Climate change is not just about global warming

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Gary Graham
Energy and Sustainability Services

Last week, I attended a presentation on the topic of Climate Change. Dr. John P. Holdren, President Obama’s Science Advisor and the Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy was the featured speaker. The room was full of people, all who shared the same level of interest in this topic.

John spent an hour discussing the current state of climate-change science, the size of the associated challenge for society, and the technical and policy options for meeting that challenge while maximizing co-benefits and minimizing costs. It was all captivating, however below are a few of many insights that I found interesting:

1). Climate change is not just about global warming and temperature, it’s about the disruption that is happing to our climate.

2). The cheapest, fastest, cleanest emission reduction comes from increasing the efficiency of energy use in buildings, industries and transportation.

3). There is still a lot of very economically viable energy conservation and efficiency opportunities that can and need to be implemented.  Going “Green” can save us a lot of green.

4). The challenges in improving emerging technologies and developing new technologies that will help achieve a drastically reduced carbon emitting world requires a generation of new scientists and engineers prepared to attack these frontiers.  We need to develop strong science and math skills in our youth to achieve this necessary goal.

I think we need to aggressively accelerate the implementation of the energy conservation and efficiency opportunities that are economically viable today and commit to supporting the development of math and science skills of our youth.

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