Here's the video (59:46) of Dr. Pachauri's keynote address to conferees on Friday, October 17, 2008.
Here's the video (59:46) of Dr. Pachauri's keynote address to conferees on Friday, October 17, 2008.
To open the panel, moderator Dennis Dimick put agriculture in the context of the global climate crisis by highlighting the fact that agriculture uses more water than any other human endeavor in the world, nearly 70 percent (see the early 2008 feature story from National Geographic). Theo Dillaha added to Dimick's global perspective that the greatest risk involved with climate change is to people in developing countries; this is largely because of the climatic changes that affect the growing seasons. As Dillaha explained, climate change is causing greater variability rather than just warming, as the commonly used, but often misleading term, "global warming" implies. Dillaha, speaking from his experience as program director at the Sustainable Agriculture and Natural Resource Management Collaborative Research Support Program, gave several examples from across the developing world of significantly impacted communities experiencing climate-related disruption to their agriculture.
Literally bringing the issue back to American soil, William Hohenstein, director of the Global Climate Change Program at the USDA, explained to the panel the conclusions of a recently published report from his agency detailing the current and projected effects of climate change on U.S. agriculture. These effects were manifold: water availability, pest migration, changing growing seasons, increased temperature stress on crops, livestock, and pollinators, variance in precipitation rates and types, and yield impact due to higher CO2 concentration. Jeffrey Moyer, also addressing U.S. agriculture, talked about the advantages that organic food production can have on mitigating the greenhouse gas emissions of large-scale agriculture. According to Moyer, the financial system isn't the only staple of the American economy that has been set up for failure; "I think it will become increasingly clear in the next few years that our food system is equally broken," said Moyer. In his opinion, conventional agriculture, and the policy structure that supports it, has created a system that does what is asked of it — provides cheap food, fiber products, and now sources of energy — but not what Americans should want from it — quality food products farmed using sustainable techniques that are not ecologically disruptive. Rodale Institute has found in its studies that organic farming techniques can not only produce the same amount of food as conventional farming, but that they can, according to Moyer, "sequester three times as much carbon."
Here's the audio file (MP3/11.6MB/0:50:44) for this Saturday, October 18, 2008, session: Download C4_Climate
Absent any federal climate change policy, states and interest groups are turning to the courts. More than two dozen cases already are pending, pursuing legal strategies ranging from the Clean Air Act, Endangered Species Act, energy statutes, National Environmental Policy Act and similar state laws, and common tort law. And the number of suits grows daily. Top attorneys will discuss the legal theories behind current cases, the dangers of letting the courts set global warming policies, and emerging issues like the legal challenges individual states and regions face in implementing climate change policies.
Moderator: Carolyn Whetzel, California Correspondent, BNA
Michael Gerrard, Partner, Arnold & Porter
Cale Jaffe, Senior Attorney, Southern Environmental Law Center
William Snape III, Senior Attorney, Center for Biological Diversity
Robert Wyman Jr., Partner, Latham & Watkins
Population is the “central cause in all the issues we’re dealing with,” moderator Constance Holden said. Two underlying questions shaped the panelists’ discussion: “Why is population growing?” and “Why is it not covered in the climate change debate?”
Steve Curwood, the executive producer and host of American Public Radio’s “Living on Earth” series, acknowledged the complexity inherent in explaining the causes of population growth, but believed mitigating poverty can have the greatest effect on stabilizing populations, citing the strong social institutions and stable population of Denmark as an example.
Robert Engelman, vice president of programs for the Worldwatch Institute, understands the sometimes toxic nature of discussing population growth. “You can’t tell people how many children they can have,” Engelman said, “but that is not the end of the story.” Engelman advised the session’s attendees to explore the correlates of population growth, and to highlight the shift from parents wanting to have “more children” to “more for their children.”
Panelist Tom Horton, a freelance writer with recent work on population and climate change published for the Abell Foundation, suggested journalists should examine the “growth is good” economic culture of our country when covering the issue.
Throughout the discussion, panelists noted that foreign countries with varying population and consumption patterns can be used as templates for framing policy and discussion in the United States.
Reported by Christopher Cox, Virginia Tech
Original blurb: Once a greenhouse-gas emission "cap" clamps down in a cap-and-trade approach to climate change, what happens when population keeps growing? Does everyone just get less of the rationed good? Or might human numbers have a cap of their own? Does population policy have any role to play in addressing climate change — and, if so, what's the policy? Or is it best to leave the linkage alone? This panel will consider human population growth in a carbon-constrained atmosphere, and how environmental journalists can step bravely where many fear to tread in covering a connection that won't go away.
