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climate one 2014

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A NOTE FROM GREG DALTON In 2007, I had the privilege of leading a group of Commonwealth Club members to the Arctic Circle aboard a Russian icebreaker. For nearly two weeks, we explored Siberia and the Bering Sea and heard daily lectures from prominent journalists and climate scientists. Witnessing firsthand the signs of a disrupted climate – melting tundra, shrinking sea ice, and butterflies further north than normal – changed my life. When we returned, Commonwealth Club CEO Dr. Gloria Duffy and I created Climate One as a project inside The Club. Today, Climate One is changing the conversation about America’s energy, economy and environment. In 2014, the Climate One team included Producer Jane Ann Chien, Assistant Producer Alyssa Kjar, and Assistant Editor Ellen Cohan. We also have a crew of dedicated freelancers who record and edit our radio and TV programs. Together we produced 33 events with 93 speakers. 70% of our speakers were men and 30% were women. Over 4,000 people joined the conversation by attending an event and becoming part of our community. Highlights included an interview with Texas Governor Rick Perry that made it on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, a conversation with U.S. Navy Secretary Ray Mabus on the Great Green Fleet, and presenting former NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco with the Stephen Schneider Award for Outstanding Climate Communication. In 2014 Climate One spent a significant amount of time rebuilding our web site from the ground up. We were fortunate to work with an ace team from Carbon Five, a top web design and build firm. The result is a fresh and modern site that makes it easier for people to find podcasts, transcripts, videos, and photos of past events. We also feature the community of thought leaders who are showing the way to a clean economy and protected climate. As I heard Bono say at a recent U2 concert, “We are not the same. We are one.” Climate One is about human connections and protecting our climate. Thank you for being part of it.

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“By no later than 2020, at least half of all Navy energy – on our ships at sea, our aircraft in the air, and our bases – will come from non-fossil fuel sources.”

RAY MABUS Secretary, US Navy

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“Climate change is making us have droughts more regularly than we’ve had in the past. And we all need to get real, all of us, not just the legislature but all of us, about how we plan for the water in the future.”

JEAN FULLER California State Senator (R-Bakersfield)

“We’re going to have to change. The Governor said it wisely, ‘Conservation has to become a way of life’.”

LOIS WOLK Senator, California State Senate (D-Davis)

“The ’77 drought was kind of like the

nightmare scenario that everyone remembers in the water community... now they’re afraid they’re going to see one that’s worse than that.”

MATT WEISER Senior Writer, The Sacramento Bee

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“What we need is a wide range of solutions including reducing, reusing, recycling, composting, and energy recovery. All of those together would be a healthy part of the solution.”

KEITH CHRISTMAN Managing Director for Plastics Markets, American Chemistry Council

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“We’re demonstrating that what people say is impossible, actually is possible...I believe [in] taking the first most important step towards addressing the ocean plastic pollution problem.”

ADAM LOWRY Co-Founder and Chief Greenskeeper, Method Products

“When you’re thinking about your

own use of something, really think before you buy it. What’s going to happen to this at the end of use?”

BRIDGETT LUTHER President, Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute

“If we think of where recycling was

40 years ago and we think of how far we’ve come on that front, how far compost still has to go, I think things like dry fermentation is really interesting.”

MOLLY MORSE CEO, Mango Materials

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“When we talk about Latinos and conservation, it’s about people, not polar bears.”

CATHERINE SANDOVAL Commissioner, California Public Utilities Commission

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“We’re here talking about the environment, but inequality is this big theme that impacts everything.”

ORSON AGUILAR Executive Director, The Greenlining Institute

“I think that we can learn a lot from what we’re seeing in the Latino community and step away from thinking of the environment as something that’s over there.”

ADRIANNA QUINTERO Senior Attorney, Natural Resources Defense Council

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“As cities look at their budgets and their infrastructure, they have to now look at not only seismic precautions, but also sea level rise... and that’s part of that big regional picture.”

ALICIA AGUIRRE Former Mayor, Redwood City; Member, Metropolitan Transportation Commission

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“It’s in the best interest of all Californians, whether you touch the bay [or] you see the bay on a daily basis, to invest in the bay for economic and environmental reasons.”

