Ice on Fire (2019) Movie Script

Leonardo DiCaprio:
Over the last 250 years
we have, in effect,
conducted the largest
science experiment in history.
Since the advent of
the Industrial Revolution,
we have burned over
1.4 trillion tons of carbon
into the atmosphere.
It has changed life on earth
as we know it,
especially in the Arctic.
The melting of the world's
snow and ice
has now triggered multiple
climate tipping points,
threatening the very existence
of life on earth.
Yet this disturbing future
need not be set in stone.
We have long had alternatives
to fossil fuels.
But more recently,
we have actually discovered
how to pull carbon
out of the atmosphere,
giving us a chance at reversing
climate disruption.
If we are able to reverse
climate change in time,
it would be an unprecedented
achievement in human history.
But the clock is ticking.
Scientists say we must
implement these solutions
At this critical turning point,
we must give a voice
to the impartial experts
who have presented us
with the facts they have spent
a lifetime to uncover.
It is their time to be heard.
They are the scientists,
researchers and innovators
who have found the solutions
to preserve the very life
of our shared world.
Jennifer Frances Morse:
There is a couple
different projects
that require manual sampling.
So one of them
is the long-term CO2 record.
And the way it's set up,
you still need a person
to come physically take
the sample every Tuesday.
I'm the person
that gets to go in the Sno-Cat
to take the measurements.
We want to keep that
long-term record going
the way
it's always been taken.
Monitoring and tracking what
we're doing to our atmosphere
is a serious
and difficult endeavor.
For the last 50 years,
dedicated researchers
from around the world
travel weekly
to the same locations,
taking samples
of greenhouse gases
that cause climate disruption.
So we're at about 11 and a half
thousand feet at Niwot Ridge
in the front range
of the Rocky Mountains
in Colorado.
And this is NOAA's long-term
CO2 sampling site here.
It's the third longest
in the world.
So, these are the flasks
that we're gonna use
to collect our sample,
made out of glass.
And after we're done today
filling them with air, we'll
ski 'em down to our office,
and then we'll take them down
to NOAA's office in Boulder
where they get analyzed
along with similar flasks
from all over the world.
The reason we do it up here
and a lot of the sampling sites
are high up in the atmosphere
is the air up here
is well mixed
so you're getting a good sample
of the whole atmosphere.
There's the little inlet
on the roof.
When I turn on the pump,
it's gonna suck the air
into these flasks.
This is actually the whole...
carbon cycle
and greenhouse gases,
and CO2 and methane
are the big ones.
When they took the first sample
in 1968,
it measured
322 parts per million.
And now we don't know what
this sample's gonna measure yet,
but it's probably
gonna be around 408.
So, it's a little bit
of an increase.
( chuckles )
And now I'm just
putting everything away
and getting it ready
for next week's sample.
Patricia Lang:
One of NOAA's missions
since its inception
was to measure carbon dioxide
in the atmosphere
and other gases
that affect the carbon cycle.
Two samples
are collected every week
from around the globe.
So we're looking to see how
these gases change with time.
And the way to do that is
to continuously collect samples.
Currently, we have
about 60 locations.
Most of the samples
are collected in remote areas
away from population centers.
And we measure them
on this set of instruments
for six gases
that affect the carbon cycle.
Those gases are carbon dioxide,
methane, carbon monoxide,
molecular hydrogen,
nitrous oxide
and sulfur hexafluoride.
This system runs five days
and five nights a week,
24 hours a day.
So what I'm doing right now
is putting the air samples
on the manifold
and start the measurements.
And then I can walk away.
Pieter Tans:
I lead NOAA's Global Greenhouse
Gas Reference Network.
The aim of the Global
Greenhouse Gas Reference Network
is to provide data
that are fully calibrated,
carefully quality controlled
and documented.
Data that will still be
fully credible
a hundred years from now
and longer,
so that as climate change
is happening now
and in the future
over the earth,
there will be information
for scientists
that they
can really trust
so that they can diagnose
what actually happened
and how climate change
actually happens, how it works.
So modern CO2 measurements
were initiated by Dave Keeling,
a description situation
of oceanography.
Around 1956, he started
measuring along the west coast.
He saw that during
mid-afternoon wherever he was,
he found pretty much the same
concentration everywhere.
And so it got into his head
the idea that maybe
there's something
that we can call
a background concentration.
He started
continuous measurements then
at Mauna Loa Island
of Hawaii
and on the coast of Antarctica.
The last ice age
at the end of that glaciation
from 20,000
to 11,000 years ago,
CO2 increased by about 80 ppm
from 200 to 280, roughly.
It was very slow.
It took 6,000 years for CO2
to climb the 80 ppm.
Six thousand years!
In pre-industrial times,
so before 1850,
CO2 was close to 280 ppm.
And now of course
we see 2 ppm per year.
That increase was due 100%
to human activities.
The spike that we now see,
compared to most
geologic history,
I call it an explosion.
( sighs ) It's...
It's like instantaneous
in geologic time scale.
Carbon has increased
the Industrial Revolution.
But what does that
actually mean for all of us?
What we have learned
is that excess carbon
creates climate disruption.
It changes the weather patterns
and life support systems
upon which society
depends to survive.
Thom Hartmann:
We have always known
that there's a toxicity
associated with fossil fuels,
but we'd always thought that
it was basically a toxicity
that would affect humans,
you know,
or other individual life forms.
It's really only in the--
within my lifetime certainly
that it has become
frighteningly apparent
that the accumulation
of carbon in the atmosphere
has caused it to warm up.
This greenhouse effect,
this toxicity,
impacts the life systems
of the planet as a whole.
And, you know, once I got that
back in the mid-90s,
I had to start talking about it
and we've been
talking about it ever since.
Dr. Michael Mann:
When we talk about
dangerous planetary warming,
we're referring to something
akin to a two degree Celsius,
that's about three and a half
degree Fahrenheit
warming of the planet relative
to pre-industrial times.
That is where we start to see
some of the worst
and potentially irreversible
impacts of climate change:
substantial melting
of the ice sheets
and associated substantial rise
in sea level,
permanent droughts
in mid-latitudes,
and the list goes on.
Well, catastrophic would be
we melt the major ice sheets,
the Greenland ice sheet
and the West Antarctic ice sheet
as all the major coastal cities
of the world are flooded.
You've got less land.
You've got
environmental refugees,
some people
leaving those regions.
People leaving the tropics
because it's getting too hot
for human habitation.
It's getting too hot
for agriculture.
Crops in the tropics
will decrease dramatically
in their productivity.
In short, you're looking
at a world with less land,
less food, less water
and more people.
And that's a recipe for
a national security disaster.
Jim White:
I work on the carbon cycle,
tasks that I've taken on
for more than 30 years
and truth be told,
I figured
we would have done something
about this 20 years ago
and I could be off
doing something else,
but I'm still doing
what I'm doing.
If you think about
the relationship
between carbon dioxide
and sea level,
there's a couple of interesting
points in that relationship.
One of them is when CO2
goes up to roughly
400 parts per million.
That is warm enough that we
melt off chunks of Antarctica,
chunks of Greenland.
And those chunks
are the chunks that are
what we call marine base.
So the base of the ice sheet
in West Antarctica
is below sea level because
it's pinned to the sediments.
