GAIA Coffee & Climate Change: Recap

By Alpana Kaushiva (JHU/APL)

The first GAIA Coffee & Climate Change event was held on Wednesday, August 3rd, at the Daily Grind on Thames Street in Baltimore! We would love to see those of you who could not attend at the next GAIA Coffee & Climate Change discussion, to be held in the beginning of September. Attendees at our event included:

Jeffrey Berko- graduate student at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health (JHSPH)- biostatistics and environmental health

Stuart Chaitkin- JHSPH/Department of Environmental Health Sciences/speaker at GAIA workshop- energy policy

Katie Lima- JHU/E2SHI (Environment, Energy, Sustainability and Health Institute at JHU)- population, urbanization

Steve Shapiro- JHMBC (Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center)- environmental behavior and inequality

Cindy Parker- JHSPH/speaker at GAIA workshop- climate, sustainability, and health

Michel Lau- JHU graduate student

Larry Paxton- JHU/APL- GAIA/global climate disruption impacts, space technology

Glen Fountain- JHU/APL- GAIA, space program management

Bill Swartz- JHU/APL- GAIA/climate sustainability, atmospheric chemistry

Shay Strong- JHU/APL- GAIA/space science

Alpana Kaushiva- JHU/APL intern- GAIA/climate change, public health

We started out by discussing a British Medical Journal (BMJ) analysis titled "Global environmental change and public health: impacts, inequalities, and the health sector" by AJ McMichael and colleagues, and how it relates to the themes that were developed in our workshop. In speaking about how to convey the importance of climate change and its implications to others, Cindy Parker and Steve Shapiro informed the group about the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication. This organization works to foster widespread policy and behavior change, and has developed a series of papers titled "The Climate Change in the American Mind Series." Results from nationally representative surveys of American adults aged 18 and older, weighted to correspond with US Census Bureau parameters have been used to develop "6 Americas" based on interpretations of and responses to climate change:

Behavioral economics- an emerging field that uses social, cognitive, and emotional factors to understand the economic decisions of individuals and institutions was discussed in relation to climate change and public health. This is an important field to understand because in order to adapt to climate change and mitigate resulting problems, awareness of climate change as a problem needs to be established. A genetic survival mechanism of "discounting" the future may contribute to why many parties are hesitant to believe that climate change is having and will continue to have significant impacts on the global population. Risk analysis and planning are key methods that GAIA is trying to implement. The Navy's role in using these methods with respect to the Arctic was discussed. Additionally, the importance of funding opportunities and collaborations to move forward in our various areas of research was discussed. Here is a link to research centers, institutes, and other programs affiliated with Johns Hopkins University that are currently involved in research or education in environment, energy, sustainability, and/or health, courtesy of Katie Lima:

We encourage you as members of the GAIA collaboratory to discuss areas of interest to you and share any information you may have on possible research collaborations or funding opportunities on the focus area pages of our website, and we look forward to seeing you at the next GAIA Coffee & Climate Change Event!