LARRY GOLDZBAND Executive Director, Bay Conservation and Development Commission

“Sea-level rise is something that is

going to happen and remain high.”

E. JULIAN POTTER Chief Administration & Policy Officer, San Francisco International Airport

“We can’t protect everything. We

have to have this regional conversation play out about what are the things that are important to us a region to protect.”

LAURA TAM Sustainable Development Policy Director, SPUR

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“Ambition is an absolutely critical part of any climate agreement.”

TODD STERN United States Special Envoy for Climate Change

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“[California Cattlemen] want to stop any instances of animal cruelty because it’s a black eye for us.”

TIM KOOPMAN President, California Cattlemen’s Association

“Consumers are being denied the ability to make informed choices about what to eat.”

DAVE ROBINSON SIMON Author, Meatonomics

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“There’s no question that we have become far more numerous than nature ever intended for one species to be in relationship to its environment.”

ALAN WEISMAN Author, Countdown: Our Last, Best Hope for a Future on Earth?

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“[Family planning] is the most cost effective way of reducing our carbon’s more cost effective than making solar panels or windmills.”

MALCOLM POTTS Fred H. Bixby Endowed Chair in Population and Family Planning, School of Public Health, UC Berkeley


According to the most recent United Nations estimates, the human population of the world is expected to reach 8 billion people in the spring of 2024.

By the end of the century, an estimated 150,000 people in American cities could die from excessive heat caused by climate change.

Assuming current historical geological forces continue, a 2-foot rise in global sea level by 2100 would result in 2.3 feet of sea level rise in New York City.

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“Ideally, it would be great if [the

“Conservation is a key...we are great

Goldman Environmental Prize] didn’t exist, because then all of the people that inhabit this globe [will have] realized that stewardship of this planet is of utmost importance.”

consumers in this country and we need to change what we do.”

JOHN GOLDMAN President, Goldman Environmental Foundation

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DOUGLAS GOLDMAN Vice President, Goldman Environmental Foundation

“We’re sacrificing part of the people in the United States to keep everyone else comfortable. That’s just unsustainable.”

MARIA GUNNOE Community Organizer and 2009 Goldman Prize Winner

“Environmental impact doesn’t just

happen to any singular community. It’s happening across the board to low-income people, and we need to be united and be coming together to fight this.”

KIM WASSERMAN Coordinator, Little Village Environmental Justice Organization

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“Growers will end up paying more for water because it is a fixed commodity.”


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“The cheapest source of new [water] supply is efficiency.”

TAMIN PECHET CEO, Banyan Water; Chairman, Imagine H2O

“Water is what makes our state go.... It’s clear that [with today’s climate and today’s infrastructure, it’s insufficient for us to maintain our way of life.”


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“One way we’ve addressed [the cognitive dissonance when looking at the issue of climate change] is really being hyperlocalized.”

ASHEL ELDRIDGE Education and Leadership Manager, Alliance for Climate Education

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“Looking at a food system as a comprehensive system is really key to making sure that we challenge this sort of consumption-oriented frame.”

HEATHER FRAMBACH Statewide Food Systems Coordinator, Community Alliance with Family Farmers

“Climate and energy need to be

taught everywhere, not just in one little tiny part of the science curriculum.”

MARK MCCAFFREY Programs and Policy Director, National Center for Science Education

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“The climate consequences of the gas boom have been oversold by environmentalists and the climate benefits of the gas boom have been oversold by the industry.”

TREVOR HOUSER Co-author, Fueling Up: The Economic Implications of America’s Oil and Gas Boom

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“It seems ironic that when fossil fuels are the problem, we’re talking about fossil fuels as part of the solution, but in fact, that’s the case.”

MARK ZOBACK Professor of Geophysics, Stanford University

“We’re growing solar and wind very quickly, double digit year over year growth...and I think natural gas is enabling that.”

RUSSELL GOLD Author, The Boom

HYDRAULIC FRACTURING (FRACKING) is the injection of a cocktail of water and chemicals at high pressure to release bubbles of oil or gas trapped in shale rock. •

Natural gas accounts for 25% of all the energy used in the United States.

