Short Video on Climate Change Reality

Climate Change: the
State of the Science
A new data visualization released on the first day of the plenary negotiations at the UNFCCC’s climate negotiations (COP-19) in Warsaw articulates climate risks and the challenge of remaining below 2 degrees.

Produced by the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme and Globaia, and funded by the UN Foundation, the 3-minute film uses stunning visuals to unravel exactly what the IPCC’s climate probability ranges mean for societies. It concludes that if the world wants a “likely” chance (66-100%) of remaining within the 2 degree Celsius target set by international policymakers, then we can only emit around 250 billion tonnes of carbon to the atmosphere. Given emissions are currently around 10 billion tonnes a year and rising, this give societies about 25 years.

Large emissions cuts will increase the chances of remaining below two degrees, and extend the time before breaching this budget.

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Glorious Wichita–A Renaissance of Sorts?

This morning, as I often do on Mondays, I have read the latest post from Barry’s Blog.  In it, Barry provides news and advice for the Arts Administrator.  Barry’s Blog is a service of the Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF) and that is the western version of our Mid-America Arts Alliance.  Below I post what Barry has to say this week about organizational maturity and where do we go from here?  As a former arts administrator for five different arts organizations both private nonprofit and public governmental agencies, I have certainly seen my fair share of emerging, growing and stagnant arts orgs.  This weekend, however, I experienced what might be called a renaissance of arts in the Wichita area.  Hear me out on this please.

Friday evening, Patricia McDonnell instituted the fourth or fifth in a series of Wichita Art Museum “Arts Chatter” events.  Using the popular international Pecha Kucha method of showing 20 slides of 20 seconds each 5-7 creative individuals share whatever they wish to share about themselves or their passions.  The quick, sometimes frustratingly so, presentation method has encouraged lively competition among its presenters and it seems that each one gets better than the last; startling since they have all be great.  Patricia was known for stirring up community enthusiasm at the Ulrich Museum during her tenure there.  I have already attended more events in exhibitions at WAM in the past year than I probably have attended in my whole life.  I want to be there and be part of the learning and collective experience, sharing my passion for the arts with others who love it too. I could of gone on to a yet another great Fisch Haus concert afterward and kept the experience going, but I have learned a have some limits.

Saturday brought additional magic.  After calling dear friends who are regular attendees at the Wichita Symphony, I managed to secure dinner plans and a drop-off at the door of Century II, as well as additional support getting to and from my seat (very much appreciated as well).  I wanted to support John Harrison’s solo efforts in the Mendelssohn’s Concerto in E Minor for Violin, Op, 64 and hear other of my treasured friends play.  Wow.  It is hard to speak in mere words about the experience, but suffice it to say, there were numerous curtain calls and a solo encore by Mr. Harrison.  John has always been one of my favorite artists because of his risk-taking and creative channeling of technology with the arts.  Bravo to him and Maestro Dan Hege and the entire Wichita Symphony for a great evening also featuring magnificent renditions of Beethoven’s 2nd and a haunting piece by Thomas Canning.  The Symphony has created an aggressive and innovative marketing campaign this year full of social media contacts and clever illustrations emphasizing whimsical exercises we need to do in order to fully engage with the symphony.  It seems to be working, congratulations on that Don Reinhold, new executive director, and Arleigh Aldridge, new marketing director, as the house was enthusiastic and full.  Congratulations to all on an incredible artistic product.

I left there with my friends and went on to the nearby bar to hear fabulous local talent, the Haymakers.  This new band featuring Dustin Arbuckle, Tom Page, Mark Foley and Ted Farha has quickly become one of my go-to favorites on the local scene.  They create a sound featuring bluegrass traditional and original music with a folky bluesy edge.  Difficult to explain but not to be missed.

Sunday brought much more; the Barlett Arboretum, courtesy of Ms. Robin Macy and Kentucky (aka Ken) White, held a thank you event for their volunteers.  I had completed a portrait of them which I delivered to kind accolades.  The lively volunteers, the heavenly food concocted by Wichita Eagle staff writers Carrie Rengers, Joe Stumpe and company was out of this world.  The newly restored historic depot was alive with Brazilian Choro music courtesy of Kentucky and band and lively chatter by the dedicated volunteers.  Fall was ever glorious in the arboretum outside and from the window seat where I found myself perched I viewed beautiful grasses that were the most vibrant shade of sea foam green.

