A NOTE FROM GREG In the afterglow of Paris, I began 2016 with the most hope I have felt since founding Climate One in 2007. Meanwhile, the drought in California was escalating, Arctic ice was melting, and atmospheric carbon was still increasing. It seemed like every month was the warmest on record — and indeed 2016 was the hottest year on record. But we had the Paris Agreement. The world had come together, acknowledged the problem and resolved to fix it. When Donald Trump surprised everyone and won the electoral college, my immediate questions were about his stance on climate change. Although Donald Trump supported a climate deal in Copenhagen, rhetoric and appointments of climate deniers to his cabinet indicate he will hold to his campaign threats. If the United States exits the Paris accord, or actively undermines the deal, it will be a blow to the global efforts. However, the picture is not as grim as some may fear. Cities and states are moving ahead with plans to clean up their economies. Electric utilities continue to move away from coal to cleaner burning fuels. Globally, economic growth and carbon pollution are decoupling. China has just pledged to plow $360 billion into renewable energy by 2020. At Climate One, our role is to keep people talking — week after week — about climate risks and opportunities. More people talking means more people keep talking, so a growing audience is our priority. Our podcast listenership nearly tripled in 2016. The radio show was broadcast on major radio stations across the nation including in Philadelphia, Washington DC and Boston. And we watched our live audience engage with incredible guests such as Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard, Green For All National Director Vien Truong, Nobel Laureate Steven Chu, and U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz. We also celebrated the Sixth Annual Steven Schneider Award, honoring Dr. Naomi Oreskes. In the coming years, we believe our work will be more important than ever. We don’t debate the existence of climate disruption; we vigorously debate the best solutions going forward. We hope you will join us in 2017 to help change the conversation.
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In 2016, 4,000 people joined us in person. The conversation continues online and on air.
73,000 unique visitors came to our website.
Our radio show aired on more than
150 stations around the country.
The number of people following us on Twitter grew by
37%. We had more than
52,000 video views on our YouTube channel.
95,000 people watched us on Facebook Live.
Our podcast was downloaded more than
300,000 times. climateone.org | 5
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FIGHTING FOSSIL FUELS ALL THE WAY TO PRISON TIM DECHRISTOPHER, Founder, Climate Disobedience Center GEORGIA HIRSTY, National Warehouse Program Manager, Greenpeace BRENDON STEELE, Director of Stakeholder Engagement, Future 500
How far would you go to get the message out about climate disruption? We kicked off 2016 with three guests so deeply dedicated to preventing climate change, one had even done time in prison for his activism. After delivering a chilling lecture on the irreversible impacts of global warming, Stanford professor Terry Root put her hand on the shoulder of Tim DeChristopher and said, “I’m so sorry my generation failed yours.” Those words haunted DeChristopher, setting him on a path first to despair, and then to activism. He infiltrated an auction for oil
and gas leases on public lands where, as Bidder 70, he bid on — and won — several leases. With no intention to pay, he was prosecuted and sent to prison for two years. DeChristopher, along with Georgia Hirsty, a Greenpeace activist who hung on a rope from a bridge over the Willamette River, and Brendon Steele, who works on stakeholder engagement with Future 500, talked to us about the various ways they are fighting for change.
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U.S. ENERGY SECRETARY & BUSINESS LEADERS ERNEST MONIZ, U.S. Secretary of Energy HAL HARVEY, CEO, Energy Innovation DANNY KENNEDY, Managing Director, California Clean Energy Fund LYNDON RIVE, Cofounder and CEO, SolarCity
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U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz came to Climate One for a look at our climate future. “I have to say, I feel pretty confident that we will be able to move forward pretty aggressively,” said Moniz. He talked about technology and innovation being key to meeting our carbon goals, and how American ingenuity is spurring the progress of renewable energy and greener transportation options. Could there be bipartisan support in a divided Congress? Moniz thought so;
in fact, he said, both chambers had been talking extensively about the issue. Later in the program however, Hal Harvey of Energy Innovation, pointed out that much of energy policy is set state-by-state, with some being greener than others. Not every state is ready to open their incumbent power monopolies to competition from solar and wind suppliers. Lyndon Rive of SolarCity called out Nevada as one state that’s been especially unfriendly to
solar. Then came some good news from Danny Kennedy of the California Clean Energy Fund. “The truth is, we’ve been succeeding as a clean energy industry now for over a decade, particularly in job creation,” he reported. “There are now more people employed in the solar industry than in the oil and gas extraction industry in America.” The event was just a few weeks after COP21 had wrapped up in Paris. One audience member asked the panel how the United States and other countries will hold each other accountable to promises made at the summit. Hal Harvey replied that transparency and markets will help keep
countries moving forward. “Copenhagen was all about burden sharing,” he said, “and Paris is all about opportunity. That’s a 180 switch.” Wind and solar power alone may not be enough to get the world to its climate goals. But combine that with political power, economic power, and a healthy dose of will power, and we may be well on our way.
“There are now more people employed in the solar industry than in the oil and gas extraction industry in America.”
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“To solve a problem this complex we are going to have to be agile and collaborative, and have everybody’s best ideas.”
HANDLING YOUR FEELINGS ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE JOAN BLADES, Co-founder, LivingRoomConversations.org JOSHUA FREEDMAN, CEO, Six Seconds; Author, Inside Change RENEE LERTZMAN, Climate Engagement Strategist
Do you lose sleep over the state of the planet? If so, you’re not alone. Psychologists have come to recognize the effects of climate anxiety, and many in the climate activism community admittedly suffer from it. But while feelings of despair can lead to inaction, the psychology of climate change can include feelings of hope and empowerment as well. We discussed the rising tide of emotion 10 | climateone.org
surrounding global warming, and why it can be so difficult to talk about it. We will need to welcome and engage all sides, because as Joan Blades aptly pointed out, “To solve a problem this complex we are going to have to be agile and collaborative, and have everybody’s best ideas.”
