Third Annual Climate Change Forum

 

climate change

On March 29 at All Saints Church in Pasadena, the League of Women Voters hosted the third annual climate change forum: “The Local Effects of Climate Change and Actions to Minimize its Effects.” Jim Waterhouse, Daniel Walton, and Jonathan Parfrey spoke with a crowd of about 50 people.

Jim Waterhouse gave a Climate Reality presentation summarizing the climate crisis and introduced CCL’s solution: a revenue neutral carbon tax. Daniel Walton summarized his study of climate change in the Los Angeles region. Downtown LA will be about 4°F warmer by 2050. Reducing CO2 emissions will reduce some of this warming but not all of it, so we still have to adapt to some warming. However, reducing CO2 emissions dramatically reduces the warming from 2050 to 2100.

In contrast, it’s not clear if precipitation in the Los Angeles region will increase or decrease because (1) precipitation naturally varies more than temperature and (2) we’re between regions which are expected to get wetter and drier. Jonathan Parfrey pointed out that this means Los Angeles could benefit by reclaiming more of the rainwater that’s currently being wasted because it drains to the ocean. Jonathan’s organization Climate Resolve also helps homeowners install cool roofs, which lower electric bills and could help cool Los Angeles by reducing its urban heat island effect.

During Q&A, there was a small controversy about whether CCL’s national carbon tax would be better than scaling up California’s current cap and trade system. Rob Haw presented CCL’s view, which is that either system can reduce CO2 emissions and they can co-exist, but most economists tend to favor a carbon tax. Also, a national policy has to pass the House of Representatives. Several prominent Republican economists (including Reagan’s economics adviser) have endorsed a carbon tax swap but none support cap and trade.