The world’s top climate scientists have told us we have a ten-year window
to make rapid reductions in the carbon pollution causing global warming. If we don’t, we will severely destabilize the global climate, leading to extreme weather, droughts, floods and sea-level rise that will be increasingly hard for humans to manage.
Why State-Level and Local Action?
The very good news on climate is that a whole suite of clean energy solutions—from solar to wind to battery storage to electric vehicles and more— have gotten cheap and are getting cheaper. In many markets, these solutions now cost substantially less then the polluting, fossil fuel alternatives. Bard researchers have explored (here
) the Solar Dominance Hypothesis
: the idea that in the 2020’s solar plus storage will emerge as part of a suite of highly disruptive clean energy technologies. These powerful market trends mean that scaling up climate solutions is increasingly about smoothing the paths for adoption
, and much of this work needs to happen locally. A glaring example: Florida, the “Sunshine State”, has very little solar power. Just across the border, Georgia is a top-10 solar state
. The difference? Policy driven by civic action. Rising state and local action around climate solutions could open the road to “solve climate”—the energy side—over the next decade.
4.7.20: Power Dialogs In Every State
To focus Americans on state-level and local solutions, the Center for Environmental Policy at Bard College
is organizing simultaneous “power dialog” webinars, one in every state in the country, plus Washington, DC and Puerto Rico. On April 7, we will hear from climate solutions experts in Idaho, Tennessee, Minnesota, Florida and New Mexico and across the nation about ambitious but feasible actions that could happen soon in their state to get on track to solving climate by 2030. Colleges and universities and local faith, civic and business groups will host viewings of the webinars and in person discussions of how to get involved in climate solutions.
Faculty at all levels and across the curriculum can assign viewing of the webinars live or recorded as homework, and then spend the next class discussing climate solutions. This opportunity is not just for environmental studies classes. The challenges posed by solving climate change necessarily range across history, science, business, culture, economics, psychology, religion, government, media, journalism and the arts. We will offer disciplinary entry points for follow-up discussion to the state-level, solutions-focused webinars.
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