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Month: June 2022

PPM C02 Stamp

420.99 PPM (May 2022)

The memorial sign for the Ok glacier in Iceland, which was written by Andri Snær Magnason, includes a CO2 PPM stamp:

A letter to the future

Ok is the first Icelandic glacier to lose its status as glacier. In the next 200 years all our main glaciers are expected to follow the same path. This monument is to acknowledge that we know what is happening and what needs to be done. Only you know if we did it.

August 2019, 415 ppm CO2

According to an NOAA report from 4/7/21: “The atmospheric burden of CO2 [then at 412.5 PPM] is now comparable to where it was during the Mid-Pliocene Warm Period around 3.6 million years ago, when concentrations of carbon dioxide ranged from about 380 to 450 parts per million. During that time sea level was about 78 feet higher than today, the average temperature was 7 degrees Fahrenheit higher than in pre-industrial times, and studies indicate large forests occupied areas of the Arctic that are now tundra.”

As of May 2022, atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide reached 420.99 parts per million (PPM).

The concentration of CO2 has increased by almost 70 PPM since NASA scientist James Hansen testified before a U.S. congressional committee about the problem. The annual average concentration of CO2 has increased every year since direct measurements began in 1958. Since the beginning of industrialization in the 19th century, CO2 levels have increased by about 140 PPM, an increase of over fifty percent.

Notwithstanding the Paris climate agreement, emissions of CO2 and other climate warming gases (especially methane) have continued to rise, and current plans to reduce emissions are woefully inadequate.

As young climate activists have argued, climate change is both an emergency and a crisis, requiring both action at all levels of society and government. If ever there was a moment for human solidarity–with each other and with the larger community of life–this is it.

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Envisioning Sustainability through Teaching and Learning

On April 12, 2022, I was incredibly fortunate to have an opportunity to give a co-keynote address at the 2022 Saint Cloud State University’s Provost Summit on Excellence in Teaching and Learning entitled “Envisioning Sustainability through Teaching and Learning,” with my friend and former UWGB colleague Alison K. Staudinger. Alison and I met frequently throughout early 2022 to craft a talk in dialogue format, building on our collaboration for UWGB’s 2020 Common CAHSS conference on the theme of Beyond Sustainability.* We attempted to address the big question, “Can the university, through both teaching and research, help co-create an affirmative vision for the Anthropocene?” A video recording of the event is available, as are our sources. Thanks to Alison for the collaboration and to La Vonne Cornell-Swanson for making it possible!

* Here is a video recording of Alison’s Sept. 24, 2020, talk, “Making Good Choices: Thinking about Ethics beyond Sustainability.” And here are links to video and sources for my Nov. 30, 2020, talk, “Beyond Sustainability: Imagining an Ecological Future.”

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