You are cordially invited to attend my weekend Climate 101 seminar in Belfast in December. Seating is limited to 15 (by space and to ensure adequate attention to questions). Pre-registration is necessary; please contact me for registration.
Dates and locations
- Belfast: Saturday, December 14 and Sunday, December 15, 17A Main St
- Free overviews on Wednesday, December 11 and Friday, December 13, 6 – 7:30 pm. Please RSVP by 24 hours in advance to ensure seating (so that I can set up in a room large enough for all participants).
See my online brochure for details of content, free introductory overview slide shows, locations, times, and pre-registration deadlines (required). Additional introductory overview lectures and discussions of variable lengths from 15 minutes to 2 hours are available upon request.
I have offered free public lectures about this topic to thousands in Maine and Oregon; hundreds have subsequently participated in the seminar. The reviews of the seminar are consistently positive. Example testimonials and letters of support are here. I can provide additional testimonials, and have students who will share their experiences of the course on request. I will respond to all queries promptly.
Climate 101 is unique in Maine – and probably the US. Why? No teacher, program or organization (of whom I am aware) offers such a thorough explanation of abrupt climate change explicitly grounded in system sciences in a short seminar; all necessary systems principles are explained during the seminar in easy to understand terms.
The principles themselves are elegant and awe-inspiring in terms of the new understanding they yield about Earth and life, and are understandable by any adult with any background (including no science). System sciences make a HUGE (!) difference in how we understand and deal with climate change relative to what’s being portrayed in the media and even from other organizations addressing climate change. I am so confident of these statements that I offer a money back guarantee if you are not satisfied.
The IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) reports have consistently and significantly underestimated the size and frequency of effects because: 1) it is strongly politically influenced, and 2) the models that they use to draw conclusions are lacking sufficient representation of positive (accelerating) feedback processes.
Large-scale, abrupt climate change has already begun and is accelerating; it will NOT be linear and slow over a century or more, but abrupt and rapid in an unpredictable way with the potential for more radical change in a single decade than our species has experienced in its million year history, leading Earth to a very different, nearly unrecognizable state by around mid-century.
That statement is grounded in a recent paper published in the PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences demonstrating that the onset of the last major global heating event 55 million years ago – called the PETM – occurred in a single decade. Our current situation has the ear marks of another PETM-like event in terms of its speed, acceleration and magnitude of the changes underway. It will change the course of civilization; some believe that it will either collapse civilization or force a MAJOR make-over. It will even threaten the existence our species.
Furthermore, Climate 101 is unique (at least in Maine) in another very important way. That is, it does not treat global heating and climate change as merely an “environmental” issue, but as a symptom of a severe disruption in the self-regulating planetary system (homeostasis) as explained by a subset of system sciences called geophysiology (or planetary physiology, like Earth System Sciences but with a more explicit treatment using concepts from physiology and principles of cybernetics).
This is crucial for our understanding and properly addressing this issue, because classical approaches to environmental problems will not be sufficient to address the crisis. Addressing it properly requires a new framing of the problem in terms of system sciences and geophysiology; indeed, we need a whole new set of mental models to understand the problem, let alone address it. Fortunately, those models are available, easy to understand and included in this seminar (and other seminars in my Earth 1 series, of which Climate 101 is but one component).
I have scheduled these seminars close to the holidays. Why not wait until the new year? Because our climate crisis is a slow motion planetary emergency that must be addressed at local scales. Its onset will not slow for holidays (any more than super-storms like Sandy and Haiyan), and we must quickly educate ourselves about the clear and present challenges so that we can accelerate preparations to address those challenges via mitigation to the extent possible, while simultaneously increasing our community resilience (adaptability, not adaptation) via shockproofing systems to meet basic needs like shelter, water, food, energy, transportation, health care and security.
The faster our communities can grasp it in head and heart, the faster we can mitigate (to the extent possible, even though stopping it now is impossible) and – equally important – prepare to deal with it. There are many positive things that we can do about this using available knowledge and technology, but we must act quickly. Not next decade, not next year – NOW. We owe this effort to the next generation. Their future will only be secure if we act quickly.
My seminars are lecture/slide show driven using software called Prezi which allows dynamic, engaging, nonlinear presentations (unlike Powerpoint’s strictly linear mode). Participants receive a full set of notes and online access to the slide show. Classes are relaxed but interactive and paced for engagement. Questions are encouraged during lectures, and extended discussion is invited at designated times. We take morning, lunch and afternoon breaks, and often adjourn to nearby spot (e.g., Front Street Pub across the street) for continued conversation.