REMAKING THE PLANET KEN CALDEIRA, Climate Scientist, Carnegie Institution for Science, Department of Global Ecology at Stanford University OLIVER MORTON, Briefings Editor, Economist KIM STANLEY ROBINSON, Author, 2312
In an emergency, we’re told to break the glass and reach for the fire extinguisher. Some would argue we’re in the midst of a climate emergency. So what should we do? Climate scientist Ken Caldeira explained two approaches to cooling the earth. Remove the carbon dioxide we’re adding to the atmosphere or emulate nature, and “put material in the stratosphere to reflect sunlight.” A third option was offered up by Kim Stanley Robinson: remake our societies. “If we plant a lot of forests, if we give all the women on the planet their full legal rights, we’ve changed the climate of the earth in a radical way.”
“Unfortunately, the most environmentally responsible way is also the most politically difficult,” countered Caldeira, referring to geoengineering. “If there’s a leader of a country whose people are starving, and they think by injecting some particles in the stratosphere they can feed their people and alleviate suffering, the political pressure to do that is going to be intense.”
“Unfortunately, the most environmentally responsible way is also the most politically difficult.” climateone.org | 11
CLIMATE EQUITY MANUEL PASTOR, Director, Program for Environmental and Regional Equity, University of Southern California VIEN TRUONG, National Director, Green for All MIYA YOSHITANI, Executive Director, Asian Pacific Environmental Network
It remains to be seen if the emerging green economy will be more equitable and inclusive than the current economy, which often concentrates pollution into poor communities of color. People tend to think of environmentalism as a white, elitist movement, according to Manuel Pastor. More often it is “the immigrant woman who lives near a refinery in Wilmington, who’s facing the daily ravages of pollution from those remitting greenhouse gas emissions and the co-pollutants.” “So people of color across the board are 12 | climateone.org
actually more concerned about this.” Furthermore, Pastor explained that environmental disparity has long-term effects on children, “their ability to learn, their ability to do well in schools, their ability to be healthy. So this is an intergenerational crisis.” “Climate equity is not a special interest issue,” he concluded. “It’s at the center of what we need to do to address the climate crisis.” This program was made possible by the generous support of The San Francisco Foundation and the Seed Fund.
CIGARETTES & TAILPIPES: TALES OF TWO INDUSTRIES LOWELL BERGMAN, Investigative Journalist STANTON GLANTZ, Director, Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education, University of California, San Francisco KENNETH KIMMELL, President, Union of Concerned Scientists WILLIAM K. REILLY, Senior Advisor, TPG
Is oil the new tobacco? In the 1990s, tobacco company documents leaked to the news media proved for the first time that, not only did cigarette makers know their products were addictive and caused cancer, but they had been waging a concerted campaign to cover up the truth and distract the public from the dangers of smoking. Sound familiar? Stanton Glantz saw sinister parallels between
“Doubt is our product.”
the tobacco and oil industries, “in part because a lot of the same people and companies that the tobacco companies hired to create doubt and confusion about the dangers of smoking subsequently went to work for the petrochemical companies to do the same thing.” In the 1950s, “they realized that they couldn’t really contest the evidence linking cancer and smoking, so they came up with the idea of creating doubt.” In the words of the tobacco companies, Glantz said, “Doubt is our product.” climateone.org | 13
TODAY’S EV MARKET CHARLIE VOGELHEIM, Principal, Vogelheim Ventures SHERRY BOSCHERT, Author; EV Driver EILEEN TUTT, Executive Director, California Electric Transportation Coalition
Electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles offer the promise of guilt-free road trips and carpool lane benefits. But cars with a plug still account for less than five percent of new sales. The challenge? Cheap gas. “The fact that you can get gas at two dollars a gallon is really, really hurting this market,” said Eileen Tutt. Most people assume electric cars are just shiny toys for the well-heeled greenies in Silicon Valley, but Tutt disagreed. Thanks to rebates offered by California and the federal government, EVs are becoming more affordable to buy or
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lease. Charlie Vogelheim added that maintenance costs can be much lower with an EV. “You don’t really ever have an engine light go on, because there isn’t an engine.” California has about 250,000 EVs on the road today. Proponents are hoping the arrival of new sedans priced around $35,000 will bring new buyers into the EV club.
“You don’t really ever have an engine light go on, because there isn’t an engine.”
OLD NUKES, NEW NUKES CAROLINE COCHRAN, Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer, Oklo RAY ROTHROCK, Partner Emeritus, Venrock JOSE REYES, Chief Technology Officer, NuScale Power DAVID R. BAKER, Energy Reporter, San Francisco Chronicle JESSICA LOVERING, Director of Energy, The Breakthrough Institute LUCAS DAVIS, Associate Professor, Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley
Most opponents of nuclear power worry about a disaster like Fukushima or Three Mile Island. But David Baker countered, “the economics are so unfavorable for nuclear right now that in a sense it doesn’t even matter how large the accident risks are.” Today only a handful of electric utilities can afford the $10 billion investment to build a new conventional nuclear power plant. However, ten years down the road there may be another more affordable nuclear option. “There’s a whole lot of new nuclear startups,” said venture capitalist Ray Rothrock.
Ideas that were tested and subsequently shelved by the U.S. government in the 1950s are now being employed by private enterprises to produce smaller scale nuclear energy. The nuclear energy market is on the brink of disruption. For Oklo, that means providing reliable energy for customers outside the grid. NuScale is looking for opportunities on the grid with utilities seeking to replace coal-fired power plants. Will new nuclear be a part of our future?
