Tag: Dan Kammen

The Future of Energy in a World of 400ppm and Rising

When you think of the future of energy, do you think of hillsides blanketed with wind turbines, cars powered by batteries instead of gas, and solar-powered office buildings?

If none of that sounds futuristic enough for you — where are the flying cars, bioengineered “living” cities fed by the sun and algae-powered lights? — that’s because it really isn’t.

The future of clean energy technology is already here, according to Dan Kammen, Jigar Shah and Joe Fargione — panelists at The Nature Conservancy’s “Future of Nature” forum on energy held Monday, May 13 in Boston. These experts — representing academia, business and conservation — agreed: The world has all the technology we need for a clean energy future. The challenge is implementing it at scales that can make a difference for controlling the global greenhouse gas emissions caused by energy production.

And we need this now more than ever. Last week, scientists measured 400ppm of CO2 in Earth’s air — a level that hasn’t existed in millions of years, before humans were around. With the global population expected to exceed 9 billion by 2050 and no uniformed effort to control emissions in sight, CO2 measures will likely surpass the 400ppm marker very soon.

Moderator Anthony Brooks of Boston radio station WBUR — a co-sponsor of the event — asked the panelists: Can renewable energies help make a dent in climate change while still meeting our energy needs? Here’s what they had to say.

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What’s the Future of Energy? Find Out May 13th in Boston

Oil, fracking, wind, solar, nuclear, wave — where does nature fit into the development of all these energy forms? Put another way: Can nature and humanity’s ever-increasing demands for energy possibly coexist?

That’s the big subject of the next panel discussion in the series “The Future of Nature,” co-sponsored by The Nature Conservancy and WBUR, Boston’s National Public Radio news station. The event — “The Future of Energy” — takes place in Boston next Monday starting at 7:30 PM at the Boston Society of Architects and features these speakers:

Dan Kammen, professor and director of the Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory, UC Berkeley

Jigar Shah, partner, Inerjys clean-energy investment firm

* Joe Fargione, science director, North America Region, The Nature Conservancy

Anthony Brooks, co-host of WBUR’s Radio Boston, will moderate. We’ll cover the discussion next week here on Cool Green Science. But if you’re interested in attending, learn more (including how to register for the event) and read about The Future of Nature series, including June 10′s “The Future of Water” event.

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Forest Dilemmas

Too many deer. Logging one tree to save another. Beavers versus old growth. Welcome to forest conservation in the Anthropocene. Beginning Monday, July 21, join us for a provocative 5-part series exploring the full complexity facing forest conservation in the eastern United States.

What is Cool Green Science?

noun 1. Blog where Nature Conservancy scientists, science writers and external experts discuss and debate how conservation can meet the challenges of a 9 billion + planet.

2. Blog with astonishing photos, videos and dispatches of Nature Conservancy science in the field.

3. Home of Weird Nature, The Cooler, Quick Study, Traveling Naturalist and other amazing features.

Cool Green Science is managed by Matt Miller, the Conservancy's deputy director for science communications, and edited by Bob Lalasz, its director of science communications. Email us your feedback.

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