Here is the audio for the keynote address given by Dr. Pachauri, chairman of the IPCC, on Friday, October 17, 2008: Download Pachauri_Keynote (MP3/10.4MB/1:00:36)
Here are two audios from the morning session:
1. Download WedClimateChangePt1Morning (MP3/12.1MB/1:25:20) includes:
What on Earth? Observed Changes in Land Features in North America and Eastern U.S. as Shown by Satellite Images
Speaker: Kirsten de Beurs, Assistant Professor of Geography, College of Natural Resources, Virginia Tech
2. Download WedClimateChangePt2Morning (MP3/13.5MB/1:18:46); begins at the 10:30 a.m. session: Mountaintop Removal in Context
Moderator: Ken Ward Jr., Reporter, The Charleston Gazette
Speakers: Gene Kitts, Senior Vice President, Mining Services, International Coal Group; Joe Lovett, Executive Director, Appalachian Center for the Economy & the Environment; Ben Stout, Associate Professor of Biology, Wheeling Jesuit University
There are four audios for the afternoon session:
1. Winning the Oil Endgame: Principles of and Progress Toward an Oil-Free America
Speaker: Amory Lovins, Co-Founder, Chairman and Chief Scientist, Rocky Mountain Institute. Presentation materials. Audio: Download Wed_AmoryLovins-Pt1 (MP3/10.2MB/0:44:56)
4. Winning the Coal Endgame: The NegaWatt and Micropower Revolutions
Speaker: Amory Lovins, Co-Founder, Chairman and Chief Scientist, Rocky Mountain Institute. Presentation materials. Audio: Download Wed_AmoryLovins-Pt2 (MP3/14.2MB/1:02:21)
Here is Dr. Pachauri's PowerPoint presentation from the Friday, October 17th keynote address: Download Pachauri_SEJ_17_Oct2008.ppt
Talk about sweeping the awards shows: Climate change won a Grammy, an Oscar, and the Nobel Peace Prize last year. Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth" captured the first two, but he shared the Nobel with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The IPCC's Chair, Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, will join us to assess the political will to address our greatest environmental challenge, and how the world's governments, and the world's media, are responding. Are the U.S. media, public, and policymakers up to speed with the science, the politics, and economics of climate change?
Moderator: Peter Dykstra, Executive Producer, CNN Science, Technology, Environment & Weather
By Christine Heinrichs
Dr. Rajenda Pachauri, chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which shared the Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore in 2007, made the effort to fit SEJ into his schedule, between Berlin and Spain. His willingness to speak to us reflects the impact that our work can have.
His solid presentation included the facts and figures IPCC assembled to make its case and produce the "best of science and the approval and acceptance of governments," he said.
That diplomatic feat must have required great powers of persuasion.
In adddition to providing some basic information on reporting on climate change, biologist George Kling of the University of Michigan presented 10 suggestions on how journalists can do a better job reporting science. His list follows:
1. Prepare beforehand.
2. Email a list of questions prior to the interview.
3. Make your deadline clear. Lead time is appreciated, as journalists and scientists don't have the same expectations about deadlines.
4. Understand the scientist's dilemma of uncertainty. (Scientists can't always predict what's going to happen, just like weathermen can't always predict the weather.)
5. Prepare for a lack of concrete answers. (Decide how you will use the information by providing context for the reader.)
6. Ask for an analogy (sports, music, theater, etc.), or examples used in a classroom. These analogies can help your readers understand abstract information.
7. Use the scientist's words and don't substitute (e.g. "natural event") unless you get the scientist's permission.
8. Don't lead with the highly unlikely scenario. (Cultivate the relationship with the source so that you can return to her for more information.)
9. Repeat your understanding. "So you are saying that....right?"
10. Send story passages for the scientist to check for technical accuracy before it goes to press.
This just in from The Onion. Those of you traveling to Roanoke this week, be forewarned...
Hello from Roanoke! This is John Sutter, a guest blogger on this site. I'm in Roanoke early for a fellowship with the Knight Center for Environmental Journalism. The weather is beautiful, the leaves are turning and the class sessions have been quite informative so far.
I live in Oklahoma City and recently started an environmental news blog at http://concretebuffalo.blogspot.com. My portfolio is up at http://jdsutter.com. I'm pumped for this week full of learning and fun, especially a rafting trip down the James River, where we'll learn about the impact of agriculture on water quality. That particular trip interested me because Oklahoma's attorney general is suing several poultry companies over alleged water pollution. I made my first hike in the mountains here on Saturday with a friend who works for the Roanoke Times. She was an excellent tour guide, and the view of the Blue Ridge from "sharp point" at the top of the hike was stunning.
Good sunny morning !
Michael Fortune checks in to report on the trip to West Virginia to see removal of coal by blasting / cutting off the tops of mountains. I figured this trip would be the most environmentally dramatic and relevant to our energy policy discussions and reporting.
First, about me: I have met some of you, including Lisa, at the May seminar on "Climate Change: Its Sweeping Impact," sponsored by the Knight Foundation last May in Maryland. I am an atmospheric scientist making a career shift into environmental journalism; I write and produce an occasional newsletter about climate science for the public, at climate-science.org .... And I freelance on natural science, weather and climate, and (hopefully) ethics, as well.