All of you know me, I think. I have a student here. I think the only person I don’t know is Lisa. Otherwise, I know everyone else. For the purposes of the website, my name is Clint Fandrich. I am the president of Mundo Sostenible Consultores here in Arequipa. I’m going to talk about climate change mitigation.
First, a little bit about who I am because some of you may not know me really well. I am a teacher here at ELC as well. I’m also a husband. My wife is here. Yay. A brother, I am a middle brother. I have two brothers. Is anyone in the middle of siblings? Yes, the middle of siblings. Okay. You know what it’s like. I’m also an uncle. This is one of my nieces, one of my seven, well, soon to be seven nieces and nephews. I don’t remember when this picture was taken. We just make faces. I don’t know.
I’m also an avid reader, not as much as that one, but I like to read. I’m also a musician. Back in the day, I played the drums. This is a picture of me playing the drums in a rock band. This is really shortly after I cut all my hair off. I had huge here. It was really nice. I liked it. I’m also a photographer. I haven’t really taken photography very seriously recently, but this is my most recent photo that I really liked. I climbed Misti in late August, and once we finished and got back down the mountain to our kind of makeshift a base camp, I took this photo of Misti. It was a full moon. It was a gorgeous night.
This is where I’m from. This is Wisconsin. This is a farm field very close to my parents’ house. A little bit more ideal than maybe other people’s views of what they think Wisconsin is all about. I’m curious, is anyone’s childhood home in this photo?
Hard to say.
Hard to say? Yes? Mine is. Yours is. Hard to say. This is New York City right here. No? No. This is probably just a little bit too much for Richmond. All right. This is Wisconsin here. This is a satellite image from 2017. I think this was the day after Christmas, 2017. A horrendous snowstorm, lots of fun, lots of lake effect snow for—I feel like a meteorologist. [Laughter] This is my little home here. This is one of the lakes around Madison. There’s two big lakes, Lake Mendota, Lake Mendota. This will not be happening soon. The climate in Wisconsin is going to be, in 2090, will be the same as Arkansas, the same as Arkansas. That will be how much shift in the climate in North America we will see in the next about 60, 70, 80 years.
This is why I wanted to talk to you all a day, the Special Report 15 or SR-15. It was just released by the UN on October 8th. It was a Monday morning. I remember it well. I sat, and just read, and got really depressed for 2 hours. This was ordered as part of the climate accord that was finalized in late 2015. We wanted a report that tells us how to keep warming at 1.5 degrees C. The report actually sums up some of the latest climate science really, really well. Super interesting. Again, little depressing, and it acts as a final warning. We have very, very little time to act if we are going to keep warming to 1.5 C, very little time. The report talks about 12 years. We have to make significant changes within the next 12 years globally. Yes?
That is 1.5 C above what?
Thank you for asking that. Thank you for asking that. That is 1.5 C above the preindustrial average of 1850. Thank you for asking me that. That’s a good point. When I talk about 1.5 C or 2 C, I am talking about warming that has gone above the average of 1850, which is roughly the kind of arbitrary measuring stick for the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. Okay?
What are we at now?
I will talk about that.
Yep. I want to talk a little bit about just the overall findings of this report, which is exactly what your question is. The average temperature, we’ve reached 1 degree. Depending on the study you look at, it’s between 0.9 and 1.3 degrees C already. It’s already in. We’re already to that point. Without significant changes to omissions, we will reach 1.5 degrees C somewhere around 2040. This report is talking about this magic number, 2040, 1.5 C. that’s the whole thrust of the report, but the report also talks about 2 degrees C. Okay? It’s important to note that there’s been a fundamental change in the scientific community about what is the red line to cross for climate change. It’s no longer 2. It’s definitely 1.5, and I’m about to tell you why.