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Finally, I was delighted to help host the Chamber Music at The Barn Friends and Lovers annual thank-you party at the Wichita Historical Museum.  It is a great space to meet after the symphony’s Sunday matinee and Hege, Harrison and symphony executive director Don Reinhold were kind enough to join us.  We were entertained by talented regional youth who have been active in our summer camps, making all of us realize the importance of moving forward.  Artistic Director Catherine Consiglio performed a delightful duet to close the entertainment portion.  Board members we there in full force, a delightful lot!!

I am truly thankful to be part of the Wichita creative community.  I realized about five years ago that the arts foundation I was always hoping to create if I ever won the lottery already had its beginnings in my ability to write grants and initiate creative programming.  Sometimes though, I have felt pretty much alone of the forefront of that initiative of creative programming and surrounded by a lot of status quo and potential stagnation.  That is changing or perhaps has changed.  Check out Barry’s blog notes below to understand where Wichita groups lie in creative organization development and remember, nothing EVER stays the same.  We have to change, adapt or we die.

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2013

Organizational Heavy Gravity Days

Good morning.
“And the beat goes on……………………..“Life itself is a cycle.  You’re born, you grow up from infancy to adolescence to middle age to old age, and you die.  Organizational theorists have posited that organizations too have natural cycles – and unavoidable stages of development from inception to maturity, to cessation of existence.

There are numerous models describing the stages.  In the private sector, “the Adizes model (named after Dr. Ichak Adizes) suggests organizations start in the courtship stage. In it, founders are dreaming up what they want to do.  Entrepreneurship is the dominant mental model resulting in the eventual founding of the company.

The infant stage follows, with an emphasis on production and time pressures dominating everyone’s attention.

Infancy is followed by the go-go stage. Organizations that have reached this stage have figured out how to deliver value into the social systems they serve and are rewarded with supportive customers. Rapid expansion, personalized leadership, some planning, and fast decision making are the hallmarks of organizations in this stage. The go-go years bring financial growth and expansion.

Adolescence is the next stage. It is in this stage that planning and coordination become important.  Administrative activities increase at the expense of both entrepreneurial endeavors and production. The mental models of stability and conservatism surface and start to dominate the way the organization conducts its business. Formalized rules and policies emerge.

The prime stage is next in the organizational lifecycle. In this stage the emphasis is on efficiency. Organizational boundaries are erected and the company starts to lose touch with its environment. Goals and aspirations remain stable but the desire to grow and change starts to disappear. Stability and predictability become the prevailing mental models.

The final stage is maturity. It is in this stage where organizations become paternalistic seeking a comfortable organizational climate. There is a low emphasis on production.  Relationships are formal and little innovation takes place.”

Speakman Management Consulting provides a nonprofit six stage framework (Adapted from: The 5 Life Stages of Nonprofits, Judith Sharken Simon, 2002 and The Conservation Company, 1997), which includes the following developmental stages (and which parallels pretty much the above model):

  • Grassroots invention
  • Start-up incubation
  • Adolescent growing
  • Mature sustainability
  • Stagnation and renewal
  • Decline and shut-down

In both models the problems come late in the game for those that succeeded in establishing themselves in their marketplaces – where the organization “loses sight of its market, focuses on program development primarily geared to fund-raising, has insufficient cash reserves, clings to rigidity in management, and becomes more reactive than proactive.” Continued existence becomes the goal.  Eventually, the negatives become insurmountable and the organization is simply no longer viable.

Sound familiar?

It should, because it accurately describes an increasingly common condition with our field; a condition now so prevalent that it has become a front burner issue for all our disciplines and sub-sectors.  Some argue that our financial problems are the cause of the other symptoms of older organizational age, and that these problems are really part of another cycle:  the ups and down of the economy. But, first, while the economy may have ups and downs, and periodic winners and losers, to think of it as always moving between feast or famine may ignore the reality that the “new normal” may be that we are not ever going to return to an economic model that for decades was the bedrock of arts organization’s existence; and second, some arts organizations survive the economic downturns, while others do not.

The challenge for our organizations is to recognize the stage at which they have arrived.  Knowing and accepting that an organization is in the late stages of its development is the first step in moving towards renewal; towards a renaissance of ideas and relevance within the marketplace.

What keeps us from pursuit of such a path?  Denial?  Fear that the changes necessary are antithetical to the original mission?  Poor management and leadership?  Bad decision making?  Complacency?  Those and more.

