Climate Change Basics

Millions of people throughout the Caribbean and in Florida were devastated by Hurricane Irma.  Hurricane Maria crushed Puerto Rico.  Hurricane Harvey killed scores of people in Texas and will cost a fifth of a trillion dollars.

At the outset of my Clean Tech class every year I ask “Why Clean Tech?”  One very good reason, obviously, is to mitigate the greenhouse gases that are exacerbating storms throughout the world.  Another reason is to begin to grapple with the impacts of climate change through, for one thing, making power systems much more resilient – and all of our infrastructure for that matter.

The impacts of climate change are here to stay.  In fact, they’re going to get worse.  You need to know the basics.  If you don’t feel you have a good handle on this, try the suggested websites here.  If you do, revisit some of this material to deepen your grasp. We are in for a long haul on combatting climate change and its impacts.

You might start with the basic basics with Justin Gillis’s recent NY Times article: Climate Change Is Complex. We’ve Got Answers to Your Questions.  (One of his suggestions about what to do is to “…eat less meat.”  But that really doesn’t tell you the whole story, or even close.  You could start here.  There are many other sources, including from the FAO and from The Meat Atlas.)

But I digress.  We were talking, mainly, about impacts.  Here’s a short compendium of sources for you:

And for ongoing analyses, here are two excellent outlets:

Climate Central was founded by Heidi Cullen, among some others.  She wrote a great book a few years back that really nails the problem of how bad our weather is becoming:  The Weather of the Future.  For one thing, it came out a couple of years before Superstorm Sandy and was eerily predictive of just how it played out.  I guess we call that science.


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