- Discuss Climate Change: Social Dinner
We'll be meeting in a diner to discuss various aspects of climate change. We will discuss a bill in congress, HR 763, the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, https://energyinnovationact.org/ , but it's a pretty simple bill, which should leave us with plenty of time to discuss other things that people want to talk about. The restaurant has a huge menu, does separate checks, and takes credit cards. Everyone will pay for their own meal.
- Future of Energy Solutions: Panel & Networking
You *MUST* buy a ticket, which is $10 with discount code "energymeetup50". Buy tickets here: https://www.besocialchange.com/product/future-energy-solutions/ This is not an NYC Conservative Climate Activists event, it is a co-listing of another group's event. With your ticket, you also get light refreshments which includes fruit, cheese, crackers, and chips. This will be a panel and networking activity about clean energy sources. What would our world look like if we could make clean energy accessible for everyone? Nearly every part of our energy systems affects the environment. Renewable energy sources have never been as accessible as they are now, though most of us don’t know where to start. Join us to discuss simple steps everyone can take to reduce our impact on the environment. What You’ll Learn Unique energy solutions that are available to New Yorkers In-depth perspectives on clean energy and the merits of different options Challenges and opportunities in converting to renewable energy Innovative organizations that are making clean energy easy, affordable and accessible Career opportunities in energy solutions companies Strategies to reduce our footprint through our everyday choices About Be Social Change Events In addition to gaining a better understanding of how you can make an impact through your energy decisions, you’ll also have an opportunity to build your network by connecting with like-motivated people from the Be Social Change community. Healthy + Sustainable Snacks Provided – Gluten-Free and Vegan Options Available. We strive to produce as minimal waste as possible during Be Social Change events – help us by bringing a reusable water bottle to the event. Schedule: 6:30 – 7:00 pm – Networking 7:00 – 7:15 pm – Intro + Collaborative Q&A 7:15 – 8:00 pm – Panel Discussion 8:00 – 8:30 pm – Q&A 8:30 – 9:00 pm – Networking Featured Panelists: Mary Beth Mandanas, EVP, Chief Strategy Officer, CleanChoice Energy Tamara Bryan, Program Manager, Con Edison Reed Shapiro, Director of Business Development, Carbon Credit Capital Noah Ginsburg, Director, Here Comes Solar, Solar One Moderator: Marcos Salazar For bios of the panelists and sponsors of this event, see: https://www.besocialchange.com/product/future-energy-solutions/ Be Social Change is New York’s largest social impact community helping people build careers and lives of social impact. Membership (not required for this event) is $19 / year. Visit https://www.besocialchange.com/membership for more information.
- Nuclear Power & Climate Change
Nuclear is a very low-carbon source of energy Statistically, nuclear has a much, much lower rate of deaths per kilowatt-hour than most other sources, even if Chernobyl and Fukushima are taken into account. People installing rooftop solar frequently fall off of roofs and die, so that statistically, solar energy doesn't come out looking that good. Fossil fuels, particularly coal, are just awful in terms of safety. And sometimes dams fail, unleashing a tidal wave that wipes out whole towns or cities downstream -- one dam in China killed 170,000 people when it failed. It's not fair to exclude that catastrophe unless you exclude Chernobyl, too, which you shouldn't. Here is a list of deaths per kilowatt-hour from various energy sources: https://tinyurl.com/jjgppmd Nuclear is MUCH more expensive than wind or solar on a sunny, windy day, but on a calm night, wind and solar can't be had at any price. Enough battery storage to reliably keep the grid on every day and night of the year for an exclusively renewable-based grid is still very prohibitively expensive. Known land-based uranium reserves are only enough to last another 90 years, but the cost of extracting uranium from seawater, while more expensive than mining it on land, is not prohibitive, and that supply could last us billions (billions, not millions) of years. https://tinyurl.com/y8on9g89 Thorium is more plentiful than uranium, and thorium nuclear power is harder to convert into weapons. There would be a large R&D effort needed to develop thorium power, but India and China, both of whom have large thorium reserves, are undertaking that R&D effort. The regulatory cost of licensing a new design of nuclear plant is high, so the countries with successful programs, like France, Sweden, and South Korea, have based on their efforts on repeating standard designs. Most of the cost of nuclear energy is the cost of the plant, with fuel being less than 2% of the total. So it doesn't really make economic sense to build a plant and then not run it at full throttle. Also, powering a plant up and down frequently puts a lot of thermal stress on it and wears out the equipment sooner, which is expensive. Existing plants generally take days to power on or off, so it isn't really feasible to have nuclear plants turning on or off to make up for the intermittency of wind and solar energy. We will also be talking a bit about future technologies. Free pizza will be served.
