Category: Features

COP24 video: Three need-to-knows from the UN climate talks in Katowice

COP24 video: Three need-to-knows from the UN climate talks in Katowice

By Carbon Brief

The latest round of international climate negotiations concluded late on Saturday evening in Katowice, Poland.

COP24 gathered diplomats from around the world to, among other things, agree on the “rulebook” for the Paris Agreement on climate change, which was first struck in 2015, but will not formally be coming into force until 2020.

Carbon Brief’s video brings you three key details you need to know about the UN talks this year.

The video explains why Poland hosting the talks provided a controversial coal-tinged theme. Meanwhile, Naoyuki Yamagishi, head of climate and energy at WWF Japan, explains why the call for countries to “raise ambition” proved to be such a talking point.


This content was originally published on Carbon Brief and is shared under a Creative Commons license.

Watch out for Acclimatise’s COP24 summary on all things adaptation!

Cover photo by UNFCCC/Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0): Conclusion Meeting of COP24 Plenary.
This New Climate – Episode 2: Running dry – dealing with water scarcity

This New Climate – Episode 2: Running dry – dealing with water scarcity

In the second episode of This New Climate, host Will Bugler explores why it is so difficult to manage water resources and presents Water2Invest – a new tool that helps decision makers make smarter choices about managing water supply and demand. The world’s population has tripled over the last 100 years, but according to the UN, water demand has been growing at more than twice that rate making water scarcity one of the defining challenges of our time. And climate change will only compound the problem. Water2Invest, aims to help decision makers to take the right choices when investing in solutions to tackle water scarcity, potentially providing a powerful new tool to help tackle this crisis.

Episode guests: Gisela Kaiser from the City of Cape Town, Mark Bierkens from Utrecht University, and Daniel Zimmer from EIT Climate-KIC.

This New Climate is an Acclimatise production.

Water2Invest is an EIT Climate-KIC supported innovation initiative.

Further information:

Water2Invest

City of Cape Town

Utrecht University

Climate-KIC

This New Climate – Episode 1: EIT Climate-KIC & the quest for deep innovation

This New Climate – Episode 1: EIT Climate-KIC & the quest for deep innovation

In the first episode of This New Climate, host Will Bugler introduces EIT Climate-KIC and explores how they are stimulating innovation in the face of a challenge as great as climate change. The episode unpicks how EIT Climate-KIC is working to foster change at the systems level, in an effort to bring about transformative change. Listen to this episode and learn why climate instability demands new ways of thinking about innovation, and how EIT Climate-KIC is trying to support scalable solutions to the most pressing climate challenges.

Episode guests: Tom Mitchell, Daniel Zimmer, Scott Williams and Sean Lockie from EIT Climate-KIC.

This New Climate is an Acclimatise production.


Further information:

This New Climate: New podcast exploring the innovations that tackle climate change launched

This New Climate: New podcast exploring the innovations that tackle climate change launched

This New Climate, a new podcast that explores the innovations that are being developed to transform the world in the face of climate change, will launch this November. The first six-episode series investigates some of the toughest climate challenges of our times and tells the stories of the projects and people who are grappling with them.

This New Climate is an Acclimatise production and the first series is produced in conjunction with the Knowledge and Innovation Community – EIT Climate-KIC – created and supported by the European Institute for Innovation and Technology (EIT). The series explores five EIT Climate-KIC-supported projects or programmes that are tackling issues related to water, agriculture, urban development, supply chains and insurance. Episodes will be published fortnightly starting on 30 November 2018.

The podcast focusses on innovations that can help humanity adapt to a new climate reality. As we enter a new era that will be governed by its ability to respond to a climate system that does not behave how it used to. Our civilisation has emerged in a stable climate. This New Climate asks the questions: what happens when that stable climate breaks down and what can we do about it?

Episode summaries:

1 – EIT Climate-KIC and the quest for deep innovation: The first episode introduces EIT Climate-KIC and explores how its approach to stimulating innovation in the face of a challenge as great as climate change. In particular, it unravels how EIT Climate-KIC aims to foster change at the systems level in an effort to bring about transformative change.

