The 13th Tipping Point: When Will We Face Up to Global Warming?
In 2004, distinguished climate scientist John Schellnhuber identified 12 global-warming tipping points, any one of which, if triggered, will likely initiate sudden, catastrophic changes across the planet.
As author Julia Whitty observes in her November/December 2006 Mother Jones cover story, odds are you've never heard of most of these tipping points, even though our entire genetic legacy may depend on their status. So what will it take to trigger what could be called the 13th tipping point, a shift in human attitudes from denial to responsibility for global warming?
The World Affairs Council was founded in 1947 out of the interest generated by the founding of the United Nations in San Francisco in 1945. With over 10,000 members, they are the largest international affairs organization on the west coast.
Daniel M. Kammen is Professor in the Energy and Resources Group Energy and Resources Group (ERG), Professor of Public Policy in the Goldman School of Public Policy and is Professor of Nuclear Engineering in the Department of Nuclear Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley. He is also the founding Director of the Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory (RAEL).
Kammen received his undergraduate degree in physics from Cornell University (1984), and his masters and doctorate in physics from Harvard (1986 & 1988) for work on theoretical solid state physics and computational biophysics. He was then the Wezmann & Bantrell Postdoctoral Fellow at the California Institute of Technology in the Divisions of Engineering, Biology, and the Humanities (1988 - 1991). First at Caltech and then as a Lecturer in Physics and in the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, Kammen developed a number of projects focused on renewable energy technologies and environmental resource management. At Harvard he also worked on risk analysis as applied to global warming and methodological studies of forecasting and hazard assessment. Kammen received the 1993 21st Century Earth Award, recognizing contributions to rural development and environmental conservation from the Global Industrial and Policy Research Institute and Nihon Keizai Shimbun in Japan.
From 1993 - 1998 Kammen was an Assistant Professor of Public and International Affairs in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. Kammen played a key role in developing the interdisciplinary Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy (STEP) Program at Princeton, that awards undergraduate and masters certificates and a doctoral degree. He was STEP Chair from 1997 - 1999 and co-chair before that. In July of 1998 Kammen joined the interdisciplinary Energy and Resources Group (ERG) at the Univeristy of California, Berkeley as an Associate Professor of Energy and Society. Kammen is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and a Permanent Fellow of the African Academy of Sciences.
Dr. Kammen's research interests include: the science, engineering, management, and dissemination of renewable energy systems; health and environmental impacts of energy generation and use; rural resource management, including issues of gender and ethnicity; international R&D policy, climate change; and energy forecasting and risk analysis. He is the author of over 90 journal publications, a book on environmental, technological, and health risks (Should We Risk It?, Princeton University Press) and numerous reports on renewable energy and development. He has been featured on radio, network and public broadcasting television and in print as an analyst of energy, environmental, and risk policy issues and current events. His recent work on energy R&D policy appeared in Science, and Environment, and has been featured on PBS, KQED, CNN, and in many newspapers via the Reuters news service.
Kammen advises the U. S. and Swedish Agencies for International Development, the World Bank, and the Presidents Committee on Science and Technology (PCAST), and is a member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (Working Group III and the Special Report on Technology Transfer). Dr. Kammen serves on the technical review board for the GEF (the STAP), is a lead author for the Special Report on Technology Transfer of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and advises the World Bank and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and well as the African Academy of Sciences.
Terry Vogt is on the Board of Trustees at the World Affairs Council of Northern California.
Julia Whitty is a writer and former documentary filmmaker. She is the author of Deep Blue Home: An Intimate Ecology of Our Wild Ocean, due out July 2010, and of The Fragile Edge, a book on coral reefs, winner of a PEN USA Literary Award, the John Burroughs Medal, the Kiriyama Prize, and finalist for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize.
Her short story collection A Tortoise for the Queen of Tonga won an O. Henry and was a finalist for the PEN Hemingway Award.