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AFTER EL NIÑO: NOW WHAT? ASHLEY BOREN, Executive Director, Sustainable Conservation MAX GOMBERG, Climate Change Manager, State Water Resources Control Board GABRIELE LUDWIG, Director, Sustainability & Environmental Affairs, Almond Board of California BARTON THOMPSON, Director, Woods Institute for the Environment, Stanford University
In April, many Californians were wondering if El Niño had saved the Golden State from its historic drought. The year was average at best, according to Barton Thompson. For agricultural companies in California, the drought continued to cast a shadow on their output. The West’s water system was set up during an unusually wet period in history, creating a verdant illusion. Today the typically arid environment is being hit by climate disruption, which is making the state warmer and drier. In 2014, pressure from the drought compelled California to enact a groundwater law requiring all local jurisdictions to adopt sustainable groundwater management plans. Max Gomberg argued that the long-term solution is not just finding more water, but being more efficient with the water we have. On top of that, Gabrielle Ludwig argued, “it’s about diversifying the water supply.” That could mean using solar to desalinate water or using treated but non-potable water for irrigation. 16 | climateone.org
THE HEALTH HAZARDS OF ONE DEGREE RACHEL MORELLO-FROSCH, Professor, University of California, Berkeley LINDA RUDOLPH, Director, Center for Climate Change and Health, Public Health Institute ROBERT GOULD, Director of Health Professional Outreach and Education, Program on Reproductive Health and the Environment, University of California, San Francisco KATRINA PETERS, Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, University of California, San Francisco
Global warming is hitting closer to home than we think, from a neighborhood child gasping with asthma to a parent collapsing from heatstroke. These realities led U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy to assert in April that climate change presents the most complex threat to public health in U.S. history. Linda Rudolph pointed out another emotional layer when it comes to the human populace. “It’s an existential threat because climate change threatens our air, our water, our food, our shelter and our security.” It has been a challenge throughout the last few decades to engage physicians in a discussion around these issues. However, Rudolph pointed out that, “over 60 percent of physicians say that they are seeing the impacts of climate change in their patients now.” Could this open up a real conversation about health effects? climateone.org | 17
COWSPIRACY: REVELATION OR CHEAP TRICK? KIP ANDERSEN, Founder, AUM Films and Media NICOLETTE HAHN NIMAN, Author, Defending Beef JONATHAN KAPLAN, Director, Food and Agriculture Program, Natural Resources Defense Council
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In the quest for a carbonneutral lifestyle, it can be difficult to sort out which activities have the greatest negative impact on our climate, from driving a car to eating animal products. The documentary Cowspiracy, produced by Leonardo DiCaprio, contends that animal agriculture is the number one source of climate killing pollution. “This one industry is a one-stop shop for ... deforestation, water consumption, water depletion [and] ocean dead zones,” said Kip Anderson. According to him, environmental non-profits are colluding to keep this information from the American public.
Although Jonathan Kaplan and Nicolette Hahn Niman agreed with Anderson about the harmful effects of factory farming, they disputed his contentions that meat and dairy production are inherently immoral. Niman is passionate about the opportunities presented by sustainable livestock. “The whole problem with the premise of the film and … is that livestock is inherently problematic, when in fact that’s absolutely not true at all. Because it’s really about how it’s done.” And so the food debate continues.
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LICCARDO, SCHAAF & TING VS. GLOBAL WARMING SAM LICCARDO, Mayor, San Jose LIBBY SCHAAF, Mayor, Oakland PHIL TING, California State Assemblymember (D-19)
Measure AA was passed in June by the nine Bay Area counties. At Climate One, prior to its passing, Libby Schaaf explained how it was “historical because this is the first time that we as a region have acted in a unified manner around something other than how to spend the Bay Bridge toll.” Property owners will pay $12 per parcel, which will fund wetland restoration and provide protection from heavy storms and sea level rise. There was some pushback from residents who complained that the tax
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burden was already high enough. There are plenty of high taxes in California but Phil Ting maintained that there was value in increasing the property tax. “We’ve been in the bottom quartile nationally in property taxes. Just $12 a year is fairly minimal in terms of what it costs, relative to where we compare with other states.”
“This is the first time that we as a region have acted in a unified manner around something other than how to spend the Bay Bridge toll.”
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“It’s a personalized journey to find your place in this broad sector.”
EARNING GREEN LEONARD ADLER, CEO, Green Jobs Network CHARLOTTE MACAUSLAND, Commercial Channel Partner Manager, SolarCity LYRICA MCTIERNAN, Sustainability Manager, Facebook KEELY WACHS, Director of Communications, Clif Bar KATHERINE WALSH, Director, Student Environmental Resource Center, University of California, Berkeley
One of the bright spots during our recovery from the Great Recession has been the rapid growth of clean energy jobs. The solar industry added 35,000 jobs in just 2015 and now employs more than 200,000 people according to CNN Money, and that’s only one part of the clean energy sector. The green economy is vast, with jobs in transportation, food systems, sustainable building and energy efficiency. Within each sector, there are jobs for lawyers, accountants, engineers and communications specialists. As the CEO of the Green Jobs Network, Leonard Adler has seen job-seekers benefit from taking the time to explore their own interests deeply. “Finding out how you can connect with the green economy is really the first thing I would say as part of that journey. It really is a process … it’s a personalized journey to find your place in this broad sector.” 22 | climateone.org
LEARNING GREEN GIANA AMADOR, Research Analyst, Center for Carbon Removal MINDA BERBECO, Programs and Policy Director, National Center for Science Education RYAN CONDENSA, Action Fellow, Alliance for Climate Education LUIS MARTINEZ, Student Activist ALEXANDER ZWISSLER, Principal, Einstellung Labs
Having lived their entire lives in a world facing climate disruption, children today have already learned a vast amount about the topic. Experts understand the need for this generation to both bear the weight of scientific fact and look forward to the many possibilities of a sustainable future. Educators can rely on the help of scientists like Bill Nye who present complex sciencebacked ideas in an entertaining and accessible way. Alex Zwissler describes Nye’s work as vital for the movement. “How do we give our kids a positive vision of the future? Bottom line it’s communicating a message about and empowering the kids … they become then advocates within their own families within their own schools.” Outside the classroom, students can join groups like Alliance for Climate Education for camaraderie. Ryan Condesa, found just that watching one of their compelling presentations. “From there I was able to make a connection from being one man standing against the crowd to a network of people who are interested in climate education and climate justice.” climateone.org | 23
PERFORMING ARTISTS AT CLIMATE ONE TERISA SIAGATONU, Spoken Word Artist JOHN ROMANKIEWICZ, Eco Rapper ISABELLA BORGESON, Spoken Word Artist
Climate change is a big issue that is hard to digest. It can be even more difficult to communicate effectively about it. We were honored to have three extraordinary artists demonstrate how they share their struggles, fears and ideas. We listened to three riveting performances on climate justice, Typhoon Yolanda and occupying rooftops.
