Taking Stock of Climate Change: Earth, Air, Fire and Water
January 27 @ 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm
Joint webinar of:
Institute for International Economic Policy Rethinking Capitalism and Democracy Series and Thunderbird Finance and Sustainability Series
Speakers David F. Hendry and Jennifer L. Castle
The climate of planet Earth depends on the energy balance between incoming radiation from the Sun and re-radiation from the planet. Greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere, like water vapor and carbon dioxide, help regulate whether the planet is a “snowball,” as warm as the Eocene some 55 million years ago, or something in between like our world today. Natural forces, including plate tectonics and volcanism, drove previous climatic upheavals, but today the main driver is humanity’s emissions of greenhouse gases, primarily from the burning of fossil fuels. Although life has survived previous climate upheavals, thriving in quite different global temperatures, huge numbers of species went extinct in the transitions. This webinar will show how humanity is altering the climate with impacts on the Earth’s limited available land, atmosphere, and water resources. The webinar uses the ancient frames of Earth, Air, Fire and Water as ‘essential ingredients’ of life to explore what is happening, the dangers of precipitating an anthropogenic mass extinction, and actions humanity could take to avoid disaster.