This is what this all looks like. This is really daunting. This is actual measurements of climate, average global temperatures, up to 2017. This is the track we are on. These are the pathways, these shaded areas, are the pathways to stabilizing at 1.5 degrees and then slowly going back down. All right? Business as usual is a term that they like to say if nothing changes, we continue doing what we’re doing. We will reach 1.5 degrees in about 2040. That will happen in 2040 without any significant changes, which at this point, there is no international agreement that bars organizations, or countries, or institutions, or businesses to anything. There is no enforceable law or enforceable agreement at this point.
The Paris Climate Accords was not binding. It was all just promises. This is kind of an important number that we’re—that the report is always referencing as kind of a, to use a George W. Bush phrase, a decision point, kind of a pivoting point. All right? Has anyone seen this before? You’ve seen it before. Oh, okay. Anyone? This is combined satellite data that tracks carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide. The really amazing thing about this image, you can see the Amazon breathe. Every day, the sun comes up. Photosynthesis happens, and the Amazon sucks in a little bit of carbon dioxide. Every night, it releases a little bit. You can see the days just from places like the Amazon. You can also see it over here in Indonesia.
These are the most valuable resources right now, carbon syncs, besides the ocean for absorbing carbon. What you can see here right now, this is winter happening. Photosynthesis in the northern hemisphere has stopped, and carbon is now gathering in the northern hemisphere. For a long, long time, 2 degrees C was regarded as the red line ever since the ‘80s, the late ‘80s when this topic first started being really—getting into the limelight as it were.
Now, we have basically come to the point where 2 degrees is too late 2 degrees is much too late. There are a lot of ecosystems that are vulnerable to effects of climate change that are well below 2 C, in fact well below 1 C, which is interesting. Also, there are huge very, very powerful positive feedback loops. Not that they’re great. It’s that they reinforce themselves that happen around 2 C or shortly after that are extremely terrifying. For the purposes of this report, we’re talking about 1.5 degrees C. I will talk about the effects of both in this presentation.
The first one, the first effect that we’re going to see is in precipitation. Changing precipitation patterns are probably the most immediate and most urgent changes that we are going to see in the coming decades. This means that what areas are going to get wetter, dry areas are going to get drier. We’ll see more floods in areas that are prone to flood. We’re going to see prolonged droughts where there are already dry areas.
Most of this is driven by the weakening of the temperature differential between the tropics and the polls. What that means is the difference in temperature from the equator and, say, the North Pole, which is the most important one, is less now because of climate change, because of that map where we saw all that carbon dioxide, especially in the winter, hangs out around the North Pole. It increases the temperature in the polls more than the equator is increasing in temperature.
That temperature differential, since that’s weaker, it doesn’t move the northern hemisphere jetstream faster, as fast as it was in past decades. What that means is that weather patterns predominate. They last longer than they would have in past decades. That’s going to increase this effect where, in Wisconsin for example, we’ll have cold snaps of -40 for two weeks in a row. Whereas we’d still get them, but they’d only last maybe four or five days, max. This is one of the effects. This is going to affect precipitation, and that is, of course, going to be a challenge for food security.
This is particularly devastating for 21st century efforts to reduce poverty. There are places in Sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia where we’ve been making big gains in poverty, and now, food security, because partially because of climate change, is changing that calculation, changing that situation. This is particularly important in places that we’re going to talk about with drought.
With drought, you’re talking about increasing regional political and social stress. This is particularly important in the Middle East where you already have a very arid climate. There’s a lot of studies that indicate that some of the tension in Syria, for example, is a result of prolonged drought. What this produces is people move out of the rural areas into urban areas. That puts a lot of people who maybe didn’t mix before into close quarters. This causes social and political stress, and one of the biggest things is large-scale migrations.
The next interesting one is heat waves. Everyone thinks of global warning, and scientists, for many reasons, have kind of wanted to move away from global warming and towards climate change partially because it suggests that we are only talking about heating events. Really, we’re talking about cold events as well because, you know, just as I was talking about with the jetstream in Wisconsin, it gets so cold for so long. Heat waves are, of course, an issue as well. I just pulled some random data from 2015 and 2018. Just in the United States and then the EU, we had more than—almost 7,000 deaths in 2015 from heat waves and more than 2,000 in 2018. That’s to this point. Again, these are just the United States and Europe.
