ENVIRON 201 Lecture 10: ENVIRON 201 Lecture 10

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7 Feb 2017
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ENVIRON 201 Lecture 10 Climate Change: Mitigation and Adaptation
Scientific Consensus
What does this mean about what needs to be done?
How do we get public perception and reality to match?
Perceptions of consensus (survey of US representative sample by John Cook)
versus the 97% consensus
Not first time scientific consensus has been disputed
o Example: tobacco and alternative techniques (vaping, dripping)
o Topics take a long time to filter into pop culture
What should we do about climate change?
Overview
Three options
o Do nothing
o Mitigation
o Adaptation
Mitigation options
Adaptation options
Option 1: Do Nothing
o “Even if you choose not to decide, you still have to make a choice”
o Potential consequences of do nothing
Easy to see problems if 1 or 2 degree change
Bacteria and diseases do better
Biodiversity loss
Changes in crops
o So what?
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There have been large swings in climate that have caused mass
extinctions before
o The do nothing approach: how sure are we of the risk?
If we think we should do something
o Two ways to attempt to manage climate change
Mitigation
Focuses on limiting greenhouse gas emissions to
moderate global climate change
Adaptation
Focuses on learning to live with to the environmental
changes and societal consequences brought about by
global climate change
Probably requires a mixture of both
Dealing with global climate change relationship between mitigation and
adaptation
Mitigation
Mitigation options
o Consume fewer fossil fuels
Seek alternatives
Increase efficiencies
Behavioral changes
o Sequester carbon
Carbon capture and storage
Replant and manage forests
Thinking of the atmosphere like a bathtub
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