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Climate Solutions for a Better World: Connecting the Dots

  • February 24, 2014
On Thursday, February 13th, over 100 business leaders, nonprofit executives and 1% for the Planet members convened at Citrix in Goleta, Ca. for Connect the Dots, a conference that highlighted steps being taken by companies, NGOs and individuals to build resilient communities in an era of unprecedented climate change.
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Connecting the Dots: Climate Change, Drought, and a Wildfire Film Series

For several decades now, scientists have anticipated that climate change would likely trigger increasingly severe droughts, especially in places like semi-arid Southern California. The state is, of course, in the midst of a merciless drought, and last Friday, state officials announced that for the first time in its 54-year history the State Water Project would not deliver water to 29 local water agencies serving 25 million residents and nearly 750,000 acres of farmland.

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A New Mother’s Struggle with Climate Change

I used to be uncomfortable with the concept of grace. I had been asked to believe that grace was something bestowed upon us from above, but that idea didn't fit with what I was observing around me in the natural world. Then a few months ago I had an encounter with grace that changed my life forever.

But first, some background.

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Fifteen Hours with Al Gore

Katie Davis is a member of the CEC Partnership Council, as well as a trained presenter with Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project. Below she tells the story of her experience training with Al Gore. 

Katie will be presenting her Climate Reality presentation at 7 pm on Thursday, February 28 at the Santa Barbara Public Library.

Five years since he won an Academy Award for An Inconvenient Truth and a Nobel Prize for efforts to educate the world about global warming, what’s happened to Al Gore’s presentation and, indeed, actions to address the causes of climate change?

Along with 1,000 other Climate Leaders from 50 countries, I recently went through training in San Francisco on how to give the latest version of his presentation on climate change. The training included one 15-hour-marathon day with Al Gore that went from 8 am to 11 pm.

The latest incarnation of Gore’s presentation, entitled Climate Reality, is heavy on weather. What’s changed in the last five years is the willingness of scientists to point to the freaky storms, record heat waves, devastating droughts, super floods and massive fires and say definitively – yep, that’s us. Climate scientists used to be careful not to blame any one extreme weather event on global warming. But that’s changing. When we break 362 all-time high temperature records in the U.S. and no cold records - as we did in 2012 - it’s pretty clear we’re living with climate change right now.

Or as Gore put it, "It's like a nature hike through the Book of Revelation."

While global emissions have continued to rise, there are some signs of hope.  Renewable energy production has exceeded projections nationally, and California is ahead of the trend.  In 2011, 20% of California’s energy use was renewable.

Santa Barbara, with its remarkable record of environmental leadership and abundant sun, wind and waves, could play a leading role in showing the world it’s really possible to kick the fossil fuel habit.

Question is – are we up for the challenge?

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