We’re expecting continued record-breaking warm temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere in all seasons. This is kind of our first positive feedback loop. People need to cool their homes. That requires more energy. They put more carbon in the atmosphere. It increases warming. They need more cooling. Around and around we go. This is our first significant positive feedback loop.
This is one that’s particularly terrifying. Ice, it doesn’t matter if it’s on land or in the ocean, plays a big role in the albedo of the earth. Does anyone know what albedo is? Albedo. It’s not a libido. It’s not the same. Albedo is the reflectivity of a body in space. Ice is white, so it reflects more of the sun’s energy back into space. As ice melts, it gives way to either dark ground or blue ocean, which absorbs more heat energy, which increases heating, which melts more ice, which increases heating. Around, and around, and around we go.
One of the biggest things that is so scary about ice loss is not that all the ice is going to run off into the ocean. It’s that it’s going to increase—I’m sorry. It’s going to decrease the albedo of the earth. It’s going to limit the Earth’s ability to reflect sunlight back into space. This has a lot of effects that we’ll talk about. This is particularly the case in the Arctic, just like we were talking all of the carbon dioxide kind of accumulates at the northern polls and increases warming in the northern hemisphere. The report in SR-15 talks about one out of every ten summers at 2 C will have an open ice-free Arctic. Russia, in the United States, and Canada can get much closer together. It’ll be nice.
Then, obviously related to when—when most people think about ice loss, we’re thinking about sea level rise. Right? At 2 degrees C, we’re looking at between 0.7 and 0.8 meter rise globally by 2100. That’s a relocation, that will require the relocation of more than 100 million people. A good portion of this, like, I don’t know what it is, 40 to 50 percent is only Bangladesh, is just Bangladesh. If you are familiar with the geography of Bangladesh, whose problem does that become?
India. India already has food stress and regional issues. This is going to be a huge, huge consideration for India. Then also, beyond India, and Bangladesh, and Southeast Asia, North Central Europe, the Netherlands is really low. Northern Germany is very low. These are big economies that are going to be affected as well. This isn’t a Third World problem necessarily. Third World, I hate that term, developing world term.
This is particularly devastating. Has anyone scuba dived in a coral reef? Yeah? They’re all gone by 2100. 99 percent destruction. They’re all gone. Were likely the last two generations to see coral reefs for tens of thousands of years, at minimum. There is huge biodiversity in coral reef ecosystems in the oceans. That kind of chain affect goes with our fish catch, which will be reduced by 3 million tons a year. There are a lot of countries, particularly in Africa and Southeast Asia, that rely on protein from the ocean. 3 million tons is huge. Huge.
Then, after all that, you have continuing acidification as the ocean continues to absorb CO2 from the atmosphere for the foreseeable future. The risk to further biodiversity loss notion from acidification is huge. We don’t yet know what the full picture is with the ocean. We know more about space than we do about the ocean. It’s really wild. There is a lot of—I think the most important continuing science on climate change is from oceanographers studying the ocean. That report I keep citing from last week talked about how the estimates for the amount of heat that the oceans have absorbed is off by 60 percent. It’s huge. We do not have great data on the oceans, and yet, we’re just seeing these effects come in. We’re trying to catch up with how fast the oceans are changing.
On land, the picture is as devastating. A study of just 105,000 talked about the loss of half of the geographical range of some species. 18 percent of insects, 16 percent of plants, and 8 percent of vertebrates, like you and I, are going to lose half of the geographical range of those species by 2100. That’s huge. That includes a lot of—I think, it was around one-third of all the species studied were in tropical forests. That’s kind of one of the things that we’re going to talk about when we hopefully get a little more optimistic.