2 – Running dry: dealing with water scarcity: The world faces a water scarcity crisis. Geisler Kaiser, Executive Direct of Informal settlements, Water & Waste, for the City of Cape Town takes up the story of the city’s water scarcity crisis as it approaches ‘day zero’ in early 2018. This episode explores why it is so difficult to manage water resources and presents Water2Invest – a new tool that helps decision makers make smarter choices about managing water supply and demand.

3 – OASIS and the democratisation of climate data: Climate data and information is at the very heart of efforts for insurance companies to price risk and respond to extreme events, such as hurricanes. Steve Bowen, Director of the Catastrophe Insight team at insurance giant Aon, explains why data was central to Aon’s response to hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. The episode tells the story of how the OASIS group of companies are seeking to transform our ability to understand climate risk through a commitment to open source data.

4 – Agriculture on the front lines: The agriculture industry feels the effects of climate change very acutely.  Iris Bouwers, farmer and Vice-President of the European Council of Young Farmers, tells the story of how her farm and those of her fellow farmers around Europe suffered during the recent drought. The episode then explores a suite of innovations that are helping farmers to adapt, including Agro Adapt that helps policy makers assess the impacts of climate change across the industry, and PhenoPiCam, an innovation that is helping winemakers maintain quality as the world warms.

5 – The blue green dream: Cities are concentrated centres of climate risk with large populations, high levels of economic activity and expensive cost of properties. But they are also centres of innovation. This episode explores how nature-based solutions are being developed that can make cities better able to cope with climate impacts like extreme heat and flooding. London-based NHS nurse Claire Herne gives an insight into her experience working in heatwaves and gives an indication of how these conditions can have severe impacts for patients.

6 – Sharing supply chain risk: everyone’s a WINnER? Few appreciate the intricate network of suppliers, traders and retailers that make up the food supply network. This episode explores how the risks of climate change are being disproportionately shouldered by smallholder famers, and presents an innovative project called WINnERS, that has helped farmers in Tanzania to share the cost of climate change more evenly across the supply chain.

For more information about This New Climate, please visit: www.acclimatise.uk.com/thisnewclimate


About Acclimatise

Acclimatise is a specialist advisory and analytics company providing expertise in climate change adaptation and risk management. We bridge the gap between the latest scientific developments and real-world decision-making, helping our clients to introduce cost-effective measures to prepare for the challenges that climate change will bring. From the very beginning, we have focussed solely on adaptation, which has allowed us to become leaders in the field. Our work is still shaping the adaptation agenda across the world.

www.acclimatise.uk.com

About EIT Climate-KIC

EIT Climate-KIC is a European knowledge and innovation community, working to accelerate the transition to a zero-carbon economy. Supported by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology, we identify and support innovation that helps society mitigate and adapt to climate change. We believe that a decarbonised, sustainable economy is not only necessary to prevent catastrophic climate change, but presents a wealth of opportunities for business and society.

https://www.climate-kic.org/

Key Contacts

Video: How (not) to talk about climate change

Video: How (not) to talk about climate change

By Elisa Jiménez Alonso

Just ahead of the weekend, we want to share a short and fun video that shows how you can improve the way you talk about climate change with others.

The video was created by YouTuber ClimateAdam together with Climate Outreach for Green Great Britain Week. It provides three very simple suggestions to get people talking and thinking about climate change:

  1. Talk about things they care about and engage with their concerns. To start a conversation, you are better off talking about things that directly affect them.
  2. Closely connected to that: Listen to people. And don’t overwhelm them with lots of facts. Unless you work on climate change, it is hard to make the connection between what sounds like a tiny temperature increase – 2 degrees Celsius – and catastrophic climate impacts.
  3. Help them consider how they can align personal choices with their convictions. There are many small lifestyle choices people can make, which in sum could have a positive impact.

