Climate change: an increasingly hot topic

Imai Jen-La Plante reports on conCERNed activity before the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, coming up on June 20 – 22.

The Globe of Science and Innovation: a symbol of sustainability (Photo: Jiri Kvita)

The Globe of Science and Innovation: a symbol of sustainability (Photo: Jiri Kvita)

Looking forward to the Rio+20 summit? So are we.

The conference could deliver major progress on global environmental policy, if delegates get enough encouragement to produce results. There are ways to energize the discussion from around the world, saving the carbon emissions of a flight to Brazil. One such initiative challenged people to connect the dots between extreme weather events and climate change.

Dots (colliding and otherwise) are plentiful at CERN. Joel Jones identified a big one: the Globe of Science and Innovation. With photos contributed by conCERNed members, he and Claire David designed the poster shown above, which was featured among European activities for Climate Impact Day.

Also in Geneva, participants from such far-flung locations as Fribourg and Nyon gathered around another dot, the Rond-Point de Plainpalais. This video captures the action as climate enthusiasts freeze for 350 seconds in the midst of rain and busy Saturday shoppers. A return to the indicated atmospheric CO2 level of 350 parts per million, often discussed as a safe threshold, is increasingly elusive.

In other climate news, a recent CERN colloquium highlighted challenges in the work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. These examples illustrate the important role of scientists as communicators. If you agree that “positive feedback” is not always a good thing, it is time to spread the word.

Feeling the heat and ready to contribute? Join the conCERNed mailing list to hear about future activities and check out 350.org.

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One Response to Climate change: an increasingly hot topic

  1. Sergio Grancagnolo says:

    Being aware of the problem and spread it it was a first important step to perform.
    A next step if surely to continue to participate to the discussion and ask for global changes.

    What to do while these requests are ignored or not sufficient to revert the current trends?

    Which actions should be proposed that can be implemented today in everybody life and that

    – can be sustained in the long term, i.e. do not finally depend on some limited resources
    – have the speed of change (and implementation time) required to meet current trend in atmospheric heating
    – can be implemented in everybody life in an acceptable way (i.e. today sacrifices would make a better tomorrow but also a better today)

    ?

    A useful discussion will be based on quantitative answer and on scientific facts.

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