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HARD CHOICES: Should we use nuclear energy to help solve the climate crisis?

Wednesday, September 22, noon-1 PM

Climate change may be the most complex problem humans have ever faced.  Time is short, and our solutions are often fraught with tough tradeoffs, imponderable risks, and inequitable impacts.  In short: we are faced with hard choices.

Nuclear energy has been a lightning rod for public discourse.  Among those who care deeply about solving the climate crisis, there are both proponents and opponents of nuclear energy.

Join the INTERGEN CLIMATE GROUP in an exercise that will inform your thinking on nuclear energy’s role in solving the climate crisis.  We are not advocating for or against nuclear energy, but rather evaluating the question in a way that allows each of us to weigh the full array of tradeoffs at one time.

HOSTS

Harper Fendler, Youth Member, INTERGEN Climate Group

Steve Kaagan, Elder Member, INTERGEN Climate Group

Previous Maine Climate Table webinars…

“FEE and DIVIDEND: How putting a price on carbon could help solve the climate problem”

Friday, July 23, noon-1 PM

Should there be a cost for emitting carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere? At present, emitters (including each of us) don’t pay for the impacts of such emissions, so the emissions (and impacts) keep coming. In economic parlance, it’s called an “externality.” What if it costs us every time we put CO2 into the atmosphere? Might we use less? Economists say that we would.

That’s the purpose of putting a price on carbon emissions—to slow our use of fossil fuels. The notion of another tax is not popular. But what if the money collected was given back to us? That’s the idea of a “fee and dividend” approach to pricing carbon. Would we find ways to reduce our emissions? Would we buy products that use less fossil fuel because they cost less?

Remarkably, both Democrats and Republicans have shown support for a fee-and-dividend program, a rare alignment on one of the most politically divisive issues of our time—climate change.

Join us for a discussion of how a fee-and-dividend program might work. How would we make sure the fee doesn’t disproportionately impact those who can least afford it? How would we figure out the right price for a ton of carbon? And if we had a fee-and-dividend program in the U.S., would it get us to our “destination” in time—a net-zero emissions world.

What’s your position on the fee-and-dividend idea? Not sure? Become informed with us on July 23.

GUESTS

David Vail, Catlin Professor of Economics Emeritus at Bowdoin College.

Peter Dugas, certified EN-ROADS simulator Ambassador and volunteer co-chair of the Portland Maine chapter of Citizens’ Climate Lobby

David Reidmiller, Director of the interdisciplinary Climate Center at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute

“Indigenous Women and Climate Change”

Friday, April 16, 2021 (3-4 PM)

Because of a deep relationship with the land and water, Indigenous peoples are among the first to notice changes in the climate.  For the same reason, they are among the first to face the consequences.  In the face of climate change, Indigenous peoples around the world are speaking out, and sharing their traditional knowledge of the natural world to help identify and implement climate solutions.

Join the Maine Climate Table and Justice For Women for a conversation with three Indigenous women from different parts of the world to discuss their experiences with climate change, and the lessons we can all learn.

Meet our guests…

Mary’s Igloo, Alaska (go there)

Joan Kane (Inupiaq)

Joan is an author and activist with family from King Island (Ugiuvak) and Mary’s Igloo, Alaska (see email banner image). A 2019-2020 Hilles Bush Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Kane was a 2018 Guggenheim Fellow in Poetry. Her essay collection, poetry books, and other works have earned her a number of literary prizes. She is one of the founding faculty of the graduate creative writing program at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and is currently teaching at Tufts and Harvard.

Tui Shortland (Māori)

Tui is a coastal farmer in New Zealand and native medicine practitioner, specializing in traditional livelihoods, eco-business development, and monitoring programs. She is extensively involved in indigenous diplomacy, with the United Nations in regards to Indigenous biological diversity and climate change, serving as a Pacific regional representative. Tui has worked with a number of Indigenous NGOs and scholars to help coordinate Indigenous strategies and participation at international fora to recognize and respect Indigenous rights.