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Why We Don’t Care About Saving Our Grandchildren From Climate Change

Time magazine’s article explores the challenge humans face with climate change. How to respond to delayed gratification with sacrifices now.

Science & Space

You want to know what the biggest obstacle to dealing with climate change is? Simple: time. It will take decades before the carbon dioxide we emit now begins to have its full effect on the planet’s climate. And by the same token, it will take decades before we are able to enjoy the positive climate effects of reducing carbon-dioxide emissions now. (Even if we could stop emitting all CO₂ today, there’s already future warming that’s been baked into the system, thanks to past emission.) But we will feel the economic effects of either emitting or restricting CO₂ right now, in real time. While we can argue about the relative cost of reducing CO₂ emissions now — just as we can argue about the economic effects of climate change in the future — it should be clear that any attempt to restrict CO₂ emissions enough to make a dent in…

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LAST HOURS for Humanity? Courtesy of Tom Weis and via Facebook Friend Robert Castellino

Tom Weis |October 8, 2013 4:40 pm | Comments
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Tom Weis

tweis“Consider this: nearly all life on Earth could go extinct because of manmade climate change.”

Internationally syndicated talk show host and bestselling author Thom Hartmann released a devastatingly powerful new film, LAST HOURS. A jolting wake-up call for humanity, this 10-minute film describes a terrifying science-based scenario where runaway climate change is triggered by massive releases of frozen methane. Here’s the devastating part: the melting of these trillions of tons of carbon is already underway.

“Methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, has already started to percolate into the open seas and atmosphere from methane hydrate deposits beneath melting arctic ice, from the warming northern-hemisphere tundra and from worldwide continental-shelf undersea methane clathrate pools.”

“If we do not begin to significantly curtail the use of carbon-based fossil fuels, this freed methane threatens to radically accelerate the speed of global warming, potentially producing a disaster beyond the ability of the human species to adapt.”

The film documents how our planet has experienced five major extinctions in geologic history and how our prolific production of greenhouse gases has the ability to trigger a sixth mass extinction.

“By the end of the Permian mass extinction, 95 percent of all life on the planet was dead. And why is this important today? Because today a sixth extinction is underway, one that will test the survival of not just human civilization, but possibly of the human species itself. And it bears a horrifying resemblance to several previous global warming-driven events like the Permian mass extinction.”

Earth is sending us an urgent and unmistakable message, one that we ignore at our own peril. Failure to drastically slash carbon emissions now could mean the end of humanity.

Watch and share LAST HOURS with everyone you know. Then take action by supporting Climate Crisis Solution’s campaign to stop a major new source of carbon pollution—the 485-mile southern leg of TransCanada’s Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. Learn more at RideForRenewables.com.

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Interesting Change for a Bold Voice in Climate Change Reality

October 21, 2013

Voice on Climate Change Moves to Harvard

Defender of Reality of Climate Change Moves to Harvard 1

U. of California at San Diego

Naomi Oreskes

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By Jenny Rogers

Naomi Oreskes never intended to become a spokesperson on climate change or science. Then she published an essay in the journalScience in 2004, in which she laid out the broad scientific consensus that global climate change is occurring, and that it is affected by human activities.

Now the woman who brought the world that message has moved from the University of California at San Diego, where she was a professor of history and science studies for 15 years, to Harvard University as a professor of the history of science and an affiliated professor of earth and planetary sciences.

“I was just ready for a change,” she says of her move this summer. She had considered environmental jobs but decided she wanted to stay in academe and focus on the history of science. “It was a conscious decision to hold onto that core.”

Janet Browne, chair of the department of the history of science at Harvard, says she and other members of the hiring committee were impressed with Ms. Oreskes’s expertise and “engaging” way of teaching.

“Naomi is extremely famous in our small community” of science historians “and indeed famous outside of it,” Ms. Browne says. “She is widely respected and regarded as a terrific public spokesperson for the value of what we do.”

Ms. Oreskes, who is 54, earned a Ph.D. in geological research and the history of science from Stanford University in 1990. After starting out as a geologist, she quickly became interested in how scientific consensus forms. She found a niche in the history of science, eventually specializing in cold-war-era and contemporary scientific work.

Her 2004 analysis of climate-change studies was cited in An Inconvenient Truth, a 2006 documentary in which Al Gore warns of the consequences of global warming. Her 2010 book, Merchants of Doubt, written with the science historian Erik M. Conway, stirred more controversy. In it, theyargued that certain scientists obscured the truth in order to discredit sound scientific findings on the risks of smoking, global warming, and other issues.