- A Zero-Carbon, Zero-Nuclear Economy by 2050
This event is a repeat of the Mark Z Jacobson event on March 12. This time it will just be a co-listing of an event held by the Alternative Energy Meetup and Citizens Climate Lobby meetup. There won't be pizza this time, but bagels, cookies, and soft drinks will be available. Jacobson himself will not be present. We will be showing a YouTube video of a one-hour slide show he gave in Vancouver in October last year, along with the exact powerpoint slides he used. Stanford professor Mark Z Jacobson has a very detailed plan for the US, and the whole world, to reach zero carbon emissions while also phasing out nuclear by 2050, without assuming any major technological breakthroughs. Wind and solar energy require some cost-effective energy storage solution to keep the lights on during windless nights, and it's doubtful whether batteries will ever get cheap enough for grid energy storage. So Jacobson's plans is to use hydro, and only run water through the turbines at times when wind and solar energy isn't adequate to meet demand. This would require on order of magnitude more dam turbines than we currently have. Most informed people realize that we've really exhausted nearly all the rivers suitable for damming for hydro, and Jacobson realizes that, too. His plan is add turbines, both to existing hydro power dams, and to the many irrigation dams that we have that currently have no turbines installed. Many other energy storage options are considered. Jacobson's paper (132 pages of it) is here: https://web.stanford.edu/group/efmh/jacobson/Articles/I/USStatesWWS.pdf Some critics, including many of Jacobson's fellow Stanford professors, led by Christopher Clack, wrote a paper in the same journal http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2017/06/16/1610381114.full?tab=author-info claiming that Jacobson was - making inconsistent claims - assuming, among other things, that nearly every building in the country would be massively retrofitted to conserve energy, without being realistic about the economic costs of that - failing to take into account the cost of necessary grid expansion - making over optimistic assumptions about how cheaply capital could be obtained - making over optimistic assumptions on the rates at which wind and solar capacity could be increased - making over optimistic assumptions about the ease of achieving grid stability from intermittent energy sources Jacobson filed a lawsuit against Clack & co, which was widely seen as an inappropriate response to an academic disagreement. He later dropped the suit, leaving his detractors with large legal bills and thus deterring anyone else from criticizing him. No free pizza this time, but there will be bagels and cookies. This will be a Citizens Climate Lobby (CCL) event, which will affect the content of the talk, because CCL believes in polite, civil conversation and not criticizing other environmental groups. We do expect to thoroughly cross-examine and debate the merits of professor Jacobson's plan, though.
- Legal Ramifications of Event Attribution
You *MUST* register here: http://tinyurl.com/TrustLaw-Apr24 The Thomson Reuters Foundation invites you to a panel discussion on the role of event attribution science in climate litigation. “Event attribution” is a ground-breaking new field of study that determines what proportion of a specific extreme weather event can be blamed on climate change. Experts suggest that it could play a major role in climate change litigation, which in turn could reshape climate mitigation and adaptation policies globally. Join us on April 24th, and hear leading experts in the sector share their insights on how this cutting-edge science could hold businesses and governments accountable – and drive climate-related lawsuits. The panel discussion will be followed by a reception. Speakers: Jeffrey Sachs, University Professor and Director of the Center for Sustainable Development, Columbia University Michael Burger, Executive Director, Sabin Center, Senior Research Scholar and Lecturer in Law, Columbia Law School Julie Arrighi, Climate Advisor, Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre Peter Frumhoff, Director of Science and Policy, Union of Concerned Scientists Lindene Patton, Partner, Earth and Water Law Group Moderator: Sebastien Malo, Climate Correspondent, Thomson Reuters Foundation *Tickets are subject to availability- for any questions, please contact Emily Donohoe, Program Officer - North America, TrustLaw : [masked] This is NOT an NYC-CCA event, we are merely co-listing a TrustLaw event. There will be no free pizza.
- Soho Forum Debate: Is Global Warming Real?
Buy tickets here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/soho-forum-debate-craig-idso-vs-jeffrey-bennett-tickets-47362915756 There is a Libertarian group "The Soho Forum" that conducts monthly debates on various topics. We are co-listing their April 15th debate, which is on the topic of global warming. The resolution being debated is: "There is little or no rigorous evidence that rising concentrations of carbon dioxide are causing dangerous global warming and threatening life on the planet." Everybody votes with their phones both before and after the debate, and whoever changes the most minds in their direction "wins". However, 90% of Soho Forum debates result in a "victory" for whichever side is more Libertarian, so there a probably a lot of people voting "undecided" at the beginning who are really anything but. But it should be a fun debate. This is *NOT* a normal NYC Conservative Climate Activists event, we are just co-listing another group's event. You have to buy a ticket ($24 adult, $12 student). There will be no pizza, but there will be very good finger food for free, and a cash bar.