And once it starts to melt,
it's one of these
freight trains.
We don't know how this thing
is gonna stop.
And we're dangerously
at that point right now.
The other threshold
is somewhere around
six to seven hundred
parts per million CO2.
That's warm enough
that there is no more ice,
land ice on the planet.
And you have about
80 meters higher sea level.
We are on our way
to six, seven hundred
parts per million.
But I think that's one of those
interesting threshold moments
in our relationship
with the planet where,
are we gonna push
the climate system
so far out of balance
that we threaten the melting
of all land ice?
Guomundur Ingi Guobrandsson:
Yeah, it has changed.
Icelandic nature
is experiencing change
because of climate change.
This is quite visible in
the south coast, for example.
Our largest glacier,
Glacier Vatnajokull
or Water Glacier
if you translate it directly,
has also retreated quite a lot.
There is one
very interesting observation
that everybody noticed when
they drive the south coast now
and that is that they drive over
the longest bridge in Iceland,
almost one kilometer in length,
and there is
almost no water under it.
So you think, OK,
why building such a big bridge
for almost no water?
Well, this is
just climate change.
The river changed its course
is because of the retreat
of the glacier.
So now we have
this sort of monument,
a symbolic thing of the past.
The Arctic is a profoundly
different place right now.
In the Arctic,
the impacts of climate change
are the most extreme.
What scientists are finding is
that what happens in the Arctic
has major impacts
for the rest of the planet.
Catherine Lund Myhre:
I am working with measuring
greenhouse gases
at the Arctic location
and understanding how
the greenhouse gases
are changing over time.
I am concerned about
the increase of temperature
in the Arctic
and the impact this might have
on all the Arctic systems.
But what I think is extremely
important to be aware of
is that with the
sea ice reduction we have now
and all the other changes,
you might change
the whole weather system,
and this has global impact.
We know that the changes
that we see in Arctic
does not only stay
in the Arctic.
Peter Wadhams:
Yeah, I've been
working on sea ice
the last 50 years
pretty much.
And the whole Arctic has changed
so much in that time.
Loss of ice, loss of not only
a loss of area of ice,
but the loss of the appearance
of the great ice fields
of the past
with huge pressure ridges
and very, very thick ice.
Really dramatic ice scenery
has all gone.
Last month I was up
in the Barents Sea
on a research cruise
in a region where
normally you would have
quite a lot of multiyear ice.
We couldn't find
any multiyear ice.
So the ice was all very thin,
30 centimeters thick.
The Arctic Ocean is no longer
a continent of ice
but something that becomes
just water in summer.
There is a real, a huge loss
as far as beauty is concerned,
but also as far as the physics
of how the planet operates.
The ice is disappearing
because the climate's warming,
that's pretty obvious
that will happen,
but there's much more to it
than that,
because in fact
you have
many other
feedback mechanisms going on
which cause the effects
on the planet
to be far worse than just
the retreat of the ice.
So the Arctic's warming up
three times faster
than the rest of the world
and the temperature difference
between the Arctic
and lower latitudes
is getting less,
and that means
that the jet stream
is getting to be weaker.
And as it gets weaker,
it goes from being
almost a straight line
to becoming big lobes
reaching up north and south.
And with it,
when you have a lobe like that,
it means that polar air
can come down
to lower latitudes than it
normally reaches in one sector,
and then in the sector
to the east or west of it,
you've got warm air
going up north
further than it should do.
So you're getting
bizarre weather extremes
which of course everybody's
been commenting on.
The trouble is where
these air masses
are causing
such extreme changes
happens to be the latitudes
at which you have
the maximum food production.
Suddenly our ability
to feed everyone
is being affected
by these polar changes.
You can't take
that amount of ice away
without affecting
so many other things.
The impact of our actions
are starting to hit home.
Scientists' predictions
are now coming true
sooner than expected.
We are tragically suffering
through severe storms,
droughts, floods and fires
that are progressively becoming
more intense
and more unpredictable.
( firefighter radio chatter )
Elizabeth Brown:
Fires started
almost simultaneously
in multiple places.
Over 7,000 structures
were destroyed
and about 3,000 homes.
I think at the height
in the early days of the fire,
maybe about 100,000 people
were evacuated.
It's a collective trauma.
Fire Chief Tony Gossner:
Sounded like a war zone,
looked like a war zone.
They talk about
the Hanley Fire,
it took a day to get here.
It burned about
the same footprint,
but it took about a day.
It burned less than
200 structures.
This fire started at night,
made it to Santa Rosa in four,
four and a half hours,
and there's no comparison
other than the footprint.
Cal Fire
Incident Management came here
to help run this incident
and he just shook his head
and said,
"Man, I've never seen
anything like this.
I've been doing this
a long time."
So that's not
terribly comforting,
but that's where we're at
right now.
If we keep having
these wind events,
how do we protect our citizens?
How do we protect
our infrastructure?
What are the things
that we can do
to make it as good as possible?
We've been through four,
five years of drought.
That drought stresses
all the brush, all the trees.
And the winds at Geyser Peak
on one of the weather station
was clocked at
108 miles an hour.
And I don't know what you do
with those kinds of winds.
When something catches on fire,
it's all you can do to try
to figure out where it's going
and how fast
it's gonna get there.
I never would have thought
a fire
would come out of the hills
and run the flats in Santa Rosa.
I really didn't.
Cars were being flipped over.
There were shoebox chunks
of, you know, embers
that were being carried
well ahead of the fire.
You'll see there's some trees
where all the limbs are just,
they're snapped off.
They're not burned off,
they're snapped off.
These natural disasters
are so common now
that people know it's gonna
happen to their community.
It's not like a matter of if,
but when.
It is a wake-up call
to everyone
that climate change is here
and that you need
to plan for it.
Climate disruption is causing
a rise in extinctions today,
but this isn't the first time.
Scientists studying
geological records have shown
there is a connection
between spikes in carbon
and the past five
mass extinctions.
There is a natural law
that the carbon cycle
affects the fabric of life.
Every time there has been
a massive increase in carbon,
the web of life weakens
and sometimes collapses.
Daniel Rothman:
I've been working on the way
in which the carbon cycle
is associated with the
occurrence of mass extinctions
and whether the carbon cycle
can undergo instabilities
associated with them.
So the carbon cycle
is where life
and the environment interact.
You can think of it
as one grand loop
between photosynthesis,
which is a process
that takes carbon dioxide
out of the atmosphere
and converts it to oxygen
and plant matter
or organic carbon.
And then the back reaction
of the loop we call respiration
which is the process via which
we convert that plant matter
to carbon dioxide.
The grand loop of
the carbon cycle takes about
a hundred gigaton of carbon
out of the atmosphere
and oceans every year
and it returns it each year.
So this is
a hundred gigatons out
and a hundred gigatons back in.
But what we're contributing
is on the order of about 8%
from fossil fuel burning.
It's an 8% increase
compared to what is normally
going back and forth in a year.
It turns out to be
more than what volcanoes
are putting into the system.
( birds chirping )
Janine Benyus:
The planet is constantly
in the process
of rebalancing its cycles,
like its water cycle
and its nitrogen cycle
and its carbon cycle.
You've gotta think of it
as it's in constant flow.
