Monday, October 19, 2009

Dr. Stephen Schneider to Lecture at LSU

Title: Managing Risks and Opportunities in a Changing Climate.

Location: LSU Campus (Dalton Woods Auditorium; Energy, Coast &
Environment Bldg)

Date: Tuesday, October 20

Time: 7:00pm

Lecture Synopsis

No change to a complex system like the coupled human-natural system we live in could be all good or all bad. In other words there are both risks and opportunities. Unfortunately these are not uniformly distributed around the globe, and the negatives often congregate in inequitable ways, such as particular vulnerability to poor people in hot countries, those in the high Arctic, species already endangered or threatened, people living in drought and fire prone areas, small islands, indigenous groups, and residents of "hurricane alley", among others. Although carbon dioxide increases can improve crop yields, it threatens to increase the acidity of the oceans threatening the bottom of the food chain and to intensify hurricanes and raise sea levels. How to weigh these incommensurate entities raises doubts about the general applicability of technical analytic methods like cost/benefit analysis.
A range of trade offs in non-monetizable metrics is created by climate change and climate policies, and these will be highlighted, stressing factors relevant to the Gulf Coast region. Ultimately policy is determined by how the political system adjudicates the different values different constituencies place on different amenities.

About Stephen Schneider

Stephen H. Schneider is the Melvin and Joan Lane Professor for Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies, Professor of Biology, and a Senior Fellow in the Woods Institute for the Environment at Stanford University. He served as an NCAR scientist from 1973-1996, where he co-founded the Climate Project. He focuses on climate change science, integrated assessment of ecological and economic impacts of human-induced climate change, and identifying viable climate policies and technological solutions. He has consulted for federal agencies and White House staff in six administrations. Involved with the IPCC since 1988, he was Coordinating Lead Author, WG II, Chapter 19, "Assessing Key Vulnerabilities and the Risk from Climate Change" and a core writer for the Fourth Assessment Synthesis Report. He along with four generations of IPCC authors received a collective Nobel Peace Prize for their joint efforts in 2007. Elected to the US National Academy of Sciences in 2002, Dr. Schneider received the American Association for the Advancement of Science/ Westinghouse Award for Public Understanding of Science and Technology and a MacArthur Fellowship for integrating and interpreting the results of global climate research. Founder/ editor of Climatic Change, he has authored or co-authored over 500 books, scientific papers, proceedings, legislative testimonies, edited books and chapters, reviews and editorials. Dr. Schneider counsels policy makers, corporate executives, and non-profit stakeholders about using risk management strategies in climate-policy decision-making, given the uncertainties in future projections of global climate change and related impacts. He is actively engaged in improving public understanding of science and the environment through extensive media communication and public outreach.

With Special Thanks to these LSU programs:

-- Southern Climate Impacts Planning Program
-- Southern Regional Climate Center
-- Department of Geography and Anthropology
-- Coastal Sustainability Agenda
-- Office of Research and Economic Development
-- School of the Coast and Environment