Climate Conversations

Welcome to our Climate Conversations site where we keep the recordings, text chats, presentations and resources from from our climate conversations series where we discuss solutions to addressing the climate emergency.  You can find future conversations on Meetup here: https://www.meetup.com/SeattleClimateChange/.

If you have any questions related to these discussion please e-mail Scott Henson at scott.henson@outlook.com.

2021 Discussions:

October 11th: Antarctica: The Last Continent and its Role in Climate Change

Our discussion on October 11th was led by Dr. Ed Sobey who has expertise is in oceanography – particularly polar oceanography and ocean currents. For the university program Semester at Sea, he teaches oceanography, weather and climate, and environmental sciences. For our discussion we focused on what is happening in Antarctica and why it matters to us and the rest of the planet.

Links From the Discussion:  Zoom recording, presentation (PowerPoint, PDF), and curated chat and resources we discussed in our meeting. Original Meetup here.

September 26th: Putting a Price on Carbon: Accelerating Solutions to the Climate Crisis

In this discussion Jeff Thiel led a discussion where we learned about how the bipartisan Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (HR 2307) can help us ensure a livable world for future generations. This topic is very timely – the Senate Finance Committee is considering including a price on carbon in the budget reconciliation bill that is being hammered out this month.

Link to HR 2307 is here:
https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/house-bill/2307/cosponsors

Links From the Discussion:  Zoom recording, presentation, and curated chat and resources we discussed in our meeting.

September 12th: Making Climate Change Education Mandatory for K-12

Photo by Mika Baumeister on Unsplash

On September 12th, John Stafford (who also led a great discussion on our state’s legislative progress earlier this year) gave a presentation and led a discussion on the work he is helping to lead to make Climate Change a mandatory part of K-12 education in Washington state.  In the discussion John and the group discussed the movement afoot nationally and internationally to address this challenge — a movement for mandatory, interdisciplinary, K-12 climate change education in all schools.  New Jersey was the first state in the U.S. to institute such requirements, and Italy was the first country to pass such a bill. Islamabad, Pakistan has recently followed suit and efforts are underway elsewhere. We discussed the embryonic global movement for mandatory, interdisciplinary K-12 climate change education, and also discuss the dimensions of what a potential bill in Washington State might look like.

Links From the Discussion:  Zoom recording, presentation, and curated chat and resources we discussed in our meeting.

August 29th and 30th: Climate Solutions 101 #3: Putting it All Together and Making it Happen

This is the third and final of our discussions on the Climate Solutions 101 program.  These discussions dived more deeply into putting the Drawdown solutions into action looking at the whole system while we do it.   Similar to the second series we repeated the discussion twice to allow more people to participate in the discussions based on the flexibility of their schedule.  Both recordings and combined resources are below.

Links from the Discussion:  Zoom Recordings from Sunday and MondayTranscript and Resources for Unit 5 (Putting it All Together) and Unit 6 (Making it Happen).

August 22nd and 23rd: Climate Solutions 101 #2: Reducing Sources, Supporting Sinks, Improving Society

Picking up from our June 27th discussion (posted below), these discussions dived more deeply into the sources, sinks and societal solutions that can reverse global warming. Earlier this year, the Project Drawdown team released an excellent educational series focused on the solutions to the climate emergency. There are some amazing information in these discussions (which can also be overwhelming with the amount of information) so please check out transcripts and resources below for where you might start your climate journey (and invite others in as well).

Links from the Discussion: Zoom Recording, Transcript and Resources for Unit 3 (Reducing Sources), Transcript and Resources for Unit 4 (Supporting Sinks and Improving Society)

August 8th: Combating Climate Change by Reducing Waste Featuring Heather Trim

Photo by Nareeta Martin on Unsplash

On August 8th, Executive Director of Zero Waste Washington, Heather Trim led a compelling discussion on the role of waste in our local community and how waste is critically tied to climate change.   During the discussion, we found out about the valuable work of Zero Waste Washington and partners. Specifically, how they have been working to support major legislative efforts to revamp our recycling system and reduce plastic pollution in our local waters.  Also increase our statewide infrastructure to divert organic material out of the landfill and into beneficial uses via compost and anaerobic digestion. Excess food should be going to feeding hungry people not disposal. Another key initiative is “Right to Repair.”  which creates jobs, empowers communities to have more durable access to technology.