Another one of those really fun feedback loops, the Siberia. We’re looking at a loss of 1.5 to 2.5 million km2 of permafrost. Permafrost contains the decomposition of organic matter in the form of methane. Methane is 21 times more of a potent greenhouse gas than CO2. A lot of scientists refer to what’s going on in Siberia, and a lot of North America, and northern North America, the permafrost, as a climate bomb. That’s a gigatons, and gigatons, and gigatons of methane that could be released if those permafrost smelt. It’s huge. It’s huge, not to mention the methane in the ocean in the form of hydrates. It’s a huge amount of ground-based, land-based sequestered carbon that could be released under a 2 C scenario. Huge amounts.
What do we do?
Really quickly, again, keeping 1.5 C, keeping that limit, we must dramatically and immediately reduce global emissions of greenhouse gases. It looks like this. It looks like that. In order to arrive at 1.5 C and level off, we have to be carbon neutral globally by 2040. Some of you might be asking, “Well, okay. That’s no problem. Let’s do it. How much does it cost?” 1.6 to 3.8 trillion dollars annually from now until 2045. That is approximately 3.5 percent of the global economy. Yeah.
Land-use change. We cannot stop deforestation. We have to reverse it. We have to have more forested areas than we do now. We have to not just stop it. We have to reverse it. We have to plant trees, like crazy people. Obviously, the first step of that is stopping land-use change and stopping deforestation, which right now in the Amazon and right now in Indonesia is a huge challenge, huge challenge. A lot of those economies are—it’s a lot of beef cattle in Brazil, for example. In Indonesia, it’s palm oil because Europe and the United States want palm oil for cosmetics, and food, and things like this. Okay?
Let’s talk about what we can do. I would highly recommend giving to funds that are doing deforestation work in the Amazon and in Indonesia. That would be number one. The amount of tropical forest lost in the Amazon and Indonesia dwarfs everywhere else. It absolutely dwarfs everywhere else. Again, this is predominantly beef production and predominately palm oil. Okay? Take a look at the labels when you buy stuff, when you buy things in the store. Think about where these things come from. Are they coming from places with lots of land-use stress? Especially meat, especially meat. This is 80 percent of the reason I don’t eat meat very often anymore. Very occasionally, maybe once a month I eat meat.
The stat I saw was a person that does not to eat meat ever uses one-twentieth of the land area for agriculture as someone who eats meat two to three times a week, just two to three times a week. I don’t know about you guys, but my dad, he probably eats meat every single meal. You know? Imagine the land-use required to sustain his and many other people’s diets. Stop using palm oil. Stop using it. I haven’t found anywhere where they talk about sustainable Palm oil. It’s not sustainable. They take down tropical forests and put in huge plantations.
I saw one when I was in West Africa. It went on for the whole—I couldn’t see the end of it. That was all tropical forest before that. This is a huge incentive for struggling economies to clear-cut to their tropical forests. We need those tropical forests because of that first slide with the carbon cycle. It literally breathes in all that carbon when the sun is out.
Of course, the thing I like to talk about the most is energy. Does anyone even look at their energy bill, or do they just pay it? I scrutinize my energy bill like a crazy person, every single month. Do you know how many kilowatt hours you consume a month? Any idea? Oh, you do? Okay. Well, that’s because I’m constantly like, “Oh, what are we doing?” Every month. Does anyone know?
This is interesting. Kind of the upper limit is you should have 75 kilowatt hours per person per month as a ceiling. That’s the most you should consume. Right now, Lili and I have been between 25 and 30 for years. We don’t own a home. We’ve rented apartments. That’s a more efficient housing, in terms of energy. I understand that it’s not possible for everyone, but that’s kind of like the baseline to talk about for lowering your carbon footprint is keeping it at 75 kilowatt hours. We were talking about that this morning. Yeah. It’s difficult, perhaps.
Talk to your local utility about renewable energy generation as part of their overall mix. A lot of utilities are very receptive to this conversation now, much more so than they were in decades past. Also, your local leaders, either your local representatives in your state or your municipality as well. When you buy appliances, take a look at the energy consumption tag. All appliances have it. In the United States and Europe, we have EnergyStar. Look for EnergyStar appliances.
