Upcoming Events: Climate One
Is California Entering a Megadrought?Date: Wed, July 13, 2016
Time: 6:30 PM
Explaining our future in these strangely wet and dry times
Noah Diffenbaugh, Professor, Stanford University
Peter Gleick, President, The Pacific Institute
This program was generously underwritten by the S.D. Bechtel Jr. Foundation.
California storms and droughts are getting more extreme, according to new research from Stanford examining recent rainfall patterns. The result is a new normal, with fewer average years and more dry times and also more wet times. Other forecasters warn that California might be entering an extended period of drought known as a megadrought. Uncertainty about changing rainfall is a challenge for the state’s water system built on the predictable arrival of snow and rain.
What is California doing to prepare for bigger storms and droughts? How can an average person use water more efficiently and think about the water embedded in their food? Join us for a conversation about California’s water future in strangely wet and dry times driven in part by the high-pressure system hanging off the coast called the "ridiculously resilient ridge."
Redefining National Parks and Family Farms in a Changing ClimateDate: Tue, July 19, 2016
Time: 6:30 PM
Jordan Fisher Smith, Author, Engineering Eden: The True Story of a Violent Death, a Trial, and the Fight over Controlling Nature
John Hart, Author, Farming on the Edge: Saving Family Farms in Marin County and An Island in Time: 50 Years as Point Reyes National Seashore
How will national parks adapt to volatile climate? Jordan Fisher Smith, a former park and wilderness ranger in the American West, writes about the futile, sometimes fatal, attempts to remake wilderness in the name of preserving it. Tracing a course from the founding of the national parks through the tangled 20th-century growth of the conservationist movement, Smith gives the lie to the portrayal of national parks as Edenic wonderlands unspoiled until the arrival of Europeans, and shows how virtually every attempt to manage nature in the parks has only created cascading effects that require even more management. Now climate change is presenting a new set of challenges to America’s best idea.
Family farms face a comparable and different challenge as they struggle to cope with a changing climate. Can farmers, ranchers and environmentalists come together to protect the environment and food supply as species migrate and weather changes? Join a conversation with two writers about how farms and parks are adapting to their new reality.
Can the Internet of Things Be Green and Safe?Date: Wed, July 20, 2016
Time: 12:00 PM
Building a safe and clean grid
General Keith Alexander (Ret.), Founder and CEO, IronNet Cybersecurity; Former Head, U.S. Cyber Command and the National Security Agency
Alfred R. Berkeley, Director, World Economic Forum USA; Co-Author, The New Paradigm for Cyber Security
The "Internet of things" promises tech-savvy people the ability to tap a smart phone to unlock your home door to let in your dog walker or house guest. Other possibilities include refrigerators that can order groceries and thermostats that can be controlled remotely. Smart homes outfitted with appliances that send and receive data are related to a smart electric grid, which would similarly send electricity to homes and receive energy generated on solar rooftops or other renewable sources. California law requires the state to source half of its energy from renewable sources by 2030. That will present big challenges for a grid that was built to be only one-way. Companies financing and supplying renewable energy are scrambling to figure out how to make the grid both green and safe from cyber attacks.
How California manages the transition may be a model for the country for what to do—or not do. Join us for a conversation about the transition to smart homes and a smart grid and whether smart hackers can exploit the situation to wreak havoc on our connected lives. We also will discuss broader issues of cybersecurity and privacy in a hyper-connected age.
Can California Get to 100-percent Clean Power?Date: Tue, August 23, 2016
Time: 6:30 PM
Mark Ferron, Member, California Independent System Operator
Mark Jacobson, Professor, Stanford
Geisha J. Williams, President, PG&E
Mark Jacobson leads a team that says California and other states can get to 100-percent renewable power by 2050. Celebrity activists Mark Ruffalo and Leonardo DiCaprio are backing him.
But critics say the theoretical plan doesn’t consider the hard realities of the power grid and that renewables are sometimes oversold. California recently passed a law requiring half of the state’s power be renewable by 2030.
Should the state be more ambitious to battle climate disruption? What does PG&E think about going all-in on renewable power?
Bread, Wine and Chocolate in a Warming WorldDate: Tue, October 18, 2016
Time: 6:30 PM
A matter of good taste
Simran Sethi, Author, Bread, Wine, Chocolate: The Slow Loss of Foods We Love
Anna Lappe, Author, Diet for a Hot Planet: The Climate Crisis at the End of Your Fork and What You Can Do About It
The industrialization of food has caused much of the food we eat to taste the same, whether you are nibbling at a farmer’s market in San Francisco, a Midwestern barbecue or a fast food joint in China. Ninety-five percent of the world’s calories now come from only 30 species, and Simran Sethi says a closer look at America’s cornucopia of grocery store options shows that our foods are primarily made up of only corn, wheat, rice, palm oil and soybeans. Sethi traveled to six continents in search of delicious and endangered tastes and how we can save the foods we love.
Anna Lappe is a prominent leader in the sustainable food movement. She is founder of the Small Planet Institute and head of the Real Food Media Project, which spreads the story of the power of sustainable food using creative movies and grassroots events. She and her mother, Frances Moore Lappe, co-founded the Small Planet Fund, which has raised nearly $1 million for democratic social movements worldwide, two of which have won the Nobel Peace Prize.