Making a Difference: Individuals Taking Local Action on Global Warming

Posted in Conferences, Companies, Science on December 11, 2008



The basic scientific ideas and observational record of rising greenhouse gas (GHG) levels provide potent reasons for concern and action on the climate and clean energy challenge. Since the emissions of GHGs are inextricably linked to fundamental areas of human activity – energy generation, waste disposal, agriculture, etc. – action is needed at all levels: international, federal, state, municipal, institutional, and individual. Local action by city and county governments, institutions, and individuals reveals exemplary innovation and the important role of public engagement. The Silicon Valley's Sierra Club Chapter – the Loma Prieta Chapter – has developed a comprehensive Climate Action Campaign of local action to reduce regional GHG emissions through public engagement. The program has successfully attracted a large number of concerned individuals and consists of four initiatives: An Education and Outreach initiative includes expert lectures to community groups and booths at community events. The Cool Cities Campaign forms teams of residents in each city and county to advocate for local government action. The Climate Action Team initiative combines trainings with social support events to enable individuals to reduce their own emissions and to then take these ideas to institutions where they have a personal connection. A fourth initiative to reduce local barriers to solar power has led to large reductions in solar permit fees charged by over 72 cities. In this talk, we will discuss the Climate Action Campaign as a case study in local action and discuss concrete examples of how individuals can address humanity's historic climate challenge.

Speaker: Julio Magalhães, Ph.D
Julio Magalhães is the Global Warming Program Coordinator for the Sierra Club's Loma Prieta Chapter. He is an atmospheric physicist with over 15 years experience in planetary climate research, education, and public outreach. He holds a Ph.D and M.S. in Astronomy with an emphasis in atmospheric physics from Cornell University, and a B.S. in Physics from Stanford University. He has previously worked as a planetary climate researcher for NASA and has also taught physics and environmental science at West Valley College. J. Magalhães has been a member of the Hearing Board of the Bay Area Air Quality Management District since 2002.

Google Tech Talks
August 27, 2008

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