RESOURCES -- CLIMATE CHANGE ISSUES
- U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit, developed by a partnership of federal agencies coordinated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, is a website providing tools and information to help people understand and manage their climate-related risks and opportunities.
- A number of resources on adaptation are available from the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES). Climate Change 101: Adaptation makes the case for adaptation planning and discusses successful approaches to adaptation. Adapting to Climate Change: A Call for Federal Leadership outlines a framework for a National Adaptation Program to provide a coordinated federal response to the impacts of unavoidable climate change.
- Promising Practices in Adaptation and Resilience: A Resource Guide for Local Leaders, from the Institute for Sustainable Communities (2010), looks at how various local governments have made progress in adaptation planning and provides an extensive set of resources.
See also the Adapting to Climate Change section of this toolkit.
- In A Path to Sustainable Energy by 2030, Mark Z. Jacobson (Stanford) and Mark A. Delucchi (UC Davis) contend that a combination of wind, water, and sunlight could provide 100 percent of the world's energy, for all purposes, as early as 2030. Their complete life-cycle analysis shows that the cost of generating and transmitting power (on a per-kilowatt-hour basis) will be less for these renewable energy sources than for nuclear or fossil fuels. (Scientific American, November 2009)
- A study released by the nonpartisan Environmental Law Institute, Estimating U.S. Government Subsidies to Energy Sources: 2002-2008, shows that substantially larger subsidies went to fossil fuels than to renewables. During the seven-year study period, federal subsidies for fossil fuels totaled more than $72 billion while renewable energy sources received $29 billion. And more than half of the subsidies for renewables went to corn-based ethanol. A related chart illustrates these findings.
- DSIRE (Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency) is a comprehensive source of information on state, local, utility, and federal incentives that promote renewable energy and energy efficiency. Maps and tables allow a comparison of incentives across states.
- The Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change (2006) is a 700-page report discussing the effect of global warming on the world economy. It examines the evidence of the economic impacts of climate change and explores the economics of stabilizing GHGs in the atmosphere. The report estimated the annual cost of mitigating climate change to be about 1 percent of global gross domestic product but that inaction could reduce global GDP as much as 20 percent per year. Stern has since said that he "underestimated the risks."
- Climate Change and the Economy: Expected Impacts and Their Implications, a project of the Bipartisan Policy Center, is a compilation of seven research studies by major state universities around the country examining projected economic impacts of climate change on agriculture, real estate, public infrastructure, and tourism. (National Commission on Energy Policy, 2009)
- Pathways to a Low Carbon Economy examines the technical and economic feasibility of achieving different targets for reducing GHG emissions, the opportunities available, and the costs of various options for meeting the targets. The report finds that the potential exists to reduce GHG emissions enough to stay on track until 2030 to keep global warming below 2°C. Doing so will, however, be a major challenge, requiring change on a massive scale. Delays in action of even 10 years would mean missing the 2°C target. (McKinsey & Company, 2009)
- Economics for Equity & Environment is a national network of economists whose applied research supports fair and effective solutions to environmental problems. E3 Network economists have authored a number of white papers and policy briefs.
- Beyond Seasons' End: A Path Forward for Fish and Wildlife in the Era of Climate Change (2008), edited by the Wildlife Management Institute in cooperation with a number of sportsmen's and conservation organizations, discusses the impacts of climate change on fish and wildlife and describes programs and action steps that can assist these species in adapting to climate change.
- The State of the Birds 2014 assesses the health of the nation's bird populations through a set of habitat indicators, a Watch List of species most vulnerable to extinction, and a list of Common Birds in Steep Decline. (U.S. Committee of the North American Bird Conservation Initiative, 2014)
- The Renewable Energy entry in Wikipedia has a lot of useful information on renewable energy sources: wind, hydro, solar, bio, and geothermal. The discussion includes the economics, commercialization, constraints, and opportunities for these renewable sources, including their competition with nuclear power.
- What You Need to Know About Energy is a clearly written 32-page report, available online. Topics covered include energy sources and uses, supply and demand, improving energy efficiency, and emerging technologies. (The National Academies, 2008)
- The National Action Plan for Energy Efficiency was a private-public initiative begun in fall 2005 to create a sustainable, aggressive national commitment to energy efficiency through the collaborative efforts of gas and electric utilities, utility regulators, and other partners. A key product was the Vision for 2025, a framework for implementing the five policy recommendations of the Action Plan. The work was facilitated by EPA and the Department of Energy (DOE).
