Week 1/2 plan: Global warming
- cause and effect
- problem teams (diads)
First, some terms:
- Climate change
- Global warming
- Climate Crisis
Which is most accurate? Most scary? Most likely to cause change?
Global warming will impact and be impacted by each of these
Energy: how we got into this mess-fossil fuels, starting around 1850, burning plants that consumed CO2 eons ago as part of photosynthesis, releasing their trapped carbon (coal, oil, gas)
Water: freshwater will become more resource constrained, sea levels will rise, oceans will become acid
Food: locations to grow will become constrained (e.g. Pearl River Delta, desertification), poor people will not have options for farming or fishing
Culture: coastal flooding will cause huge migrations of mainly poor people, but renewable energy could de-centralize energy structures (e.g. solar energy in Africa)
Mechanics: How this all works
- Solar radiation is visible, UV, infrared and others, virtually all pass through our atmosphere to reach the surface
- Surface is either reflective (high albedo: ice) or absorbing (low albedo: water, soil)
- Water and soil absorb the radiated energy and re-radiate it back as heat (infrared radiation, like the dashboard of your car)
- This heat radiation is captured by the CO2 in the atmosphere, bouncing back down (like the windshield of your car) warming the planet
- Some CO2 is needed to warm our planet above freezing, too much is warming the planet: global warming
- melting of polar ice (changes albedo to absorb more)
- warming of oceans (sea level rise, expels dissolved gases)
- ocean acidification (CO2 + H2O -> carbonic acid)
- more evaporation (stronger, more frequent storms)
- salinization of coastal/delta farmlands (salt water intrusion)
- melting of permafrost-releases methane, a potent GH gas (greenhouse gas)
- melting of deep ocean methane hydrates-releases more methane
- biodiversity and habitat loss
- severe storms
- increased wildfires
- wild feedback loop
- impact increased by deforestation (e.g. amazon rainforest)
How we survive-Marketplace (12:00)-good listen about emerging green technologies
Frontline: Heat (2008 release date)
Closed captioned version, can change speed (bottom right)
Team, many questions here, which we will break into several assignments:
- Part One: What river is China planning to divert that will cause conflict with India, and why are they doing this?
- Why did Brashears go back to that specific site to take the photo, and what did he see? What possible explanations are there for this? Take both sides of the climate crisis argument in your answer.
- What was so surprising in the dorky 1958 movie? Was this common knowledge back then? How can you tell?
- How does the cheapness of energy influence public opinion?
- Is the climate crisis an energy issue, a tree issue, an albedo issue, an ocean issue, or a permafrost issue?
- What happened at the Kyoto meeting? What was the most embarrassing part? Why did the US behave so?
- Why would China's growth outweigh any changes the US might make to change carbon emissions?
- What is Geely? Where? What model is their biggest seller? Is this scary? Why? What did their director say?
- How many coal plants does China create every week according to the video, and how many years will they be emitting CO2?
- Dr. Ling Wen says 30% growth over 5 years. What is the doubling rate for this in years? (divide 70 by the percent growth).
- Why is his line "if we can" so scary? What are his responsibilities, in what order?
- In what year will India's population exceed that of China? Why?
- What is the third largest contributor to greenhouse gases? Where?
- What reduction in CO2 did the Indian guy say they could do by 2050? What is the growth rate?
- What did Sunita Narain say about this? Why is this not sustainable?
- What did Pachauri say? What are his reasons?
- What did the US negotiators say? Why is this unfair? What did China say?
- Google Senator Inhofe, and find out why he was a global warming skeptic. Where did his money come from?
- This video was filmed in 2008. What was the position of each presidential candidate then?
- What did Jeffrey Sachs say, and why is it important?
- How many tons of coal are mined in the Powder River basin each day, and about how much CO2 does this release?
- The director of the West Virginia power plant (Charlie Powell) says: "we produce 1300 kilowatts of power every hour" which is like saying "my car goes 60 miles per hour every hour". What is wrong with his statement?
- How many pounds of Coal power your TV for one hour? What percentage of power in the US comes from Coal?
- Analyze the term "clean coal" from both sides of the argument. What are the motives of each side and why?
- Senators Byrd and McConnell represent which states? What is their bias?
- What is IGCC? Where is it located? Has it been tested? Where would they inject the ground? Why is this dangerous?
- Are we "carbon capture ready"? Where would this be tested first, and why is it problematic? If pipelines were used, why would these be dangerous?
- How many tons of CO2 does the US emit every day in 2020?
- The US is called the "Saudi Arabia of Coal". Why?
- What is the second largest emitter of greenhouse gases? Now list the top three in order.
- Part Two: What are CAFE standards, and what does it stand for? What happened in the last few years to the CAFE standards? When were they created, and track the mpg numbers since then.
- How did auto manufacturers get around the CAFE standards since the Ford Explorer came out?
- What was John Dingell's motive? Why? Where was he from? Why did he block seat belts?
- Was his responsibility only to his 800,000 citizens or to the country, or the planet as a whole?
- What MPG was the terminator seeking for California? By when? Jerry Brown is next in the video. What was his job later?
- In the 1970's all cars in the US came in two flavors: "49 state" or "CA". Why?
- What pressure was put on the EPA in December 2007? Who was in office then?
- What is the clean air act?
- Who was the EPA administrator during the Bush administration? What did he do? What do you think about his actions?
- What was the target of the CA emissions standards?
- What is Hibernia owned by Exxon? How much oil did it pump since coming into operation?
- At 80 million bbl/day, how many days of global oil supply did it provide? (bbl means barrel)
- How did the Exxon lady defend their lack of investment in renewable resources?
- Dan Kammen says what? Where does he work? (hint: Go Bears)
- How much did Exxon make in the year of the movie? How much did they invest in renewable energy? Explain.
- It has been said that if you drive a Prius hybrid with fuel from the tar sands of Canada, it's the equivalent of driving a Hummer. Why?
- During the 2008 video, they state that oil is at $90/bbl. What is it today?
- The car companies were working on a diesel-electric hybrid: what happened and why?
- What did Toyota build, and why? How long is their advantage now?
- Do you believe the lady from GM? Explain.
- What happened to the Chevy Volt in the Photo Shoot?
- Is corn ethanol really a green solution? Who is pushing corn ethanol and why do they have so much political clout?
- Part Three: Why does Dan Kammen say corn is not a good biofuel?
- Explain the three sources of bio-ethanol: corn, cellulosic and sugar cane. Brazil produces which of these?
- How does Amy's statement about small interests resonate with Senator Dingell's actions earlier in the film?
- Compare renewable energy in Germany to the US, including smart grids.
- How do the smart grid and storage fit into the renewable energy solution?
- T. Boone Pickens (who died recently) sold his oil investments and moved into wind farms in Texas. Why?
- About 150,000 megawatts of power is what Pickens planned on installing, which would be worth how much per year? (assume 1 mW for a day is about $2400)
- Why is nuclear energy getting a fresh look, and why was it so politically toxic? Where and why in each country?
- Who became president after this film in 2008?
- What is the difference between Navy nuclear power plants and commercial industrial power plants? Why is this a problem?
- How is nuclear waste storage involved in this problem, and what does NIMBY stand for?
- Explain cap and trade, and the plus and minus for this proposal.