The second day began with a panel of scientists who answered questions that we had from the previous day. Dr. Amy Snover, Director of the climate impacts group at the U. Of Wa, Dr. Henry Pollack, professor emerita of geophysics at U. of Mi, Prof. Don Henry, public policy

fellow for environmentalism at the U. Of Melbourne, and former US VP Al Gore. We learned that “climate” is what we expect and “weather” is what we get.

There were several questions that dealt in one way or another with tipping points. Could we actually do something to keep the most catastrophic climate events from being our future? Would we survive? We can’t stop what has already been put into motion. We heard that even if we stopped putting carbon into the atmosphere today, the seas will still rise, the snow pack will drop by 25 percent by 2050, and we we still face extreme weather events. We are locked into this because of the carbon we’ve put out so far, and that will last for millennia.

But, just as we all are part of the problem, we are all part of the solution. Mr. Gore says, “we have to adapt to what we can’t avoid and avoid what we can’t adapt to.” He reminded us that there are tipping points in politics and in consciousness as well, and insisted The Paris Accord shows we are almost there.

The rest of the morning was spent on learning about new technologies and developments that are extremely promising, from US mayors following the Paris goals to the astounding growth in solar power, even in areas where electricity never existed before.

During the break, people rushed to refuel.

People on break

Break time

 

Everything is vegetarian and considerable care is taken to reduce waste. We use real cups and glasses that get washed out (plates too, at lunch), and there coffee, tea, and cucumber infused water are always available.

the next session was a preview of the new film “An Inconvenient Sequel” and a website where it can be previewed.  I’ll try and post it here.

 

Rather than detail the rest of the day, I’ll just say it dealt with organizing, networking, climate change and health ( a great panel with people from the U. Of WA), and some opportunities for direct action.

I am impressed with how positive this event is. It won’t be easy, and the world our children will live in will be very different from the one we live in.  But isn’t that always how it is? We have a chance right now. And it might even be a better world. As Al Gore says, the decade ahead will be a test of our courage and our character.