Importance of Natural Resources

Stanford Climate Solutions


(soft music) – Stanford University. – Climate change is no longer theoretical. It’s here. Atmospheric CO2 is 40% higher
than in preindustrial times. Heat waves are more intense. Droughts are more severe. Wildfire risk is up. Sea levels are rising. Heavier rains are causing
devastating floods. Infectious diseases are spreading as mosquito habitat zones expand. Economic inequality is growing. By 2050, Earth’s population
will reach perhaps nine billion, requiring even more energy and food without the greenhouse gases. At Stanford, we are looking
at solutions from every angle. – I’m a climate scientist. – I’m an environmental lawyer. – I’m an earth scientist. – I am a biologist. – I’m a glaciologist. – I’m an energy scientist. – I’m a behavioral decision scientist. – I’m an atmospheric scientist. – I’m an earth scientist. – I’m a geophysicist. – I’m an ecologist. – I’m a climate scientist. – I work at the intersection
of environmental engineering and infrastructure planning. – In order to understand climate change we need to understand
the full Earth system. – Sea level rise is having consequences for people who live on the coast. Putting careful numbers
around how much the ice sheets will contribute to that
is a critical component in creating thoughtful, informed policy and adaptation measures. – If we were able to say
in the next 10-year period, we are going to have five
or seven or eight winters that are going to be anomalously bad compared with the normal now that would be tremendously useful. – What we’ve experienced in California over the last couple of years is that climate damages are now. Scores are killed, tens of
thousands of homes burned down. There is enormous investment
in trying to improve the modeling approaches to wildfire risk, to understand what is
the risk at your house? – These types of events,
like extreme weather events, tend to help people make that link between climate change and their lives. – Climate change is really a side effect of something that benefits humanity. We need access to energy resources and the combustion of fossil fuels release greenhouse
gases to the atmosphere. – We can’t solve the climate problem without solving the energy problem. We recognize that having a reliable low cost electricity system
is absolutely crucial. We’re at the forefront of
technologies in batteries and solar and wind and
geothermal and hydro power, carbon capture and storage, natural gas as a transition fuel. At the end of the day, we can develop all of the technologies that we want, but what’s going to make a difference is whether we implement them. – The entire world could
lose 20% of GDP this century if we fail to do anything about it. – We can put a price tag on
services provided by nature. The Natural Capital Project
is playing a major role in the transformation underway in China. We’re helping to develop
a suite of new technology that will transform the way
investments are made in nature. And these software tools are
being used by 185 countries. – So in Costa Rica we’re partnered with some of the government agencies that are really interested in learning how we can apply these ecological
concepts to improve policy around both land management
and human disease risk. – A couple of colleagues and
myself have started a company that’s serving data to the
needs of the developing world to really push forward
whether we’re able to feed the populations with the
existing lands that we have. – My group works with local governments in countries like Haiti and
Mozambique and Bangladesh to engineer water and sanitation
solutions that really fit. – We are working with San Mateo county to understand socioeconomic
impacts of sea-level rise. We are also working with San Jose to better understanding
compound risk from flooding. – So we have a new
administration in Sacramento. We’re trying to help them think through how can we move towards
100% renewable power. – Some of our emissions work has ended up in state laws and federal laws. – I’ve had the opportunity
to testify before Congress about building a climate
resilient America. – We’re already finding solutions today. What we need even more of
is leadership, consensus, investment and something
that’s already happening: excitement and energy
from a new generation. – Stanford has really
done a phenomenal job of laying the foundations to now meet one of the most critical
existential threats of the 21st century, and that
is meeting climate change. We have to drive solutions at scale by advancing fundamental science, technology and future partnerships. We’re ready, we have the foundation and now we need to launch into the future.


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