Don’t to drive or fly more than you have to. I know we’re all—many of us are traveling in Peru, and flying is kind of half of the name of the game. Lili and I got rid of our car. We don’t intend to have a car again until we can have a zero emissions vehicle. We haven’t had a car for, what is it, four years? Four years, we got rid of our car. I don’t intend to ever have a car again unless it’s a euro emissions vehicle.
When we talk to folks around Peru with our organization about what’s going on in Peru, 80 percent of the particulate matter in the atmosphere is from transportation in Peru. 80 percent. If we could reduce that, it would be a huge health benefit, a huge health benefit in Peru.
Another thing you can do, this is Lili voting. Well, she’s not actually voting. She was done voting. Vote. Vote for representatives, the president, your parliamentarian, whoever it is that supports action on climate change. To be active in your community. Are there things that you—are there ideas you have to save water or energy? Talk to other people in your community about it. Get involved in social movements. Every once in a while, there’s big climate action protests. The more people that are involved, the more difficult it is for the media and other politicians to ignore the issue. Get involved.
How I am getting involved is I moved to Peru. This is why I’m here, to found an organization called Mundo Sostenible. This is our mission and vision. I won’t get into it too much other than to say our goal, our long-term vision, is to completely have an emissions-free, carbon neutral economy here in Latin America. There is a huge renewable resource here in South America, and Central America, and the Caribbean. It’s absolutely enormous. Of course, really, you could say that about almost anywhere. There is some renewable energy that is not being harnessed and almost everywhere on the planet. I mean, here, it’s sun. This is literally the best solar insulation in the world. There is no place better.
This is who we are. There’s a few more heads to add to this. Our team, at this point, it’s two Peruvians and three folks from the States. I’m sorry, yes, three. One of them isn’t on here yet. I’m hoping to add another Peruvian face to our crew here in the coming weeks. My background is in policy analysis and energy policy development. That’s what I was doing in Wisconsin before I left. I was working for the state of Wisconsin doing energy policy development. Rafael is an engineer, electrical engineer. I’m continuously jealous of his skills. Gerson’s a fantastic communicator, wonderful communicator. Jeff is kind of our online presence, communications guy. He’s working on automation of systems, like water heating and that kind of thing. It’s really exciting.
The two projects we have going on right now, two programs, one of them is to directly disrupt the market for renewable energy here in Peru. We want to lower the price of renewables to increase the demand for them. We’re partnering with local project developers, solar, wind, biomass, geothermal, etc. and talking directly to their clients and saying, “Here’s a discount if your project reduces greenhouse gas emissions.”
The other project we are doing is kind of acting as a referee or facilitator for folks that have difficult access to renewable energy projects. Maybe they live in a community way up, up by Chachani, or they live right down here in central Arequipa where maybe there are in a multi-family home. There’s not really a place to put a solar array because they live in an apartment building with three other families. We are working with different entities, like local municipalities and utilities, to find ways to connect them into a renewable energy system. We are dealing with contracts with the local utilities, any kind of permitting, talking with project developers, doing project design, and that kind of thing, and more or less vetting other project developers who may or may not be doing good work here in Peru.
Saying, you know, this is an important thing. We have to do it right. Otherwise, folks are going to have an idea in their head that this stuff doesn’t work or the stuff is bad. Right? We’re trying to get that perception in the right place. Right now, there’s a lot of programs in Peru. They’ve run over the last several years where the government will contract with a company from I don’t know where. They’ll just bring in really, really shotty equipment. It will work for six months. Then, it stops working, and then everyone says, “Oh, solar doesn’t work. It only works for six months.” This is toxic for efforts here in Peru and around Latin America.
That’s all I have. This is my contact information if you want to get a hold of me or if you hear of any projects in Arequipa, or Moquegua, or Tacna, or Puno, or Cusco, I want to hear it. That’s my phone number. It’s real. It’s an actual phone number.