For a summary of all legislative work from Zero Waste Washington please visit their web site or check out the curated chat with many more resources from our discussion.

Links from the Discussion: Zoom recording, PDF of Presentation,  and curated chat with resources.  Original Meetup here.

July 25th: Climate-Friendly Farming with Maddie Price

On July 25th, Maddie Price led us through a fantastic discussion on climate-friendly farming answering such questions such as: What does “climate-friendly farming” look like? Why don’t we see more climate-friendly farming across our food system (but do see it in high farmers’ market prices)? How is combating food waste, from field to fork, not as simple as just buying “ugly” veggies? What policies can reduce barriers to uptaking climate-friendly farming practices and different food recovery solutions? This talk will explored these questions and the connections across these topics, including what’s being done around these issues in Seattle and King County. The Drawdown solutions addressed will be: Conservation agriculture, Regenerative annual cropping, Perennial staple crops, Multistrata agroforestry, Managed grazing, Reduced food waste, Composting.

Links from the Discussion: Zoom recording, PDF of Presentation,  and curated chat with resources.  Original Meetup here.

July 11th: Youth to Power: In the words of Greta Thunberg

On July 11, Paul Litwin facilitated a great session focused on the activism of famous climate advocate Great Thunberg.

Back in 2018, the climate movement was searching for a leader and out of nowhere emerged a 15-year old girl from Sweden, Greta Thunberg. Greta started skipping classes on Fridays to sit outside the Swedish Parliament to protest her country’s inaction on climate change. Later that year, she spoke at the UN Climate Action Summit in Poland and since that time has given speeches to the EU, Davos, the UN, and the US Congress. In 2019, she was named Time Magazine Person of the Year.

Greta is famous for pulling no punches and calling out leaders’ lies, inaction, and intransigence. In this session we will watch several of Greta’s speeches and videos including Greta’s speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos in 2020, her Earth Day message in April of 2021, and a few other gems. We can learn a lot from this amazing young woman.

See full agenda and resources: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1xdK4tRBCHCRKgrKulGCFn4EjEjxw9Yv3O2duRsgHbC4/edit?usp=sharing

Other Links from the Discussion: Here is the Zoom recording and curated chat with resources.  Original Meetup here.

June 27th: Climate Solutions 101

Earlier this year, the Project Drawdown team released an excellent educational series focused on the solutions to the climate emergency. In this discussion series, Scott Henson (co-founder of Drawdown Seattle and the Seattle Climate Change Meetup group), facilitatated a discussion on the first two of the six units discussing the solutions we have in hand today that can actually reverse global warming.

Links from the Discussion: All resources (Powerpoint, videos, etc.) from the discussion can be found on the Drawdown Seattle “Introduction” page here.  In addition, here are the Zoom recording and curated chat with resources.  Original Meetup here.

June 13: Let’s Talk Waste-to-Energy as a Climate Solution

Photo by Michael Fousert on Unsplash

Following up from the March 28th presentation about waste, there were many questions about Waste-to-Energy (WTE) and the climate and environmental implications. This discussion with Philipp Schmidt-Pathmann was a dedicated follow-up discussion focused completely on WTE. This Q&A style session (with a 15-minute introductory overview) was structured so you can learn more about technology, functionality, integration, planning, and everything that you wanted to know about thermal treatment of waste.

Links from the Discussion: 15 minute overview video, Zoom recording, PDF of presentation, PowerPoint, and curated chat with questions and resources.  Original Meetup here.