- State of the States 2009: Renewable Energy Development and the Role of Policy is a 213-page report by the DOE, summarizing the development of renewable energy sources in the various states and analyzing the role of government policies in fostering this development.
- The Clean Energy Economy: Repowering Jobs, Businesses and Investments Across America, from The Pew Charitable Trusts, analyzes the growth in jobs and businesses in the clean energy economy and discusses the public policies that can help promote the "double bottom line" of economic growth and environmental sustainability. (2009)
- The Big Energy Gamble is an hour-long NOVA program that explores the pros and cons of California's bold approach to addressing climate change. It includes interviews with Governor Schwarzenegger, policy critic Marlo Lewis, journalist Vijay Vaitheeswaran, and U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu.
- A PBS video, Legacy of waste: The high cost of nuclear power, examines the problem of the lack of a permanent plan for the storage of nuclear waste from nuclear power plants.
Ethics and Equity
- The Regeneration Project is dedicated to fostering the connection between ecology and faith. Its Interfaith Power & Light campaign is mobilizing a religious response to global warming in congregations of all faiths through the promotion of renewable energy, energy efficiency, and conservation.
- Climate Change, Vulnerability and Social Justice, by Roger Kasperson and Jeanne Kasperson, examines the potential impacts of ongoing and future climate change, with particular attention to people and regions at highest risk. (Stockholm Environment Institute, 2001)
- The Right to Development in a Climate Constrained World presents the Greenhouse Development Rights framework, which has at its core a right to sustainable development. It proposes a "development threshold," a level of welfare below which people are not expected to share the costs of the climate transition. A nation's obligation to share the costs of climate stabilization is based on principles of responsibility (its contribution to climate change) and capacity (the national income not required for the necessities of life).
- The Climate Consent Foundation works to build agreement on simple, science-based and ethical principles for sharing the international burden of cutting carbon emissions fairly -- and fast. The proposed global framework for achieving this goal is Contraction & Convergence, developed and championed by the Global Commons Institute.
- In its 5th Assessment Report, the International Panel on Climate Change concluded that the world's carbon emissions should be capped at one trillion tons. The Trillion-Ton Cap: Allocating the World's Carbon Emissions, by Fred Pearce, looks at how we might share out the remaining emissions. (Yale Environment 360, October 2013)
- RENEWAL is a feature-length documentary that captures the vitality and diversity of America's religious-environmental movement. Made up of eight individual stories, this 90-minute film documents the efforts of men, women, and children who, from within their Christian, Jewish, Buddhist and Muslim traditions, are finding ways to become caretakers of the Earth.
- Krista Tippett and 350.org founder Bill McKibben explore the question of human responsibility in a change world in an interview titled The Moral Math of Climate Change. (Speaking of Faith, American Public Media, August 5, 2010)
- Moral Ground, by Kathleen Dean Moore and Michael Nelson, is a collection of short essays by 90 world leaders, scientists, and environmental practitioners about our individual and collective moral responsibility to our planer. A teaching guide, intended for upper division students, is also available.
- Climate Change and Human Health, by Dr. Paul Epstein, summarizes the many impacts of climate change on human health. (The New England Journal of Medicine, October 6, 2005) In Changing Planet, Changing Health: How the Climate Crisis Threatens Our Health and What We Can Do About It, Dr. Esptein and Dan Ferber explore the issue in great detail. (2011)
- Managing the Health Effects of Climate Change is a 2009 report resulting from a collaboration between The Lancet and University College, London (UCL). It outlines both the direct and indirect threats to human health from climate change and discusses the practical measures needed to control its effects. Also available is a sobering 7-minute video with experts from the Lancet/UCL collaboration, summarizing key messages and a call to action.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Climate and Health website discusses the health issues associated with climate change and what CDC is doing to anticipate, prevent, and respond to the health effects of climate change.
- Coal's Assault on Human Health is a 44-page report from Physicians for Social Responsibility on the impacts of pollutants from burning coal on human health -- on the respiratory, cardiovascular, and nervous systems. It also considers the contribution of coal to global warming and the health implications of global warming.
- A Plan to Keep Carbon in Check, by Princeton professors Robert Socolow and Stephen Pacala, is a reader-friendly presentation of the idea of "stabilization wedges," the set of strategies that can meet the world's energy needs over the next 50 years while holding carbon emissions constant for that time period. The Carbon Mitigation Initiative website provides a range of accessible and engaging tools for understanding the wedges concept, including a game (with teacher's guide), videos, and PowerPoint slides.
