At the end of "An Inconvenient Truth," Al Gore suggested we have about 10 years to make dramatic cuts in global carbon pollution before things get really freaky. That was seven years ago.
We're running out of time. Climate Change is happening. With little-to-no mention of it during the presidential debates and developing nations putting yet more coal-fired power plants online, we're behind the eight-ball.
So how do we fix this? Some have suggested that we deploy some planet-wide emergency measures to buy us enough time to scale up sustainable energy, increase efficiency, and improve harmful agricultural practice. From painting our roofs white to building a giant space mirror, geoengineers study admittedly risky short-term climate solutions.
The field isn't without controversy, and humans have a checkered past when it comes to tinkering with large-scale ecology. So while 99% of efforts should be focused on carbon reduction, these scientists are working on some climate hail-mary passes.
Today on Coastal Currents, we talk with Ken Caldeira, a climate scientist working for the Carnegie Institution Department of Global Ecology at Stanford University.
He investigates issues related to climate, carbon, and energy systems. His primary tools are climate and the carbon cycle models, although he does field work related to ocean acidification.
Podcast Nutshell: Researcher Tobias Schultz of Sustainable Surf Coaltion discusses the environmental impact of the surfing [drive less]and Beth Werner reveals her genetic secret [Uganda].
Surfing itself is a relatively simple sport - it's just harnessing energy from distant storms for a few moments. You don't need to ride a ski lift, reserve a bowling lane, or pave a racetrack. As sports go, it's considered to be fairly green.
But from the manufacture of polyurethane foam to driving to the surf spot, surfing isn't without its environmental impact.
What will it take to make surfing truly sustainable?
Enter Tobias Schultz. Via Surfline:
Santa Cruz-born, UC Berkeley grad student Tobias Schultz is neither a grizzled surfboard shaper nor a SUV-driving industry insider. And despite the Berkeley credentials, he's no crazed eco-activist Luddite, either. He's a scientist, and like all good scientists, when he sees a problem, he figures out a way to analyze it in a logical, formulated way.
"I separately assessed the six components that contribute to the lifetime footprint: the manufacture of blanks, fiberglass, resin, catalyst/hardener, surfacing agent, and the emissions resulting from board shaping. Ding repairs are included in these numbers. Using this strategy, I was able to identify the “dirtiest” parts of surfboard production."
Schultz goes on to compare new board technologies against more classic PU foam, the merits of maintenance, and carbon emissions at the factory level.
Above all, the gas needed to get a pickup truck to the beach accounts for the bulk of environmental damage. In fact, one surf trip can account for the same emissions required for the manufacture of a single board.
Today's Coastal Currents:
[Tips for surfers, excerpted from Schultz's paper, below the pagebreak.]
Cliff Berkowitz / Tuesday, July 3, 2012 @ 10:10 a.m. / Podcast
Happy Trails: Cliff and Emily talk with Denis Rael and Reese Hughes about local action taken by members of our community to find a compromise that would allow the Eureka to Arcata section of the railroad right-of-way to be rail-banked and construction of a Class One trail between the cities to begin.
Also: The latest on the Federal Transportation Reauthorization is discussed, along with and update on a California bill to require motorists to give three feet of clearance while passing bicyclists.
KHUM, Radio Without the Rules / Wednesday, June 13, 2012 @ 5:47 p.m. / Podcast
The Ferndale Report: ITEM! Restoration of the Salt River looks a go ... ITEM! Timber Harvest Management Plan filed for hills above town ... ITEM! Caltrans plans to invade town for a couple of years for Hwy 211 repaving project ... ITEM! Cream City sales tax revenues on long, slow decline ... ITEM! Young Ferndalians haul in scholarships galore ...
KHUM, Radio Without the Rules / Wednesday, June 6, 2012 @ 3:31 p.m. / Podcast
Coastal Currents: Ocean Conservancy's Jennifer Savage discusses today's make-or-break Marine Life Protection Act meeting just minutes before it commences. Will NorCal's unified voice be formally heard by Fish & Game?
Baykeeper's Beth Werner high-fives the Eureka City Council for getting started on a new bay trail.
Ocean Night and the Sand Sculpture Festival are enthusiastically plugged.