Addressing climate change means admitting That it starts and ends with us. But for some reason None of us can seem to figure out where we put the mirror. Everyone is affected by climate change, Yet some are affected first, Yet no one cares until it is affecting them. This is for those of us Who may not have the language, But who still have a voice. For those of us who are ready to act.
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Excerpt from Terisa Siagatonu’s performance of “Layers”
2016 Climate One SOI scholarship winners Paloma Siegel and Suryaa Murali with past winners Talia Schmitt and Edmund Lau.
CLIMATE ONE AND STUDENTS ON ICE It was a trip to the Arctic that inspired Greg to found Climate One. For that reason, we have been proud supporters of Students on Ice (SOI) for the last five years. SOI was established with a mission to educate youth about the importance of the polar regions and inspire sustainability initiatives. Each year we choose one Bay Area high school student to attend the program on a scholarship from Climate One. One of the requirements of the application is to attend a designated Climate One program focused on youth and climate change. â€œEarth Day with Climate Oneâ€? was the qualifying event in 2016. In 2016, we were proud to award the Climate One SOI scholarship to Paloma Siegel and Suryaa Murali. climateone.org | 25
Climate Ride is a rapidly growing organization that puts together life-changing charitable events to support climate change awareness. Climate One became a beneficiary of Climate Ride for the first time in 2016 and recruited five riders to the team. Each member of this amazing team road over 300 miles over a five-day period, and together raised over $20,000 in support of our mission. We are thrilled that four of the five original cyclists will be returning to ride again in 2017, joined by six new riders â€” and counting.
UISE STEPHEN EMMA-LO AMES ANDERSON
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CORY R VANGELDE
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LORD NICHOLAS STERN AND STEVE WESTLY ON THE ECONOMICS OF DROPPING FOSSIL FUELS NICHOLAS STERN, Chair, Center for Climate Change Economics and Policy, London School of Economics STEVE WESTLY, Founder and Managing Partner, The Westly Group
The numbers for moving the economy away from fossil fuels are big, really big. Some experts argue that it will be too expensive to decarbonize the economy, dismissing the idea of stricter regulations or carbon taxes. But Citi produced a report with a decidedly different conclusion â€“ inaction will cost even more. The need to move away from fossil fuels is beginning to be accepted by oil producers. Saudi Arabia announced in 2016 that it plans to sell a minority stake in Saudi Aramco, the state
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oil company and crown jewel. A national economy that depends on oil revenues is risky in a climate-disrupted future.
“The risk that the assets you hold, which have a strong fossil fuel element in them are not gonna be worth very much.”
The Financial Stability Board, which monitors the health of the global economy, developed a protocol for reporting financial risk due to climate disruption. It takes into account not only the physical effect of extreme weather on the company’s buildings and the legal accountability for the company’s emissions, but also, and perhaps more importantly according to Nicholas Stern, “the risk that the assets you hold, which have a strong fossil fuel element in them are not gonna be worth very much.” While renewable energy is absolutely vital for a sustainable future, Stern illuminated another critical element. Replacing fossil fuels is necessary, “But a big part of that story is just using energy much more efficiently than we have in the past.”
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“The plankton in the oceans are generating more oxygen than the rain forests.”