- Climate Solutions Consensus: What We Know and What To Do About It, by David Blockstein and Leo Wiegman, presents 35 practical, results-oriented approaches to minimizing climate change and its impacts. The authors spell out options for technological, societal, and policy actions and address such controversial topics as nuclear energy, ocean fertilization, and atmospheric geo-engineering. (Island Press, Washington, D.C., 2009)
- The Climate TechBook, from the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, examines a wide range of technologies that can facilitate reductions in GHG emissions from five key economic sectors: electricity, transportation, industrial, residential & commercial, and agriculture. For each sector, summaries of the relevant technologies are provided, detailing how each technology works, how it can help reduce emissions, and what policy options exist to help promote it.
- Plan B 4.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization, by Lester Brown, President of Earth Policy Institute, details an alternative to 'Plan A,' or business-as-usual. His Plan B has four components: cutting net carbon dioxide emissions 80 percent by 2020; stabilizing population at 8 billion or lower; eradicating poverty; and restoring the earth's natural systems. Brown describes the multidimensional nature of the crisis we face and suggests practical ways to address it. The book can be ordered or downloaded from Earth Policy Institute. (W.W. Norton and Company, New York, 2008)
- Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions in the United States Using Existing Federal Authorities and State Action, from World Resources Institute, analyzes projected U.S. emissions under different scenarios. Even if federal agencies and states pursue an aggressive "go-getter" strategy using all existing regulatory tools and action plans, the U.S. will fall short of President Obama's Copenhagen pledge to reduce emissions 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020. A 20-page summary for policymakers is available as is the full 60-page report. (July 2010)
- National Security and the Accelerating Risks of Climate Change (May 2014) is a follow-up to the CNA Corporation Military Advisory Board's 2007 study of climate and national security. In re-examining the impact of climate change on U.S. national security, the 16 retired Admirals and Generals who make up the board found that the accelerating rate of climate change poses a severe risk for national security and acts as a "catalyst for conflict."
re-examines the impact of climate change on U.S. national security in the context of a more informed, but more complex and integrated world. In this report the 16 retired Generals and Admirals who make up the board look at new vulnerabilities and tensions posed by climate change, which, when set against the backdrop of increasingly decentralized power structures around the world, they identify as a “catalyst for conflict.” - See more at: http://www.cna.org/centers/military-board#sthash.EflPEILR.dpuf
- The 2014 Quadrennial Defense Review from the U.S. Department of Defense sees the effects of climate change as "threat multipliers that will aggravate sressors abroad, such as poverty, environmental degradaation, political instability, and social tensions -- conditions that can enable terrorist activity and other forms of violence."
- War-Gaming Climate Change, an August 2009 broadcast of OnPoint Radio with Tom Ashbrook, is a 46-minute panel discussion about the Pentagon's growing recognition of the serious challenges presented by climate change -- from concerns about the impact of global warming on its operations to questions about future demands on its forces caused by famine, mass migrations, and failed states.
- Third National Climate Assessment: Climate Change Impacts in the United States summarizes in plain language the science of climate change and describes its impacts across the U.S., now and throughout this century. It discusses impacts on key sectors and examines observed and projected impacts on the different regions of the country. Available in an interactive, web-based version, the report and its various sections may also be downloaded, including a 148-page Highlights report. (U.S. Global Change Research Program (2014).
- Confronting Climate Change in the Great Lakes Region examines the potential impacts of climate change on the various ecosystems of this diverse and rich region. An executive summary and summary reports on nine states in the region are also available. (Union of Concerned Scientists, 2003)
- Regional Impacts of Climate Change: Four Case Studies in the United States takes an in-depth look at climate vulnerabilities in the Midwest, West, Gulf Coast, and Chesapeake Bay regions. (Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, 2007)
- Water World, a 30-minute program from PBS, takes viewers to Bangladesh to see the impact that sea level rise is already having on a poor country that might lose 20 percent of its land area by 2030, displacing some 35 million people. (October 23, 2009)
- Bhutan: Tsunami from the Sky is a 14-minute YouTube video showing how the tiny Asian nation of Bhutan is threatened by tsunami-like flooding from unstable lakes newly formed by the melting of Himalayan glaciers.
- The Carbon Footprint of Water examines the amount of energy used, and GHG emissions generated, in supplying, treating, and using water in the U,S. A conservative estimate indicates that water-related energy use is at least 521 million MWh/year -- equivalent to 13 percent of the nation's electricity consumption. The 47-page report suggests that the associated carbon footprint is at least 290 million metric tons/year. (River Network, May 2009)
Last updated: 1/11/2015