Check out the video:

A journey across Alaska to discover climate change: Part 2

A journey across Alaska to discover climate change: Part 2

By Brooke Larsen and Alastair Baglee

Brooke Larsen and Kailey Kornhauser are bicycle riding across Alaska. Unsupported and self-propelled, they recently won a ‘Lael Rides Alaska’ women’s scholarship to ride 1001 miles from the coastal town of Seward in the south, all the way to Deadhorse and the Arctic Ocean in search of stories about climate change.

In Part 1 we saw Brooke and Kailey reach their journey’s half way point at Fairbanks. Now the real challenge awaits as they head north to the town of Deadhorse on Alaska’s North Slope high in the Arctic along the remote, steep and unpaved Dalton Highway.

Before setting off on the Dalton Highway, we listened to more stories from folks in Fairbanks and reflected on the impacts of a warming world we had witnessed thus far. We couldn’t stop thinking about our conversation with permafrost researchers at Eight Mile Lake off of Stampede Road, not far from Denali National Park and the place where Chris McCandless of Into the Wild died. Once we reached the research site, after biking up a series of short but painfully steep hills, we had to walk along narrow wood planks over thawing, muddy ground. We learned from the Northern Arizona University research team that Alaska has always had to deal with seasonal uneven ground, but now areas that once remained frozen are starting to thaw.

A rapidly changing landscape

Researchers from Northern Arizona University.

Historically permafrost has acted as a carbon sink, but as temperatures warm, permafrost thaws and becomes a carbon source. This is a big deal. Arctic permafrost currently stores more carbon than all the carbon humans have emitted into the atmosphere since the Industrial Revolution. While thawing permafrost escalates global climate change, it also has serious implications for the land and ecology of the Arctic. Drainages will change course and composition, the ground will sink, tree lines will move further up in elevation, and animals will change migration patterns. The people that rely on these lands for subsistence and spirituality will lose their way of life.

The researchers all reflected on the emotions of studying such dire science. I remembered a term I had heard from a climate scientist back home: Pre-Traumatic Stress Disorder. The term resonated with the team, and some questioned whether instead of measuring data they should be in the street demanding action. However, Megan, one of the lead researchers, concluded, “We contribute in the ways we can.”

Scott Rupp, the Deputy Director of the International Arctic Research Center.

In Fairbanks, we continued to learn more about the changes rapidly occurring across Alaska from Scott Rupp, the Deputy Director of the International Arctic Research Center. Scott tries to quantify uncertainty by building climate change models that can help Alaskans adapt to a warming world. He noted, “Here, there is such an immediate need for information that there isn’t a lot of time to think about impending doom.” He emphasized that climate change is already impacting almost everybody across the state, even if they don’t realize it yet. Personally, he’s observed big changes in wildfire in the area. While his models show that climate change will increase wildfires in the Boreal forests of central Alaska, Scott has witnessed the increase first hand while living in Fairbanks the past 20 years.

Beyond the science, though, we also heard stories from those on the frontlines. Esau Sinnok, an intern with Native Movement and a student at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks, comes from the Inupiaq community of Shishmaref. Melting sea ice and rising seas have pushed the 600-person Inupiaq community to repeatedly vote to relocate since 1973. Esau expressed skepticism about the community receiving the 250 million dollars needed to relocate. He said, “FEMA won’t do anything until after it falls apart.” The lack of federal assistance stings even deeper when considering that the Inupiaq people didn’t live permanently in Shishmaref prior to colonization. It was an important place for hunting sea life, but not a place for year-round inhabitance. Esau is the lead plaintiff in the case Sinnok v. State of Alaska—a climate lawsuit brought by 16 Alaskan youth. He is focusing on quickly finishing his studies at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks so he can continue to fight for his people. “It’s my responsibility to go back to my community. All 600 people raised me,” he said.

1,000 miles on the Dalton Highway

After meeting with people for a few days in Fairbanks, we finally set off for the most challenging part of our 1,000-mile ride: the Dalton Highway. We were pleasantly surprised by the road condition. Most blogs make the Dalton seem horrible. There was some loose gravel and potholes, but a decent amount of the supposedly unpaved road was paved, and for the most part, the gravel was in better condition than the deep, sandy unpaved roads we bike in the American Southwest. What challenged us more was the road’s grade. In the section known as the “rollercoaster,” hills were so steep we often had to get off and walk our bikes. When we slowed down, mosquitos and gnats swarmed, forcing us to quickly pull out our bug head nets.