The average fracking well requires around 5 million gallons of water to operate over its lifetime.

The flowback liquid contains water and a number of contaminants, including radioactive material, heavy metals, hydrocarbons and other toxins.

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“All energy technologies have risks. It’s how we manage those risks that allows us to go on with our lives and use these different technologies to accomplish the goals that we have.”

JON KOOMEY Research Fellow, SteyerTaylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance, Stanford University

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“For 10 years, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has accepted less than what the safety bar is set at. They don’t have a right to do that.”

DAVE LOCHBAUM Director, Nuclear Safety Project, Union of Concerned Scientists

“You would have to have multiple

Fukushima accidents every single year to get [nuclear subsidies] anywhere close to the subsidy that we have currently for fossil fuel use.”

PER PETERSON Professor of Nuclear Engineering, UC Berkeley


Nearly one hundred nuclear power facilities in 30 states provide nearly 20 percent of all US electricity.

One uranium fuel pellet creates as much energy as one ton of coal or 17,000 cubic feet of natural gas.

The average age of the 388 nuclear reactors currently in operation worldwide is 28.5 years while the average age of the 153 shut-down reactors at time when taken off the grid is 24 years. 25 |


“If we’re saying that climate change is a moral issue, to me that’s about individual responsibility, and therefore, we have to communicate in a way that’s individually responsible.”

JOSHUA FREEDMAN CEO, Six Seconds; Author, Inside Change

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“We’re in this dilemma where we can show people, ‘Your

carbon footprint is this,’ but it doesn’t register in the same way as, ‘There’s a tiger around the block.’”

DANIEL GOLEMAN Author, Ecological Intelligence

“We are not biologically set up in our brains to understand global warming and to react appropriately to it.�

GEORGE LAKOFF Professor of Linguistics, UC Berkeley

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“Thirty percent of the United States gross domestic product is impacted by weather.”

STEVE BENNETT Senior Vice President, Verisk Climate

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“In the last decade or so, the U.S. has experienced more than $70 billion weather and climate disasters.”

NOAH DIFFENBAUGH Associate Professor, School of Earth Sciences, Stanford University

“When we look at the world in terms of risk reduction, there’s a lot we can do to actually make the world a safer, more vibrant, and more economically valuable place.”

REBECCA SHAW Associate Vice President and Lead Scientist, Environmental Defense Fund

“All these companies [that are] putting intelligence into products, are actually decreasing the demand for fossil fuels.”

ANDREW BEHAR Andrew Behar, CEO, As You Sow

“A few years back, I don’t think that markets were attuned at all to the financial risks associated to climate.”

LISA GOLDBERG Director of Research, Aperio Group

“Investments is a changed area.

There are more meaningful things, there are more meaningful initiatives on proxies that you can get involved with and look at.”

JOSH SCHEIN Senior Portfolio Manager, Morgan Stanley

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“The combination of information

technology with traditional industrial technologies is unlocking a set of business opportunities that mean that we can change the way we both produce and use resources.”

MATT ROGERS Co-author, Resource Revolution

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“Gasoline use and actual vehicle miles traveled in the United States has been falling, not rising.”

AMY MYERS JAFFE Executive Director, Energy and Sustainability, UC Davis Graduate School of Management

“There is something that goes beyond the immediacy of earning a profit for shareholders that speaks to the socially responsible requirements to operate in an ever evolving society.”

JOHN HOFMEISTER Former President, Shell Oil Company


Wind power farms generate between 17 and 39 times as much power as they consume, compared to 16 times for nuclear plants and 11 times for coal plants.

In 2014, China’s wind market grew 45%.

Wind power supplies 3% of global electricity.

In 2014, $99.5 billion was invested in wind power globally, making it one of the fastest growing industries in the world.

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“The advances in biology and information technology are going to create a wonderful opportunity for us to not only meet the challenges for food production, but I think exceed it.”

ROBERT FRALEY Chief Technology Officer, Monsanto

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“My goal would be to have humans

be able to feed themselves in a way that’s equitable and sustainable and make the earth a more beautiful and delicious place in doing it.”

NATE JOHNSON Author, All Natural

“If you’re putting a new product on a

market with novel proteins that have never before been in that food, that it is your burden, not the burden of others to prove it safe.”