And part of the planet's
doing that, you know,
was to take all the carbon
that was in the dinosaurs
and land plants
and press that into
eventually oil and fossil fuels.
Over long periods of time
it was sequestered
and we're a young species.
And we were curious
and we dug up the carbon
that had been sequestered
by the earth.
And we burned it,
not knowing it was like
burning furniture in a house
with its windows closed.
So what's happened
is that the planet
is reeling from that.
There's an excess of carbon
up in the atmosphere.
What it's doing is causing
the living conditions
here on earth
to go out of balance.
So as a biologist,
when I look at climate change,
yes, I look at rising seas
and melting polar caps.
Those are evidence for me.
But when we begin to look at
what's happening
to the biological organisms in
response to the warming trends,
they are already on the move.
They're moving towards
the poles to get cooler.
They're moving from
the lower mountains
up in elevation,
meaning their ranges
are moving.
They also sometimes move
without their helpers.
A plant will move north and its
pollinator won't make it.
This is called in our
bloodless language of science,
it's called
ecological disruptions.
So for me, if we change
the very conditions
that gave rise to all of this,
and to us, we--
It's gonna get crazy.
When the carbon cycle
is unstable,
it moves into a realm
that we don't understand.
Going back to geologic time
is that occasionally
there are these essentially
bursts within the carbon cycle
in which things change.
One of them
which is widely known
as the Paleocene Eocene
Thermal Maxima
55 million years ago.
And others
which are decidedly worse.
They're destructive
or catastrophic events.
They're mass extinctions.
The worst of them known as
the Permian Extinction.
So that's the historical record
but what we're doing
to the carbon cycle now
is another kind of problem
because now we know
what's going on.
We know that we have been adding
carbon dioxide
as a consequence
of fossil fuels.
And then the question is,
does that risk
engendering the kind of bursts
that we've seen in the past
that could create
what I would call
an instability
in the carbon cycle?
That is one
in which small changes
become bigger changes.
That's a precise scientists'
definition of catastrophe.
When you get down
to the individual level,
losing one's home to a flood
is a catastrophe.
We can still avoid
breaching that dangerous limit
of two degrees,
but if you do the math,
with each passing year
of relative inaction,
it's getting
more and more difficult
to limit our carbon emissions
and remain under
two degrees Celsius warming.
( Man speaking French )
( cheering and applause )
We know we have put too much
carbon into the atmosphere.
But how much is too much?
Scientists have figured out
what that amount is
and have created
a carbon budget
that will create
a margin for life.
This budget tells us
where we are now,
how much more carbon
we can burn
and how much
needs to be removed
in order to sustain life
on earth as we know it.
Ottmar Edenhofer:
I would say the major challenge
is indeed
dangerous climate change.
And if we want to avoid
dangerous climate change,
well, then we have to accept
that the atmosphere
is for humankind
a limiting disposal space.
So roughly we can emit
800 gigatons CO2
into the atmosphere in this
limiting disposal space.
And if you take into account
that over the last five years
we have already used
200 gigatons,
so this basically means
that over the next two decades
we have exhausted
the limiting disposal space.
So in Paris
it was very important
that the whole world
and the whole world leaders
agreed on limiting
temperature increase
to well below two degrees.
So that's
the kind of safeguard line
and it's very important that
more than a hundred nations
stand behind it.
So imagine the volume
that is in this ball.
That's a kind of symbol
for the CO2
that is still in the ground
in terms of coal
or in the form of oil and gas.
So this is the amount of carbon.
And if we want
to limit the temperature
to two degrees globally,
we may only emit
this little amount of carbon
into the atmosphere.
And to see that we have
a lot more of carbon
still stored in the ground that
we can emit in the atmosphere
when we want to limit
the temperature to two degrees.
So therefore the question is,
how does it fit together?
So, now for the next 20 years,
this is an enormous
important time span
to transform our economies,
to decouple economic growth
from emission growth.
And by middle of the century,
we need zero emissions,
and after 2050 you need
even negative emissions.
The carbon clock
is just informing people
where we are now.
What is the pathway
how we exhaust
the limiting disposal space
of the atmosphere.
And this is a huge challenge
for humankind.
Science tells us that
our current climate crisis
is a problem we've created.
But it is also a problem
we can fix.
Not only do we need
to stop emitting carbon
at the current levels
by switching
to renewable energy,
but it is also critical to pull
carbon out of the atmosphere.
Climate change can be reversed
if we act now.
Recently researchers have
figured out what solutions
can draw carbon down,
getting us back to
pre-industrial levels.
Paul Hawken:
There's only two things you
can do about the atmosphere.
You can either stop putting
greenhouse gases up there
or you can bring CO2 back down.
That's it.
And you can do the first one
by conservation,
energy efficiency
and clean energy.
And the second one through
whether it's on land, on farms,
on forests, phytoplankton,
kelp in the oceans; there's only
two things you can do.
So that actually
sorts it pretty simply.
And in the past what has
been done in terms of solutions
is that it's focused on energy.
Energy, energy, energy.
And the reason for that
is understandable.
So it makes perfect sense
to say,
"Well, let's stop putting
that CO2 up there,"
excepting that in the process
of emphasizing clean energy,
renewable energy, solar,
wind, et cetera,
it's sort of occluded
the rest of the solutions.
The purpose of Drawdown
is to see
if the 80 solutions
that we had modeled
would scale to the point where
we could reverse global warming
within 30 years,
going from reduce to reverse.
The bend the carbon curve,
what Drawdown shows,
is that we have choices.
And that if we increase
the rate that we're scaling
some of the solutions,
then we could achieve Drawdown
at 2050.
And if you say
the odds are long,
I agree, they're long odds.
I'll take 'em.
Linwood Gill:
My name is Linwood Gill.
I'm the Chief Forester for the
Usal Redwood Forest Company.
Usal Redwood Forest
is a community forest,
it's owned by a non-profit,
the Redwood Forest Foundation.
It's a 50,000 acre forest
which is dedicated
to managing the forest
on a long-term basis
for the economic stability
of the community,
as well as restoring
the forest habitat,
restoring the fish habitat,
and also for
sequestering carbon.
And carbon sequestration
is a main part of our
operations right now.
Carbon sequestration
is an important part
of combatting climate change.
The Usal Redwood Forest is
a very young redwood forest.
and redwoods can absorb
more carbon
than any other forest type
on the planet.
Redwoods store carbon
by absorbing carbon
from carbon dioxide
out of the air into its needles
and stores it into
the bowl of the tree,
the trunk or the roots,
the branches.
To my knowledge,
this is one of
the largest carbon projects
in the country, yes.
I am the Biochar
Project Manager
for the Redwood Forest
We're sort of at a perfect
storm right now in California
where we have over
a hundred million dead trees
in the Sierra.
And we need to do something
with that.
We have what is called
the western pine bark beetle,
which makes its living by
feeding on ponderosa pine,
and other trees as well.
And these beetles have been
around for thousands of years
and have lived in harmony
and balance with the trees.
But unfortunately,
because of climate change
and because of
the long drought,
millions of trees are very weak
and have difficulty defending
themselves against the beetles.
Biochar can definitely be
one of the ways that we address
the beetle damage
in the dead and dying trees
of the Sierras.
Biochar is essentially the form
of charcoal that is suitable
for use in agriculture
and in helping to build
more healthy soil.
