AIF Blog

After the Climate March: How to Confront Climate Change

Sep 22, 2014
CATEGORY: Environment

The largest climate march in history took place Monday in New York, just two days ahead of the UN climate summit on Tuesday. (More in the New York Times). As world leaders gather to search for solutions, we've compiled all of our climate coverage from the 2014 Festival here.

Following are in-depth discussions about climate change that took place this summer in Aspen.

Action, Consequence, Reaction, and Change: Getting to a Two Degree World
Despite very challenging assumptions like efficiency improvements, penetration of renewables, and the prospective introduction of Carbon Capture & Storage, how would we describe a ‘least implausible’ route to a 2 degree world? A sneak peak at a provocative study undertaken by Shell, using its best experts. Speaker: Cho-Oon Khong

A New and Promising Energy Future
With a focus on consumers, maybe the newest players in the energy market will guide us all to maximizing our energy consumption, with powerful results both economically and environmentally. Speakers: Tony Fadell, David Crane, Alexis Madrigal

Energy in a Carbon-Constrained World: How Do You Build a Portfolio in the Future?
A panel of corporate leaders in a variety of industries will discuss energy consumption and sustainability strategies, as well as the question of how energy consumers can figure conservation and climate into their planning. Speakers: Tom Fanning, Roger W. Sant, Chris Hostetter, Andrew Ross Sorkin

CEO Perspective: Our Nation's Energy Future
Tom Fanning runs one of the country's largest energy companies, with a broad portfolio that includes natural gas, nuclear, coal, and renewables. Southern Company is constructing the first nuclear power plant in decades. He shares his perspectives on our energy future with best-selling author and award winning journalist, Charles Mann. Speakers: Tom Fanning, Charles C. Mann

The Future of North American Energy Leadership
Today’s North American energy headlines — about the shale revolution, the next generation of transport fuels, the United States’ shift from a net energy importer to a net exporter, and so on — reflect major implications on everything from geopolitics to driver behavior. What will it take to create truly visionary leadership of the North American energy landscape? How could factors such as open-market energy exports, sustainability policies, energy-efficient technologies, and food/water management be used to mitigate climate challenges? What action is needed in this decade from governments, industry, and the public to meet growing energy demand despite a complicated state of world affairs? Speakers: Meghan L. O'Sullivan, Michael Levi, Marvin Odum, Coral Davenport

Climate Change and the Fate of our Forests
Brian Enquist, an expert in ecology and evolutionary biology, brings to life a geographic inventory of forest assets for western North America. When coupled with the latest climate models, a high-resolution picture emerges of the health of our future forests. New advances in bioinformatics and mathematical modeling enable us, for the first time, to answer the question ‘what will the forest in my backyard look like?’ This presentation, produced in concert with the local Aspen Center for Environmental Studies, is cutting edge both in analyses and technological interface, and will demonstrate what we will experience over the coming decades if action on a grander scale is not taken. The science of climate change and forest health is revealing potentially dramatic implications for all of us, whether we be homeowners, recreationists, investors, insurers, or land developers.Speakers: Brian J. Enquist, Jerry Murdock, Chris Lane

Unleashing the Power of Earth Observations
What do we see when we look at the Earth, and what do these observations mean for the years ahead? Barbara Ryan, secretariat director of the Intergovernmental Group on Earth Observations (GEO), discusses this Geneva-based, voluntary partnership of governments and organizations dedicated to coordinated, comprehensive, and sustained Earth observations and information — sharing what scientific observers worldwide are learning about the state and health of planet Earth. Speakers: Barbara J. Ryan, Alexis Madrigal

Fracking: Is There a Fix to the Fight?
Domestic shale gas has transformed the US energy equation, but its development can have unacceptable impacts on air and water quality, while methane emissions from oil and gas development can undo the climate benefit of burning natural gas instead of other fossil fuels. Colorado has led the way with the nation's strongest air pollution standards for oil and gas development, including the first direct regulation of methane. Governor John Hickenlooper and Environmental Defense Fund President Fred Krupp, who worked closely on the breakthrough rules in Colorado, lead a discussion of the way forward for shale gas. Speakers: Fred Krupp, John Hickenlooper, Gillian Tett

No Time to Spare: Getting National and International Climate Solutions Back on Track
Though serious impacts are being felt on every continent, we still have a chance to take the bold action needed to turn the corner toward climate stability. Environmental Defense Fund President Fred Krupp will share signs of hope and progress at the national and international levels and lay out his vision for achieving lasting climate solutions — and urgently needed political breakthroughs — before it is too late. Speakers: Fred Krupp, Coral Davenport

The Great Invisible (Film and Discussion)
On April 20, 2010, the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico. It killed eleven workers and caused the worst oil spill in American history. The explosion still haunts the lives of those most intimately affected, though the story has long ago faded from the front page. At once a fascinating corporate thriller, a heartbreaking human drama, and a peek inside the walls of the secretive oil industry, The Great Invisible, directed by Margaret Brown, is the first documentary feature to go beyond the media coverage to examine the crisis in depth through the eyes of oil executives, survivors and Gulf Coast residents who experienced it first-hand, and then were left to pick up the pieces while the world moved on. Underwritten by Walton Family Foundation. Speakers: Margaret Brown, Robert L. Cavnar, Emily Verellen

Solving the Carbon Problem Together
The carbon pollution problem plagues us with more questions than answers, and those questions often lead to doubts, fears, and inaction. Instead, suggests Roger Sant, we should focus on our past victories, searching among them for the keys to a complex future. In this talk, Sant shares forty years of experience in the energy industry, drawing out the lessons most essential to helping us move forward. Speakers: Roger W. Sant, Coral Davenport