6 episodes

Here are the facts. Over the course of the 20th century the average global temperature went up about 1.3 degrees Fahrenheit. We now know that this rise was primarily the result of human emission of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. In 2006 the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) estimated that in the 21st century the global temperature could increase another 2.0 to 11.5 degrees. Even at the low end of that projection, the risks of disruptions to terrestrial and ocean ecosystems, extinction of plants and animals, and increased number of extreme weather events are uncomfortably high. If the global temperature increases 6.3 degrees, the risks to all sectors of our planet, from plants and animals to economic stability, would increase dramatically.

This realization will bring 200 countries to the bargaining table in Copenhagen in December 2009, with the primary aim of agreeing on an international plan to decrease greenhouse gas emissions. The fate of our lives and the lives of future generations depend largely on the outcome of the Copenhagen meeting. It would be hard to overestimate how consequential this moment is.

This course was originally presented in Stanford's Continuing Studies program.

Released with a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND license

Coping with Climate Change: Life After Copenhagen Stanford

    • Science

Here are the facts. Over the course of the 20th century the average global temperature went up about 1.3 degrees Fahrenheit. We now know that this rise was primarily the result of human emission of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. In 2006 the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) estimated that in the 21st century the global temperature could increase another 2.0 to 11.5 degrees. Even at the low end of that projection, the risks of disruptions to terrestrial and ocean ecosystems, extinction of plants and animals, and increased number of extreme weather events are uncomfortably high. If the global temperature increases 6.3 degrees, the risks to all sectors of our planet, from plants and animals to economic stability, would increase dramatically.

This realization will bring 200 countries to the bargaining table in Copenhagen in December 2009, with the primary aim of agreeing on an international plan to decrease greenhouse gas emissions. The fate of our lives and the lives of future generations depend largely on the outcome of the Copenhagen meeting. It would be hard to overestimate how consequential this moment is.

This course was originally presented in Stanford's Continuing Studies program.

Released with a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND license

    • video
    1. Copenhagen: The Meeting and its Consequences with Meg Caldwell (January 14, 2010)

    1. Copenhagen: The Meeting and its Consequences with Meg Caldwell (January 14, 2010)

    Meg Caldwell, Stanford Director of Environmental and Natural Resources Law and Policy Program, discusses the results of the Copenhagen negotiations as well as explaining the troubles facing the oceans and their inhabitants. (January 14, 2010)

    • 1 hr 25 min
    • video
    2. Our Oceans: Oops, There Goes Another Gastropod Shell (January 21, 2010)

    2. Our Oceans: Oops, There Goes Another Gastropod Shell (January 21, 2010)

    Kristie Ebi, Executive Director for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), discusses the complexity of environmental and governmental difficulties in creating a multinational climate adaptation agreement. (January 14, 2010)

    • 1 hr 48 min
    • video
    4. Climate Change: Is the Science "Settled"? (February 4, 2010)

    4. Climate Change: Is the Science "Settled"? (February 4, 2010)

    Stephen Schneider, professor of biology at Stanford and senior fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment, unpacks the political and scientific debates surrounding climate change. (February 4, 2010)

    • 1 hr 39 min
    • video
    5. Identifying the Facts, Values, Lies, and Fiction (February 18, 2010)

    5. Identifying the Facts, Values, Lies, and Fiction (February 18, 2010)

    Terri Root discusses her meta-analysis of scientific research on animals affected by temperature change and she states that the time has come for scientists to do more than research and write papers, but to also start proposing creative solutions to the problems that exist. (February 18, 2010)

    • 1 hr 49 min
    • video
    6. The General Public: Why Such Resistance? (February 25, 2010)

    6. The General Public: Why Such Resistance? (February 25, 2010)

    Ben Santer, a research scientist from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, discusses the recent problems with the use of the freedom of information act for non-US citizens to demand complete records. (February 25, 2010)

    • 1 hr 46 min
    • video
    7. The Political Environment of International Climate Negotiation (March 4, 2010)

    7. The Political Environment of International Climate Negotiation (March 4, 2010)

    Michael Wara, Stanford Law Professor, discusses the international negotiation of climate change, the agreement that emerged from Copenhagen, the likely results, and the dynamics this will create in the US government approach to sustainability. (March 4, 2010)

    • 1 hr 55 min

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