Recap of our 2nd Coffee & Climate Change Discussion!

By Alpana Kaushiva (JHU/APL)

Our second GAIA Coffee & Climate Change event was held on Wednesday, September 14th, 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 October! Attendees at our event included:

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

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

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

Luke MacDonald- JHSPH/JHU Global Water Program/speaker at GAIA workshop- water security

Esther Aranda- URS Corporation

Michel Lau- JHU graduate student

Shay Strong- JHU/APL- GAIA/space science

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

We started out by discussing the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication's report titled "Global Warming's Six America's in 2011" and how we can use similar approaches and questions to convey the importance of climate change and its implications to others. This report asks many important questions that help put into perspective who perceives climate change as a risk and why.

In trying to come up with ideas for visualizations, online applications, games, and other methods of informing the public on important climate change issues, the "Random Hacks of Kindness" website was brought up. Random Hacks of Kindness is "a community of innovation focused on developing practical open source solutions to disaster risk management and climate change adaptation challenges." It was founded in 2009 in partnership between Google, Microsoft, Yahoo!, NASA and the World Bank. Volunteers and experts examine different ideas brought up on the website and aid in developing tools that can be used by the public. We have started our own page for a "Social Networking Climate Game."

Steve Shapiro suggested making a video on Youtube or a similar platform that would easily convey the threats of climate change on public health and our everyday lives. In discussing this, Esther Aranda mentioned an interesting video where 200 years of economic history is delivered in 4 minutes. She suggested it would be great to produce something similar to this for climate change and health impacts. We also discussed the idea of having classes or online discussions for researchers and teachers. Perhaps having a presence in schools through the implementation of lesson plans incorporating curriculum on climate change impacts and having workshops for teachers would decrease the amount of uncertainty surrounding these issues.

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. We would like to have the next Coffee & Climate Change discussion in College Park or Bethesda so that those who have not yet had a chance to come can make it. We look forward to seeing you at the next GAIA Coffee & Climate Change Event!


Climate change videos

The International Institute for Environment and Development holds an annual contest for videos that cover various topics related to climate change. This year's theme focuses on climate change resiliency. Perhaps we can convince them to have one focused on climate change's impact on public health for next year's theme?