Our NCSE Report: Engaging Citizens, Pricing Carbon, Raising Ambitions for Action

The Symposia and Workshops of the NCSE Conference are meant to be wide-open discussions, so they follow the Chatham House Rules, where direct attribution is barred. We can share the names of the panelists from our Symposium, and we can say that the results of that session, with moderated discussion, were: fresh insights, new connections between competing perspectives, and a solid endorsement of carbon pricing, a bold transition to a low-carbon economy, and the role of citizens in making good policy happen.

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Van der Hoeven: Price Carbon Now

Oil prices have come down dramatically in the last few months, causing speculation that we are about to see a boom in oil consumption, and a move away from fuel-efficient vehicles, hybrid engines, alternative fuels, and electric cars. Maria van der Hoeven, executive director of the International Energy Agency, sees it differently: this is an opportunity to put in place the policies that will allow us to avoid future negative fallout from overdependence on fossil fuels.

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Action2015: Human Development, Climate Solutions & Democracy

We tend to like framing the political moment as “the moment” when everything is coming together. And in a sense, it’s always true: what we live now flows from what came before, so we are always at a juncture between what was and what we are about to make real. There is responsibility in that, and urgency, but repeated disappointments make us forget the moment can be of great consequence. 2015, however, provides a unique opportunity to bring together three major global priorities, in a unified, open brainstorming and coordinating effort, to build a better future.

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Common Sense Demands Collaboration

NOTE-2015-01.pngThe word politics comes from polis, the Greek word for city, or state. Politics is the art of living amongst people. It is, at the root, and in practice, a project of collaborative problem-solving. In its broadest sense, it is a way to describe our process of learning how to talk about value with those around us; it is the study of what happens when people make choices, relying on free will and individual expression. Cynics, with either too much or too little immediate access to power, often argue there can be no real freedom and little cause for faith in humanity. That has never been the case. We constantly exercise our power of observation, our judgment, and our freedom to choose; this is how we relate to every person we know. 

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Tipping Point for Carbon Pricing just got Closer

Like objects in a passenger-side mirror, the tipping point for pricing carbon is a lot closer than it appears, and votes this week in the Senate moved it a bit closer. Let’s indulge ourselves for a moment to connect some dots that have me accentuating the positive. In the Senate on Wednesday, three amendments to the Keystone XL pipeline bill were taken up about climate change. These were “sense of the Senate” resolutions.

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NYC Working Session Engages Citizens in Paris Treaty Process

Report on January 15 Pathway to Paris Direct Engagement Working Session, at Impact Hub in New York City

impact-150115.jpgOn Thursday, January 15, 2015, the Pathway to Paris project hosted its first Direct Engagement Working Session, at Impact Hub, in New York City. Citizens from New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, came together to work on a coordinating framework for the coming Paris agreement. They formed working groups, debated policy priorities, and produced working drafts of policy analysis for six focus areas, relating to the global climate negotiations.

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Global Temperature in 2014 and 2015

James Hansen [a], Makiko Sato [a],[b], Reto Ruedy [c], Gavin A. Schmidt [b], Ken Lo [c]

Abstract.  Global surface temperature in 2014 was +0.68°C (~1.2°F) warmer than the 1951-1980 base period in the GISTEMP analysis, making 2014 the warmest year in the period of instrumental data, but the difference from the prior warmest year (2010), less than 0.02°C, is within uncertainty of measurement.  The eastern two-thirds of the contiguous United States was persistently cool in 2014, cooler than the 1951-1980 average in all seasons.  Record warmth at a time of only marginal El Niño conditions confirms that there is no “hiatus” of global warming, only a moderate slowdown since 2000.  Global temperature in 2015 may further alter perceptions.  We discuss the prospects for the 2015 global temperature in view of the seeming waning of the current weak El Niño.

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Dealing with Mother Earth's Fever in Peru

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Potato guardians in the cold room, in one of the Pisac villages that shape the Potato Park, in Cusco, Peru.

Five Peruvian rural villages, in the Andean mountains, work together in The Potato Park to protect crops and seeds from the heat and new plagues associated to climate change. Young and adult technicians, mostly men, use ancestral and scientific knowledge in Cusco, in the southern part of the country, to face the problems caused by what they call Mother Earth's fever

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NCSE Conference Takes on Climate Change

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On January 27-29 2015 the National Council for Science and the Environment will hold its 15th National Conference and Global Forum on Science, Policy and the Environment: Energy and Climate Change at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City at Reagan National Airport.

Citizens' Climate Lobby is a collaborating organization, so you can receive a registration discount, by entering the code CCL2015. (Register here. CCL volunteers, read the full post for your registration instructions, below.) 

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Climate Roadmap Shows the Way to a Restored Climate

The Climate Roadmap is a tool that allows us to see that we can restore the climate quickly and save money in the process. It starts with the climate destination, and then helps us see the best existing routes that take us there. The Climate Roadmap is designed to show us where we’re going and why, and then give us routes that will take us there, given what we know now. 

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