This week marks the launch of the new Columbia Initiative on Extreme Weather and Climate, a cross-disciplinary collaboration between a variety of centers, research groups and individuals from across Columbia University. The Initiative, led by Adam Sobel, kicked off on Monday evening with a World Leaders Forum panel event in Low Library. Panelists discussed a wide range of science and policy topics related to extreme weather, showing the interdisciplinary nature of the new Initiative.
The Columbia Initiative on Extreme Weather and Climate brings together experts across the university to integrate research into the physical science of these events with research on their impacts on human society and engineering solutions. The initiative kicks off this evening with a panel discussion, “Preparing for Extreme Weather: Global Lessons from Sandy,” from 6-7:30 p.m. Watch the live webcast.
@UNSDSN is hosting a live Twitter Q&A on Friday, Dec. 19, from 1-2 p.m. EST with Jim Williams, chief scientist at Energy and Environmental Economics Inc. and lead author on the U.S. Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project report. You can send in your questions before and during the live chat on Twitter or Facebook by using #USDDPP.
What motivates people to accept or reject climate change? What do personal and political values have to do with it? How can you best get your message across? A new guide to climate change communication offers some of the answers.
The Sustainable Development Goals, to be set by the United Nations in September 2015, will outline the international development priorities for the coming decades. What will the goals look like? How can we measure progress effectively? Where will the funding to implement these goals come from? Can an international climate agreement be reached in Paris next year, and what might it look like? Columbia’s Sustainability Media Lab will present “Road to 2015: A Pivotal Year for Sustainable Development,” a panel discussion, on Monday, Nov. 17.
An Evening with the Writers of the Clean Air Act: Insight into the ‘Golden Age’ of Environmental Law
At a panel discussion this week, Leon Billings and Thomas Jorling, two senior staff members who helped craft the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, and other major environmental legislation in the 1970s, spoke about the bipartisan effort to pass that legislation, and the partisan divide that stymies Congress today.
President Obama this week announced a set of actions designed to help populations here and abroad develop better resilience against drought, sea level rise and other consequences of a changing climate. At The Earth Institute, the International Research Institute for Climate and Society has been working on these issues for years — making regular climate forecasts, insuring farmers against bad weather, and using data to better anticipate outbreaks of disease, manage water resources and improve forest management, among other programs.
Student Jane Rebecca Marchant was one among the hundreds of thousands who joined the People’s Climate March Sunday, and she took a lot of photos. You can see her photo essay on the march on the website of the Morningside Post, the student-run newspaper at the Columbia School of International and Public Affairs.
In my early years I didn’t talk about the politics of global warming much. I didn’t bring it up with friends or family, let alone engage in any public way. It seemed to me unseemly for a scientist to be vocal on a political issue related, even indirectly, to his own research. Wouldn’t that be an indication of bias, of a lack of scientific impartiality? But I have changed my mind.
Climate scientist William D’Andrea of the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory asked young scientists attending a symposium last October, “What do you wish everyone knew about climate change?” He turned the responses into this video, which covers the topic pretty well.