When you pyrolize woody biomass
about half of the carbon
that is in that woody biomass
can be saved,
is a residual charcoal.
And biochar is very much
like coral for the soil
in that it can hold nutrients,
it can hold water.
It's more of an architecture.
It incubates life.
You're saving about half of
the carbon that's in that plant
and then can put it to better
use and sequestering it in soil
for great benefit
to agriculture.
We have all this biomass that
we have to do something with.
They are a fire hazard and,
as you know,
right now we have something
like ten fires in California.
And by producing biochar
we can return some of that
material back into the forest
in a safe manner,
or we can take some
of that biochar
and take it down into
the Central Valley,
which desperately needs
water savings.
And one of the prime benefits
of biochar
is that it can help
to retain water in soils.
If we put biochar in
just 10% of the world's soil,
we'll actually sequester
29 billion tons of CO2.
29 billion tons.
That's on 10%.
And that's using only--
"surplus waste material,"
so that's significant.
And then we have
the carbon offset credits.
And to keep those carbon
credits coming,
we have to employ workers
to do our forest inventories,
to work with
the carbon verifiers
to make sure the carbon
that we say is on the property
is on the property,
and then is maintained
into the future.
I'd like to think
that we're a model
that others can join in
and do the same thing
that we're doing out here.
This isn't rocket science.
The carbon storage, as we move
into the future, is huge.
And we need more larger,
older forests, intact forests,
that we know
will never be developed
and can continue
into perpetuity.
Kate Scow:
I'm Kate Scow,
and I'm a professor
in Land,
Air and Water Resources
at University of California,
And I'm a soil microbial
So the carbon cycle
on a global scale
involves aquatic systems
and terrestrial systems.
So soil is a very
important part of the
terrestrial systems.
Soil actually contains
two to three times
the amount of carbon
that is in the atmosphere.
Soil is the place where primary
productivity is supported.
That means all the vegetation
that grows,
that fixes CO2
through photosynthesis
from the atmosphere,
what miraculous, like,
creating mass here
on the ground
out of what? Air?
It's, like, still amazing to me.
That productivity brings
all this carbon in.
The plant fixes the CO2,
it dies,
it falls onto the ground,
and all that plant residue
now enters into
the soil carbon cycle.
It's way bigger than
the atmosphere,
what is residing in soil.
So organic farms
obtain their nutrients
not from synthetic fertilizers.
The fertilizer is in the form
of organic material.
That could be cover crops,
or it could be compost
that's made of food wastes
or yard wastes or animal waste
that you put in the soil.
So in organic systems,
you may be putting
up to eight times as much
carbon into the soil
compared to
a conventional system.
So it's like part of it
is really basic.
Climate change
gives us an opportunity
to really behave differently
on this planet.
We see what we can do
at our worst,
and now the question is,
if we were to consciously...
be a part of the healing...
it'll unleash,
I think, our creativity.
You realize, "Oh my gosh,
I have a back yard.
Oh my gosh,
I have a park near me."
If we were to see ourselves
as helpers
who could help the helpers
heal this planet...
that is so much better
than seeing ourselves
as disruptive toddlers
with matches.
You begin to realize that all
of us are somehow connected
to little bits of the solution.
Ietef Vida:
Right now we live and direct
at my mentor's house,
the OG, the organic gardener,
Ron Finley.
I'm more inspired to always
come here
and learn and figure out
different ways
to how I can actually utilize
a small plot of land
to grow the most that I can.
Culinary climate action is
basically what I like to see,
when I'm growing the food
and it's basically taking all
that carbon out the atmosphere,
it's pulling it in.
And we also can see the fact
that we can put it back
into the soil.
Now only at the same time
it's creating green jobs,
you know, and also addressing
things like diabetes and obesity
in my community,
where I come from.
You know, there's
a lot of plots,
there's a lot of city access,
there's a lot of water
that's available.
This is really just
a beautiful cause and effect.
We're literally pulling out
all the harmful poisons
that we, like, literally just
emit into our atmosphere.
And the best way
that you want to transform that
is by growing some food.
Put it on the roof.
Put it in your window sill.
But we feel the heat rising.
You know, being a farmer
is being futuristic.
There is no doomsday mentality.
You have to actually
plant water
and think that you're going
to reap what you sow.
So that's the conversation
that I'd like to see
when we're talking about
transforming the climate.
It's not gonna happen overnight.
But you do have to start now.
Now is the time.
Bren Smith:
My name is Bren Smith.
I'm the owner
of Thimble Island Ocean Farm.
And we're here in the Thimble
Islands in Long Island Sound.
And I was, I'm born and raised
in Newfoundland, Canada,
high school dropout, and have
fished all over the globe.
I fished in Gloucester
up in Newfoundland,
and then I was in the Bering Sea
for a bunch of years.
And, you know,
that was the height of
industrialized fishing.
We were tearing up entire
eco-systems with our trawls,
chasing fewer and fewer fish
further and further out to sea.
So it was completely
In fact, a lot of the fish
I was catching
was going to McDonald's
for their Fishwich sandwich.
It really caused a wake-up call
for a lot of folks
in my generation.
I was actually out
in the Bering Sea,
and the cod stocks crashed.
And, you know, thousands
of people thrown out of work,
canneries shuttered,
and it really taught me
that you can build up an
economy and a culture over
hundreds of years
and if you don't protect
the resources,
eco-system collapse can wipe it
out in a matter of years.
And that's when
we really begin to realize
that issues like overfishing,
like climate change,
that they're not
environmental issues
for a lot of us
that work on the ocean,
they're economic issues. I mean,
there's gonna be no food,
no jobs, on a dead planet.
When I realized
this wasn't sustainable,
I went on this search
for sustainability.
I remade myself
as an oysterman.
And what oysters taught me
was that Mother Nature
created these technologies
millions of years ago
designed to mitigate our harm.
We don't need advanced
Mother Nature has seaweeds
and shellfish
which sequester five times more
carbon than land-based plants,
filter 50 gallons of water
a day per oyster
pulling nitrogen
out of our system.
I mean, my job as
a steward of the ocean
is to take Mother Nature's
technologies and grow them.
And it's pretty simple.
So the beautiful thing
about if you grow just
restorative species,
is there's zero inputs.
We don't need fresh water,
we don't need animal feed,
we don't need fertilizer
and we don't need land,
making it hands down
the most sustainable form
of food production
on the planet.
So kelp is
this beautiful seaweed.
It's like the gateway drug
to a new cuisine.
It's one of the fastest-growing
plants on earth.
It soaks up five times more
carbon than land-based plants.
It's called the Sequoia
of the Sea.
But it's just the beginning.
I mean, we're starting
with kelp,
but there are 10,000 edible
plants in the ocean.
Part of the plant we can turn
into kelp noodles,
but then this is just biofuel
we turn into fertilizer
and we can turn
into animal feed.
If you provide a seaweed diet
to cows,
you get a 90% reduction
in methane output.
It's stunning.
And cows have been eating--
cows, sheep, goats,
have been eating kelp
for hundreds of years.
Hebrides Islands, Maine,
all sorts of places.
You know, the volume's
We can do 10 to 20 tons
of kelp per acre,
150,000 shellfish.
