Tuesday, March 27, 2007

GWB on global warmings

Friday, February 2, 2007

Report links global warming to humans

PARIS, France (AP) -- The world's leading climate scientists, in their most powerful language ever used on the issue, said global warming is "very likely" man-made, according to a new report obtained Friday by The Associated Press.

The report provides what may be cold comfort in slightly reduced projections on rising temperatures and sea levels by the year 2100. But it is tempered by a flat pronouncement that global warming is essentially a runaway train that cannot be stopped for centuries.

"The observed widespread warming of the atmosphere and ocean, together with ice-mass loss, support the conclusion that it is extremely unlikely that global climate change of the past 50 years can be explained without external forcing, and very likely that is not due to known natural causes alone," said the 20-page report.

Human-caused warming and rises in sea-level "would continue for centuries" because the process has already started, "even if greenhouse gas concentrations were to be stabilized," said the 20-page report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. more...


Thursday, February 1, 2007

Gore Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize

Gore Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize
By DOUG MELLGREN, Associated Press Writer Thu Feb 1, 6:29 AM ET

OSLO, Norway - Former Vice President
Al Gore was nominated for the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for his wide-reaching efforts to draw the world's attention to the dangers of global warming, a Norwegian lawmaker said Thursday.

"A prerequisite for winning the Nobel Peace Prize is making a difference, and Al Gore has made a difference," Conservative Member of Parliament Boerge Brende, a former minister of environment and then of trade, told The Associated Press.

Read more


Tuesday, January 23, 2007

sorry for the neglect

but i'm back.

it was for another very good cause...last week i ran the phoenix marathon to benefit the leukemia & lymphoma society. you can read all about it at run girl run. but that's where my head has been pretty much since right after the training. it's been a busy month.

i'll be working on the rest of the training weekend posts over the next few days...and then, it's time to start crackin'.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

2006 officially hottest year on record

we talked about it this weekend, and now it's here...

2006 warmest year on record, Science Daily

ASHEVILLE, N.C., Jan. 10 (UPI) -- Last year was the warmest in the continental United States in 112 years, prompting climate experts to express concern about climatic changes.

The warmth resulted from regional weather patterns and long-term effects of carbon dioxide buildup in the atmosphere, The Washington Post said Wednesday.

In 2006, average temperatures nationwide were 2.2 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than mean temperatures nationwide for the 20th century, reported the National Climatic Data Center of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Seven months in 2006 were much warmer than average, capped by the fourth-warmest December on record. more...


Monday, January 8, 2007

day 3, part 2: we're talking science

after the closings, tables were invited to nominate people to do their closing in front of the group - closings in particular that had good calls to action. a few of the people looked at me with a “you go!” look and my heart started to race again. a few people stood up, and i was about to volunteer when we moved on to another section. next time.

now it was time to practice some of the science slides. this is where i get really nervous. well, this and the q&a, but we’ll get to that later. we broke into smaller rooms of 50 or so per room, led by our regional mentor, a sr. mentor (both from the first 50 people to receive the training) and one of the climate project staff. we were going to try to get through 5 small sections, with the mentor demonstrating once, and then 5 of us presenting the slides to the room. our sr. mentor (tim) said if there were no volunteers he would “pick on you. why? because thousands of people wanted to be here, and YOU are the ones chosen. and it is your responsibility to get he most you possibly can out of this training.”

the first section was the “about global warming” section. compared to some of the rest of the slides, this was a relatively easy one because the science is not that difficult and everyone sort of knows how it works. now, the point of this section was presentation skills - not science questions and debates, but unfortunately our group got a little bogged down in the science of it again. does the infrared light *actually* reflect off the earth or is it emanated from the objects on the earth’s surface? does the atmosphere actually get more dense with the addition of more CO2 or is it just because of the composition that does not allow as much infrared light to get through? after a little while, we managed to get the point though, and focus on the presentation rather than the content itself.

i definitely wanted to practice presenting a section because i feel quite uneasy about how i can possibly be credible given the lack of my science background. i wanted to practice and since i figured there would be no more receptive and kind of an audience as some of my fellow trainees, now was the time. for the first section i raised my hand every time, but was not called on.

the second section is one of the more difficult sections in the presentation, if not the most difficult. in it, you are talking about temperature and CO2-concentration data pulled from giant ice-cores going back thousands, and then hundreds of thousands, of years. we present the correlation of CO2 content to the relative temperature of the earth, and how there is a natural cycle of increases and decreases. the graph also plots where we are now and where the CO2 is headed if we stay on our present course. finally, it transitions to the the actual temperatures that have been recorded since 1860, where you can see for the past 30 years, they’ve been on the increase, and how the ten hottest years since then have been in the last 14 years.