The vast wildness of the surrounding landscape kept our spirits high. We often biked until 10 p.m. or later, our path lit by the midnight sun. Over each hill, the Brooks Range revealed more of itself in layers of blue, green, and gray. However, alongside feelings of awe, we also felt grief. While we admired the region’s beauty, we also felt anxiety about the Trans-Alaska Pipeline snaking along a few yards from our pedal strokes. The further north we went, the closer we came to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, a sacred region for the Gwich’n People under imminent threat from oil drilling.

Halfway through our journey, we reached Wiseman, where we stayed with Jack Reakoff, a famous local trapper, hunter, and tour guide whose family moved to Wiseman before the pipeline was built. He let us stay in one of his cabins, ceiling covered in sheep and caribou antlers, a grizzly bear head roaring down on us. We bathed in the Middle Fork Koyukuk River that flowed a couple hundred meters from his yard. Luckily the weather was beautiful, hovering around 80 degrees Fahrenheit (26.6C), making the bitter cold water seem more inviting. When we returned to the cabin, we were greeted by a familiar face. My partner, Galen, was in the middle of editing a film on the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and he couldn’t resist the chance to return to a part of the country he loved.

Brooke and Kailey crossing the Arctic Circle.

The next day we completed the final climb of the journey over Atigun Pass—the highest highway pass in Alaska. We felt such relief when we reached the top and couldn’t wait for a couple days of cruising through the Arctic. However, shortly after we reached the summit, ominous clouds surrounded us. As we descended, rain and mud soaked us. About fifteen miles down from the summit, Kailey’s brakes went out, pushing her into a panic attack as the fog became denser, the rain poured harder, and temperatures neared freezing.

Brooke and Kailey on the Dalton Highway. Photos by Galen Knowles.

The next few days only got colder and wetter. Visibility was so bad that truck drivers pulled over and threw us their vests. We thought the infamous mosquitos would pose the biggest challenge in the Arctic. Instead, temperatures dropped so low that the swarms nearly disappeared. When we finally reached Deadhorse, it was hard to feel celebratory in a town built solely for the oil and gas industry, especially after a miserable couple days of biking. However, spirits rose soon enough as we filled our bellies with warm food, took long hot showers, and slept.

Meeting scientists and campaigners

Bryan Thomas at NOAA’s Barrow Observatory.

Kailey and I reached the final destination of our tour not by bike, but plane. Our flight back to Fairbanks (where we’d fly out from to return home) had a layover in Barrow. We decided to extend our layover in this northern-most U.S. city to interview a few more people. Last year, temperatures reached such abnormally high levels in Barrow that algorithms removed data because it seemed unreal. We spent time with Bryan Thomas at NOAA’s Barrow Observatory, one of four NOAA observatories that contribute data to NOAA’s climate models and the famous Keeling Curve. Bryan works tirelessly to ensure that data collection instruments are functioning and working accurately. Regarding the importance of this long term observation, he said, “If we weren’t watching, we wouldn’t know.” He doesn’t believe he will see the Keeling Curve start to go down in his lifetime, concluding, “just like justice, the curve bends eventually, but it takes a long time.”

A taster of muktuk.

Alexander, a local young Inupiaq and the manager of the Airport Inn where we stayed, highlighted coastal erosion as his main climate change concern. He talked about the trifecta of rising seas, melting sea ice, and thawing permafrost that puts Inupiaq communities at particular risk. He discussed how melting sea ice not only has impacts on sea life, but also destabilizes subsistence livelihoods. Whaling is central to Inupiaq culture, and less sea ice makes this traditional subsistence practice increasingly dangerous and difficult. He reflected, “It affects us economically and spiritually.” Before we left, he let us try some muktuk from this year’s whale hunt.