And you scale this up,
if you were to take
a network of our farms
totaling the size
of Washington State,
technically you could
feed the world.
If you took five percent
of U.S. territorial waters
and farmed in our style,
you could create
50 million direct jobs
and sequester the equivalent
carbon of 20 million cars.
Our farms also help mitigate
The kelp creates something
called a Halo Effect
which reduces the acidity
in the oceans,
which then allow our oysters
and other shellfish
to grow thicker shells
and not be as susceptible
to acidification.
So, I mean, climate change
was supposed to be
this 100-year
sort of slow lobster boil.
And instead it's here and now.
Luckily, as fishermen,
we can transition to something
that keeps that (indistinct)
and have the pride of helping
feed my country,
and that's just so exciting.
I can be part of, you know,
the army that's going to help,
hopefully, save the planet.
If we put 10 units of CO2
in the atmosphere,
ten very large units of CO2
in the atmosphere,
about five stay in
the atmosphere
and about two and a half
go into plants
and about two and a half
goes into the ocean.
So you've got an acidic ocean.
So how do you deal with that?
Nature handles this problem
by making more shells,
which is the marine snow idea,
that little beasties
grow in the water,
they make calcium carbonate
shells, so shells fall.
The problem with that is,
the planet loves to operate
on time scales
of millions of years.
And we don't.
So, question becomes, can you
speed that process up?
We have to investigate
all our options.
There are more experimental
that still need to be tested.
One solution may lie
in a microscopic community
of life called marine snow.
Stasa Puskaric:
So, fundamentally,
what do we need?
Well, we need this planet
as it was,
we have to bring it
in the state that
it was 200 years ago.
Higher concentrations
of carbon dioxide,
they increase acidity
of the ocean.
The oceans are losing
their ability
to capture carbon
from the atmosphere.
And we have
to do something about it.
We have to help these systems
which cycle carbon
between the atmosphere,
between the plants on the land,
and between the oceans.
And with marine snow,
it just needs a little help
from us.
The main products will be
removal of carbon dioxide
and the production of oxygen.
What we can do is
insert into the ocean
very small,
minute amounts of iron,
but very, very little,
so it doesn't have
anything to do
with that term "fertilization."
To give you a measure,
we need altogether
about 6 kilograms of iron
for initiating this process
on 100,000 square kilometers
of the southern oceans.
The cells form organic matrix,
which is the foundation
for the formation
of the marine snow.
It is then,
when the matrix appears,
it becomes very attractive
for cyanobacteria
and heterotrophic bacteria,
which colonize these particles,
and then actively grow.
And then we just
let them do their job,
because they can stay suspended
for a very long period of time.
We tracked these
marine snow particles
for more than four months...
so they can float around
and sequester organic matter,
and when they become heavy,
they simply sink down
to the sea floor.
The speed of this change,
and increase
in the concentrations
and temperature--
we must act.
And we can.
I'm 100% positive
that we can achieve
of human activities
to work together with nature,
and not against it.
Science has long proven
we have existing technologies
that work, and they are
already being implemented.
It's just become a matter
of political will and scale.
We need a multitude of
solutions moving forward
In order to solve this crisis,
it is critical we move
to 100% renewable energy now.
So, the top five solutions,
number two was onshore wind,
and that wasn't a surprise.
Onshore wind, though,
being much greater than solar,
was a surprise to us.
Solar was number eight in ten,
Martin Hermann: The sun is
the largest resource we have.
All the other resources pale
compared to the sun.
We have known that
for a long time,
we just never understood how to
harvest it in an economic way.
That's what's different now.
Solar PV is in a stage
where we're already lower
than fossil fuel.
Well, solar has come a long way.
Carter in the '80s
already installed solar
in the White House.
Reagan tore it down later on.
And only in 2001,
when Germany started to deploy
solar on a large scale,
we have been getting the benefit
of economy of scale.
Eventually we will be able
to power
the entire electrical grids
with solar and wind,
and all we need
is wind and storage,
and solar and storage.
So, if you want to power
the entire United States
with photovoltaic,
we would need about
30,000 square miles in area.
That would give us
enough to power
all the power grids in every
state of the United States.
Mount Signal is a project
that powers about 70,000 homes
in San Diego.
The second phase, the power
is going to be wheeled
to Southern California.
The price of electricity that
we produce at Mount Signal
is already lower
than fossil fuels.
It's also a price that delivers
fuel price certainty
to the utility.
The price is flat
over the next 25 years,
not something that you get from
any other fossil fuel energies.
We have integrated so much
solar in California already.
Ten years ago,
people would've said, "No,
that's not really possible."
Well, here we are,
solar is covering already
up to 25% of California.
The rate payer had no
material increase in pricing,
and we're still alive,
it all works.
And we have been able to reduce
carbon on the way there.
Over the last years we saw now
utilities volunteering
to buy solar.
We see this mindset shifting.
We still under-appreciate
the value that PV brings.
People do not comprehend
that in five years,
we will have PV
at much lower price.
We will be able
to dispatch it at night,
and you combine that with wind,
you get this paradigm
where we are truly living
in a hundred percent
renewable environment.
And this is feasible.
We don't need
any new invention for that,
we know all the technology.
We just need to make sure that
the people responsible
for the planning of resources,
for the infrastructure planning,
understand that this
is a different technology,
and it will get cheaper
over time.
Donald Trump:
Coal is coming back.
- Clean coal is coming back.
- ( crowd cheers )
A hundred percent.
My administration is putting
an end to the war on coal.
Gonna have clean coal,
really clean coal.
It's difficult enough,
to communicate science
to the public.
Now, you take that challenge,
and you add to it
a concerted effort
by fossil fuel interests
and the front groups
that they fund
to pollute the discourse
over climate change,
to confuse the public,
to confuse policymakers.
We need to transform
our energy sector,
move away from
fossil fuel energy,
towards renewable energy.
Well, that's
rather inconvenient
for the powerful
fossil fuel interests
who have many millions
of dollars invested
in our continued addiction
to fossil fuels.
And they've fought
tooth and nail
to maintain that addiction,
in part by attacking the science
linking climate change
to that behavior,
the burning of fossil fuels.
A question that
we get asked a lot is,
how do we know that
the CO2 rise in the atmosphere
is because of human activity.
And the answer is that
we leave fingerprints
all over the atmosphere.
And one of the fingerprints
that we leave in the atmosphere
is via what we call Carbon-14,
or radioactive carbon.
So when we burn coal, oil,
and natural gas,
we leave an imprint
on the atmosphere
of what we call negative
Carbon-14, or less Carbon-14.
Because fossil fuels
are so old,
there's no Carbon-14 left,
it's all decayed away.
We can actually measure,
very accurately,
how much fossil fuels we burn
by measuring C-14
in the atmosphere.
It is nature's verification
system that we have.
They've persuaded enough people
and sowed enough doubt
that it's making it more
difficult than in the past
to actually get anything done
about climate change,
and that's really depressing.
And the fact is
that the agenda
that many of these
fossil fuel corporations,
and those who are running them
are engaged in, is malicious
in the danger it's creating
and the havoc that it is
wreaking on our planet.
So we've got a bunch of people
who are literally profiting
off the death of life on Earth.
