Researcher Christopher Jones discusses the “Alternative Energy” session of the Futures Forum which featured presenters Dan Kammen, 1935 Distinguished Professor of Energy at UC Berkeley; Adrián Fernández Bremauntz, President of Mexico’s National Ecology Institute; and Bracken Hendricks, Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress.
“The climate imperative is truly pressing…every single lesson on the climate science side is bad.” Dan Kammen, a UC Berkeley professor of Energy and Public Policy, pulled no punches in his opening remarks as part of the Alternative Energy Panel at the 2009 U.S.–Mexico Futures Forum. Oceans, terrestrial ecosystems, and the Arctic are experiencing rates of change that scientists had not previously predicted in any of the global climate models, he asserted. Kammen’s fellow panelist, Bracken Hendricks of the Center for American Progress, elaborated on his grim prognosis, pointing to the human and economic costs of such rapid environmental change: “Two to four billion people going without access to reliable drinking water is not an environmental problem. It’s a tremendous geopolitical security problem. It’s a health problem. It’s a devastating social and economic problem.”