Green Efforts Preparing to Participate in the National Teach-In for Global Warming Solutions February 4th and 5th, 2009 Kimberly Smith Robert Reavis Steve Emrick
Overview • Climate Change • The basics • Recent updates • Incorporating Sustainability into Your Curriculum • National Teach-In for Global Warming Solutions February 4-5 • The Green Efforts Committee • Resources
Climate Change Basics • IPCC = Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. A conservative scientific body established in 1988 to study human caused climate change. • Climate– weather averages, very predictable, depends on Earth’s orbit, axis, the sun, and atmospheric gases. • Greenhouse gases = carbon dioxide, water vapor, and methane.
Climate Change Basics • Greenhouse Effect = greenhouse gases absorb heat and warm the atmosphere. They exist naturally or life would not exist. However, some of these gases are being concentrated unnaturally by human activity such as burning fossil fuels, deforestation, and certain agricultural practices like factory farming of animals.
Climate Change Basics • The climate changes slowly and naturally over millions of years and ice ages come and go. • However humans are currently creating an atmosphere unlike anything Earth has experienced. • The accelerated disturbances of human activity on climate will have devastating effects.
Climate Change BasicsSigns of Global Warming • Sea level rising • Sea ice melting (Arctic and Antarctic) • Glaciers melting worldwide • Arctic and Antarctic Peninsula heating up fastest • Melting on ice sheets is accelerating • More severe weather (droughts, floods, storms, heat waves, hard freezes, etc.) • The Bottom Line: • These changes do not fit natural patterns unless we add in human effects of increased Greenhouse gasses
Climate Change Basics 1941 2004
Climate Change BasicsWho cares if Ice Melts? Areas in red will be under water if all Greenland melts.
Climate Change BasicsAdditional Consequences • Fastest extinction rate of life on Earth in 65 Million years (1000x normal rate) • Increased disease (e.g. asthma, malaria) • Increased poverty and hunger • Sea level rise, habitat loss • Coral bleaching, ocean acidification • More extreme weather • Droughts • Flooding • Heat-waves • Storms
Climate Change 101 Presentation • On the Green Efforts web site there is a PowerPoint explaining the basics of climate change in easy to understand language. • Any GCC faculty can use/modify this presentation to share with their students
Climate Change Updates • Global CO2 emissions are exceeding the most pessimistic IPCC emissions scenario. • Despite the increasing international sense of urgency, the growth rate of emissions continued to speed up, bringing the atmospheric CO2 concentration to 383 parts per million (ppm) in 2007.
Climate Change Updates • The growth rate of CO2 was 2.2 ppm per year in 2007 (up from 1.8 ppm in 2006), and above the 2.0 ppm average for the period 2000-2007. • This concentration of 383 ppm is the highest during the last 650,000 years and probably during the last 20 million years. • Many scientists agree that it is of critical importance to keep carbon dioxide levels lower than 450 ppm.
Climate Change Updates • To stabilize at 450 ppm, fossil fuel use needs to peak by 2020. Even then global temperatures will increase 2.1oC and sea level will rise 20 inches. • China has passed the U.S. to become the largest CO2 emitter, and India will soon overtake Russia to become the third largest emitter.
Incorporating Sustainability • The book PLAN B 3.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization by Lester R. Brown, available for free downloading at http://www.earthpolicy.org/Books/PB3/Contents.htm • Green Efforts recommends this book
Incorporating Sustainability • Have students read a green book or watch a green DVD and write a report as an assignment or extra credit. • Assign team projects on sustainability. • Have students write their local, state, and federal politicians regarding green initiatives, laws, and economics.
Incorporating Sustainability • You don't need to be a global warming expert. Just talk for ten minutes about issues surrounding global warming, bringing in your own disciplinary perspective. • Remind students to recycle on campus. • Tell students about the Environmental Club.
Incorporating Sustainability • Psychology – fear and denial of climate change • Health – asthma and pollution • Communications – media and climate change • Business – green businesses • English – global warming and science fiction • Environmental studies – oil alternatives • Architecture – LEED buildings • Ag – end of factory farming? • Food science – buying local foods • Math – examining the tipping point
Incorporating Sustainability • Economics – flood and drought consequences • Political Science – global warming refugees • Foreign Language – different nations, different approaches • Engineering – green designs • Debate – has nuclear power’s time come? • Science – ocean acidification, solar power • Business – sea level rise and insurance • Sociology – breaking oil/car addictions • Art – poster contest • More ideas on the Teach-In website
National Teach-In • In the next few years, we as a nation must make critical decisions regarding climate change, pollution and clean technology investments. • These decisions will have far-reaching impacts on the lives of today’s students.
National Teach-In • At this moment in time, we owe our students at least one day of focused discussion about the worldwide repercussions of climate change. • A national teach-in is being organized on our nation’s response to climate change — creating a dialogue at over a thousand colleges, universities, and schools.
Schedule of Events Wednesday February 4th • 8:00 AM - 2:00 PM Sustainability Fair • Green vendors • Student displays and demos • 6:00 PM - 6:50 PM GCC Percussion Ensemble - African Drumming • 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM 'First 100 Days' Webcast with discussion to follow
Schedule of Events Thursday February 5th • 8:00 - 8:35 AM 'First 100 Days' Webcast (repeat) • 8:40 - 9:00 AM Science of Global Warming, Mary Harris, GCC Faculty • 9:05 - 11:20 AM Teach In: GCC Faculty & Student presentations • 11:30 AM - 12:20 PM Keynote Speaker: Nancy Selover, PhD, Arizona State Climatologist • 12:30 - 1:30 PM Round Table Discussion & Lunch • 5:00 - 6:00 PM Music and Sustainable Snacks • 6:00 - 7:00 PM Panel Discussion
Sustainability Day on Earth Day April 22nd • Dumpster Dive • Poster Session – students will display their green class projects • More TBD
How Can You Participate in the Teach-In? • Attend and encourage your students to attend the planned events February 4 - 5. Give extra credit or have students write a short summary of the presentations they attend. • Teach a mini-lesson in your own class about climate change and sustainability. Ideas are online. • Use the Climate Change 101 presentation and show to your classes.
What is the Green Efforts Committee? • Promotes green activities, processes, and actions at GCC. • Facilitates campus information on and efforts toward sustainability, recycling and awareness of environmental issues. • Meets on the second Friday of each month 1:30 - 3:00 PM, HT1 Room 124. Everyone Welcome!
Resources • Be sure to get the Resources Handout before you leave • Thank you for coming and we hope to see you again.