AMS100 Boston 2020 Symposium

Strategies for Addressing the Climate Crisis:
Mitigation, Restoration, and Communication

This climate change policy symposium was held on 15 January 2020 during the AMS100 Annual Meeting in Boston, Massachusetts. This day-long symposium included two speakers and four panels. To view any of these presentations and panel discussions, click on the panel or speaker videos below. Panel 3 includes a discussion of models used to assess the impact of alternative mitigation actions. A link to the EN-ROADS model, demonstrated during Session 3, is available below. In addition, an overview of carbon pricing in the USA by the Columbia/SIPA Center on Global Energy Policy can be seen here.

Symposium Sessions - January 15, 2020

Synopsis

System hysteresis pushes the worst impacts climate change into the future. Effectively, the benefits in the human condition that fossil energy has afforded current generations in the developed world has come at the expense of future generations. This panel will discuss the evidence for and consequences of the environmental impacts resulting from Earth’s destabilizing climate system.

Welcoming Remarks

Paul Higgins, Director, American Meteorological Society Policy Program

Panelists

  • John Keller (Moderator), Founding Scientist, Athenium Analytics, Volunteer, Citizens’ Climate Lobby
  • Gavin Schmidt (Overview Talk), Director, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies
  • Jonathan Fairman, Senior Scientist, Meteorology, Athenium Analytics, FarmersFirst Africa
  • Jerry Mitrovica, Frank B. Baird, Jr. Professor of Science, Harvard University
  • Dan Rothman, Professor of Geophysics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Susan Solomon, Lee and Geraldine Martin Professor of Environmental Studies, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Intro & Gavin Schmidt Presentation

Session 1 Panel

Synopsis

No matter how quickly we reduce GHG emissions, mitigation can at best deliver a badly disrupted climate. Climate restoration combines mitigation with draw down and envisions lowering atmospheric CO2 from 415 ppm, where it is today, to below 300 ppm. Both the technology and financing methods already exist to reclaim the safe and healthy climate we enjoyed before the industrial revolution. Specific examples of promising technologies with potential commercial viability to deploy at the scale necessary will be discussed.

Panelists

  • Harold Hedelman (Moderator), Co-founder, Business Climate Leaders, Citizens’ Climate Lobby
  • Klaus Lackner (Overview Talk), Director, Center for Negative Carbon Emissions, Arizona State University
  • Phil Duffy, President and Executive Director, Woods Hole Research Center
  • Leslie Field, Founder and CEO, Ice911 Research
  • Rick Parnell, CEO, Foundation for Climate Restoration, RSP Investments
  • Michelle Wyman, Executive Director, National Council for Science and the Environment

Klaus Lackner Presentation

Session 2 Panel

Synopsis

“Integrated assessment models (IAMs) are used to answer central questions about climate change, from how the world could avoid 1.5C of global warming at the lowest cost, through to the implications of countries’ current pledges to cut emissions. They combine different strands of knowledge to explore how human development and societal choices interact with and affect the natural world. This includes the physical laws driving natural systems, as well as the changing habits and preferences that drive human society.”* This session focuses on solutions IAMs reveal that lead to the economic transformation necessary to optimally address the urgency of climate change. These are solutions that might be implemented if most engineers, 97% of climate scientists, and 3,500 economists had their way.

Panelists

  • Rick Knight, Research Coordinator, Citizens’ Climate Lobby
  • Gilbert Metcalf, John DiBiaggio Chair of Citizenship and Public Service, Tufts University
  • Caroline Normile (Moderator), Principal Air Quality Specialist, San Francisco Bay Area Air Quality Management District
  • Juliette Rooney-Varga (EN-ROADS demo), Director, Climate Change Initiative, University of Massachusetts
  • Gernot Wagner, Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Environmental Studies, New York University

Session 3 Panel

Synopsis

Broadcast meteorologists are positioned at a crucial intersection between climate scientists and the general public. They have the opportunity to use their scientific training and public communication skills to educate viewers about climate change. This session will explore key issues facing broadcast meteorologists who want to make a difference on the climate crisis, including:

  • Obstacles broadcast meteorologist face when attempting to include climate change in their broadcasts.
  • Online sources and AMS support available to assist in presenting climate change information.
  • Taking the next step and communicating about the array of possible climate change solutions.
  • How to discuss climate issues in conservative markets.

Introductory Remarks

Jenni Evans, 2019 President, American Meteorological Society

Panelists

  • Bob Lindmeier (Moderator), WKOW-TV, Madison, WI
  • Ed Maibach, Center for Climate Change Communication at George Mason
  • Mike Nelson, Denver7, Chief Meteorologist
  • Amber Sullins, Chief Meteorologist, ABC15
  • Jerry Taylor, President, Niskanen Center
  • Bernadette Woods Placky, Climate Central

Session 4 Panel

Additional Resources

Organizations Mentioned by Panelists

  • Niskanen Center is a nonpartisan think tank where problems studied include Climate Change. Jerry Taylor, president, is one of the “prominent and influential libertarian voices in energy policy in Washington.”
  • Citizens’ Climate Lobby, a non-profit, nonpartisan, grassroots advocacy organization, is focused on a national, revenue-neutral carbon tax to address climate change. Their plan has been introduced in the House as H.R. 763.
  • Climate Leadership Council is an international policy institute that includes business and environmental groups in advocating for a US carbon tax.
  • EN-ROADS is a climate-change-solutions online simulator created by Climate Interactive. It has been used to brief U.S. Senators and Representatives and by the U.S. State Department, the Chinese Government and by the United Nations’ Secretary-General’s Office. It’s interactive and, best of all, it’s free.
  • ICE911 is a a nonprofit dedicated to proving to the world that we can safely preserve and restore the Arctic ice and polar habitat.
  • ASU Center for Negative Carbon Emissions is advancing carbon management technologies that can capture carbon dioxide directly from ambient air in an outdoor operating environment.
  • FarmersFirst Africa
Questions/Comments? Email John Keller atwxchief@gmail.com.
*Evans, Simon, and Zeke Hausfather. “Q&A: How ‘Integrated Assessment Models’ Are Used to Study Climate Change.” Carbon Brief, Carbon Brief Ltd – Company No. 07222041, 10 Oct. 2018, https://www.carbonbrief.org/qa-how-integrated-assessment-models-are-used-to-study-climate-change.