SEA HEROES: EXTREME EDITION LIZ TAYLOR, President, DOER Marine PETER WILLCOX, Captain, Rainbow Warrior STIV WILSON, Director of Campaigns, Story of Stuff
People should care about the health and wellness of oceans because they do a lot more for us than people realize, said Liz Taylor. “The plankton in the oceans are generating more oxygen than the rain forests.” The good news, she added, is that everyone has the ability to clean up the oceans and keep them healthy. It starts with simple awareness. “The single-use plastic is by far the largest of the choices people can make. Whether they live in a completely landlocked area – if you have your soda bottle and it goes into a lake, and then it goes to the creek, and then it goes to the stream and it goes downriver – it’s going to get to the ocean in due course.” 30 | climateone.org
CAN THE PACIFIC COAST LEAD THE TRANSITION TO A CLEAN ECONOMY? KATE BROWN, Governor, Oregon JAY INSLEE, Governor, Washington MARY POLAK, Minister of Environment, Legislative Assembly of British Columbia
While the Paris Climate Agreement is ambitious and crucial, for the sake of our planet’s long-term health, subnational groups – cities, states and regions – are taking action now. California, Oregon, Washington and British Columbia are among the 128 jurisdictions that have signed onto the Under 2 MOU, pledging to limit the global temperature increase to under 2 degrees Celsius. In Washington, the effects of global warming are far from abstract, said Jay Inslee. “We had forest fires burn larger than the state of Delaware last year,” he reported. “Oyster growers have had to move their operations” because of ocean acidification. Actions include requiring cleaner gasoline and shifting to more renewable sources of electricity. Oregon is moving forward with both efforts, and Kate Brown also signed a plan to move Oregon off coal-generated electricity. “We are the first state in the nation to do that,” she said. climateone.org | 31
TOM STEYER & ANDY KARSNER: MAKING GOOD ON THE PROMISE OF PARIS ANDY KARSNER, Managing Partner, Emerson Collective TOM STEYER, Business Leader, Philanthropist and Clean Energy Advocate
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The Paris climate agreement, signed by nearly 200 countries, signaled that the fight against global warming has become more than a grass-roots effort. But the climate treaty came under swift political attack in the United States, and Donald Trump has said he would cancel the deal. The Bali summit, which laid the groundwork for Paris, was held under a Republican president. Yet since then, Republicans seem to have abandoned the climate change issue. Steyer thinks the fault lies with party leaders. “Americans have moved very substantially on this, including Republicans, including the vast bulk of American business people,” Steyer said. “We are being held hostage by elected officials who are not actually representing the views of their own constituents, of their own party.”
“We should be amplifying an enlightened competition of ideas across the political spectrum… [Instead] we’re regressing into grotesque and ugly sound bites on all sides.”
“We have traditionally been a bipartisan country when it came to clean air, clean water, preserving our environment, handing down a country to our children and grandchildren that we are proud of,” added Steyer.
But Karsner fears that the current rancorous political atmosphere could be getting in the way. “We should be amplifying an enlightened competition of ideas across the political spectrum… [Instead] we’re regressing into grotesque and ugly sound bites on all sides. “We are regressing at a time that our problems are scaling beyond our capacity to manage,” Karsner warned. “So we need to catch up or we’re going to have the risk of political obsolescence to some degree.”
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GETTING BAKED: CAN LEGALIZING MARIJUANA HELP FIGHT CLIMATE CHANGE? SCOTT GREACEN, Executive Director, Friends of the Eel River ROGER MORGAN, Executive Director, Coalition for Drug Free California MICHAEL SUTTON, Former President, California Fish & Game Commission
California is already wellknown for its green economy of electric cars and alternative energy solutions, but another kind of green economy has emerged in Northern California. In November, California voted to legalize pot. In addition to its social, economic and health issues, growing marijuana is a climate issue. The $3.5 billion cannabis industry consumes one percent of all electricity in the United States. It also requires a lot of water a problem which already plagues California’s various industries. “Legalization is no panacea,”
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said Michael Sutton. “It’s not going to turn this industry into a green industry overnight. But it’s a no-brainer on a whole bunch of levels to get this industry ... out of the darkness and into the light of regulation so we can finally make it accountable for its environmental harms and its harms to society.”
“It’s not going to turn this industry into a green industry overnight.”
IS CALIFORNIA ENTERING A MEGADROUGHT? NOAH DIFFENBAUGH, Associate Professor, School of Earth Sciences, Stanford University PETER GLEICK, President and Co-founder, Pacific Institute KAREN ROSS, Secretary, California Department of Food and Agriculture
According to a recent study conducted by NASA, Cornell and Columbia universities, drier days are coming. In fact, some regions of the U.S. could be headed into a megadrought lasting several decades. That spells trouble for California which is experiencing several years of drought. “So the long-term question is, how are we going to balance all of the things we want to do with water, with how much water we have?” asked Peter Gleick.
continues. And if we want to have a water system that’s prepared for the climate of the present and the climate of the future, then we need to acknowledge that we’re in the new climate. We don’t have the climate from a century or halfcentury ago.”
“We’re in a new climate; it’s already here.”
“We’re in a new climate; it’s already here. It’s going to intensify as global warming climateone.org | 35
REDEFINING NATIONAL PARKS AND FAMILY FARMS IN A CHANGING CLIMATE
This year, 2016 marked the 100th anniversary of America’s national park system, conceived of by naturalist John Muir and made a reality by a president that savored the outdoors, Theodore Roosevelt. Truly an achievement worth celebrating.
JOHN HART, Author, An Island in Time
“I think probably everyone here agrees with the idea of preserving nature,” said Hart. “When you unpack that it turns out to be a very, very complicated thing to do, with many different ideas about how to do it.”
JORDAN FISHER SMITH, Author, Engineering Eden
He cited Howard Zahniser, author of the Wilderness Act of 1964, who famously said,
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“we should be guardians of wilderness, not gardeners.” “I think that encapsulates a tension that runs through all of these fields, all of these struggles,” said Hart. “I’ve just realized that perhaps both gardening and being a guardian are appropriate at different times and places. And that they both are components of what we can simply call stewardship; stewardship being sometimes to back way off, and sometimes to wade in.”
CAN THE INTERNET OF THINGS BE GREEN AND SAFE? GENERAL KEITH ALEXANDER (Ret.), Former Director, National Security Agency; Founder and CEO, IronNet Cybersecurity ALFRED BERKELEY, Former Director, World Economic Forum USA DAVID MOUNT, Partner, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers
Today’s American homes are dotted with Internet-connected devices that allow you to manage your home from your smart phone. But in 2016, hackers remotely controlled millions of those devices in order to disrupt the Internet, preventing some Americans from accessing Amazon, Netflix, and other popular web sites. “For the last 200 years we’ve been secure because of two oceans and [we are] hard to get to,” said Keith Alexander. However, he explained, the connectivity of the Internet leaves us vulnerable to a number of threats: theft of money and identity, theft of intellectual property, and
compromised national security. All that said, David Mount still thought the interconnected world of the future looked rosy. “I have a very exciting vision in my mind of a connected grid that is powered by solar, powered by wind, taking power into people’s homes, powering battery packs and those being used to power electric vehicles; maybe electric vehicles that drive themselves.”
