Dan Miller's presentation focuses on why the UN IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) reports are actually best case scenarios. For example, IPCC climate models do not include the effect of melting permafrost releasing greenhouse gases, even though the permafrost is melting now and it holds more greenhouse gases than all that mankind has ever released.
Another example is that IPCC predictions of sea level rise only take into account thermal expansion of the oceans and melting of glaciers; the largest factor, disintegration of glaciers, was not included because it is hard to model. The result is that sea level rise will likely be substantially higher this century than the IPCC predicts.
Miller discusses several other potential catastrophes that are not included in IPCC predictions and also discusses tipping points that could put climate change solutions out of our reach in years or decades, the psychology of climate change, and why it is difficult for people to respond to the threat posed by a warming earth.
His talk concludes with a discussion of ways to address climate change and the risks and opportunities that companies face due to the climate crisis.
Dan Miller is Managing Director of the Roda Group. He is the former president of Ask Jeeves, Inc., a Roda Group affiliate company. He is currently working with a number of Roda Group affiliated companies to assist them with their business development efforts. Mr. Miller sits on the Board of several Roda Group companies.
At the end of 1994, Mr. Miller retired from his position as Executive Vice President of TCSI Corporation (Nasdaq: TCSI), a company he co-founded with his Roda Group partner, Roger Strauch. Mr. Miller retired from the Board of Directors of TCSI in June of 1997. TCSI is a leading provider of integrated software products and services for the global telecommunications industry.
Prior to TCSI, Mr. Miller was a systems engineer at Hughes Aircraft's Space and Communications Group where he was responsible for designing communications payloads for commercial communications satellites.
Dan Miller, trained by Al Gore to give the Inconvenient Truth presentation, displays images of arctic ice melting trends at the North Pole. He explains how an light once reflected off the surface of the melting ice is now absorbed by water, priming a feedback loop that continuously accelerates the melting process.
Dan Miller, trained by Al Gore to give the Inconvenient Truth presentation, discusses the environmental threat from methane gas contained within melting permafrost. Miller claims the melting permafrost contains twice as much CO2 as Earth's entire atmosphere.
Dan Miller, trained by Al Gore to give the Inconvenient Truth presentation, lists some promising ideas for combating climate change with geoengineering. Though most methods seem far-fetched, research shows they could be effective. He stresses geoengineering will do no good without also drastically reducing carbon emissions.
Increase in the global average surface temperature resulting from enhancement of the greenhouse effect, primarily by air pollution. In 2007 the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change forecasted that by 2100 global average surface temperatures would increase 3.27.2 °F (1.84.0 °C), depending on a range of scenarios for greenhouse gas emissions, and stated that it was now 90 percent certain that most of the warming observed over the previous half century could be attributed to greenhouse gas emissions produced by human activities (i.e., industrial processes and transportation). Many scientists predict that such an increase in temperature would cause polar ice caps and mountain glaciers to melt rapidly, significantly raising the levels of coastal waters, and would produce new patterns and extremes of drought and rainfall, seriously disrupting food production in certain regions. Other scientists maintain that such predictions are overstated. The 1992 Earth Summit and the 1997 Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change attempted to address the issue of global warming, but in both cases the efforts were hindered by conflicting national economic agendas and disputes between developed and developing nations over the cost and consequences of reducing emissions of greenhouse gases.
As I mentioned in the talk, geo-engineering is like chemotherapy. It has serious side-effects, but the impact of not doing it (possible collapse of civilization) may not be acceptable. Some approaches, such as reforestation, don't have serious downsides. Putting smoke in the upper atmosphere is relatively easy and would work, but it could cause serious disruptions to weather patterns and might do things like impact the ozone layer. It also does not fix the problem of too much CO2, it only hides it for a while.
All coast lines will be effected by ~6 feet (2m) of sea level rise this century. However, Florida is so flat and so many people live within a few miles of the coast, it will be affected more than most other places. A problem of sea level rise that many people overlook is that, once it starts, it doesn't stop. So there isn't a new "safe" place to build on the coast. Each decade (in fits and starts) more and more coastline will be submerged.
Some parts of the lecture are extremely depressing., especially when Dan says that the first thing we should do is to ask for our children for forgiveness as their life would be hell no matter what.
At around 18:50 he brings up an interesting point that now it is time to stop buying Florida’s real estate which would go down in price drastically. Would it apply to the West coast and Bay area? Does it mean that it safer to move to the mid-America in the nearest future?
Absolutely agree. Brilliant lecture! I have particularly enjoyed his explanation of geoengineering, a concept that was previously unclear to me. He speaks a lot about the pros of it, but I wonder if there's any cons of geoengineering not including the fact that it is very expensive.