Supporters of those scientists have fought back in numerous articles and Internet postings that dispute the value of Ms. Oreskes’s own work. A document on the Web site of the Heartland Institute, a think tank with libertarian leanings, calls her stand on climate change “an anti-science position akin to witchcraft.”

Ms. Oreskes says she is not an advocate for any policy but not a “bystander,” either.

“I don’t shy away from what I consider to be the intellectual implications of my work” on climate-change consensus, she says. “If anything, I’m an advocate for understanding why this issue is important.”

To make decisions, she says, policy makers should understand “where there’s scientific consensus and where there isn’t.”

A former colleague, Veerabhadran Ramanathan, says Ms. Oreskes’s departure was a loss for San Diego. “She is one of the few who talk about contemporary science,” says Mr. Ramanathan, a professor of atmospheric and climate sciences at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography there. “She comes to a conclusion, and she doesn’t shy away from saying it in the strongest sense possible.”

Ms. Browne says Ms. Oreskes has been “brave” in her open exploration of the moral foundation of science. “We are absolutely with her in feeling that if there are things that need to be said, we should be saying them.”

At Harvard, Ms. Oreskes is teaching a graduate introductory course on the history of science and finishing a book on the history of cold-war oceanography. She has noted that oceanographers were among the first to find evidence of global warming.

She is also deep into her latest research project, in conjunction withMichael Oppenheimer, a professor of geosciences and international affairs at Princeton University, and Dale Jamieson, a professor of environmental studies, bioethics, and philosophy at New York University. They are studying how scientists evaluate one another’s work for large-scale assessments that have influenced environmental-policy decisions, such asthe reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Or, as Ms. Oreskes puts it, “How do scientists make sense of what they know on behalf of other people?”

The question of scientific assessment is “so interdisciplinary,” she says. “Science, policy, jealousy, competition—it’s a great, great topic.”

There is potential for her to become involved in other interdisciplinary work at Harvard. Ms. Browne hopes Ms. Oreskes might do research into marine and naval technologies during the cold war and eventually teach a course with Ms. Browne on the history of the earth.

Ms. Oreskes looks forward to seeing how her research evolves.

“If we knew everything, we could close our books and lock our doors and say this project of science is done,” she says. “Obviously, that’s not the case.”

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Happy Birthday, C.T.

MasterFB.2

Today is an historic day.  My father turned 87.  I have been thinking a lot about aging and the nextgenerations.  I am fortunate beyond words to still have my parents in my life.  Especially because my fatherhad a coronary in 1964, quintuple bypass in 1987 and various stents since. Dad and Mom are so bright, wonderful and interesting, and always have been.  When I was younger, they were the “coolest” parents of any of my friends and often commented upon thus.

Next weekend my high school class is having a reunion.  One of my dear bff’s is also having her reunion (different class).  She is excited and I have been teasing her about having her dress for the reunion for at least a year(although it really has only been since May, but still).  In any case, I bowed out of reunions after the 25th, its fun to see old buds, but in truth I didn’t make the most of my highschool years in a way I would consider valuable now.  You know kids.  And for at least 20 years, I thought I had a story there, but now I just chuckle realizing most any 16 year old has a story there and mine is not particularly unique and there are many mistakes but few aha moments that I can remember.  In any case, one high school friend is coming in Weds from Washington state and another from Palm Springs and another from Denver on Tuesday and they have all written say hello and can we have a visit and I have to admit it is both an honor and a thrill that they would even think of me because when I thinkof high school, I can’t imagine ANYONE thinking of or wondering about me and THAT is just how insecure I was then.  It’s crazy I know, as I am sure that anyone who knows me now would not think of me as shy or insecure, but life is the proverbial journey and it took quite a journey for me to find myself.

So on this day when my father was born, I doubt that anyone who knew his Oklahoma City mother and father imagined that he would become an University of Oklahoma graduate, a WWII Navy vet, a community leader and politician, a business success, marry into a founding Kansas family, father two daughters (an artist/higher ed/arts grant writer/educator and a computer programmer/career counselor) and ultimate have two grandchildren, one a great journalism teacher and the other a PA who is finishing his rotations and thinking seriously of going on the med school as I heard him tell his grandmother today.  Whew!

