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Science Matters

Global Climate Change and the Human Response

Saturday, April 21, 2007

There is now little debate within the scientific community that the Earth is warming. While not all scientists agree on the extent of human impact or on what the consequences of warming will be, a group of 2,500 top scientists from more than 130 nations and representatives of 113 governments recently called global warming ‘unequivocal’, and concluded that human activity is the main driver, 'very likely' causing most of the rise in temperatures since 1950 (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fourth Assessment Report, 2007). As a result, considerable debate is currently being focused on how human society should respond to the challenge of global climate change. Depending on views of the degree of anthropogenic climate change and other considerations, viewpoints range from advocating governmental legislation, to voluntary reductions of carbon emissions and investment in innovative high-tech solutions. A science presentation explained the current science of global warming, the means by which scientists evaluate the effects of human activities, and predict the impact of future climate change. In this light, panelists discussed the range of human responses to global warming and the potential roles played by government, business and private citizens.

Click to download Dr. Fung's PowerPoint presentation.
Click to download Dr. Benford's PowerPoint presentation.

Panel Discussion:

Five featured panelists offered different perspectives on the approaches required to deal with climate change. Panelists included: (click name for bio)

Conan Nolan—moderator

Reporter, NBC4

Inez Fung, Sc.D.

Professor of Atmospheric Science at UC Berkeley and Co-Director of Berkeley Institute of the Environment

Gregory Benford, Ph.D.

Professor of Physics at the University of California at Irvine

Allan Zaremberg

President and CEO of the California Chamber of Commerce

Fran Pavley

Former Assemblymember (D-Agoura Hills), Senior Climate Advisor, National Resources Defense Council

Eric Garcetti

Los Angeles City Council President
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