“I have a very exciting vision in my mind of a connected grid that is powered by solar, powered by wind.” climateone.org | 37
WILL CLOSING DIABLO CANYON INCREASE CARBON POLLUTION? DAVID R. BAKER, Energy Reporter, San Francisco Chronicle JOHN GEESMAN, Attorney, Dickson Geesman LLP DIAN GRUENEICH, Former Commissioner, California Public Utilities Commission MICHAEL SHELLENBERGER, President, Environmental Progress
Supporters of nuclear power say it generates reliable electricity without harmful carbon emissions and is our best weapon against climate change. Critics, of course, counter with concerns about nuclear proliferation, radioactive waste and catastrophic meltdowns. So the announcement to close the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant was “quite a big deal,” said David Baker. To give a sense of the plant’s importance to the state, that power plant alone provided more than nine percent of California’s electricity mix. “It was a bit of a bombshell.” “The fear mongering on nuclear is putting us at risk,” Michael Shellenberger argued. “If we go and shut down this plant, more people will die from air pollution and accidents than if you keep it running.” Dian Grueneich agreed, it is “one of the most important decisions that California has faced.” 38 | climateone.org
CAN CALIFORNIA GO 100 PERCENT RENEWABLE? MARK FERRON, Former Commissioner, California Public Utilities Commission MARK JACOBSON, Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Stanford University STEVE MALNIGHT, Senior Vice President of Regulatory Affairs, PG&E
With California well on its way to 50 percent renewable power, why not go for 100 percent? The key, Marc Jacobson said, is to “electrify everything.” “The first thing that happens is, you reduce power demands,” explained Jacobson. Eliminating the need to mine and transport fossil fuels, along with energy efficiency improvements, can result in a 44 percent reduction in power demand in California. Steve Malnight agreed – to a point. But, he warned, “We can’t just look at the electric sector today ... we’ve got to make
sure we address transportation, we’ve got to make sure we can address the industrial uses.” Those add up to about 80 percent of California’s carbon emissions, Malnight added. “What gives you hope?” Greg asked. Jacobson responded that, “if we can get to a 100 percent clean renewable energy by 2050, we’ve found through simulations of carbon dioxide that by 2100 we can get between 350, 400 parts per million,” he said, referring to carbon concentration in the atmosphere.
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RISING SEAS: IS SAN FRANCISCO READY? MARGIE O’DRISCOLL, Competition Advisor, Resilient by Design WILL TRAVIS, Sea Level Rise Planning Consultant CHARLES LONG, Principal, Charles A. Long Properties, LLC J.K. DINEEN, Reporter, San Francisco Chronicle LAUREN SOMMER, Science and Environment Reporter, KQED MICHAEL STOLL, Executive Director, San Francisco Public Press 40 | climateone.org
A recent issue of the San Francisco Public Press took a “deep dive” into the issue of rising water levels and urban development. They uncovered nearly 30 major projects in the Bay Area that would be affected, representing around $21 billion in development costs. “These are places where they’re going to put housing, commercial developments, strip malls, offices and sports complexes... and they are going to be with us for generations,” explained Michael Stoll. Everyone will benefit from a
forward look, said Will Travis, even those who don’t live near the water. “We have an interconnected system; if you think about the Bay, it’s largely surrounded by transportation infrastructure. It’s either BART lines, rail lines, freeways, airports, ports. So our whole transportation system, which is the whole aerial system that allows us to move around, is all right at the Bay shoreline. “It doesn’t matter where you live; when you have sea level rise, it’ll impact you.”
“We don’t have to choose between a clean environment and a strong economy. We can have both.”
TAKING THE TEMPERATURE OF CALIFORNIA’S CLIMATE LAW FRAN PAVLEY, Senator, California State Senate CATHERINE REHEIS-BOYD, President, Western States Petroleum Association DAN SPERLING, Member, California Air Resources Board
It’s been 10 years since California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed AB 32 – a law to reduce carbon pollution across the state’s economy. It put California at the forefront of the global move to protect the climate. The law has been both helpful and harmful to California’s economy, said Catherine Reheis-Boyd. “I think it really has set a conversation for California that’s a very important one.” Former senator Fran Pavley, one of the co-authors of AB 32, said that “as a former teacher, I suppose I would give it an A-minus.” There’s a lot more work to be done, she admitted, but as Schwarzenegger often said, “We don’t have to choose between a clean environment and a strong economy. We can have both.” Since the law was passed in 2006, Pavley added, “our economy has gotten bigger and emissions have gone down, and we’re on track to meet our 2020 targets.” climateone.org | 41
FUTURE CITIES PETER CALTHORPE, Principal Architect, Peter Calthorpe Associates JONATHAN F.P. ROSE, Co-founder, Garrison Institute
“We shape the built environment and then it shapes us. And that’s really the challenge of city making, and it’s foundational to the climate question.” 42 | climateone.org
“Climate change always transforms the natural ecology and leaves things differently afterwards. What we really need to do is to increase the adaptive capacity of our current civilization to adapt to the climate change,” explained Jonathan Rose.
vessel of the future of mankind,” said Peter Calthorpe. “We all know the earth is urbanizing. The question is, what kind of cities and what kind of lifestyles and what kind of urban footprint? What kind of environmental weight will we put down there?
Most of that change will need to occur within our cities. Climate disruption is leading to a growing strain on energy, transportation and other resources, challenges that cities and communities must overcome.