- Richard Ruins Everything
There is a TV series "Adam Ruins Everything" where Adam is this really smart, really annoying guy who, every episode, tells you that everything you believed about a certain subject was wrong. Everything Adam says is true, and at the end of the episode it becomes clear that he hasn't made himself any friends. This event will be about Berkeley physics professor Richard A. Muller, who similarly "ruined" climate science. In November 2009, someone (whose identity is still unknown) hacked into the email servers of the Climatic Research Unit, stole over 30 megabytes of private email between some of the world's leading climate scientists, and uploaded them to Wikileaks. According to the climate skeptics, the emails proved that global warming was a complete fraud. According to the more liberal mainstream media, while there were some impolite things said in the emails, investigations cleared the parties of all scientific wrongdoing. Berkeley physics professor Richard A. Muller, a liberal who believed in climate change, investigated it for himself, and was outraged by some of what he found. He felt that at least one major instance of deception was uncovered, and was upset about some other things. He felt that some of the basic rules of conducting science had been violated, and he said "There are some scientists whose papers I won't read any more.", probably referring to Michael Mann, who is the most famous active climate scientist today. Richard felt that he couldn't trust climate science as a discipline, and assembled a whole team to recreate the temperature record. He started from the same data sets of raw material, but a tremendous amount of statistical manipulation of the data was necessary to get anything meaningful out of it. It was a huge amount of work, and took a couple of years. Climate skeptics were delighted to have a scientist of such stature bad mouthing climate science as a discipline, and the Koch brothers even helped fund Richard's work. At the end, Richard's team recreated the last 250 years of temperature history, and he says the task turned out to be easier than he expected. The temperature record they arrived at basically agreed with what the climate scientists had been saying all along. But Richard has a lot of opinions on the subject of climate change, and he's not very tribal about it at all. He has a lot of criticism for both sides. So for this event, we're going to talk about "All Things Richard". Free pizza will be served.
- The Mark Z Jacobson Energy Plan
Stanford professor Mark Z Jacobson has a very detailed plan for the US to reach zero carbon emissions while also phasing out nuclear by 2050, without assuming any major technological breakthroughs. Wind and solar energy require some cost-effective energy storage solution to keep the lights on during windless nights, and it's doubtful whether batteries will ever get cheap enough for grid energy storage. So Jacobson's plans is to use hydro, and only run water through the turbines at times when wind and solar energy isn't adequate to meet demand. This would require on order of magnitude more dam turbines than we currently have. Most informed people realize that we've really exhausted nearly all the rivers suitable for damming for hydro, and Jacobson realizes that, too. His plan is add turbines, both to existing hydro power dams, and to the many irrigation dams that we have that currently have no turbines installed. Many other energy storage options are considered. Jacobson's paper (132 pages of it) is here: https://web.stanford.edu/group/efmh/jacobson/Articles/I/USStatesWWS.pdf Some critics wrote a paper http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2017/06/16/1610381114.full?tab=author-info that, when I read it, sounded like they were accusing Jacobson of planning to build 13 times more dams than we currently have, which any informed person knows is out of the question. Jacobson sued them for deliberately lying about his work, but has since withdrawn the lawsuit. Free pizza will be served.
- History of the Climate Debate: Movie "Merchants of Doubt"
The movie "Merchants of Doubt" is a history of the climate change debate, from a climate activist point of view. This is the movie version of a previous book by the same title: "The U.S. scientific community has long led the world in research on public health, environmental science, and other issues affecting the quality of life. Our scientists have produced landmark studies on the dangers of DDT, tobacco smoke, acid rain, and global warming. But at the same time, a small yet potent subset of this community leads the world in vehement denial of these dangers." "In their new book, Merchants of Doubt, historians Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway explain how a loose–knit group of high-level scientists, with extensive political connections, ran effective campaigns to mislead the public and deny well-established scientific knowledge over four decades. In seven compelling chapters addressing tobacco, acid rain, the ozone hole, global warming, and DDT, Oreskes and Conway roll back the rug on this dark corner of the American scientific community, showing how the ideology of free market fundamentalism, aided by a too-compliant media, has skewed public understanding of some of the most pressing issues of our era." Free pizza will be served.
- How Painful will Reducing Our Carbon Footprint Be?
I really am skeptical of the claim by most environmentalists that curbing carbon emissions will be relatively painless. I think curbing our carbon emissions will involve considerable sacrifice, and it's important to prepare the public for this sacrifice. We will also be discussing - ClimateGate - The government climate report that Trump arranged to have released the day after Thanksgiving, hoping that people wouldn't notice it - The IPCC report that came out earlier this fall urging that we hold warming to 1.5 degrees C by 2100 - The "Green New Deal" that's being talked about - The bipartisan "Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act" that's in both chambers of congress As usual, free pizza will be served.