San Francisco and the Satellites
As you might know, satellites are incredibly important tools for monitoring the climate of Earth. Measurement capabilities include temperature, arctic ice coverage, solar activity, the ozone layer, and air pollution.
Ahhhh! He said a bad word! Get the soap! Mom, mom, MOM! Governor Jerry Brown of California said the D word!
And I quote: “With science under attack and the climate threat growing, we’re launching our own [insert expletive that sounds like the finished construction efforts of a beaver here] satellite.” Governor Brown made this declaration as a part of his concluding remarks at the Global Climate Action Summit (GCAS)
a couple of weeks ago. Despite his potty-mouth, I’ll still give him an enthusiastic thumbs up
. Also, yes, I’m going to start linking to GIFs in my blog posts. GIFs are awesome.
As you might know, satellites are incredibly important tools for monitoring the climate of Earth. Measurement capabilities include temperature, arctic ice coverage, solar activity, the ozone layer, and air pollution. NASA manages many of them, and they have a great article
talking about the history that led the agency to play a leading role in climate research.
The idea behind launching California’s own satellite is that the state will have a tool for spotting emissions in its own territory, since satellites are even capable of identifying point source emissions. If you are unfamiliar with the term, point source emissions are those that come from a single identifiable location, like an industrial smokestack. Area emissions, on the other hand, come from a broad collection of sources, such as vehicles traveling along a roadway. With point source capabilities, a satellite dedicated to monitoring California’s carbon impacts
will go a long way in helping the state reach its impressive climate goals.
I share this news simply as an example of the encouraging commitments that came out of the GCAS. While I didn’t trek out to San Francisco for it, I know quite a few people who did (or who just live there). It was quite a spectacle, apparently. Thousands of people gathered, with dozens and dozens of satellite events taking place around the main, central affair.
Another outcome from the GCAS was a pledge by ChargePoint
, an electric vehicle charging infrastructure company, to install 2.5 million charge spots by 2025. Currently, they have roughly 55,000, so that is a bold and ambitious pledge that will tremendously aid the shift toward electric transportation.
The philanthropic community also took advantage of the GCAS platform to make a splash. A variety of nonprofits pledged
an additional $3 billion in support of climate efforts (in addition to a previously pledged amount of approximately $1 billion), which is certainly welcome news. I am thrilled to see that the philanthropic community is engaging further in this pressing challenge (and opportunity).
Summits like these are so valuable. If nothing else, they keep the issue of global warming in the limelight of public awareness. Fortunately though, there is something else. They present a platform for new commitments that, when realized, will help accomplish the goal – reversing global warming. Here’s to the next one!