“We shape the built environment and then it shapes us. And that’s really the challenge of city making, and it’s foundational to the climate question.”
“Cities in general are really the
VILLARAIGOSA, DE LEÓN, AND MASON: POWER POLITICS KEVIN DE LEÓN, President pro Tempore, California State Senate MELANIE MASON, Reporter, Los Angeles Times ANTONIO VILLARAIGOSA, Former Mayor, Los Angeles
Many still question whether or not California can support a growing population, expand its economy and tackle climate change. “I think we’re doing it right now, as we speak,” said Kevin de León. “California, in fact, is the sixth largest economy in the world.” This has been done, the senator pointed out, in tandem with the state’s ambitious carbon targets.
“We saw that at the Port of Los Angeles, where we reduced truck emissions by more than 90 percent,” Villaraigosa explained. “The people that were dying of respiratory diseases in that area were, poor people, people of color who lived around these areas. “So if you don’t connect this to jobs and to environmental justice, you’re missing the real point of why we have to address climate change.”
The panel agreed that California’s poor and underserved communities have been those most impacted by the effects of climate disruption. climateone.org | 43
BREAD, WINE AND CHOCOLATE IN A WARMING WORLD JONATHAN FOLEY, Executive Director, California Academy of Sciences SIMRAN SETHI, Author, Bread, Wine, Chocolate: The Slow Loss of Foods We Love HELENE YORK, Global Director, Responsible Business, Compass Group@Google; Faculty Member, Food Business School, Culinary Institute of America
Jonathan Foley has worked on a number of global environmental issues including climate change, water scarcity, and biodiversity. “One thing that kept on popping up every single time was the importance of the food system as the biggest culprit in the environment.” Around 25 percent of climate emissions caused by people come from agricultural uses, he said. “That’s bigger than any of the individual energy sectors.” Getting people to connect the dots between food and the environment may be one way to engage them in the climate change fight, suggested Simran Sethi. “We do this one cup at a time, one glass at a time, one decision at a time. “I don’t have an emotional connection with the electrical grid. But I can tell you about the foods I ate. And that will connect me back to you … I believe this is the pathway to change.” 44 | climateone.org
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MCKIBBEN AND TAMMINEN: DISRUPTIVE CLIMATE AND POLITICS BILL MCKIBBEN, Founder, 350.org TERRY TAMMINEN, CEO, Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation
Environmental activist Bill McKibben, who supported Bernie Sanders in the Democratic presidential primary, recalled a moment in a primary debate when the candidates were asked what the most important issue in the world was. Bernie’s answer? “Climate change – as if it was the most obvious thing in the world, which it is,” McKibben remembered. Still, in the 2016 election, climate change took a back seat. Terry Tamminen remembered when Republicans and Democrats agreed on addressing climate
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change. In 2004, he said Florida Governor Charlie Crist, then a Republican, and Senator Mark Rubio supported. “In Florida they found the same thing that we found in California – that what was going to be good for the environment was good for the economy.” Tamminen says that while there was some consensus among the major candidates during the 2008 election cycle, even moderate Republicans are now standing with the climate denial faction. The rise of the tea party and the Koch Brothers’ grip on Congress are among the reasons “that I think have shifted even moderate Republicans, not just to the right, but into being climate deniers,” he lamented. The sold-out audience included a large contingent of young people. Noting that many of them would be voters in the next 10 years, Tamminen applauded their engagement. “No matter where you come out on these issues later on in life, it’s important to have ecoliteracy, environmental literacy, so you can understand these issues and then vote,” he told them.
“It’s important to have eco-literacy, environmental literacy, so you can understand these issues and then vote.”
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“My father was a tradesman and he taught me that when you buy a tool, you buy the absolute best tool you can get and keep it for the rest of your life.”
YVON CHOUINARD: FOUNDING PATAGONIA & LIVING SIMPLY YVON CHOUINARD, Founder and Owner, Patagonia
As a mountain adventurer, surfer and founder of the successful outdoor gear company Patagonia, Yvon Chouinard has embraced the life of an outsider and pursued adventure of all kinds. “You have to purposely stick your neck out,” he said. “Otherwise you’re not going to have an adventure.” In founding Patagonia, he continued to let his outsider flag fly, as he wrote in his book, Let My People Go Surfing: The Education of a Reluctant Businessman. The title is meant to be taken literally. “I don’t care when you work as long as the job gets done. And if the surf comes up, drop everything. Go surfing if you’re a surfer.” Through his company, Chouinard has always given generously to environmental causes. But lately, he’s felt a responsibility to do more. “I know we’re a relatively small
company, but we have an incredible amount of social power around the world,” Chouinard said. “It led to us cleaning up our supply chain as much we possibly could. Every time we learned we were doing something wrong, we changed it.” While Patagonia’s sportswear may be more expensive than other brands, Chouinard maintains that consumers should be “buying less, but buying better.” “My father was a tradesman and he taught me that when you buy a tool, you buy the absolute best tool you can get and keep it for the rest of your life,” Chouinard said. To that end, Patagonia’s policy for repairing and replacing worn products has earned it a loyal following. So has the proud outsider persona of the boss.
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WILL TRUMP FORCE ONE RUN CLEAN? ERIN COOKE, Sustainability Director, San Francisco International Airport JAMES MACIAS, President and CEO, Fulcrum BioEnergy, Inc. SEAN NEWSUM, Director of Environmental Strategy, Boeing Commercial Planes ANNIE PETSONK, International Counsel, Environmental Defense Fund
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Will Trump’s views on climate change spill over into the aviation industry? Could the president-elect’s business acumen trump his tendency to dismiss global warming? Despite the vitriolic turn of the election, job creation is one issue that both Democrats and Republicans can agree on. Annie Petsonk believes that fighting climate change presents great opportunity in that area. “The aviation industry is a cornucopia of technology innovation,” said Petsonk.