Ruth Miller (Dena’ina Athabaskan)

Ruth is a Dena’ina Athabaskan and Ashkenazi Jewish member of the Curyung Tribe from the Lake Clark region of Alaska. She is a recent graduate from Brown University in Critical Development Studies with a focus on Indigenous resistance and liberation. Ruth is the Climate Justice Organizer for Native Movement, a matriarchal grassroots Indigenous organization that fights for the rights of Indigenous peoples, lands and waters. She has attended the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, the UN Youth Climate Summit, COP25, and the Continental Gathering of Indigenous Women of the Americas.

To see more Justice For Women events the week of April 12, click on the image the the right…

Jenni Tilton-Flood (above)

Dr. Emily Diamond (below)

Thursday, March 11, 2021 (noon-1 PM)

“The Rural-Urban Divide”

(and what we can do about it)

Jenni Tilton-Flood and Dr. Emily Diamond

Climate change is a long-term, complex, and global challenge. If we want to solve the climate problem, it’s going to take everyone.

And yet our society is more divided than ever. We’re divided by politics, education level, income, race, and occupation, to name just a few. How are we supposed to bring ALL our knowledge to bear on problem-solving when we can’t bear to talk to one another?

In this “Climate Conversation,” we’ll explore the “geography divide” in the U.S.- the rural-urban chasm.

Our guests for this conversation will be Emily Diamond and Jenni Tilton-Flood.

In 2020, Emily (University of Rhode Island) and her colleagues at Duke University published an enlightening report on how rural and urban people view each other, and in particular, how rural Americans see their role as environmental stewards.

Jenni co-owns Maine’s largest dairy farm (Flood Brothers Farm) in Clinton, Maine, and was a featured Maine Climate Table guest at our 2020 Climate Summit.

With Emily and Jenni, we’ll explore how we can bridge the rural-urban divide so we can all get to work on solving the climate challenge together.

Wednesday, February 10, 2021  noon-1 PM

“How much water is in the Greenland Ice Sheet?”

(and other pressing questions for a geoscientist)


Dr. Daniel McGrath, Assistant Professor of Geosciences, Colorado State University

Join the Maine Climate Table and geoscientist Dr. Dan McGrath for a conversation about the part of the earth that stays below the freezing point (the cryosphere), and how it’s changing.

What’s causing “tabular icebergs” the size of Connecticut to break off from the Ross Ice Sheet in Antarctica? How fast is Greenland melting? What does it mean for sea-level rise? What is “mass balance” and why should you care?

Dan uses a variety of remote sensing tools to study the earth’s cryosphere. His research has taken him on more than 15 expeditions to Antarctica, Greenland, Alaska, and Patagonia. He was a scientific advisor on the 2012 award-winning film, Chasing Ice.

Dan has a Ph.D. from the University of Colorado and a B.A. in Geology and Environmental Studies from Bowdoin.

Join the Maine Climate Table in welcoming Dan back for a virtual visit to Maine on February 10.

To see a list of Dan’s publications, click here.

Postscript:

One of the questions asked by the participants was: “How many ‘Moosehead Lakes’ are melting each year from the Greenland Ice Sheet?”

Not surprisingly, Dan did not know the volume of Moosehead Lake off the top of his head.  But he did know that about 260 gigatons of water are lost from the Greenland Ice Sheet each year.  So…

Moosehead Lake volume – 5,190,000,000 cubic meters

Greenland Annual NET Melt – 260,000,000,000 cubic meters

Therefore…

Greenland is losing the equivalent of about 50 Moosehead Lakes each year (net loss).

Monday, June 29, 2020  noon-1 PM

“PART 2: Putting a price-tag on Natural Climate Solutions: Forestry”


Dr. Adam Daigneault, E.L. Giddings Assistant Professor of Forest, Conservation, and Recreation Policy, University of Maine

On May 12 Dr. Daigneault presented results from his analyses of the cost (per ton of carbon) of various potential natural climate solutions in the agriculture sector.  On June 29, he will present his results for various forestry practices.  This is important work because Maine’s forests will figure prominently in helping the state meet its 2045 carbon neutral goal.  Dr. Daigneault’s work helps us understand the most cost-effective ways of meeting those goals while continuing a thriving forest-products economy.

