CLIMATE, CONFLICT, & EXTINCTION OF SPECIES

  • August 17, 2014 · 10:30 AM
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Dr. Tom English, President of the TESSI Endangered Species Institute, will examine the combination of climate change and deforestation that has led to the largest rate of extinction since the demise of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago, and now threatens the human food web and human extinction through global warfare.

Dr. Tom English is currently the Account Manager for Empowered Energy Solutions; his academic background includes a postdoctoral MS in environmental engineering, a Ph.D. and a MS in electrical engineering, and a BS in Physics; he has lectured at over 100 universities and given eight presentations at the White House; he has held and continues to hold several positions directing environmental programs for corporations and public groups.

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  • Jack T.

    over 100 species lost every day just due to rainforest destruction. cowspiracy.com

    2 · July 16, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      I've done the math before, the steer lives 15 months before slaughter, ideally. On the other hand, you can't count the time that dry milk cows were wet, because that water went to another product, milk. 455 days * 6 gallons = 2,730 gallons, divide by 800 pounds of meat = 3 gallons, and you get less than a gallon per burger, not that we've counted everything.

      August 27, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      I don't count cows. Only steers. Beef is a by-product of dairy. Most of the burgers come from animals raised strictly for meat. Keep it simple.

      August 27, 2014

  • Mike

    James, I think I get it now!..."dead species don't matter to biologists who study life" the way autopsies don't matter to doctors.

    1 · August 22, 2014

    • Mike

      Boy, do I have egg on my face! SAWMTBML (slinking away with my tail b/t my legs). Stephen, if you can't see the relevance of my 'sarcastic' statement...well, I don't know what to say, except the previous response to James I made that doesn't seem to have gotten posted (as didn't the response from James I was responding to). That is, study of the dead informs study of the living, be it corpse or species.

      August 23, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      Just click on the "View all n replies" link.

      August 24, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Dearest all, Is this level of discussion typical for this group? Just wondering what to expect, since this is the first event I've attended in a year or two.

    August 24, 2014

    • Mike

      Diana, I don't think this is the norm. But this topic is very emotionally charged, in my opinion b/c there is no way for those of us who would advocate caution moving forward to evade the potential, scientifically verified consequences being forced upon us by those who would rationalize placing the whole earth in jeopardy for profit (in other words, we should forgo some profit/'progress'­ in exchange for a little insurance that we're not driving ourselves into extinction due to our greed and primal instincts - after all, the profit motive is why we grow like a cancer w/o the constraints placed on the rest of the animal kingdom). We can install a fluoride filter or (try) to avoid GMOs, but we can't avoid climate change...hence the feeling of being trapped. Tonight's SDARI lecture on bias might be telling of a lot of what is going on in this discussion.

      2 · August 24, 2014

    • Debbie A.

      No. Surprising.

      1 · August 24, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Interesting graphic, the number of species known vs. the number of species at risk. http://goo.gl/nUonlf

    Here is the only figure that needed to be presented, "Of the 44,838 species assessed worldwide using the IUCN Red List criteria, 905 are extinct and 16,928 are listed as threatened to be extinct." (since 1500 A.D.) http://www.endangeredspeciesinternational.org/overview1.html
    http://www.endangeredspeciesinternational.org/overview5.html

    August 19, 2014

    • stephen k.

      James, I did not find the terms pan-speciation or pan-specie-ism in my somewhat limited reference material, so you might have to explain what you mean (I have my concept of what you mean, I would like to hear your concept of what you mean). My question to you still remains; "do you want a humanist science based on improving the future of the earth for our human descendants, or are you for a humanist science based on improving the future of the earth for the descendants of all living beings. Regarding data, I'm unclear on your concept of ethical rules.

      August 23, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      Stephen, Please don't ask me to take credit, you already defined it. Pan-speciesism - The belief that men should improve the future of the earth for the descendants of all living beings. My concept of ethical rules is both personal and public. The way I see it, one's personal ethics determines how one communicates, both personally and scientifically, and one's capacity for communicating meaning to others is affected by this. I do not see these as the kind of rules that are necessarily shared or enforced, however.

      August 23, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    English has an open mind, and is one of the best speakers of his kind I've seen, and one that can survive tough questions. I think what has to be kept in mind on this topic is that all of the, "predictions", he talked about, while being, "standard science", and in agreement with Time Magazine, etc., are hardly true in the sense that, "The future is provable." What is undeniably true are the parts about gas measurements, gas chemistry, and temperature measurements - All the other claims he made are based on predictions of global warming, as if the prediction being confirmed by a computer model is a provable fact. If that were all there was to physical science, anyone could believe these scare stories as vividly as Dr English does.

    August 17, 2014

    • stephen k.

      James,you are coasting very close to using the same mode of argumentation. I just pointed out to Jim.

      August 23, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      Oh, my!

      August 23, 2014

  • stephen k.

    As to the hell question;There is no heaven, and there is no hell. Every good humanist innately understands this. Hell is right here on earth, in the world culture in which we are compelled to live. There are heavenly places here on earth, isolated places where we are not compelled to participate in the rules, norms, and expectations of the world culture that permeates the thinking of a vast majority of the people on the earth.

