5th Annual Climate Change Forum


Photos are here

The LWV-PA Natural Resources Committee and nine co-sponsoring groups presented an informative meeting on Climate Change, Saturday, March 19, at Neighborhood Church in Pasadena. Three speakers gave a lively program and discussion about how climate change is effecting our lives, and what we might do about it. This presentation featured three speakers, John Odell, Josh Fisher, and Jason Low. About 110 people attended and 5 co-sponsors had information tables outside.

Video of John Odell’s presentation, and the slide information is here
Video of Josh Fisher’s presentation, and the slide information is here
Video of Jason Low’s presentation, and the slide information is here

John Odell, USC Professor Emeritus of International Relations, attended the Paris Climate Change Talks and reported on their outcome and meaning. The talks succeeded as the US and 194 other nations agreed to voluntary, non-binding, self-imposed limits on their greenhouse gas emissions for 2020-2030 and the developed nations agreed to subsidize developing nations’ emission control efforts. The Paris emission goals (if achieved) will limit temperature change to about 3.5 deg. C (6.5-deg. F). More ambitious future emission cuts will be required to meet the 2-deg C upper limit goal. Countries will reassess their goals every five years. Thirty-eight countries (and California) have established prices on emission trading.Major investors like CalPERS and the University of California now track the carbon footprint of their investments and advocate improvements by their companies. And major companies like Walmart, ALCOA, GM, Apple and UPS have pledged to cut their emissions.

Josh Fisher, JPL climate change scientist who specializes in climate effects of the Amazon rain forest, discussed the way forest trees affect the carbon cycle and predicted serious risks to the Amazon forest from both climate change (drought) and human removal of trees. He said that his California speeches are like speaking to the choir, but speeches in red states have required a strong effort to understand conservatives and to communicate in ways that they can accept.

Jason Low, Manager, Atmospheric Measurements, South Coast Air Quality Management District described current air quality issues in the LA basin, including the Porter ranch gas leak. He discussed new efforts to add monitoring stations and identified a connection between air quality and climate change.

—George Null