Events Archive

Climate change and its impacts: fire and rain

April 27, 2011 - 7:00pm to 9:00pm

Join us on April 27 for a discussion about critical climate change impacts facing our country: How is precipitation changing, and does this impact forest fires in Canada? Dr. Phil Austin from UBC will provide a presentation on the atmospheric side of precipitation and drought, looking in par¬ticular at satellite observations and climate model forecasts. Dr. Charmaine Dean from SFU will follow with “Climate Change Impacts on Forest Fires in Canada.” She will talk about testing for possible climate change-caused impacts in forest fire ignitions.

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The climate fix: what scientists and politicians won’t tell you about global warming

April 20, 2011 - 3:30pm to 4:30pm

The world’s response to climate change is deeply flawed. The conventional wisdom on how to deal with climate change has failed and it’s time to change course. To date, climate policies have been guided by targets and timetables for emissions reduction derived from various academic exercises. Such methods are both oblivious to and in violation of on-the-ground political and technological realities that serve as practical “boundary conditions” for effective policy making. Until climate policies are designed with respect for these boundary conditions, failure is certain.

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When are the Americans coming? Prospects for the WCI and a brief structural comparison with the EU-ETS

April 8, 2011 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm

When started in 2007, the Western Climate Initiative (WCI) looked poised to become North America’s largest and most comprehensive greenhouse gas emission cap and trade system. However, political, economic and legal challenges have slowed its development and its status is far from certain. Two key questions must be asked: Will the WCI develop into a working trading system and, if so, will linkage with the European Union Emission Trading System (EU-ETS) be possible?

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The machinery of climate anti-science

April 7, 2011 - 7:30pm to 9:00pm

The battle of truth versus disinformation is nowhere better demonstrated than in the distortion of climate science. More than 97 percent of practicing climate scientists support the fact that global warming is happening and caused by humans, yet the public often thinks that scientists are seriously divided on this issue.

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Public health and climate change

March 31, 2011 - 7:00pm to 9:00pm

Climate change, extreme weather events and sea-level rise threaten large populations around the world. Impor¬tant vulnerabilities for public health in this changing environment are air quality, extreme heat and drinking water. Dr. Brauer from UBC will present “Fires, smoke and heat: a good news bad news story?” The bad news: Climate can negatively impact health via multiple pathways.

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Environmental Quality plus Human Equality – The Path to True Sustainability

March 28, 2011 - 7:30pm to 9:00pm

Visiting British academic and author Julian Agyeman offers solutions for achieving a better quality of life for all through a combination of environmental sustainability and social justice, in a special public lecture in Victoria. Dr. Agyeman turns the common view of environmental quality and human equality as being separate issues on its head. Using examples from around the world, his talk will demonstrate how caring for people and the environment go hand-in-hand, and that we face a bleak future if we neglect that symbiotic relationship.

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The psychology of climate change

March 22, 2011 - 10:45am to 11:45am

The human dimension is crucial in understanding climate change processes as well as developing adaptation and mitigation measures. This talk will explore the contribution of psychological approaches to climate solutions, focusing on perceptions and behavior change. Dr. Pahl will discuss why the human mind has difficulty understanding big challenges such as climate change and illustrate how we can help people to better understand such issues. Specifically, she will present data from two projects.

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When the wind blows: the economic and environmental effects of adding wind generation to the grid

March 16, 2011 - 3:30pm to 4:30pm

International policies to increase renewable energy production are aimed at developing emissions-free energy sources. However, wind, solar, tidal and run-of-river technologies require special attention with respect to electricity grid operations, because their primary energy sources (wind, natural water flow and sunlight) are uncontrollable and unstorable. Wind energy is by far the fastest-growing new renewable generation technology and also experiences the greatest variability and intermittency.

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Sustainable systems as if people mattered

February 24, 2011 - 7:00pm to 9:00pm

Changing behaviour—especially the ways we use energy and water—is an essential part of any climate solution. Yet, our urban systems often preclude people from understanding and control¬ling them to improve efficiency. Dr. Stephen Sheppard, Dr. Lyn Bartram and Dr. Woodbury come together to present two multi-university research projects—the Greenest City Conversations Project and Human-Centred Systems for Sustainable Living.

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Creating a climate for change

January 27, 2011 - 7:00pm to 9:00pm

On January 27, Dr. Simon Donner and Dr. Alex Clapp will speak at a free public lecture series presented by the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions (PICS), in collaboration with UBC and SFU. This lecture, “Creating a Climate for Change,” will explore scientific and social factors that influence the public’s uncertainty about climate change, including socio-cultural barriers such as long-held beliefs that weather is beyond human control. Dr. Donner of UBC will present “Why you don’t believe in climate change.” Dr.

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