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Climate Change

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Lowan Lee

on 10 November 2014

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Transcript of Climate Change

Climate Change
How we got here
Anthropocene: geological period of humankind, defined as the era when we started having a significant global impact on Earth's ecosystems.
Global Public Perception
Social representation theory
Objectification --> "perceive and experience with our senses" the unknown
Anchoring --> "makes the unknown known by bringing it into a well-known sphere of earlier social representations so that we may compare and interpret it”
Example: Bangladesh lowest knowledge of Climate Change high objectification but low to non-existent Anchoring
What We Know Now
1. Climate change and warming of the climate system is unequivocally happening

2. Observed warming of the climate system has likely been caused by an increase in atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases, particularly carbon dioxide

3. These increases have been caused by human behaviour in the post-industrial era

4. Climate change has, and will continue to, cause adverse impacts on natural and human system on all continents and across all oceans

5. Immediate action is required
1. Climate change is happening
What We Know Now
How We Got Here
Global Perceptions
Looking To The Future

History of the science and policies behind climate change
Tracing back our impact
First extractions of ice cores: record amount CO2 in the atmosphere (discovery of the ice ages)
Birth of climate change institutions
1972: Creation of the United Nations Environmental
Programme (UNEP)
1988: Creation of the IPCC (UNEP & WMO)
3 working groups: scientific information, impact assessments, response strategies
World Conference on the Changing Atmosphere (Toronto)
hottest summer in the USA
Hansen addresses congress on issues of CC
1990: 1st assessment produced year set as baseline for
emission targets
1992: Earth Summit in Rio --> UNFCCC
1997: Kyoto Protocol sets targets XXXX

First scientific discoveries
1865: Tyndall & the greenhouse effect
Measuring our impact real-time
1957: Keeling develops method to measure CO2 in the atmosphere
1896: Arrenhius establishes link between CO2 & changes in global temperature
First to theorize on the feedback effect
Disputed till the 1990s
Coincides with first noticeable impacts of human activity and Co2 concentration in the atmosphere
1958: US weather bureau uses Keelings technique in Hawaii
1965: LBJ establishes Environmental Pollution Panel conclusion pollution is tightly linked with current economic model but can be controlled and taxed
Executive Order 11258 "Prevention, Control, and Abatement of Water Pollution by Federal Activities"
Humankind's relationship with energy
From Carbohydrate to Hydrocarbon Economy
-mineral soils
-H20 / CO2
Organic matter
Commonly known as the "food chain"
Carbohydrate economy: muscle mass
Human muscle mass and its extensions
-basic strength
Roman Era
Energy derived from human slaves
Around 1/3-1/4 population
Wars are "slave hunts"
Medieval Era
Black death: human population drops
Abundance of land lack of labor
Emergence of 1st wind and water mills
First Energy divide
Wind/water --> mechanical energy
Charcoal/wood --> heat energy
Hello Coal
Population growth --> pressure on land --> deforestation--> supply crisis
Shift to small scale uses of coal (household & certain industries)
Not until 18th that combustion is understood and large scale use of steam engines
Coal as concentrated energy
(just like: oil, gas, nuclear)
Massive energy revolution known as the industrial revolution
Happy workers
Blue skies
First noticeable observation of an anthropogenic impact
19th Century
Period of innovation in mechanical engineering (internal combustion engine)
Allows widespread use of oil (*2 more energy then coal and easier to transport)
Electrification of households
Emergence of household appliances, increased personal consumption
Ford era
Wars as periods of technological races
Industrial agriculture, massive waste sites => the rise of methane
Globalized emissions
Eased transportation: railroads, aviation, shipping containers
GATT and to be WTO era of free trade
Comparative advantage: search for cheap labor
Per capita CO2 drops in the West
Increases drastically in China, Middle East & India (exported emissions)

1950: Creation of the WMO under the UNDP
“Global atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide have increased markedly as a result of human activities since 1750 and now far exceed pre-industrial values ..... The global increases in carbon dioxide concentration are due primarily to fossil fuel use and land- use change, while those of methane and nitrous oxide are primarily due to agriculture.” (IPCC, 2007)
Case Study: Sweden
100% aware of climate change "important" to "very important" issue
68% single most important issue for world (51% EU avg.)
45% personal action (21% avg.)
Believe fighting climate change & increasing energy efficiency compatible with job creation and economic growth
Highest believers in energy efficiency improvements +30% then EU average