I think that
some climate denial,
particularly the well-funded
climate denial,
that is being done by people
who know better,
rises to the level of a crime
against humanity
that probably should be
prosecuted in the Hague.
While climate deniers have
succeeded in delaying action,
a much more ominous problem
has emerged.
Very recently,
scientists have recorded
increasing levels of
methane gas in the atmosphere.
Methane, a powerful
greenhouse gas,
has the potential to increase
temperatures even further.
Increased methane is a sign
that we are reaching a critical
tipping point.
But where is it coming from?
And how much will it accelerate
climate disruption?
Scientists are racing
to find out.
( no audible dialogue )
Gabrielle Petron:
So, we are in front of
the University of Wyoming
Mobile Laboratory.
We have different
instruments inside
that measure what's in the air
that we are breathing right now.
It's doing that in real time.
And we are able, like that,
to chase emission sources
and plumes,
and understand where
sources of pollutions
are located,
what activities are
going on that lead
to enhanced methane.
Inside of our lab,
we have a couple instruments.
We have
a proton-transfer-reaction
time-of-flight mass spec
to measure volatile organics
like benzene, toluene.
And then we also have
a Picarro cavity ring-down
to measure methane
We can see data from these
instruments in real time
due to an inlet we have
up on our mast above the van,
which pulls air in and feeds
into our instruments.
So, we found with
aerial and road mapping
that we have more sources
of methane in areas
where we extract the gas
than we expected.
And to really pinpoint where
there are leaks of methane,
you need to be very close
to the sources.
And the mobile lab
gives us the flexibility
to pinpoint where we see
the largest leaks.
The company has drilled
brand-new megapad,
22 wells in the middle
of renewed urban development
in western Greeley.
This is a site
that had a lot of contention,
given its size
and its location.
So the local community,
from what I've heard,
is not really
kept up to breadth
on what's going on
at the site.
There's a huge sound wall
around the operation,
and the state is not really
maybe doing its best
at facilitating
the communication.
We saw operations going on
with a lot of flaring.
It seems very large volume
of gas.
The yellow color of the flame
tells you it's not
complete combustion.
So, we are going to continue
doing those drives to
understand those sources,
but also to track
what the local population
may be exposed to.
So some oil-
and gas-producing regions
have such a large
concentration of methane
in the atmosphere above them
that you can see it from space,
and that's something that was
described a few years back
for the Four Corners region,
and that's really the key
for us to be like detectives
and map where we see the
largest sources of emissions.
Don Schreiber:
So in 2014,
NASA scientists in cooperation
with NOAA,
University of Michigan,
and other scientists,
identified a methane hotspot
the size of Delaware
in the Four Corners region.
That methane hotspot
is the largest accumulation
of methane gases
in the United States.
This ranch,
this spot that we're on,
is approximately ground zero.
If you were able
to identify a middle
for that Delaware-shaped cloud,
it might very well be right here
where we're standing.
And it's closely identified
the cause of
that methane hotspot
to be predominantly
the emissions from drilling,
such as this site,
as well as coal and other
fossil fuels.
So the methane hotspot
is identified
basically because
of the technology
that NOAA and NASA had
following the advent
of the FLIR cameras,
which are the infrared cameras
that let us identify the leaks
and vents and flares
that cause the methane hotspot
to accumulate.
You have to think of it
in its full sense,
and that is 60 years and more
of leaking, venting, flaring,
and careless practices
here in the San Juan basin,
over a million acres,
in total 30,000 wells,
that have caused
that methane hotspot
to finally accumulate
and stand as evidence
of what natural gas drilling
ultimately results in.
People lose sight of the fact
that the conventional wells
created the methane hotspot,
and that they are
a daily culprit.
So, this is a conventional
natural gas well.
This is very typical equipment
throughout the San Juan basin
and many gas fields
across America.
This one is leaking pretty badly
from some of the standard
equipment that's on it.
This just requires, honestly,
a crescent wrench,
a little bit of Teflon tape--
some attention
will fix this leak.
If I had a single wish,
my wish would be to pull
an investor in oil and gas here
and stand them
where I'm standing,
let them see that leak.
Let them see that times 18,000
in the San Juan basin,
and get them to stop obstructing
a federal rule
that stays in place
to protect my family,
to protect taxpayers
across New Mexico,
and provide federal
fair and equal protection
across the western states.
Let's get those guys
out of the boardroom,
right here on
this well location,
let 'em look at that leak
that can be easily fixed.
And when I found out
that the EPA administrator,
Scott Pruitt,
knew that the data had come in
that methane leaks
and the chemicals
that come with them
harm children to a greater
degree than they did to me,
I was just outraged
that he would try again
to roll back the federal
protections for us.
You know, if someone
came onto my ranch
with the stated objective
of harming my children,
it would be over my dead body.
250 million years ago,
sudden releases of methane
produced kind of
a secondary effect
that finished off large chunks
of life on Earth.
And one of the debates right now
is whether the methane
that is buried in the Arctic,
whether the methane that is,
you know, in the permafrost,
in the seas all over the world,
how rapidly
that will be mobilized,
and how destructive
that mobilization will be.
The release
of this ancient methane
may lead to exponentially
more warming.
Will this methane create
an apocalyptic scenario?
This is a question
scientists are desperately
trying to answer.
Jurgen Mienert:
I'm the director of the Center
for Gas Hydrate, Environment,
and Climate.
Here we have a team
of 50 to 60 scientists
working on understanding
the impact of methane
on the global climate system.
This methane is stored
beneath the Arctic Ocean floor
in huge reservoirs,
at locations we sometimes know,
but we often do not know
very much about it.
So, we are applying here
geophysical methods
to quantify the methane hydrate
and also to see how stable
those methane hydrates are
today, but also in the future.
Methane is one of the most
aggressive greenhouse gases.
Methane has, fortunately,
a shorter lifetime.
The Earth has a natural system
for regulating input of methane
from the ocean
into the atmosphere.
And this system
is working quite efficiently.
But this system is also
changing, because the ocean
current system is changing,
the ocean temperature
is changing,
the ocean chemistry
is changing.
So, methane was in
a kind of equilibrium
for some time,
and during the last
couple of years, we see quite
a distinct increase in methane.
Do not know where this signal
is coming from,
and at the present time,
that, of course,
is putting a pressure
on the scientific community
to give an answer
to the politicians:
what is going on with the
methane in the atmosphere?
Where is the methane
coming from?
What is presently
becoming more unstable?
Lund Myhre:
We have done some
very comprehensive
measurement campaigns
where we have measured
at the sea floor, in the ocean,
at the sea surface,
and in the air at the same time
to understand how methane is
regulated in this whole system.
There is a lot of methane
stored at the sea floor,
and this is so much
that only a small change
might impact the ocean,
or the atmosphere.
The balance here
needs a lot more focus,
a lot more observations,
and combining atmosphere,
ocean, climate, different kind
of components together.
Pavel Serov:
In my profession,
I'm interested in studying
methane cold seeps in the ocean,
in the Russian Arctic,
and also in the Barents Sea.
It's, well, basically,
streams of gas bubbles
rising from the sea floor,
and those gas bubbles are
mostly composed of methane gas.
First, it's gas hydrates,
that's solid form.
It's basically ice-like
Also, the gas can be present as
free gas, which is gas bubbles.