ANDREW KIMBRELL Founder and Executive Director, Center for Food Safety

“It’s going to take more resources,

more diversity and more tools for us to be able to be successful [with agriculture] as the climate changes.”

JESSICA LUNDBERG Seed Nursery Manager, Lundberg Family Farms

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“I don’t believe you have to choose between economic prosperity and protection of our environment.”

RICK PERRY Governor, Texas

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“What is going to determine the end result in this century is not what we do in this country, but what happens in China and India and Africa.”

YORAM BAUMAN PhD., Author, The Cartoon Introduction to Climate Change

“It’s not just that you need to buy

less stuff. It’s really about thinking of yourself as a consumer and as a citizen. We can change our identity, not just our shopping habits.”



“We have to stop making this artificial distinction between surface and groundwater. We need to manage every drop of water as part of one water system.”

DEBBIE DAVIS Community & Rural Affairs Advisor, Office of Planning and Research, State of California

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“One of the things that I think is

imperative in the state is that we begin to charge the full cost of water to everyone, not only agriculture, but also urban areas so that everyone recognizes the value of that water and will conserve to the degree that they can.”

BARTON THOMPSON Director, Woods Institute for the Environment, Stanford University

“I really think we need to work at erasing that [agriculture] versus urban distinction [of water use] because we do need each other.”

FELICIA MARCUS Chair, State Water Resources Control Board

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“A narrative, [climate change] does not have an enemy with the intention to cause harm.”

GEORGE MARSHALL Author, Don’t Even Think About It: Why Our Brains Are Wired to Ignore Climate Change

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“We have this storytelling brain that really is moved

by stories, in some studies more than facts and hard statistical data, which people don’t intuitively grasp.”

DACHER KELTNER Professor of Psychology, UC Berkeley


“Our collective consciousness is what creates change

in behavior... There was a time when you could drive and drink at the same time, but collective consciousness changed that. That’s the only solution.”

DEEPAK CHOPRA Founder, The Chopra Foundation

“If you truly understand that sustainability is the key to

wealth consciousness, then we can create wealth from the infinite abundance of the universe that comes to us through energy.”

RINALDO BRUTOCO President, Chopra Foundation

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“The science is beyond dispute. The excuse that we don’t have the technology is just not true anymore, we have the technology. And we are starting to see a series of leaders in very large companies that really believe this, not only because they want to position their company in a particular place, but what they want their personal legacy to be is a commitment to sustainability.”


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“In the startup entrepreneur Silicon Valley world, you see a lot of the youngest entrepreneurs really excited about trying to change the energy space.”


“We have to take carbon out of

the atmosphere at this point given where we are. If you can solve for that problem, which is an engineering problem, you’ll be a billionaire.”

ADAM LOWRY Co-founder and Chief Greenskeeper, Method Products

“If you are transitioning to renewable

sources which are intermittent, if you could get storage out there at low cost — the cost is very important — that would be a game changer.”

ARUN MAJUMDAR Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Stanford

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“What I found whether you’re on Africa or India or in the jungles of Nicaragua, if you want to enrich lives, you want to reduce poverty, energy is at the base of it.”


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“I really wanted to see technology benefit humanity in a more direct way and I saw solar is a way to really do that... it can have a profound positive impact.”

JIGAR SHAH Founder, SunEdison; Author, Creating Climate Wealth: Unlocking the Impact Economy


By the end of 2015, global solar capacity is expected to reach more than 200 gigawatts.

The US solar industry’s installed capacity grew 34% in 2014 to nearly 7,000 megawatts.

2.7 million students attend 4,000 solar-powered schools in the United States.

There are now nearly 174,000 solar workers in the US, a more than 20% increase over employment totals since 2013. 43 |


“The changes in the oil industry are being driven by the oil industry and we’re playing catch up to figure out how we can protect the public and protect the environment.”

JOHN AVALOS District 11 Supervisor, San Francisco Board of Supervisors

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“We actually shouldn’t be investing billions of dollars in new infrastructure that’s not safe, that will cause harm and will also contribute to climate change.”