    August 23, 2014

  • Mike

    Another consideration is how much methane leakage takes place with NG production and transport,which some sources peg as high as 7%. That supposedly negates all of NG's advantage over coal. In figuring the 'advantages' of NG, the industry uses a much lower figure, something like 2% leakage.

    August 19, 2014

    • Jim W.

      That's why certain groups make inconvenient facts "controversial"­?

      August 21, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      Individuals, too.

      August 21, 2014

  • Joanne

    Enjoyed this event very much. Thought allowing questions during the presentation quite helpful. The visuals didn't seem suited to the environment, or maybe I was the only one having difficulty seeing all the details of the slides. My question about other countries converting their garbage to energy was answered with information about a state bill to reduce garbage per household. Waste reduction is important, but I really wanted to know his view on using it as another energy source. Thank you, Cy, for bringing this speaker.

    August 17, 2014

    • stephen k.

      Joanne, in the early 90s, the County of San Diego was proposing to install a trash-to-energy plant at the San Marco's landfill. I think that I'm correct in saying that it got preliminary approval from quite a few agencies except the EPA. The EPA had a concern about smokestack emissions and asked for more study, which, as I recall, were pretty perfunctory in the initial reports. Upon further study, it turned out that there were quite a few more noxious emissions then outlined in the preliminary studies. Therefore, the EPA asked for some additional smokestack scrubbing. I think that the emissions technology was too costly to include in the county proposal, therefore, the county withdrew its energy component and I think that it failed when put up to a public vote.

      August 19, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      Wow, thanks Stephen for this real-life case of the People and the public fund vs. the E.P.A. vs. the environment.

      August 19, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    The EPA considers the generation of electricity to be the largest generator of carbon dioxide emissions by our society. (http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/ghgemissions/gases/co2.html) Assuming this is true and with this thought in mind, does anyone know of a reliable comparison between the carbon dioxide production of a gasoline engine automobile and the carbon dioxide production of the electricity for a primarily electric automobile over the same time and distance of use?

    August 17, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      Thanks for the link, Jim. If these numbers are accurate, I'm getting that there is no carbon footprint gain from using the electric car in some areas of the country, and in fact, the emissions may be higher depending on where you charge up when compared to an efficient gasoline-driven car. (For those who did not read the link, I'll quote the salient info below). What I extrapolate from this is that LOCAL pollution will be reduced, so that there will be indirect health benefits in densely populated areas but that the contribution to global warming is nearly the same. EXCERPT: "a hypothetical Los Angeles Leaf would be accountable for the release of an admirably low level of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, about the same as a gasoline car getting 79 miles per gallon. But the Denver car would cause as large a load of greenhouse gases to enter the atmosphere as some versions of the gasoline-powered Mazda 3, a compact sedan rated at 33 m.p.g."

      1 · August 19, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      There's the trick: solar recharging station to bring the carbon use down. Uh-oh. Then we have to examine the carbon emissions from making solar panels. I know nothing about this. It's a winding investigative road here. So much for picking out a car because it's red.

      1 · August 19, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Did anyone pick up the information about Dr. English's son's business? I was unable to stay afterwards to do so myself because we just learned that a friend was in the hospital.

    August 18, 2014

    • stephen k.

      Tom English Empowered Power Solutions [masked]

      August 18, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      Thank you! I think this may be they: ttps://www.facebook.com/­pages/Empowered-Energy-S­olutions/166446844228

      August 18, 2014

  • Douglas W.

    Outstanding presentation. It tackled the biggest offender of climate change. Population growth, which fuels the need for more agriculture and animal husbandry, also significantly increase the volume of greenhouse emissions in our atmosphere. We are going to have to re-evaluate quite a few things to save humanity from itself, and investing in renewable energy is the best way to do that right now.

    1 · August 17, 2014

  • Wilfredo P.

    Excellent presentation by Dr. English. But he was preaching to the choir. It's the climate change deniers who need to see this presentation.

    1 · August 17, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Thanks for providing this thought-provoking speaker. Although I considered this the "lite" version of this topic, it is a deep and many-layered subject. An hour or two can't do it full justice. If only for my own emotional state of mind, I appreciated the more hopeful outlook that some social and political leaders are taking this seriously and trying to raise awareness. However, the main problem was merely touched upon: too many humans. If the consequences of our overweening consumption were to be visited upon only the human species, I would be less concerned. Unfortunately, species not contributing to the tipping balance of nature are the first to reap the consequences. Still, I'd love to revisit the chance to go solar to help reduce my contribution to the situation.

    August 17, 2014

  • Latha P.

    Viyan and I enjoyed the lecture. Thank you for organizing it.

    August 17, 2014

  • Wilfredo P.

    Back already, Debbie? I didn't know you had left! Nevertheless, it will be nice to see you on Sunday. This promises to be a very interesting presentation!

    August 14, 2014

  • Debbie A.

    I'm baaaacckkk! Or at least I will be for a few weeks. Looking forward to seeing you all and attending this lecture!

    1 · August 12, 2014

  • NancY

    Yikes! I'll be out of the country for this one! Will it be recorded for later viewing?

    July 16, 2014

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