Plumes of methane bubbles
can vary.
In some areas in the Arctic,
we find gas seeps as tall as
800, 900 meters.
And the water depth
in these areas,
a little more
than 1,200 meters.
In shallower areas, we often
find gas seeps
that are almost reaching
the sea surface.
East Siberian Sea is definitely
an area of concern for guys
studying methane,
in particular
because it's so shallow there.
So, those methane bubbles have
really high potential to get
to the sea surface.
Some areas, Spitzbergen,
we find the methane flares
that are almost reaching
the sea surface.
We have warmed the atmosphere
to such a degree
that we have hit the tipping
point of a melting Arctic.
We now face the potential
for an abrupt
climate change scenario.
Current models predict
we will shoot way past
the Paris Agreement,
to five degrees and more,
causing even more catastrophic
tipping points to be activated.
Warming might lead
to large
injections of methane
into the atmosphere.
It's something
we need to be concerned about.
I would only add that it's one
of many possible stressors.
We move into
a high-risk situation
where we don't really
have any experience
and we don't know how
to deal with it.
The permafrost,
and methane in general,
is of a great concern.
And I think that
this is something
perhaps we need to pay more
attention to methane in general,
in relation to
the climate issue.
My concerns are that
there are great reservoirs
of methane in the world,
in particular in the Arctic.
It is the risk of going
beyond the tipping point
where it will be
difficult to go back
and reverse the problem.
It's a very plausible feedback
mechanism that in Arctic soils,
permafrost soils,
there's an enormous amount
of organic material frozen.
And the amount that is
available there, potentially,
to turn into CO2 and methane is
maybe three times, four times
all of the fossil fuels
that we have burned.
If we take all this material
out of the deep freeze...
you very likely get large CO2
and methane emissions
on a huge scale,
over which we have no control.
Katey Walter Anthony:
I study methane emissions
from lakes.
We are in interior Alaska,
and we are in
discontinuous permafrost.
The thing that we're looking at
is microbial methane.
This methane
bubbling here behind me,
it's dead plant
and animal remains
that were locked up
in permafrost
for tens of thousands of years.
And as that permafrost
is thawing,
the microbes eat
that soil carbon,
and they turn it into methane.
This process
of permafrost thawing,
and that thawing permafrost
fueling methane production,
and then methane
escapes into the atmosphere,
causes climate warming,
which causes
more permafrost to thaw,
we call that
a permafrost carbon feedback.
It is a natural process.
Our concern, though,
is that as climate warms
at a faster rate than it has
in the last 10,000 years,
that permafrost
is going to respond
by thawing a lot more quickly
and releasing,
at a faster rate, methane gas.
Now every time
I go to a new lake,
I attempt to light
these gas pockets.
Because it's a very high
concentration of methane,
it's highly flammable,
we see a positive flame test
when they contain methane.
So it's a quick gas
chromatograph on the lake
to tell us do we have
a methane lake,
or are we dealing with
a different kind of lake?
There are many new lakes
forming that were not here
30 or 60 years ago...
and those lakes have 10 to 100
to 1,000 times more methane
than the rest of the lakes.
They are a picture of the type
of methane emissions
we expect to see
in the next 10 to 50 years
as permafrost warms and thaws,
and that permafrost feedback
cycle kicks in
and really accelerates.
Now, is it methane,
is it permafrost,
is it the dissolved
organic carbon in the ocean
which is suddenly remobilized?
These things are all
intertwined with each other.
So, really what one
needs to ask is:
are there positive feedbacks
within the system?
The answer is yes.
So, it just stands to reason,
purely by common sense,
the less you disturb it,
the better off things will be.
We have the solutions at hand,
but the question still remains.
Can we mobilize
and take collective action
before it's too late?
There isn't the oomph
in the world to do this.
They talk about,
with the Paris Agreement,
how we must reduce
our carbon emissions
and to keep temperature rise
at some low level,
but in fact, of course,
we won't be able to do that.
The technology that can save us
is something
that would take carbon dioxide
out of the atmosphere.
So it ought to be obvious
that the biggest research
effort that man is involved in
should be to develop
direct air capture methods
that work.
If we do that,
then we can save the world,
and so why don't we do it?
Christof Gebald:
Direct air capture is machines
which take in ambient air and
extract the CO2 from this air.
For the last ten years,
we have been working on
direct air capture,
with the goal of making it
with the least possible
energy impact,
and ultimately
with the best economics.
This machine consists of four
40-foot shipping containers,
and can be any size,
there is no limit to it.
So we take in the ambient air
And inside,
we have our filter structure.
We get the waste heat
of the waste incinerated
to drive this plant.
Once the CO2 is captured,
this gas is then going
to a greenhouse,
and this greenhouse
is using the CO2
to increase
the CO2 concentration
in the atmosphere
of the greenhouse.
Which is done already nowadays,
but with fossil CO2,
and from tomorrow on, they're
going to use atmospheric CO2.
This plant will allow
to close a carbon cycle.
So, of course, the CO2
goes into the greenhouse,
and goes to the tomatoes
and cucumbers,
and once we eat them, the CO2
goes back to the atmosphere.
But since we recapture the CO2
from the atmosphere,
it's a closed cycle.
So, this can be a missing piece
of the pie
in order to close
a global carbon cycle
in the energy
or transportation sector.
So, besides using CO2
in a greenhouse like this,
we can take CO2,
we can take water,
and we can take
renewable energy.
We can again produce fuels--
for example, jet fuel.
In order to capture
1% of global CO2 emissions,
we would need roughly 300,000
of the plants behind me,
which is of course
a very high number.
But if you compare this
to existing infrastructures,
it's a scale
which humanity can handle.
So, it's definitely
an achievable goal.
The next project is to bring
a plant to Iceland
to capture CO2 from the air
and sequester
the CO2 underground.
And in two hours, you literally
turn CO2 into a stone,
which stores it in a permanent
and safe manner.
In order to run the plant,
we would use geothermal heat.
There's an abundance of it
on Iceland,
therefore we would have
low carbon footprint energy
available to drive the machine.
Jan Wurzbacher:
So, today
is a very special day.
We have brought CO2 capture
plant up here to Iceland.
And we are taking CO2
out of the air,
and then pumping it underground,
storing it in
the basalt rock formation
within the CarbFix project.
So, we extract CO2 from the air
and permanently remove it
by turning it into rock.
And yesterday night
was the first time
that atmospheric CO2
was injected into the ground.
We can go up to thousands,
ten thousands,
hundred thousands, and even up
to millions of tons of CO2
per year that can be extracted
from the atmosphere.
That is actually,
to our knowledge,
the first time ever
in the world
that direct air capture of CO2
has been combined
with underground safe
and permanent storage of CO2.
Yeah, it's a new relationship
with carbon.
Why can't we find a way
to make it an ingredient
for something?
Why can't we put it
in our plastics
or in our building materials?
Or through the help
of carbon dioxide chemistry,
turning carbon dioxide into the
things that we need every day?
I'm Daniel Nocera,
the Patterson-Rockwood professor
of energy at Harvard University.
These are my labs,
the labs where we invented
the artificial leaf
and the bionic leaf.
And what they do
is a complete photosynthesis.
Sunlight, air and water,
to fuels and food.
Think about photosynthesis.
