Prof: Cut carbon use
Climate change has dire implications for the world and will not be curbed unless people control carbon output and energy usage, said Ronald Sass, professor emeritus of natural sciences at Rice University.
"I’ve been trying to convince the world that science is correct for global change," Sass said. "There is a problem. We do have global warming, and we are responsible for it. The question is, what do we do about it?"
Sass said individual contributions can help.
"People can adapt to the effects of climate change or solve the problem of mitigation," Sass said. "This will require a big shift in the culture of people as well as new and improved technology."
After a brief introduction of historical energy consumption, Sass introduced the "wedge approach" of emission stabilization.
Sass identified 15 stabilization wedges, which he said can alleviate carbon emissions only if the world pays careful attention to them. These ideas should be put into action as quickly as possible if people want to see improvement, he said.
Some of the examples include the use of more efficient vehicles, the trimming of carbon emissions in buildings and appliances and the construction of more effective base-load coal power plants.
In addition, the wedge model analyzes the best ways to accelerate global adoption of technologies through government policies and financial investment, he said.
Sass’ lecture was part of an eight-part series, The Science and Policy of Climate Change at the University of Houston, in which experts on energy and the environment will participate to raise awareness and analyze solutions to the effects of global warming.
The lectures will be given by a group of guest speakers selected by Peter Bishop, futurist and associate professor of strategic foresight at UH, and Barry Lefer, a UH assistant professor of atmospheric science.
"The importance of these lectures is to educate," Lefer said. "People will have a chance to talk to an expert and ask them questions."
Lectures will be held from 5:45 to 7:15 p.m. Mondays through Nov.17 in Room 101, Cameron Building. The lectures are free to the public.
For more information, contact College of Technology educational and production specialist Beatriz Arnillas at [email protected] or (713) 743-4637
The Science and Policy of Climate Change
Each lecture will be held from 5:45 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. on Mondays through Nov. 17 at Room 101, Cameron Building. Events are free to the public.
Monday: Economics of energy production and emissions
Oct. 20: Carbon emissions, capture, sequestration
Oct. 27: Non-carbon electricity production
Nov. 3: Materials
Nov. 10: Architecture
Nov. 17: Transportation (vehicle efficiency)