Suggested Reading & Resources:

Waste-to-Energy on the Project Drawdown Web Site. In a sustainable world, waste would be reduced from the outset and composted, recycled, or reused. The current reality, however, is that cities and land-scarce countries face a dilemma about what to do with their trash. Waste-to-energy is a transitional strategy for a world that wastes too much and needs to reduce its emissions.

Scientific Truth About Waste-To-Energy(by Marco J. Castaldi. PH.D.) This study provides the most up-to-date information on WTE and the environment, and can serve as a comprehensive resource for policy makers and others interested in learning more about the quantifiable benefits of WTE.

Summary: Scientific Truth About Waste-To-Energy.If you don’t have time for the full report, this high level 2 page summary will give you the key points.

Summary Table of WTE Benefits.  Another great resource on the high level summary of WTE benefits.

The Zero Waste Utopia and the Role of Waste-to-Energy. From the opening paragraph: While there is no doubt that the prevention of municipal solid waste (MSW) generation should sit at the top of any public policy, industrial strategy and individual behavior, just like reducing the consumption of energy, this proposition might mislead the public into thinking that waste can suddenly disappear if only we had the will to make it happen. Zero Waste seems to be the only accept-able aim for today’s politicians who embrace an environmentally friendly platform. As a result, countries and municipalities all over the globe have committed themselves to achieving the goal of Zero Waste. So far, however, nobody has managed it, and given the many scientific and practical roadblocks, no one ever will.

May 23: Forest Health and Climate Change Featuring Joey Hulbert

We had a discussion with Joey Hulbert who is a Research Fellow at WSU about how community scientists are accelerating research to create shared understanding of tree health issues in the Pacific Northwest as part of the Forest Health Watch program.  Western redcedar is an important and iconic tree to PNW communities and information is urgently needed to sustain it for future generations. While there is a general consensus the dieback is linked to longer and hotter droughts, the relationship is complex and it is unclear which environmental parameters and site characteristics are most important for determining where trees are vulnerable. Anyone can participate and contribute to advance knowledge as community scientists. More information is available at https://foresthealth.org/

Links from the Discussion: Zoom recording, PDF of presentation, and curated chat with questions and resources.

May 9: Owning an Electric Vehicle

Our panel of owners talked about their experience of purchasing and owning an electric vehicle (EV)Watch to learn if it’s right for you.  We represented a variety of EV experience, including owners of the most common EVs, including a Tesla Model 3, a Chevy Bolt, a Nissan Leaf, and a BMW i3.  We also discussed the upcoming innovative solution from Tom Gurski, Founder of Bluedot Motorworks to retrofit existing cars and turn them into hybrid vehicles.

Links from the Discussion: Zoom recording, Powerpoint and  PDF of presentation, and curated chat with questions and resources.

April 25: Update on the 2021 Washington State Legislative Session With a Focus on Climate

John Stafford gave an informative and engaging talk on the last scheduled day of the 2021 WA State Legislative Session (April 25th).  John provided an update on what was accomplished, particularly as it relates to climate change. John will also speak about legislation requiring the teaching of climate change in grades K-12, a topic he is passionate about.

Links from the Discussion: Zoom recording, PDF of presentation, and curated chat with questions and resources.

You can also see David Robert’s summary here of why “Washington state now has the nation’s most ambitious climate policy”.  Governer Inslee’s summary of the legislative session here.

April 11: Biochar as a Climate Change Solution

Featured speaker, Jeff Thiel, presented a compelling case to answer these questions: What if we could sequester 10% of our current greenhouse gas emissions while improving the health of our soils, making farmers more profitable, and making our crops more resilient? That’s the potential of biochar. With recent innovations in gasification technology, we can turn agricultural and forestry waste into a valuable soil amendment at large scales.

Links from the Discussion: Zoom recording, PDF of presentation, and curated chat with questions and resources.

Original posting with full description on Meetup is here.

March 28: Is There an Answer to the Problems Waste Poses to Climate, Health & the Economy?