Long history of government intervention
1970s start of energy taxation after oil crisis
Progressive policy actions such as trading schemes for renewables
2000s onwards massive campaign to inform population of climate change:
National, regional, local level
Government and media participation
Actions taken at every level
Monitoring & evaluation
Multiple stakeholders
Participatory action

NOT politicized: a reality
Very strong anchoring, acceptance and action
Objectification through mitigation, adaptation & media reports
Shift from "what...?" to "how..?" solutions rather then explanations
(= government policy on information how to take action)
eg. "climate labeling"
Swedes want more information on what they can do
Understanding => empowerment
Greater knowledge on relationship between consumption and climate change
In what year did a US president say the following: “this generation has altered the composition of the atmosphere on a global scale through ..... a steady increase in carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels”
a). 1965
b). 1990
c). 1997
d). 2010
In terms of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions per capita, where is Canada on the list of polluters
A) 1ST
B) 2ND
C) 3RD
D) 4TH
2. Increase in atmospheric greenhouse gases
3. Human influence is clear

4. Impacts of climate change
5. Immediate action is required
-bread example
change of scale
Vulnerable Groups
extremely high vulnerability of country (70/50)
lowest awareness in the world
amongst aware seen as a very serious issue
Studies in rural areas show:
-very clear perception on change compared 5-10 years ago: heat, rainfall, (...)
-notice increased disease prevalence & lower agricultural returns
-women generally higher perception of effects
High Objectification
Climate Change Deniers
Looking to the Future
Sustainable Development Goals

Legal Frameworks

Individual Action
Atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases is at its highest level in the last 800,000 years
Carbon dioxide levels have risen 40% since pre-industrial times
Anthropogenic emissions have accumulated in the atmosphere, oceans, and natural plant systems
Emissions have affected the pH of the ocean's surface
Carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel combustion and cement production were 9.5 GtC yr. in 2011, 54% above the 1990 level
Deforestation and other land use changes have contributed 180 GtC from 1750 to 2011
More than half the global warming and climate system changes on every continent except for Antarctica since 1950 can be attributed to human behaviour or anthropogenic influences
Increased warming of the earth's land and ocean surface temperatures since 1850
Extreme weather, such as heat waves and heavy precipitation
Ice loss from ice sheets and glaciers
Rising global sea levels
Total radiative forcing is positive and has led to an uptake of energy
Sustained and substantial efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are necessary
Three important numbers:
2 degrees Celsius
565 Gt carbon dioxide
2,795 Gt carbon dioxide
Effects will be felt in all areas of the climate system
Food shortages
Refugee crises
Mass extinction of plants and animals
Devastating floods
Extreme weather
Global security
Journalistic bias
Heartland Institute and NIPCC
Popular opinion?
Midterm elections in the States
Soft deniers
Sustainable Development Goals
Legal Frameworks
Individual Action
Goal 13: take urgent action to combat climate change and it's impacts
13.1 Strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity to climate related hazards and natural disasters in all countries
13.2 Integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies, and planning
13.3 Improve education, awareness raising, and human and institutional capacity on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction, and early warning

Stand alone goal?
Massachusetts vs. EPA
Tort-Based Climate Litigation
The Inuit Petition
Climate Change as Human Rights
Policy level
-focus on infrastructure adaptation
-increase preparedness of pop.
Adaptation prioritized
UNFCCC national communication: (p. 13 vs 100)
Indigenous groups across the world
Variety of geographical landscapes: polar, tropical, islands, alpine...
-livelihoods depend on local ecosystems directly affected by CC
-1st to feel the impact rely on biodiversity
-vital part of the ecosystems and help build resilience of

changing temperatures
extreme variability between years
glacier, snow, lake and river
species variation extinction & invasion

Influence of media & accessibility of science
personal observations: local & tangible
deeply felt emotions as traditional knowledge of weather becomes invalid
abstraction of CC when explained through science, dis-empowerement
integration of both: greed & overconsumption = CC
stress as set back of local knowledge and nature strong representation of spiritual beliefs
Local knowledge increased understanding but not necessarily power to act

swedish case
indigenous adaptation and mitigation
consumer at the very end
reliance on institutions too strong
Feral Monbiot
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