Bookmark and Share

This and That; Climate Chaos Has Many Fronts

Let’s play a game. Really!

Perhaps workshop is a better word.

Nevertheless, a man named Cedric Ringenbach, a Frenchman, an engineer, and an energy transition consultant has developed materials for a workshop titled, Climate Fresk. His concept, or idea, is that with global warming, or climate chaos, we first need to understand the problem and then develop solutions.

Thus began a series of workshops in France that starts with 42 cards to recreate the chain of events that lead to global warming as well as solutions. The cards and charts have information on the Sun’s radiation, greenhouse gases [GHG], their sources and concentrations, deforestation, floods, wildfires, loss of sea ice, ocean acidification and more.

Many charts dealt with renewable energy, nuclear power, consumerism, energy- hungry air travel, carbon capture and storage, and other aspects of how we got to where we are today and how do we deal with our planet’s heating.

The game is played in nightclubs, bars and other public spaces and with the aid of a facilitator, the participants are asked to arrange the cards in a logical sequence on a table or sheet to represent the causes and consequences of climate change.

More than one million people have participated in these events.

Climate Fresk, which began in 2018, has become “adopted by private and public organizations to spur people to take environmental action.” [NYTimes August 20, 2023.]

As Mr. Ringenback stated, “I wanted them to piece together the climate change chain by themselves. It’s much more powerful from an educational point of view because you’re not just passively listening to a lecture – you’re an actor.

”A “map including cards and drawings, from a session of Climate Fresco in Paris in June. Credit...Dmitry Kostyukov for The New York Times.

Note the photo of some of the 42 cards arranged in one session by a group of people. These cards are available on the web, free, in color, and can be printed in a variety of formats and sizes.

These workshops have expanded beyond France and the information has been translated into some 50 languages. Some 200,000 people abroad have participated including some in the United States.

It is also notable that the best-selling book in France last year was a comic book about the climate crisis, “Le Monde Sans Fin” or “World Without End.” It sold over 500,000 copies.

But the game and workshops do not end here. It is used in introductory courses at several French universities and at some major companies. The French government is planning to train the country’s 25,000 senior civil servants in the green transition by the end of 2024.

The level of scientific literacy in France, and elsewhere in Europe, and knowledge of global warming is impressive.

Meanwhile in the U.S. we continue to make some progress with wind energy thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act [IRA] passed just one year ago. See the bar chart titled, “Onshore Wind – Then, Now and Looking Ahead.” Through 2022 the vertical bars represent the installed capacity of wind turbines in gigawatts [GW]. Supply chain issues and political uncertainty in 2021 and 2022 had a significant negative impact on installed capacity but the trend and forecast show robust growth over the next 5 years.

The term gigawatts [GW] of electrical power is used frequently in discussions of renewable energy and in the energy transition from fossil fuels. A single GW is an enormous amount of energy. The cleantechnica website recently had a few definitions or equivalents of what a GW means; one is, “the Chevy Corvette Z06 engine delivers 670 horsepower. Two thousand of those engines would equal 1.34 million horsepower, or 1 GW.”

Another example of what 1 GW of power can be compared with is the energy derived from 2.469 million photovoltaic panels [see photo of a large solar array.]

1 GW =2.469 million PV panels.

Meanwhile, on the legal front, some good news for a group of 16 young plaintiffs in Montana [and perhaps for all of us]. They ranged in age from 5 to 22. In the suit, Held vs. Montana, in a trial that began June 12, 2023, Judge Kathy Seeley found that Montanans “have a fundamental constitutional right to a clean and healthful environment.” This was a historic decision and was the first children’s climate trial in U.S. history. It was powered by a legal team from “Our Childrens Trust” and other groups.

“The Findings were Beautiful,” said Julia Olson of Our Children’s Trust.

See photo [Robin Loznak/AFP/Getty Images] of plaintiffs arriving at the Lewis and Clark County Courthouse in Helena, Montana on June 12, 2023.

But a reality check is in order.

Note the image of a series of lines in the graph titled, “Earth’s Average Temperature” by month over the course of a year by the Berkeley Earth group. The data set contains about 170 years of Earth’s average temperature. Note that the top line is for the first 7 months of 2023; it is far above any temperature measurements ever made by us.

And according to the International Energy Agency [IEA], reports the Financial Times, global oil demand has reached an all time high of 103 million barrels a day in June and may go higher in August.

Yes, per day. Every day.

We have a lot of work to do.

And so it goes.

The scientific career of Raymond N. Johnson, Ph.D., spanned 30 years in research and development as an organic/analytical chemist. He is currently founder and director of the Institute of Climate Studies USA (www.ICSUSA.org). Climate Science is published monthly.