What's going on with climate change deniers, and how can they be convinced? Recent news articles have reported on a "warming hiatus," claiming that there has been little or no warming of the planet for the past 15 years, contradicting predictions of the climate models. Dr. Neil Donahue examines the details of climate models, how they construct predictions about global warming, and whether the warming hiatus is real or imagined. The link between climate and our energy choices becomes clear as each piece of the climate model is examined for its effects on global temperature trends. This understanding is especially timely as Iceland experiences the eruption of the massive Bardarbunga volcano. Neil (your Salon co-host) teaches in the Departments of Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, and Engineering & Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University. He was founding director of the Center for Atmospheric Particle Studies, and now directs the Steinbrenner Institute for Environmental Education and Research and serves as a National Academies Science & Engineering Ambassador.
What is Pittsburgh doing? We'll hear from Dr. Aurora Sharrard, the Vice President of Innovation for the Green Building Alliance. In 2008, she became the original convener of the Pittsburgh Climate Initiative, which works collaboratively in the Pittsburgh region to reduce greenhouse gases through measurable actions. Following the adoption of two Pittsburgh Climate Action Plans and a the adoption and an update of the Pittsburgh Greenhouse Gas Inventory, GBA transitioned the PCI convener role to the City of Pittsburgh and Pennsylvania Environmental Council. GBA remains a strong PCI Partner through its Pittsburgh 2030 District program, which Aurora co-founded. (Photo: Mark Dixon)
What can individual citizens do?
Ray Roberts leads the new Pittsburgh chapter of Citizens Climate Lobby, a nationwide network engaging and empowering people in efforts to make real, effective change in public policy to mitigate climate change. Their main aim has been to pass a revenue-neutral carbon fee-and-dividend program -- which will naturally incentivize reductions in fossil fuel consumption while encouraging development of renewable sources and energy efficiency -- and putting money in most people's pockets.
We'll also have Barb Grover, president of the Sierra Club's Allegheny Group, to talk about the upcoming People's Climate March and rally in New York City, and gather more participants for the Pittsburgh contingent, and fill us in on what will be happening here at home that day. Jonathan Gray, Pittsburgh Climate Defender organizer for PennEnvironment and an activist in the labor, economic justice, and social justice movements. will talk about ongoing local volunteer opportunities.
For Salons in general:
3-10 p.m. at Maren's house in Squirrel Hill. Please don't arrive before 3pm. We'll aim to introduce speakers beginning around 4pm after folks have had a chance to meet, mingle, and tour around an interesting and productive urban permaculture site. Please email me with salon in the Subject line to RSVP (yes or maybe), or click on the link in your EventBrite invitation (if you're not already on my list, please email me to be added!). Please RSVP each time -- it helps greatly in several ways. Be sure to include salon in the Subject line, as I receive a ridiculous amount of email every day. And if you're new, please let me know how you heard about the Salons!
Bring food and/or drink to share if you can, along with musical instruments if you play. Check back on MarensList (where you can find information on all sorts of environmental and social justice events) for updates. And if you aren't yet on my list, if you're interested in Sustainability Salons (and our occasional house concert, simply contact me and I'll put you on my email list.
Sustainability Salon is an educational forum; a venue for discussion and debate about important environmental issues; a house party with an environmental theme. We usually have featured speakers on various aspects of a topic, interspersed with stimulating conversation, lively debate, delectable potluck food and drink, and music-making through the evening.
Past topics have included environmental art, environmental education (Part I & Part II), community mapping projects, environmental journalism, grassroots action, community solar power, Marcellus shale development and community rights, green building, air quality, health care, solar power, trees and park stewardship, alternative energy and climate policy, regional watershed issues, fantastic film screenings and discussions (led by filmmakers) over the winter with Living Downstream, Bidder 70, YERT, Gas Rush Stories, and food, food, food, food, and more food.