On March 28, featured speaker Philipp Schmidt-Pathmann helped us to gain an insight into the world of waste management with a focus on climate impact and the opportunities we have to significantly turn that around. He discussed  our regional and national roadblocks and how to overcome these based on examples from North America and Europe. Full Description at Meetup here.

Links from the Discussion: Zoom recording, Curated chat with questions and resources.

March 14: Earth-friendly Investing with Peter Krull of Earth Equity Advisors 

On March 14, Featured speaker, Peter Krull discussed Sustainable, Responsible and Impact Investing (SRI) also known as socially responsible investing. Peter also covered the history of the strategy, current trends, and why it’s important to align your investments with your values. Other topics included were fossil fuel free investing, investment performance and what to look for in a SRI investment. There is Q&A session at the end from the questions that were asked throughout.

Links from the Discussion: Zoom Recording, Curated Chat with Resources, Paul Litwin’s Opening Presentation, and Service Menu from Earth Equity Advisors on their Offering. Original posting with full description on Meetup is here.

February 28th: Tiny Native Foresting for Wildlife and Drawdown

Click image for the PDF of the presentation (more links below)

On February 28th, Jae Geller spoke about Tiny Native Forest Gardening for Wildlife and Drawdown. Jae Geller is the team lead for the National Wildlife Federation’s Redmond Community Wildlife Habitat Team, a local forest steward, and a member of the education teams for the Central Puget Sound Chapter of the Washington Native Plant Society and Eastside Audubon. Drawing from the Tiny Forest movement, Cascadia forest stewardship, sustainable gardening, wildlife biology, and a love of native plants, this presentation will give you the why and how to do your own tiny native forest gardening for wildlife and drawdown.

Links from our discussion: (Zoom recording, edited/curated text chat, PDF of presentation)

February 14th: Marine Carbon Dioxide Removal featuring Chris Meinig

Click image for the PDF of the presentation (more links below)

On February 14th 2021, our featured speaker Chris Meinig spoke about Marine Carbon Dioxide Removal (mCDR): a brief science background, challenges in developing monitoring technology and reasons he is optimistic. Chris addressed the ocean’s role in mCDR and give a brief introduction to a few promising methods (seaweed cultivation and chemical). He also discussed major challenges in ocean sensor development and why gaining social license is important. Chris Meinig, Director of Engineering at NOAA’s Pacific Marine Environmental Lab (https://www.pmel.noaa.gov/).

Links from our discussion: (Zoom recording, edited/curated text chat, PDF of presentation)

Additional resources: Visual Capitalist on Human Impact and the Ocean Economy

2020 Discussions:

July 26, 2020 – The Movement Voter Project and Food Waste (Watch Here)

Our discussion focused primarily on two topics: the Movement Voter Project (Rob Beem presenting)  and Food Waste (Maddie Price presenting).  Jim Little also did an introduction to set up why voting is so critical for the climate crisis this year.  Thank you Jim, Maddie, and Rob for your time and effort in leading these discussions!

Drawdown Seattle Workshop Resources and Events

In order to make it easier to find all of the resources we have pulled together in on place as well as finding future events on the Seattle Climate Change Meetup, we wanted to put everything on one place. We are partnering with the team at Cascadia Climate Action so you can see all Drawdown Seattle and other Climate Action organizations’ events in one convenient place.

Cascadia Climate Action Calendar

Here are all the resources pages that have been pulled together for workshops we facilitate:

