"The Arctic Is Melting and the Desert Is Burning": Seminar Addressed Global and Local Impact of Climate Change
Last updated: 2/17/2011 //
More than 125 participants, including businesspeople, employees of nonprofits, members of the press and political decision-makers attended the luncheon discussion, “The Arctic Is Melting and the Deserts Are Burning,” February 9 in Santa Fe, NM. The event, which has been held once a year for the past several years, was cosponsored by the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Washington, Clean Air-Cool Planet and other local environmental organizations.
The goal of the seminar is to contribute to the public climate debate in the U.S., to bring attention to the melting of the Arctic and its local and global impact, and to discuss Norwegian climate policy.
Norwegian Ambassador Wegger Chr. Strommen opened the seminar by presenting an overview of Norwegian climate policy, highlighting climate challenges in the Arctic and the Norwegian focus on renewable energy and reducing carbon spill. (During his time in Santa Fe, the Ambassador was also interviewed by a number of local media, and gave an extensive interview to the Santa Fe Radio Café: http://www.santaferadiocafe.org/podcasts/?m=201102.)
Also at the seminar to shed light on these and related issues were Kim Holmén, director of the Norwegian Polar Institute, and Dr. Gregg Garfin of Institute of Environment and the University of Arizona. Together they discussed the challenges faced in the southeastern U.S., with particular attention to the severe drought forecast over the next 20 to 30 years.
During recent years New Mexico has positioned itself as a pioneer in the field of renewable energy. Therefore it will be interesting to follow future development now that the state has recently replaced its Democratic governor with Republican. There is a good chance that this will challenge New Mexico’s newly passed goal to reduce greenhouse gasses and the effort to introduce a climate quota exchange policy.