Many of those who know me think I am a Bonfy as that is my last name, but that is my name by marriage from 22 years ago and I have kept in honor of my son, in-laws and ex, Devon, all of whom love dearly. So my birth name was Dumenil, so I present to you: my father Charles Dumenil, mother Jeanne Dumenil, Marc Perkins (nephew), Valerie Perkins (sister), and Ashley Perkins Watkins (niece). I think you can probably tell which of us are extroverts and the one who wanted to not show up on Facebook (blur intentional). Happy Birthday, daddy!

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Interesting News from Toyota

Driving the car Toyota wants to save the world with

 

By  | Motoramic


Toyota has seen the future of alternative transportation, and it’s a landscape dominated by fuel-cell vehicles that convert hydrogen to electricity and emit only water out the tailpipe — or so the world’s top-selling automaker hopes.

Hydrogen fuel cells have been a dream of the industry for decades as a potential way to end greenhouse-gas emissions from vehicles, which account for about 15 percent of the carbon dioxide dumped by civilization into the atmosphere every year.

A long-time proponent of hydrogen power, Toyota reaffirmed its commitment last week, saying it would sell a fuel-cell car to the public by 2015 for about $50,000 a copy. To prove its veracity, the automaker flew a handful of journalists to its home-base in Japan to test drive the company’s latest and most advanced fuel cell vehicle.

Unfortunately, the vehicle we drove was not production ready. Instead, it was a research mule, designed to mirror the performance and handling characteristics of the production model, but not how it will look. Toyota plans to reveal exterior styling at next month’s Tokyo Motor Show, which should be largely be based on the FCV-R concept unveiled at the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show.

The mule was a camouflaged Lexus HS 200h, a model sold only briefly in the U.S., outfitted with the production version of Toyota’s new, smaller, more efficient and more powerful fuel cell system. It was about the size of a Prius and shared a lot of the same systems with the hybrid, as will the production model, according to Toyota engineers. Which systems, you ask? No one would say for sure.

Engineers did tell the group that the new FCV will carry 5 kilograms of hydrogen compressed to about 10,000 psi, enough to give the car a range of more than 300 miles. The refueling process takes about three minutes: You roll up to the pump, insert a hose and press a button. A sensor inside the hose ensures the nozzle has made a proper connection and automatically fills until the tank reaches to maximum pressure.

Beyond that, details of the new vehicle are a bit sketchy. Satoshi Ogiso, head of fuel cell development and electric-drive vehicle programs for Toyota, said total output would be “about” 100 kilowatts, the same as the Highlander fuel-cell tester Toyota has been developing for years, but declined to get more specific or answer how much horsepower the system would generate. (Our best guesstimate? Somewhere around 150 hp.)

While our time in the saddle was short, we found the car offered quick acceleration (we were able to chirp the tires from a standstill) and rather sharp handling (although it did lean a bit for tastes). Steering was numb, yet responsive. And the ride was a bit on the soft side. A sports car the new FCV isn’t, but it was much more fun to drive than the duller than dishwater Prius.

Before fuel cell vehicles can reach consumer acceptance, says Toyota, the price of the car must drop and a much larger fueling infrastructure must be in place. The auto industry has been developing fuel cell “stacks” using costly platinum as the catalyst for generating power from hydrogen for many years. Consequently, fuel cells are either prohibitively expensive because of the high cost of the precious metal, or prone to degrade quickly.

To help reduce these costs, Toyota engineer Hitoshi Nomasa said the company has cut its use of platinum, from around 100 grams in the fuel cell of its current hydrogen-powered SUV model to around 30 grams. The company hopes to bring that down to around 20 grams before the end of the decade. Toyota will also use less carbon-fiber in the high-pressure hydrogen tanks.

Meanwhile, the United States has all of 10 public hydrogen fueling stations, mostly on the West Coast, but California has contracted to build 100 more over the next decade. Japan, Germany and South Korea also have government programs dedicated to building networks ofhydrogen fuel stations; and while some critics note that most commercial hydrogen comes from natural gas, limiting the amount of carbon dioxide saved, backers say it would only take a small number of hydrogen stations around major cities to make fuel cells a viable alternative.

Toyota isn’t alone in its desire to become the leader in race for hydrogen fuel cell supremacy. Daimler, Ford, Honda, Hyundai, and General Motors have all invested billions of dollars into fuel cells over the years, and plan to release hydrogen-powered vehicles over the next few years. Yet similar plans in the past have been delayed or dropped due to challenges of cost and infrastructure. With its FCV, Toyota hopes those hurdles finally fall.

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