  • Climate Solutions Conversations. As Prof. Katherine Hayhoe tells us, the #1 thing we can do to address the climate crisis is talk about it. In these climate solutions conversations, we bring together people from all backgrounds to share what they are learning and doing to help address the climate emergency.
  • Awakening the Dreamer. Based on the work of the Pachamama Alliance and their work bridging between the world of indigenous wisdom and the modern world most of us live in, this 3 hour workshop is a great way to understand why the dream of the modern world is creating so many problems for people and life on our wonderful planet.
  • Introduction to Drawdown and 2040 Movie. What would the world be like if we simply embraces the solutions we know can reverse the crisis and create a healthier and happier world? On this site, you will find a huge number of resources focused on the solutions from the Project Drawdown team, the 2040 movie, and Doughnut Economics. In addition to these resources, you will also find faith-based resources as many of our sessions have been conducted with Creation Care teams.
  • Getting into Action. This is a five part series where we go deep on helping people drive specific plans of action around proven solutions we know if implemented at scale can reverse global warming.
  • Faith-based Sessions. Much of our work is with faith communities and their focus on being stewards of the planet for future generations of people and all of life on our planet. We have also done sessions focused on climate justice and the disproportionate way that climate change affects those who are marginalized and how those who have most of the money and resources are creating most of the harm.

To register for one of our future conversations or workshops please consider joining our Meetup group below:

Seattle Climate Change Meetup Group

Seattle, WA
638 Members

This group is for anyone interested in discussing new ways of engaging with global climate change. All skills and backgrounds are welcome. You might feel confused about the be…

Next Meetup

Forest Health and Climate Change Featuring Joey Hulbert (Res…

Sunday, May 23, 2021, 3:00 PM
26 Attending

Check out this Meetup Group →

Photo by Thom Milkovic on Unsplash

Getting into Action: Climate Friendly Gardening

Earlier this year, a climate partnership was born as a part of our Drawdown Solutions: Getting into Action workshop series between participants Jim Little and Elizabeth Smoots. During the workshop, Elizabeth and Jim decided to research and write a tip sheet on Climate Friendly Gardening for the King County Master Gardeners. This tip sheet was recently accepted and published. These tip sheets are handed out for free to clients that visit the King County Master Gardener Clinics throughout the county and they are available on-line. This tip sheet will help inform both Master Gardeners and their clients about Climate Friendly Gardening. You can read a news brief about the process that Elizabeth and Jim went through in developing this worksheet HERE (and reproduced below as well).

The Foundation Connection

            A monthly e-newsletter from the Master Gardener Foundation of King County                                                                                                                   

Extend Your Resources

An occasional series highlighting recent WSU Extension or King County Master Gardener home gardening publications and other helpful clinic resources.

New Tip Sheet #14: Climate Friendly Gardening

…Introduction by Mary Watts, WSU King County Master Gardener Program Coordinator; Story and Tip Sheet #14 by James Little, Master Gardener, and Elizabeth Smoots, Seattle physician and gardener

There is a brand new tip sheet, hot off the presses, our new Climate Friendly Gardening Tip Sheet #14. This was the brainchild of Master Gardener James Little and a community member. Here is their story:

“The idea for a Climate Friendly Gardening Tip Sheet grew out of a “Getting Into Action” workshop sponsored by Drawdown Seattle (DrawdownSeattle.org) earlier this year. Veteran Master Gardener Jim Little met Seattle gardener Elizabeth Smoots at the workshop, and they decided to do a joint project on the contribution gardeners can make in reversing climate change. Drawdown Seattle inspires workshop attendees to get informed and engaged in promoting the many solutions available right now to limit global warming. Drawdown Seattle encourages attendees to initiate actions in their local communities and as well as support larger-scale climate action to preserve a livable planet for our children.

In February, Little and Smoots attended the Soil, Food and Climate Change workshop sponsored by Master Gardeners in Fall City, hosted by Susan Miller. The workshop featured talks by husband and wife team Dr. David Montgomery and Anne Biklé on how to build healthy soil that stores the greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide. WSU Professor Chad Kruger also presented a lecture on agriculture and climate change. After the workshop, Jim and Elizabeth decided to try to put together a Master Gardener tip sheet on climate-friendly gardening.