Friday June 26, 2020  noon-1:30 PM (90 min)

“A Just Climate: A Conversation with Maine’s Youth Changemakers”

Sabrina Hunte (moderator)
Kosis Ifeji (panelist)
Paige Nygaard (panelist)
Siri Pierce (panelist)
Luke Sekera-Flanders (panelist)

For many reasons, justice is at the forefront of national attention.  Climate change is an issue of growing injustice.  Some people will be impacted much more than others.  How can we avoid the climate injustices that we see unfolding already, and that will increase in the decades to come?  Like any issue of injustice, a key part of the solution is to engage the diverse perspectives of the people who will be affected.  Their ideas and voices need to be at the table leading the conversation.

Join the Maine Climate Table, the Maine Environmental Education Association’s Environmental Changemakers on June 26 to hear from Maine’s youth on what they think will need to be done to create a just climate in the 21st century.

Sabrina – Moderator

Siri – Panelist

Luke – Panelist

Kosis – Panelist

Paige – Panelist

Tuesday, May 12, 2020  noon-1 PM

“PART 1: Putting a price-tag on Natural Climate Solutions- Agriculture”
Dr. Adam Daigneault, E.L. Giddings Assistant Professor of Forest, Conservation, and Recreation Policy, University of Maine

Natural climate solutions are defined as “conservation, restoration, or improved land management actions that increase carbon storage or avoid greenhouse gas emissions across forests, wetlands, grasslands, and agricultural lands.”  Natural solutions are often described as “low-hanging-fruit” relative to other more costly solutions, such as switching to electric vehicles.  Still, the devil is in the details, and it’s essential that we calculate the costs of different natural climate solutions before we embark on policy recommendations.  Join the Maine Climate Table and Dr. Adam Daigneault for a layman’s “101” class on pricing different natural climate solutions for the agriculture sector in Maine, and why it matters.

Contact Dr. Daigneault: adam.daigneault@maine.edu

Thursday, April 2, 2020  noon-1 PM

“A new idea for forest carbon offsets”
A discussion with Alec Giffen, former Director of the Maine Forest Service

Maine Climate Table webinar featuring Alec Giffen of the New England Forestry Foundation and Clean Air Task Force. Alec describes a new idea for forest carbon offsets that would reward forest landowners for both carbon AND for active, “Exemplary Forestry.” The goal is to grow the forest economy AND sequester more carbon at the same time.

Friday, March 20, 2020  noon-1 PM

“What are ‘Natural Climate Solutions’ and what is the potential in Maine?”
Ellen Griswold (Maine Farmland Trust) and John Hagan (Maine Climate Table)

Ellen and John discuss natural climate solutions (natural resource approaches) to climate mitigation in Maine and beyond.

Watch Recording of Webinar

Download Slide Deck here (PDF)

Tuesday, February 25, 2020  noon-1 PM

“How to get solar panels on your high school (or landfill)– from start to finish”
Kevin Buck and Joe Blotnick (A Climate To Thrive)

Kevin and Joe explain the process A Climate To Thrive used to successfully put solar on Mount Desert High School in 2019.  If they can do it, you can do it.  Learn how from Kevin and Joe.

Watch Recording of Webinar

Download Webinar Slide Deck (PDF)

Download Solar Roadmap (PDF)

Tuesday, JANUARY 21, 2020  noon-1 PM

“What I Learned at COP25, Madrid Spain, in December”
Dr. Cynthia Isenhour, Associate Professor of Anthropology and Climate Change, University of Maine

Join Dr. Cindy Isenhour, for a 1-hr discussion of what happened at COP25 (Conference of the Parties) in Madrid last December.  We are very fortunate to talk to someone who was present at COP25 in person.

Watch Recording of Webinar

Download Slide Deck as PDF