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:

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!

Leave a Reply