not exactly simple.

i wasn’t going to volunteer for this one because it’s hard, but then decided that it was precisely because it’s hard that i should volunteer. brace self-raise hand. two folks went and on the third, tim picked someone in the back of the room, but then looked at me and said “and then her, right there, because she has had her hand raised every single time.” ~cringe~ damn, called out.

the woman in front of me had presented the material the most clear of all those who had gone before. nerves built up and tim nodded, “okay, get up here”. there were a lot of scientists and people who were educated far more than i in science. i looked around the room and introduced myself. “hi, i’m jen and i’m not a science person, so please be nice.” everyone laughed, which put me a bit at ease.

50 people packed into small room is kind of intimidating, even if they are nice. especially when you know there are people who have probably written books (or at least articles) on the subject matter you're presenting. i went through each of the slides, explaining each at an even pace, and trying to quell the bit of nervousness that i could hear in my voice. i really want to be a conversational, accessible presenter, and i tried to remember certain things that mr. gore had instructed us to do, such as show how the top of the temperature spike is the equivalent of a nice day in chicago, and the bottom of the spike would be the city under two feet of ice. i made it though the slides without any huge slip ups.

when i finished, i got an enthusiastic round of applause, a thumbs up from my friend mike and one of the women who had been in my small group smiled and said “great job!” i was pretty proud, and continued to be so. because of all the questions, we only managed to get through one more section, one where we discuss why there is so much confusion over whether or not global warming is a reality. and then, it was back to the larger room. on the way there, one of the men stopped me, and said “hey, don’t apologize for not being a science person! you did a really great job, i mean that, and you do not have to apologize. i think you were the best presenter in there.” i blushed and thanked him.

if i can get through that on the first day, i know i can do this presentation justice once i start practicing.


Saturday, January 6, 2007

day 3, part 1: openings and closings

i was extra tired this morning and felt a little out of sorts, and with my marathon coming up i opted for oj at breakfast.

today primarily about presenting. first, were some basics such as the role of the presenter, what the general public's perceptions of global warming are, and some solutions. and then we had an immensely helpful section on presentation skills and practicing the actual presentation.

the speaker, andy goodman is a former comedy writer, and the author of a book called "when bad presentations happen to good causes." he is a great teacher and presenter himself - i always enjoy a presenter who can make good use of comedy. we went through presentation skills 101, covering both what you should (maintain eye contact but not like a crazy person) and should not (do NOT read off the slides) and then got to the presentation itself.

we were sitting in our geographically defined groups, at tables of eight to ten, and our first task was the opening. writing an opening for a presentation of this magnitude is no easy task, but we broke it down into three parts: who are we (to the audience), why do we care about global warming, and what is the presentation going to cover. we had three minutes to write our responses, and then one by one we went around and presented to our table-mates.

it's been a long time since i've written with the intent to actually speak the words i was writing. the last time may have been college. (i do not count work-related-powerpoints as that is, in most cases, not very intensive.) when all was said and done, i was relatively happy with my opening. oh! i forgot to mention - seated next to me was ted roosevelt the fourth. kind of crazy, huh?

my opening was well received by my group, which i was happy about. as we went around the table, it became clear that even with the breadth of ages and backgrounds, the group that had been assembled for this training was a really strong one. i never really liked group assignments in school, and public speaking is a really difficult thing, even in small groups, but we had a really strong table. and it wasn't just us.

after openings, we were on to the closings. i had thought the opening was hard, but it really was nothing compared to the close. you have your summary, the q&a and the prepared close. we were focusing on the third. it is here that you need to ask & inspire your audience to actually do something. yikes. how do you know if what you write is going to resonate with people, that its even going to sound okay once it's off the paper?

as with the openings, everyone was very good and by the time it was my turn, my heart was racing. what i had prepared was a very very strong call to action, and i wasn't sure if it was too strong. i'm not going to tell you the content, in the event that i present and you actually come and see me, but at the end, i was very proud. while it was not close to polished yet, it has the beginnings of what i hope is a very powerful and compelling call-to-action.

and when i was done, my table had nothing but good things to say. and of course the best compliment of the bunch was "i got goosebumps."

i was a happy girl.

that's all i can manage for tonight...last segment tomorrow, but it could be late.