“And by starting with aviation as a template for tackling climate change, I think we can generate technologies that can put people in towns like my hometown back to work … We need to do it to protect the climate and to put people back to work.” Adjusting to a new administration is just one of the things businesses have to take in stride. “Presidents come and go,” said James Macius. “You can’t run a business that has a strategy that’s focused on a certain government direction or policy.”
WHAT NOW FOR CALIFORNIA? CHRISTINE PELOSI, Superdelegate for Democratic Party; Political Strategist DUF SUNDHEIM, 2016 Republican Candidate for U.S. Senate TONY STRICKLAND, Former California State Senator; California Chairman, The Committee for American Sovereignty TONY THURMOND, California State Assemblymember
President-elect Trump has dismissed climate change as a “hoax,” leaving some to wonder what the future holds for California’s green economy. “We all want jobs – but we don’t have to have jobs that are going to kill us,” explained Tony Thurmond. Thurmond maintained that California can lead the way in job creation by promoting the cleantech sector. “I do believe that we are transitioning into using more green technology,” agreed Tony Strickland. “But I also think that government sometimes
creates regulations where the technology doesn’t exist.” Sundheim also stressed the need for “common sense regulations” that strike a balance between economic and environmental concerns. “We want to support California business,” Thurmond agreed, adding, “But we cannot put our heads in the sand and say that climate change is not real, or because it costs too much to address it we’re not going to do anything.”
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2016: FROM PARIS TO TRUMP DAVID R. BAKER, Energy Reporter, San Francisco Chronicle KATIE FEHRENBACHER, Former Senior Writer, Fortune CASSANDRA SWEET, Reporter, The Wall Street Journal
A year that started off in the afterglow of the Paris climate summit ended with the triumph of a presidential candidate who has labeled climate change a scam and a hoax. After the election, Presidentelect Donald Trump appeared to soften that position, even sharing a sit-down with Al Gore. But David Baker wasn’t convinced by the tête-à-tête. “If you look at some of the names he’s floated or settled on for picks for his cabinet, you have a stunning number of
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climate skeptics, contrarians, deniers – whatever term you want to use,” said Baker. Other top energy stories of 2016 included the Dakota Pipeline standoff, the surprise closure of the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant, advances in energy storage technology and a coal industry that faces an uncertain future. “Coal is just going to continue to decline,” Cassandra Sweet predicted. “I don’t think there’s much that Donald Trump can do to bring that industry back.”
IS CLIMATE DENIAL DESTROYING OUR PLANET? RENEE LERTZMAN, Climate Engagement Strategist MICHAEL MANN, Distinguished Professor of Meteorology, Penn State University CRISTINE RUSSELL, Freelance Science Journalist TOM TOLES, Editorial Cartoonist, The Washington Post
With all of the science pointing to major climate disruption being caused by humans, how is it that some still adamantly deny it? “As humans we’re capable of tolerating and managing a lot of contradictions in ourselves and in one another,” explained Renee Lertzman. “When we’re confronted with information that brings up conflict with our beliefs, our worldview, our ideology, our minds will actually generate incredible strategies to deny, repress and basically avoid our
engagement with the situation and with the reality.” Tom Toles viewed the lack of progress in climate awareness as more than just a psychological problem. “You’ve got to solve the psychological problem to solve the political problem,” he said. “But the political problem has just leapt way ahead of the psychology here, and we are now in a horrible place ... our politics, our government institutions, our economy, they’re all floating like an institution on thin ice that’s melting from under us.”
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â€œ[Steve Schneider] recognized that he had to do active work to explain it to people, to communicate and to talk about what possible solutions we might have.â€?
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DR. NAOMI ORESKES: THE SIXTH ANNUAL STEPHEN SCHNEIDER AWARD STEVEN CHU, Former U.S. Secretary of Energy; Professor of Physics and Molecular & Cellular Physiology, Stanford University NAOMI ORESKES, Professor of History of Science and Director of Graduate Studies, Harvard University
In 2004, Naomi Oreskes wrote a seminal essay, “The Scientific Consensus on Climate Change,” showing that 97 percent of scientific articles identified humans as the primary cause of warming over the past 50 years. When it was featured in Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth, she was propelled into the national spotlight. Later Oreskes coauthored the book, Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming, cementing her public role as an eloquent scientific communicator. Recognizing those contributions to public understanding, Climate One honored Professor Oreskes with the Sixth Annual Stephen Schneider Award for Outstanding Climate Science Communication. Like Schneider, Oreskes recognizes that it’s not enough to do scientific work and assume the world will act upon it. “[Steve Schneider] recognized that he had to do active work to explain it to people, to communicate and to talk about what possible solutions we might have” in ways they can understand. Steven Chu, a Nobel Prize-winning physicist
and former U.S. Secretary of Energy, praised Oreskes’ communication skills and echoed her approach to climate denial. “You patiently point out that the whole basis of science is skepticism,” Chu said. “Scientists are professional skeptics … you get your charge from saying, oops, maybe something was overlooked. Oops, you know, maybe there’s something we didn’t understand – and then you pursue that.”
The $15,000 Schneider Award was established in honor of Stephen Henry Schneider, one of the founding fathers of climatology who died suddenly in 2010. Internationally recognized for research, policy analysis and outreach, Professor Schneider focused on the integrated assessment of ecological and economic impacts of human-induced climate change, and identifying viable policies and technological solutions. He also consulted with federal agencies and/or White House staff in the Nixon, Carter, Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Clinton and George W. Bush administrations. He was the first member of the Climate One Advisory Council. His work is chronicled at climatechange.net. climateone.org | 55
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