The Science of Sustainability

Science Event Pick: The 11th Hour on Climate Change

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Cal Academy and The 11th Hour Project are bringing some excellent speakers to town."Yeah, it's a lot of fun to have a drink and look at the octopus." – Anonymous Friend talking about Cal Academy's Nightlife

Maybe this is a reflection on my choice in friends, but the above quote is a common comment about the Academy's wildly successful adults only Nightlife program (just check Yelp). Yet if you go a touch deeper than the rockin' DJ, numerous bars, and diverse exhibits, there is a wealth of interactive programs to exercise your brain. This month may bring the most celebrated speakers yet, all thanks to the folks at the 11th Hour Project, a non-profit dedicated to creating a sustainable world.

Opening the month are Dan Kammen & Sally Benson discussing the emerging green energy economy, focusing on the novel technological solutions to the global energy issues. In case you were worried about their credentials, Dan is the lead author for the UN IPCC panel (they netted a Nobel Prize in 2007) and Sally is one of the pre-eminent U.S. experts on carbon sequestration.

On 9/10, Annie Leonard takes the stage to discuss her popular polemic, The Story of Stuff. Annie's tale is 20 minute tale of our unsustainable production and consumption pattern. The viral video is now well past 7 million views, all from a filmmaker who was curious what happens to all our "stuff".

Maya Lin, the Chinese-American artist who designed the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, unveils her new sculpture titled "What is Missing?" in the East Garden on 9/17. She'll discuss the new piece, which is dedicated to raising awareness of biodiversity and habitat loss, as well as her artistic process.

Finally, 9/24 is the night for the disappearing glaciers. Orvile Schell, the director of the Center on US-China Relations, has been documenting the decline through photography. Beyond his stunning photos, Orville will discuss his work to create a cooperative strategy between the US and China (the top 2 greenhouse gas emitters) to reduce their carbon emissions. Filmmaker and mountaineer David Breashears will also discuss the glacier disappearance through his 1st hand accounts of traveling to receding sites on the highest peaks of the world. He knows a thing or two about high peaks; David was the first American to summit Mt. Everest twice.

California Academy of Science's Nightlife

Where: California Academy of Sciences

When: Every Thursday in September, 6-10 PM

Cost: Tickets are $12 ($10 for Academy members).  Many of the programs below require passes. Please check the Nightlife page for more information.

Thursday, September 3rd 2009

Professors Dan Kammen, coordinating lead author for the IPCC, and Sally Benson, Director of the Global Climate and Energy Project, debate the Green Energy Economy.

Thursday, September 10th, 2009

Author & Filmmaker Annie Leonard recounts a Story of Stuff.

Thursday, September 17th, 2009

Celebrated artist Maya Lin (she designed the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in D.C.) unveils her new sculpture in the East Garden. In addition, Chef Laura Stec & Climatologist Eugene Cordero cook up a low carbon diet.

Thursday, September 24th, 2009

Orville Schell, current Director of the Center on US-China Relations, unveils his photographs of retreating glaciers as we chart a path to the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen. In addition, American Mountaineer David Breashears, director of the IMAX film Everest, shares his adventures on the edge of the disappearing glaciers.

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Kishore Hari

About the Author ()

Kishore Hari is the founder Down to a Science, a science cafe based in San Francisco. He is most passionate about making science discussion fun and accessible for adults, the kind of discussion that leads to positive change in the world. Professionally, he is a water treatment consultant in San Francisco. Originally from Buffalo, NY, Kishore came to the Bay Area to get a chemistry degree from UC Berkeley. He now specializes in residential water treatment, working with companies such as PUR, Brita, and Camelbak.