: Demand for Energy Our energy dilemma is threefold 1. Oil 2. Carbon 3. Increased Global Demand

The Solutions:

The Solutions Solutions to our energy dilemma are also threefold 1. Advanced sustainable energy technology 2. Consumer and community choice 3. Planning and public policies

Climate Change Imperative:

Global temperatures are increasing Increased temperatures bring on a wide variety of environmental and human problems International and national policies must be implemented Cities and communities must “buy in” and take the lead Climate Change Imperative


Trends Despite increased global awareness, emissions continue to increase China trends United States trends Per Capita CO2 as indicator If trends continue…

International and US Efforts:

International and US Efforts Kyoto Protocol Lack of international consensus and action US slow to legislate National Research Council recommendations

Regional, State, and Local Efforts:

Regional, State, and Local Efforts 35 States currently have Climate Change Action Plans States have joined together US Cities & Mayor’s Climate Protection Agreement Lack of progress despite efforts

Become a Low Carbon Community: Technology:

Become a Low Carbon Community: Technology Buildings Neighborhood Community

Become a Low Carbon Community: Choice and Behavior:

Become a Low Carbon Community: Choice and Behavior Education Resources

Become a Low Carbon Community: Plans and Policies:

Become a Low Carbon Community: Plans and Policies Action plans Building efficiency Renewable energy Transportation options Financial incentives Other “green” programs

Adaptation to Climate Change:

Adaptation to Climate Change Some affects of climate change are already happening Mitigation is not enough, we must begin to adapt

Adaptation to Climate Change:

Two strategies have begun to be implemented 1. Lessen impacts using technology and planning 2. Anticipating impact and changing human patterns Adaptation to Climate Change

Adaptation to Climate Change: Case Studies:

Adaptation to Climate Change: Case Studies Florida Planning yielded three action steps 1. Protection 2. Retreat 3. Accommodation California Planning yielded seven critical impact areas 1. Public health 2. Biodiversity and habitat 3. Ocean and coastal resources 4. Water management 5. Agriculture 6. Forestry 7. Transportation and energy infrastructure


Conclusion While permanent changes have occurred, there is still time to face climate change We need to act internationally, nationally, and locally to face this issue

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