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ALI VELSHI PROFILES FIVE CLIMATE INITIATIVES

Ali Velshi, MSNBC, and Big Ideas Panelists

Dr. Jennifer Holmgren, CEO, LanzaTech

The Explorers Club’s Climate Week Inaugural Event Focused on Big Ideas to Fight Climate Change

NEW YORK CITY, NY, USA, September 24, 2019 /EINPresswire.com/ -- The Explorers Club is hosting a series of events throughout Climate Week, September 23rd through September 26th. The week’s programs will focus on the effects of climate change, the challenges we face in addressing trends that contribute to climate change, and potential solutions to fulfill the 2016 Paris Climate Agreement’s goal of keeping the average global temperature increase to well below 2 ̊C above pre-industrial levels. Videos of all events will be available on The Explorers Club site in coming days.

Last night’s initial program, Big Ideas, Big Impacts – Bold Climate Initiatives, began with introductory remarks (at ~15:00 on FB videostream below) from Ted Janulis, The Explorers Club’s 43rd president, and Gabriele Goettsche-Wanli, the Director of the Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea for the United Nations’ Office of Legal Affairs. The speakers, Andrew Jones, Tom Neumann, Alexandra Cousteau, Jennifer Holmgren, and Daniel Vennard, then took the stage with the evening’s host, Ali Velshi. Mr. Velshi currently teaches at the Wharton School and has been an MSNBC anchor and business correspondent for NBC since 2016. His reporting has often focused on climate change and its impact not only on the environment, but on the global economy. Mr. Velshi introduced each of the speakers and moderated a panel discussion following the presentations.

The first speaker of the evening, Andrew Jones, is a Co-Director at Climate Interactive, a firm that has created an interactive simulation, En-ROADS, to better understand how changes in policy can affect projected temperature increases by 2100. Some of these changes would fundamentally alter how we produce and consume energy, while others—such as reducing deforestation, curbing population growth, or cutting methane emissions—would require additional policy and structural changes that transcend the energy sector. Mr. Jones’ model reveals in shocking clarity that there is no single action that can serve as a figurative silver bullet when attempting to reach the Paris Climate Agreement’s goal. “It’s silver buckshot,” he said frequently.

The second speaker of the night, Tom Neumann, is a cryospheric scientist with NASA who is the Project Scientist behind the recently launched ICESat-2. ICESat-2 is a sophisticated satellite that relies on lasers to take measurements of the Earth’s surface. It can accurately take readings of the Earth’s surface within 10 cm vertically. Such precise measurements allow NASA scientists to study changes to ice levels in the Earth’s cryosphere, which includes the coldest and most inaccessible regions of the planet, from space. The data collected by ICESat-2 does not merely measure ice levels; it reveals that the effects of climate change extend well beyond the polar regions, thereby allowing us to study these changes on a planetary scale. For Dr. Neumann, he hopes this kind of work inspires more people to foster “an appreciation of the interconnectivity of the planet.”

Alexandra Cousteau followed Dr. Neumann. She began by praising the members of The Explorers Club for being “People who treasure all the things exploration can give us.” Ms. Cousteau, the Founder of Oceans2050, then spoke about the need to transcend the conservation/sustainability paradigm, and to seek out new means to bring our oceans to their former levels of abundance. Following the birth of her daughter, she realized that environmental activism needed to focus “not on the fight for the 50 percent that’s left,” but the fight to restore the 50 percent we destroyed.

Jennifer Holmgren was the next to speak. Dr. Holmgren is the CEO of LanzaTech, a firm that has developed a means of using microbes to convert various forms of pollution, such as industrial or agricultural byproducts, into useful raw materials. These raw materials can then be used as sources of fuel in the form of ethanol or they can be converted into chemicals to then be used as the building blocks that form synthetic fibers, plastics, and rubbers. Dr. Holmgren’s company, which operates in numerous countries, participates in what is known as the circular economy, wherein resources, such as carbon, are reused to eliminate waste and to reduce the amount of fresh carbon needed to sustain the system. “We have to learn to reuse carbon,” she said, adding that, “Every carbon atom is valuable.”

The evening’s final speaker, Daniel Vennard, is the Director of the Better Buying Lab within the World Resources Institute. Mr. Vennard’s work has focused urging companies within the food services industry to take the Cool Food Pledge to cut emissions by 25 percent by 2030. The Pledge involves a three-step process that includes: learning what components within supply chains contribute to green house gas emissions, enacting policies that can better promote plant-based menu options, and spreading awareness among the public of how plant-based diets can impact the environment. The World Resources Institute expects the Pledge to impact more than 800 million meals around the world.

A full schedule of the week’s events can be found on The Explorers Club’s website: https://www.explorers.org/events/detail/climate-week.

Kimberly Macleod
kmacconnect
+1 917-587-0069
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Daniel Vennard/World Resources Insititute,Tom Neumann/NASA, Alexandra Cousteau/Oceans2050, Ali Velshi/MSNBC, Andrew Jones/En-ROADS, Jennifer Holmgren/LanzaTech

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