Despite the dire situation, youth organizers in Barrow, Ana, Muck, and Naomi, left us with hope. They recently graduated from high school and are headed off to colleges across the country in the fall of 2018. Ana and Muck have been part of Alaska Youth for Environmental Action (AYEA). They learned how to lobby their representatives and found that communities across Alaska face similar challenges when it comes to climate change and environmental justice. They expressed concern about rising sea levels and the resulting coastal erosion. The ocean is central to their lives. Muck was born in the Philippines and moved with his family to Barrow when he was five. He said, “The ocean has always been a big part of my life.” Much of the North Slope’s economy is closely tied to the oil and gas industry. People rarely speak against the industry out of fear of losing jobs or heat to their homes. When asked about the conflict between climate action and the dominance of the oil industry, Ana responded, “We are an environmental paradox.” These young people find hope in groups like AYEA and young people standing up across the world. When asked how they feel about the pressure put on their generation, they all replied, “Empowered.” Social media has allowed them to stay connected to young organizers nationwide. Even though temperatures were well below freezing, they still stood outside their school for 17 minutes in coordination with the national March for Our Lives movement earlier this year.

Ana, Much, and Naomi from Alaska Youth for Environmental Action.

Overall, Kailey and I left Alaska full of gratitude for the opportunity to bike across such a wild, threatened place and meet inspiring people. The journey empowered us not only as women cyclists, but also young people concerned about a warming world. The climate challenges facing Alaska are daunting. Few places provide such a powerful glimpse into how human-caused climate change is already here. However, alongside the doom and gloom, Alaskans are rising. Their resistance, resilience, and adaptability show that a commitment to place, love of community, and a locally-driven just transition away from fossil fuels are our best bets at securing a thriving, regenerative future.

You can read about each segment of our ride in-depth on our website blog. We will be posting reflections from Alaska each week, with the goal of continuing to share stories from future rides.

Thanks to Brooke Larsen for sharing her stories, head to her Instagram to see more pictures from the trip Instagram.


Cover photo by Galen Knowles, used with permission.

Read more about how climate change is impacting Alaskan communities on our network:

Video: Climate change swallows an Alaskan school

Alaskan village hit by erosion and melting permafrost is denied request for disaster declaration

Alaskan town threatened by climate change gets federal funding for relocation

Acclimatise heads to Global Climate Action Summit

Acclimatise heads to Global Climate Action Summit

With Otis Redding’s famous tune in our ears, we’re getting ready for one of the most awaited climate events of the year, the Global Climate Action Summit (GCAS) in San Francisco from 12-14 September. With so many exciting events, there will not be much time for anyone to just be sitting on the dock of the bay!

Our co-founder and CTO Dr Richenda Connell will be in San Francisco to present Acclimatise’s latest work with the financial services sector.

Find out what events she will be attending and speaking at:

11 September

12 September

13 September

  • 09:00-13:30 Climate Resilience and Adaptation Investment (CRAI): Richenda joins a panel discussion on climate resilience investment opportunities. Convened by The Lightsmith Group and Willis Towers Watson, this invite-only event focuses on the challenge and opportunity for investment created by the need for climate resilience and adaptation.

Cover photo by Alex Perry on Unsplash.
Climate information value chains: optimising the use of climate information for decision-making in Africa

Climate information value chains: optimising the use of climate information for decision-making in Africa

By Georgina Wade

In Cape Town, South Africa severe water shortages have forced the implementation of water restrictions on its inhabitants. In contexts such as this, climate information can be used to support decisions that can increase urban resilience of city, and make cities better prepared to manage the effects of climate change and extreme events. However, it is not always clear how climate information should be used to support decisions. A value-chain approach can improve the way climate information is understood and used by decision makers.

The process that delivers climate information from data providers to users can be conceptualised in the form of a climate information value chain as presented by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

Source: World Meteorological Organization (2017)

This value chain presents an idealised model of the value creation process, starting with the generation and provision of weather and climate data, and ending with the improved decision-making by different types of users. Ideally, if the value chain operates well, investments in producing climate information will result in societal benefits, such as improved preparedness to extreme climatic events.

However, in order to ensure that climate information is used appropriately, a high level of engagement is needed at each stage of the value chain. The nature of engagement between the provider and the user has strong implications for the success of information exchange and information uptake.

