Taking the Long View: The ‘Forever Legacy’ of Climate Change Climate change projections often focus on 2100. But the geological record shows that unless we rapidly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, we will be locking in drastic increases in temperatures and sea levels that will alter the earth not just for centuries, but for millennia. By ROB WILDER AND DAN KAMMEN Click here to read directly on Yale Environment360.
From the April 4 Washington Post: and developed by ERG PhD student Zeke Hausfather: For more than 1,000 years, emperors, aristocrats, governors and monks have chronicled the flowering of Japan’s famed cherry trees in the city of Kyoto. But bloom dates have shifted radically earlier in recent decades, a sure sign that the region’s climate is warming and warming fast. Yasuyuki Aono, a professor of environmental sciences at Osaka Prefecture University, has assembled a data set that compiles blossom-flowering dates in Kyoto all the way back to 800 A.D. It shows a sudden and remarkable change in the past 150 to 200 years. From roughly 800 to 1850, the blossom flowering time was fairly stable. While the bloom dates bounced around quite a bit from year to year during April, the long-term average hovered between April 10 and April 17 (the 100th to 107th day of the year). (Invert plot to see the Hockey Stick!)
To listen or download the podcast:Paul Rogers, managing editor, KQED Science; environment writer, San Jose Mercury News Dan Kammen, professor of energy, UC Berkeley; director, Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory at UC Berkeley Dr. Chris Field, Perry L. McCarty director, Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment
[caption id="attachment_1915" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Camp for internally displaced persons in Malakal, South Sudan, following February 2016 violence[/caption] For a brief video introduction to the program, click here. Launched in May 2016, this new initiative focuses on the increasing overlap of conflict and climate change, and the potential of renewable energy as a tool for peace building and conflict prevention. The program will combine research, policy-based advocacy and operational programming in conflict-risk countries. The emphasis of the program is on action with three related goals: First, to build stronger links between the communities working on conflict prevention and those working on climate change. Second, to help encourage the use of clean energy development programs as accepted tools for peace building and conflict prevention, including through pilot projects in conflict-risk or crisis settings. Third, to highlight the opportunities for peace building and inclusive political mobilization that come from a shared threat of climate change.
June 1, 2016 – Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM7), San Francisco, CA UC-Berkeley’s Renewable and Appropriate Energy Lab (RAEL) launches Program on Conflict, Climate Change and Green Development, welcomes David Mozersky as Director. Berkeley and San Francisco, California – David Mozersky has been appointed Founding Director of the Program on Conflict, Climate Change, and Green Development. This new program will be under the leadership of Professor Dan Kammen, Director of the Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory (RAEL; rael.berkeley.edu) at the University of California, Berkeley. Kammen is currently serving as the Science Envoy for the U. S. State Department for climate change with a focus on Africa and the Middle East. “Energy, natural resources and conflict have long been connected and the source of local to global-scale disputes. These challenges will accelerate as demand for energy and water is increasing and available resources constrained. It is increasingly apparent that a rapidly changing climate strains these already delicate relationships and is creating conflicts. We are excited to have Mr. Mozersky to lead this new initiative and hopeful to create meaningful action,” said Dan Kammen, who is a Professor in the Energy and Resources Group, the Goldman School of Public Policy, and in the Department if Nuclear Engineering at UC Berkeley. Professor Kammen elaborated, “Mr. Mozersky has extensive experience in conflict prevention, negotiation and peacebuilding. He brings to RAEL a strong vision for how clean energy and green development may help mitigate the conflict drivers associated with the impacts climate change.” He has worked extensively across Africa in a varied conflict prevention programs since 2001. Mr. Mozersky has testified before the US Congress and Canadian Parliament on issues relating to conflict as an internationally recognized expert in the challenges facing the region. Most recently, he has been leading a partnership to develop a clean energy development framework in South Sudan. “This program will conduct research, develop partnerships, and support practitioners in efforts to work on the growing nexus of conflict and climate change. There is a clear role for renewable energy and green development as a tool for peacebuilding and conflict prevention,” stated Mr. Mozersky. The emphasis of the program is on action with three related goals: First, to build stronger links between the communities working on conflict prevention and those working on climate change. Second, to help encourage the use of clean energy development programs as accepted tools for peace building and conflict prevention. Third, to highlight the opportunities for peace building and inclusive political mobilization that come from a shared threat of climate change. Climate change and climate induced natural resource scarcity is a contributing factor in some of the world’s most devastating conflicts over the last decade. Energy scarcity is likely to increase with the escalating impacts of climate change and subsequent conflict. Countering this trend will require the adoption of new multi-sector strategies. The Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory and the program on Conflict, Climate Change, & Green Development will work with a wide range of partners to develop solutions and accomplish these goals. The Program on Conflict, Climate Change and Green Development team invites inquiries and looks forward to partnerships with energy access and conflict resolution programs worldwide. CONTACTS: David Mozersky, Program Director Program on Conflict, Climate Change and Green Development Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory http://rael.berkeley.edu Tel: +1-510-642-1760 University of California, Berkeley Berkeley, Calif. 94720-3050 Email: email@example.com Professor Daniel M. Kammen Founding Director, Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory University of California, Berkeley http://rael.berkeley.edu Tel: +1-510-642-1760 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @dan_kammen Images (Left): Deserted town center in South Sudan following civil conflict. Rebuilding with clean-energy provides a means to develop sustainable infrastructure that blends current needs and long-term reconstruction in post-conflict states; (Center) Program Director David Mozersky; (Right) Professor Dan Kammen Reference: Kammen, D. M. (2015) “Peace through grids”, MIT Technology Review, May/June, 2015. https://www.technologyreview.com/s/536716/peace-through-grids/
A debate on the role and future of nuclear power.
Meet the Berkeley burners trying to hack climate change The birthplace of a machine that could bring clean power to the developing world and knock a tiny dent in global warming looks like a junkyard on the edge of a port. Old shipping containers and metal scraps crowd the West Berkeley lot of All Power Labs. Prototypes of the company’s products stand watch over the front gate like rusted crows. Stray cats patrol the grounds, including the drafty former auto shop that the startup calls home. “That’s a few thousand dollars of bad decisions, there,” said Tom Price, All Power’s director of strategic initiatives, pointing to a heap of discarded stainless steel. He shrugs. “Make it, break it, fix it, repeat.” That approach has produced the Power Pallet, a squat contraption that generates electricity from corn cobs, wood chips, coconut shells and other kinds of cheap, dense biomass. Although it costs $24,000 to $34,000, the Pallet can churn out electricity for less money than the diesel generators that power businesses across the developing world, while coughing up less pollution. And when used properly, the Pallet is “carbon negative,” pulling more heat-trapping carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere than it pumps back in. First, Burning Man Its very existence is almost an accident. Years ago, the tinkerers who would eventually found All Power were using the lot off Ashby Avenue for other purposes — building flame-throwing robots for Burning Man. Berkeley officials objected and convinced Pacific Gas and Electric Co. to cut the power. As a result, Jim Mason, All Power’s CEO, developed a keen interest in generating electricity off the grid. “We got shut off and decided to hack climate change,” Price said.