Jon Beall—Citizen’s Climate Lobby and Global Warming

Posted by on Tuesday, November 7th, 2017 in Blog

Reported by Patrick Van Haren

Richard Payton introduced Jon Beall of the Citizen’s Climate Lobby who spoke on Climate Change. Jon is a former Rotary Club of Austin member (1990-2002) and is very active in conservation issues in Central Texas. Jon co-presented with Joy Cunningham. Jon began the presentation explaining the Citizen’s Climate Lobby was pursuing a Carbon Fee and Dividend Plan that enables individuals to make market based decisions about climate change.

Joy Cunningham provided additional information and a small postcard providing further explanation. She also added that the Climate Solutions Caucus in the US House of Representatives has now grown to 60 members (50% Republican and 50% Democrat) an increase of 428% since 2016 when there were only 14 members.

Jon explained that what has the scientific community in a state of great alert is the speed of change of carbon (ppm) in the atmosphere. He stated that the last time atmospheric carbon was at the current levels was in the Pliocene period, when the oceans were at 100 feet above sea level. The carbolic acids produce acidification of the oceans resulting in the loss of coral (bleaching). In 2016, approximately 900 miles of the Great Barrier Reef in Australia was lost due to bleaching.

Jon also indicated that international crises such as the Syrian War have been connected by some to the massive drought which drove 300 million people from their farmland into the cities of Syria and the middle east, creating large scale crisis’s in the region. He noted that the military views Climate Change and the mass migration of populations as a national security threat.

Weather extremes continue to dominate the news when they happen, such as Typhoon Yolanda which hit the Philippines as the strongest typhoon ever recorded in 2013. In 2015, Hurricane Patricia, which hit the western coast of Mexico, became the second most intense tropical storm on record worldwide with maximum sustained winds of 215 mph.

Jon explained that, economically, Texas has a great opportunity with its large inventories of solar and wind energy. Austin Energy and LCRA (Lower Colorado River Authority) are helping to lead the way with large investments in renewable energy. Jon also pointed out the magnitude of LCRA’s coal activities in which the Fayetteville power plant consumes 3 trainloads of coal every 3 days, each of which has 132 cars containing 120 tons of coal each.

Questions followed the presentation.

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