A recent article from Future Climate for Africa (FCFA) hints at forthcoming insights surrounding engagement between climate information providers and users in African cities. These insights will be presented in a forthcoming paper that examines climate information use for decision-making on water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) in the African cities of Lusaka, Zambia and Kisumu, Kenya.

According to the findings, one of the best conditions for climate information exchange and use is interactive, multi-stakeholder engagement. This presents an opportunity for providers and users of climate information to exchange ideas in person, allowing for immediate feedback and decisions made in line with user needs. Additionally, this method allows for a two-way engagement and collaboration on how to best prepare for and respond to climatic hazards. However, climate information providers do not always have a good understanding of particular sectoral needs and of the types of climate information that is relevant for decision-making. Climate outlook forums (COFs) were found to have no effect on the approaches and actions of sectoral managers who fail to fully grasp the complexities that accompany climate information.

Evidence suggests that the level of engagement between providers and users of climate information has a direct effect on whether climate information is used appropriately to inform climate sensitive decisions. Therefore, it is vital that climate information providers and inter-city users engage openly and explore approaches that are suited to growing climate information needs under a rapidly changing climate.

Download the report, Value Chain Climate Resilience: A Guide to Managing Climate Impacts In Companies and Communities here.


Cover photo by Geralt/Pixabay (public domain)

 

A journey through Alaska to discover climate change – Part 1

A journey through Alaska to discover climate change – Part 1

By Alastair Baglee, Lael Wilcox, Brooke Larsen and Kailey Kornhauser

Brooke Larsen and Kailey Kornhauser are bicycle riding across Alaska. Unsupported and self-propelled, they recently won a ‘Lael Rides Alaska’ women’s scholarship to ride 1001 miles from the coastal town of Seward in the south, all the way to Deadhorse and the Arctic Ocean in search of stories about climate change.

The scholarship was devised by Lael Wilcox, one of America’s, and indeed the world’s greatest ultra-endurance, long-distance cyclists. With accolades that include setting the women’s record for bicycling (or bikepacking, as it’s called now) the mountainous Tour Divide from Canada to Mexico; overall (men and women) winner of the 2016 Trans Am Bike Race, a self-supported road race across America; and the fastest known time (FKT) on the Baja Divide in Mexico, Lael is a pretty unique athlete. Spectacularly, Lael rides on average 20,000 miles a year. This scholarship is her way to encourage others to challenge themselves and take on the sort of long distance bikepacking adventures that Lael loves so much.

Lael at the end of the 2016 Trans Am Bike Race. Photo by Nicholas Carman/ Lael Wilcox

Brooke and Kailey aren’t entirely new to bicycle journeys. Hailing from Salt Lake City, Utah, Brooke spent the summer of 2017 bikepacking for 54 days across the remote, hot, and dry Colorado Plateau—the high desert of the American Southwest. Along the way, she listened to stories about climate change and environmental justice. Kailey joined Brooke for the first two weeks of the journey. In her article “Pedaling the Plateau,” Brooke reflects on the ride and the people she met along the way. The current journey across Alaska is a new chapter in their quest. Brooke tells us more:

Brooke and Kailey riding between Seward and Anchorage during the first week of their ride across Alaska. Photo by Cali Bulmash.

We were drawn to the Lael Rides Alaska Scholarship because of the inspiring work Lael has done to grow the women and girls cycling community, as well as the opportunity to grow as cyclists and climate organizers. Alaska has challenging terrain with steep climbs and gravel roads that go through some of the world’s wildest landscapes, making it an ideal place for adventure cycling. However, it also sits at the frontlines of climate change and fossil fuel extraction, providing plenty of stories and tangible examples to learn from as we work for climate justice in our home communities.

When not biking (and even when we are), we focus our academic research and community organizing on climate change and environmental justice. Because Alaska faces many threats from climate change –from rising sea levels to thawing permafrost– and indigenous communities have long experienced the negative impacts of a colonial extractive economy, we found it important to learn about these issues as we biked across the state. We hope by sharing stories from those we meet along the way that we can build empathy, inspire action, and increase awareness.