In addition to a shared interest in gardening, Jim and Elizabeth discovered on the drive to the workshop that they are both physicians. Jim Little was a spinal cord injury physician at the Seattle VA Medical Center for 29 years, and is now retired. A family physician for many years, Elizabeth Smoots specializes in integrative and functional medicine in her telemedicine practice. She has authored Allergy Guide: Alternative & Conventional Solutions and has published many health articles. 

Before writing the tip sheet, both Jim and Elizabeth had a good understanding of climate change and the recommended solutions, but they needed to undertake a critical review of the research on gardening in relation to climate change. After sifting through the scientific research and writing multiple drafts, they finally had a draft to submit to Carrie Hill and Mary Watts. Carrie and Mary made some additional edits and the team arrived at the final version of the 14th tip sheet, Climate Friendly Gardening. You can view it, download it, or print it out at https://extension.wsu.edu/king/gardening/gardeningtipsheets/ ˮ

WSU Publications: 

There are well over 200 home gardening publications available at pubs.wsu.edu Most are free to download. Many of these publications are also posted at WSU’s Gardening in Washington State: gardening.wsu.edu

Happy 50th Birthday Earth Day! Earth Week Resources

What an incredible time for humans and life on Earth right now.  There is so much that is simultaneously wonderful and challenging that it can be overwhelming to know how to process all of it.   If you are looking for some places to get plugged in and involved, here are a few for your consideration:

Of course, the main thing to share in the official Earth Day Live.  From the site: “From April 22, the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, to April 24, activists, performers, thought leaders, and artists will come together for an empowering, inspiring, and communal three day livestream mobilization.”  The site and registration are here:

https://www.earthdaylive2020.org/

Through the week, Executive Director of Project Drawdown Jonathan Foley and other members will be giving a series of talks and keynotes on proven solutions to reverse global warming.  You can find that link to these events here:

https://www.drawdown.org/events/

Dr. Foley’s Earth Day Webinar was a fantastic overview of the science of the problem and proven solutions to reverse the climate emergency we find ourselves in.  You can find a previously recorded version of that talk here:

Introduction to Project Drawdown 2020

This talk is a great complement to his Earth Day blog entry on Medium: A Personalized Action Guide for the Environment

For the final resource to check out, The Pachamama Alliance will be hosting a virtual  “Voices for the Earth Summit” from 8:30am to 6pm on April 22nd.  There will be an incredible list of speakers from indigenous leaders to leading activists including Paul Hawken, Van Jones, Annie Leonard, Lynne Twist, Charles Eisenstein and many others.  You can find out more info and register for that event here:

https://landing.pachamama.org/earth-day

We hope you all find this week a great week to reconnect with whatever your passion is to help with the planet.  Please look for future events we will be hosting (virtually of course) to keep the conversation going about continuing to find ways we can all participate in be a part of the solution to reversing the climate crisis.

–Team Drawdown Seattle

Reversing Global Warming: Introduction to Drawdown (with Updated Sessions Through December)

Project Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming

Reversing Global Warming: Introduction to Drawdown is a 90 minute in-person experience that invites you to see both the possibility of reversing global warming and that you have an important role to play in that process. Through videos and group activities, you will learn about a comprehensive plan to reverse global warming from Project Drawdown—a scientific study that identified 100 solutions that together, could actually reverse global warming by 2050. These solutions encompass the energy we use, the food we eat, and the cities we live in. By the end you will see the vital role you can play in the movement to reverse global warming.

What it offers

  • Learn about a comprehensive scientific study of 100 solutions that together, could actually reverse global warming by 2050
  • Connect with people in your community to find inspiration and discover new possibilities for addressing global warming
  • Learn how you can change the conversation about global warming from “game over” to “game on!”
  • People who are interested in the more in-depth multi-day workshop Drawdown Solutions: Getting into Action will be invited to attend at a future date.

We are planning multiple introduction sessions so please choose one that works best for your schedule (click to RSVP on Meetup):

WHERE: 3608 Wallingford Ave. N, Seattle, WA 98103

Please RSVP on Meetup by clicking on the date that works for you and join us!