Most shocking thing I learned last weekend: A huge Antarctic ice shelf disintegrated over a 35-day period in 2002, much to the surprise of the scientists tracking it. This shelf, designated Larsen B, was about 700 feet thick and covered 3,500 square km — about the area of Rhode Island. The scientists who studied this came to the conclusion that it broke up so quickly because pooling water on the top of the shelf had actually tunneled down through the ice, perforating it and making it far weaker than its 700-foot thickness would indicate.
Now the same thing is happening on Greenland’s glaciers: Pooling water is tunneling through the ice, weaking it and causing it to crack and shift.
If all of Greenland’s ice were to melt into the ocean, sea level would rise by about 20 feet worldwide. That would put my house well under water — along with the houses of tens of millions of other people worldwide.
It’s safe to say that I came back from my two-day climate change training in Nashville with my hair on fire about global warming. Al Gore pumped us full of facts. Climate scientists answered our questions. National Wildlife Fund execs gave us tons of information on what people can do to reduce CO2 emissions and help avert even more massive climate change. We practiced presentation skills. And we trainees hung out together and bonded in the hotel lobby and in a variety of country-music bars downtown.
I’ve been to a lot of conferences where attendees are trapped in a hotel ballroom for days on end, but I’ve never been to one where I (along with everyone else) was actually eager to get back into that ballroom after each break. There was a lot of momentum building in that room, and it was stunning to see it and take part in it. I feel very lucky to have been there.
Now I have to spend some time mastering this material, and preparing and rehearsing the presentation that I will be giving to everyone and anyone who wants to hear it. What I’ll be talking about, come January, is the science of global warming (and I’ve got some truly stunning imagery to show, along with hair-raising statistics), plus the opportunities for people — and for companies — to do something about it.
Starting in January I will be giving presentations on climate change to any Bay Area audiences willing to listen. I’ll have 20-minute, 40-minute, and 60-minute versions of the presentation. And I will have a version tailored to the business opportunities in averting climate change as well as one aimed at individuals. If you’re interested in having me speak to your group, company, church, or other organization, drop me a line at my home email address: dylan at tweney dot com, or call me at 415-373-6003.
More to come soon.