JESS DERVIN-ACKERMAN Conservation Program Manager, Sierra Club San Francisco Bay Chapter

“What if we just transferred these subsidies that the oil

industry gets from the Federal and State governments to clean energy?”

MOLLY SAMUEL Science Reporter, KQED

“Our members have an obligation to supply [the California] market day in and day out and they’re going to do it as safely and at the lowest possible cost they can.”

TUPPER HULL Vice President of Strategic Communications, Western States Petroleum Association

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“Agencies ... need to be educating the public on how to conserve water because we don’t know what we’ll have tomorrow.”

JOHN COLEMAN Member, East Bay Municipality District Board of Directors

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“We have ignored our water infrastructural system for well over a generation in California. This year, because of the drought, there was a renewed sense and a desire to do something.”

ANTHONY RENDON California State Assemblyman (D-Lakewood)

“Because [the California water bill]

is a little bit of everything, it’s not going to solve all the problems we have here.”

LAUREN SOMMER Science and Environment Reporter, KQED

“One of the things I learned

in farming is you don’t do big wholesale changes. You get a lot of unintended consequences, you need to go in as you learn and adjust and tune up and change things but to do wholesale changes like that cause a lot of havoc, more problem.”

DANNY MERKLEY Director of Water Resources, California Farm Bureau

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“The Stone Age didn’t end for lack of stones and the oil age won’t end for lack of oil. We need to keep working, driving down the costs such that the low carbon alternatives are going to be the best choice. They’re good for security. You don’t have to worry about importing the sun or the wind or the earth’s heat.”

ERNEST MONIZ U.S. Secretary of Energy

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“The government actually retains the ultimate ownership of the water... so when we’re talking about a water market what we’re talking about is trading in the rights to use water.”

BRIAN RICHTER Chief Scientist of Water Markets, The Nature Conservancy

“We live in a 21st century with a 21st century climate with a 20th century infrastructure and 19th century laws and policies.”

PETER GLEICK President and Co-founder, Pacific Institute

“The business community has

typically been preferenced with cheap, abundant water even in places where water hasn’t been that abundant.”

BROOKE BARTON Senior Program Director for the Water Program, Ceres

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“Environmentalists have embraced this idea [about Keystone XL] that a certain amount of the carbon does have to stay in the ground. That phrasing makes it very simple to understand what they’re talking about.”

DAVID BAKER Energy Reporter, The San Francisco Chronicle

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“Let’s not underestimate the ingenuity of Canadians in, one, bringing their product to market, and two, improving the environmental performance of the product.”

DAN MATROSS Trade Commissioner for Science and Technology for Sustainable Technologies, Consulate General of Canada

“Are we going to accept the new science on climate change and are we going to act in a way to address that with the needs of the next couple of generations in mind?”

JOHN CUSHMAN Author, Keystone and Beyond


By the end of 2014, gasoline in the US was at the cheapest it has been since 2010 at $2.69.

The US shale boom has propelled domestic oil production to the highest level in three decades at 9.08 million barrels a day.

US Energy Department economists forecast that US gasoline consumption in 2015 will be flat, and may even contract, due to various reasons including more fuel efficient cars, young people moving into cities and using public transit more than previous generations, and an increasing turn towards renewable fuels. 51 |


“[Nutrition is] not just about enough basic calories to survive, but the nutrition to thrive and really allow each individual to have access to that food and really achieve their potential.”

KAREN ROSS Secretary, California Department of Food and Agriculture

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“There’s nothing in nature called waste; it doesn’t exist. It’s just food for something else. We have to think a lot more in our food system like ecological systems do.”

JONATHAN FOLEY Executive Director, California Academy of Sciences

“There’s so much more energy

needed to produce proteins. If we eat what we need, then we leave a lot of resources to provide and grow vegetables that are delicious.”

HELENE YORK Director of Responsible Business, Google Global Accounts, Bon Appetit Management


Climate change will lead to declines in global agricultural yields of up to 2% each decade while demand for food is projected to increase by 14% per decade.

80% of agriculture worldwide is rain-fed, putting it at the mercy of changing rainfall patterns and intensity.

US exports supply more than 30% of all wheat, corn, and rice on the global market. Recent extreme weather events have caused significant yield reductions.