Watching glaciers melt

Kenai Fjords National Park Ranger Bill Kane

For miles leading up to Exit Glacier, signs note where the glacier used to reach. Kenai Fjords National Park Ranger Bill Kane has been visiting and working at the park for the past 25 years. He noted that every October he runs in the Halloween zombie race in the nearby town of Seward. It used to always snow on race day. Now he runs the race in shorts. When we asked how he emotionally copes with witnessing Exit Glacier melt, he responded, “It’s gut wrenching.” We found a mural in town titled “Remembering Exit Glacier.” For this community, climate loss is already tangible.

“What happens to marginalised folks?”

Camille Davis, ACF’s Development Associate

While in Anchorage, staff members from Alaska Conservation Foundation and Pacific Environment shared their thoughts on climate change. One staff member who could only pop his head in for a minute quickly said, “Three things: melting glaciers, beavers moving north, and melting permafrost.” Camille Davis, ACF’s Development Associate, said, “As a black young woman, I think about how we make this work tangible. As climate change affects our earth, what happens to marginalized folks?” DJ Tyson, Pacific Environment’s Arctic Program Assistant, discussed how 90 percent of Alaska’s state revenue comes from oil. He said, “I want to figure out how to get Alaska off fossil fuels.” He then joked, “But I have a degree in Psychology, so I’m not going to figure it out.” Michael Barber, ACF Director, then emphasized that one person doesn’t need to be “smarter than climate change.” He concluded, “Where hope comes from for me is I don’t have to be right. The only thing that matters is what people are going to work on together.”

Landslides and thawing permafrost

David Tomeo, Education Program Director with Alaska Geographic

David Tomeo is the Education Program Director with Alaska Geographic at the Murie Science and Learning Center in Denali National Park. In 1997, David had his first adventure in Alaska when he and his wife kayaked along the state’s southeast coast for four months. When we asked about climate change in the park, David talked about oozing mud flows, landslides, and dropping roads from thawing permafrost. He also mentioned that as the tree line moves up with warming temperatures, Dall sheep habitat decreases. The park was originally established largely to protect the Dall sheep. As he looked out at the spruce trees surrounding his home, he talked about wildfires but then also concluded, “I feel pretty safe and secure up here. I know I’m not going to be as impacted as much as people in poorer parts of the world or Alaskan coastal communities. I feel lucky.”

We are currently in Fairbanks, just completing the first half of our 1,000 mile journey across Alaska. While in town, we are interviewing folks to learn more about climate change in the Arctic, challenges for indigenous communities, and grassroots organizing for climate justice, before setting off on the second half of our journey along the remote, steep and partly unpaved Dalton Highway. This will be the longest gravel ride either of us have ever done. We look forward to experiencing the Arctic tundra.

We wish Brooke and Kailey good luck on the next leg of their journey. Part 2 of their stories will be published once Brooke and Kailey reach Deadhorse, the end of their journey – stay tuned!

In the meantime, follow their journey on Instagram.


Cover photo by Bryan Goff on Unsplash.
Podcast: The Green Climate Fund in Guyana – Janelle Christian, Head of the Office of Climate Change, Guyana

Podcast: The Green Climate Fund in Guyana – Janelle Christian, Head of the Office of Climate Change, Guyana

By Will Bugler

Climate change is already having serious impacts for Guyana, 90% of the population live on the coastal plain, less than 1 meter above sea level. 75% of the country’s economic activity also takes place in this region. In 2005 Guyana suffered a catastrophic flood, which affected over a third of its population and cost over 60% of the country’s GDP. Tackling climate change is, therefore, an urgent necessity for Guyana, but cutting greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to climate impacts requires investment.

To help with the cost of responding to climate change the Green Climate Fund (GCF) has been established under the UNFCCC. But what exactly is the GCF? who can access it? and how will it work in Guyana? To learn more we spoke with Janelle Christian, Head of Guyana’s Office of Climate Change.


Cover photo by Guayana’s Department of Public Information.