Agricultural activities produce 14% of the global greenhouse gas emissions. 53 |


“Today you can buy brewing equipment from dozens of vendors across the country. Back then you had to figure it out, you had to build it yourself. We were sustainable out of necessity.”

KEN GROSSMAN Co-founder & CEO, Sierra Nevada Brewing Company

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“Democracy starts at the bottom up. Supporting fair trade and supporting small scale farmer cooperatives is all about supporting democracy and empowerment and that’s more important than the minimum price.”

PAUL KATZEFF Founder & CEO, Thanksgiving Coffee Company

“When cocoa farmers or coffee farmers actually understand how and what they’re doing on the farm level directly impacts quality, you’re immediately creating a better feedback system where you can really get a better quality cocoa, a better quality coffee, whatever it might be. And that directly leads to a better profit for farmers and more sustainability.”

BRAD KINTZER Chief Chocolate Maker, TCHO Chocolate

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“This is about an organized campaign to undermine the work that we do and to make people think that the science is unsettled... Stealing emails isn’t something that happens by accident.”

NAOMI ORESKES Professor of History of Science and Director of Graduate Studies, Harvard University

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“The key to being persuasive is to be memorable. And modern social science basically shows the stuff that’s easier for you to remember, you’re more likely to believe is true.”

JOE ROMM Founding Editor, Climate Progress

“You’ve got to repeat your message frequently, have it

come from a trusted source, and have a message that squashes the concern of the person that you are trying to convince.”

EUGENIE SCOTT Chair of the National Advisory Council, National Center for Science Communication

“I’m furious that the attacks against me and other climate scientists serve such a cynical and selfish agenda by special interest to sabotage efforts to avert dangerous climate change. I see that as a direct assault, not just on us, but our children and grandchildren who stand the most to lose if we fail to act in time.”

MICHAEL MANN Distinguished Professor of Meteorology, Penn State University

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“We had record-breaking snowfall,

prolonged heat waves, wildfires; you name it pretty much every category of weather and we broke records.”

JANE LUBCHENCO Former Administrator, National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration

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“What an extraordinary privilege [it is to be] part of a community connected by a deep passion for advancing our understanding of complex scientific issues. How cool is that? And once in a while in your career, having the sense that you and you alone hold a tiny piece of the enormous climate change puzzle that nobody else in the world has – that feeling is priceless. ”

“People don’t connect to [climate change] enough. When I see a lot of our images I see changes in agriculture, forestry, farming. It’s a real connection to what’s happening.”

ALEX BAKIR Director of Business Development, Planet Labs

BEN SANTER Climate Scientist, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

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Special Thanks to Our Supporters and Partners

The Commonwealth Club CEO: Dr. Gloria Duffy

Foundation and Corporate Sponsors: ClimateWorks Foundation S.D. Bechtel Jr. Foundation Ayrshire Foundation Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation General Motors Pisces Foundation San Francisco Foundation

Climate One Founder and Host: Greg Dalton

Climate One Stewards: Peter Boyer Tom Burns Al Davis Terry Gamble Boyer Michael Haas Nora Machado Dan Miller Toni Rembe Arthur Rock Marc Stuart Susie Tompkins Buell

Climate One Advisors: Rev. Sally Bingham Lawrence H. Goulder Dan Hesse A.G. Kawamura William K. Reilly Forrest Sawyer Producer and Book Editor: Jane Ann Chien Assistant Producer: Alyssa Kjar

Media Partners: KCHO FM, Chico KDRT FM, Davis KGUA FM, Gualala KIDE FM, Hoopa KKRN FM, Montgomery Creek KQED FM, San Francisco KRCB FM & TV, Rohnert Park KSPB, Pebble Beach KUSP FM, Santa Cruz KVCR Educational Foundation, Inc, San Bernardino KWMR FM, Point Reyes Station Photo Credits: Rikki Ward; Ed Ritger; Ellen Cohan; Sonya Abrams; Russell Edwards iStock Photo Wikimedia

Assistant Editor: Ellen Cohan

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Climate One 2014  

A look back at Climate One in 2014

Climate One 2014  

A look back at Climate One in 2014