If you think about
what it really does,
it's the building block
of life,
and its building blocks,
are CO2, water, and sunlight.
And we build all of this,
like this,
wood and food,
and starch, and biomass.
That's a remarkable
This photosynthetic process,
it's very complex,
but we really listen to nature.
And that, we finally ended up
doing in 30 years.
And something that makes us
really happy,
not only can I say yes,
we can do it artificially,
I can do it ten times better
than photosynthesis.
We made special catalysts that
coated the artificial leaf,
and then they would split water
to hydrogen and oxygen.
The second part of the
invention is the bionic leaf.
It takes the hydrogen
from the bacteria
and then it makes fuels.
And so, depending on what genes
I put into the bacteria,
I could have the bacteria
make materials,
they could make drugs.
We've shown
they can make fertilizer.
We can work
out of any water source,
including natural waters,
sea water.
As long as you have
my artificial leaf,
you can do it in your backyard.
We don't need to dig what's been
down there and release more CO2.
The artificial leaf,
working with the bionic leaf,
takes the CO2
out of the atmosphere,
uses sunlight and water,
and we make fuel.
So, we don't add any more
to the atmosphere, any more CO2.
And it's another issue, because
the cost I'm up against,
the developed world has spent
tens of trillions of dollars
to build what they now use.
It's kind of hard
to walk away from
a multi-trillion dollar
that you've paid off.
So, that's what it's all about.
Therefore, you need policy
and you need good partnership.
And the public informing them
that they have options,
and that there can be
this different world.
This new world
can be sustainable,
innovative, and profitable.
The green economy
is creating millions of jobs,
and will create millions more.
It matches and will surpass
the economy of
the fossil fuel industry.
The challenge
to reverse climate disruption
opens up opportunity
for everyone.
It is now more profitable
than ever to be green.
Up until recently,
the profit you could make
from creating the problem
was greater
than the profit
you could make
from the solutions.
So, the solutions
had to be done with subsidies,
which were rare
and non-existent,
or altruism, or faith.
But people who are making
the problems were raking it in,
raking it in, raking it in.
And I think we're at a crossover
where actually the profit
you can make from the solutions
is greater than the profit
from the problems.
And that is not well understood.
So it's not that altruism
need not apply,
it's a great thing.
But actually,
altruism will not be needed
in order to move towards a world
where we reverse global warming,
because in fact,
it's less expensive.
It's more profitable,
more beneficial, more jobs.
It's the most amazing thing
that's happened
in the last few years,
and it's going to do
nothing but increase
as the years go by,
because engineers
and designers,
and basically
who are unknown and unnamed,
have been working diligently,
and are working diligently
to reinvent a new way
of being a human being
relating to this planet.
James Murray:
In Orkney, we have a really
strong maritime tradition.
And since the '70s, the oil
and gas industry in Aberdeen
has been a major contributor
to the local economy,
providing tens
and thousands of jobs.
But really,
in the last few years,
we've seen quite a big downturn
in terms of
the oil and gas industry
and the price of oil.
But we've got lots
of really experienced people
in offshore operations
on our doorstep,
and they're finding new jobs
in offshore renewables
and companies such as ourselves.
Tidal energy is almost
an entirely untapped resource.
We think we have the potential
around the world
for about 100 gigawatts
of capacity, perhaps more.
And what that equates to
is a low-carbon energy
for millions
and millions of homes.
What we've got here
is the world's most powerful
tidal energy generator.
We've got a floating platform
to which two rotors
are mounted.
We start with
the rotors turning,
which produces electricity,
which comes back up
into the machine
where it's conditioned,
and then it gets transformed,
and stepped up,
and fed back into the grid.
It's like a wind turbine
on its side
with two rotors instead of one.
Chris Milne:
Two weeks ago,
we had great success.
First period of 24-hour
continuous generation
from the device.
It actually operated
beyond expectations.
The device itself generated
over 18 megawatt-hours of power
in that 24-hour period.
We're converging on
more traditional methods
of renewable generation,
and really putting
tidal out there
as a real competitive technology
across the world
and the world's
generation needs.
The tidal turbine is,
it's 63 meters long in total.
We do all the power conversion
within the device itself,
and it's ready,
then, for export
right into
the UK electricity grid.
So, you know, we're aiming
for tens of thousands
of these tidal turbines,
but this, you know,
fully integrated system
for producing low carbon energy,
so we're very excited about it.
Neil Kermode:
So, EMEC was set up
as a testing laboratory,
because we know that
there's a huge amount of energy
in the oceans
all around the world,
and we're trying to find a way
to harvest it.
And so, we realized that one
of the most important things
was to have a test center
which would allow us
to find out
how to do this properly.
So, what we've got
is a site here
where we've got cables
that are out in the sea
that allow developers
of these machines
to put these machines
on to our cables,
and the electricity
is then brought on to shore.
And that then feeds
into our national grid.
So, this is real.
This is making electricity
out of seawater.
So, at the moment, we've got
a device called the Penguin,
and that's by a company
called Wello Oy,
and their machine
is effectively
a large pendulum
inside a ship.
And as the ship moves,
this pendulum
turns horizontally,
and that then
generates electricity.
The sea is unrelenting,
and it will really try
and damage equipment.
So, making the equipment
as reliable, robust,
efficient, cost-effective,
all these things
are the things that people
are grappling with.
But the really clever thing is,
we have done
that piece of alchemy.
We've actually turned seawater
into electricity.
And that really is huge,
because people are worried about
whether you can do this or not
for years,
and we've just shown you can.
And that's a big step forward.
Lund Myhre:
No one can say that
the scientist has not warned,
has not told that we have
to reduce the emissions
of greenhouse gases.
That should be clear to many.
How much farther can we go?
How many more tipping points
can we go
before we hit a tipping point
from which our civilization
cannot recover,
or from which the life
of this planet,
or a large portion of the life
on this planet cannot recover?
We cannot allow ourselves
to reach those points.
And we're so damn close to it.
We're at a turning point.
Either we can stay the course
and drown, burn,
and starve ourselves to death
in the face
of the climate crisis,
or we can come together,
we can innovate.
Where do we stand?
Is it possible?
Is it game over?
Or is it, in fact, game on,
which is that we have at hand
the ability, capacity,
and solutions
that can reverse
global warming,
not mitigate, not reduce,
not stabilize,
but reverse?
When you make
your goals bigger,
it opens up possibility.
It opens up imagination.
It opens up innovation.
It doesn't foreclose.
It actually does the opposite.
And so, it's not that
there's one solution,
but together,
you can achieve drawdown
by doing 80% of the solutions.
Every one of them
has so many cascading benefits,
makes a better world
for everybody.
So, we don't lose
by understanding
that climate change
is happening
and responding to it,
so what's the problem?
We are the first generation
to see the advance
of climate disruption,
and the last
with a chance to fix it.
In spite of all this evidence,
we are currently
burning fossil fuels
at an ever-increasing rate.
We have heard
from the scientists
who have told us the truth
based on actual research.
It is time to end the delay,
to listen,
and to implement
the solutions at hand.
Time is running out.
The ice is melting.
Decisive action
must be taken now.
There is no other option.
This moment
is within our reach.
Let us grasp it.
It is up to us,
each one of us,
to save this unique blue planet
for generations to come.
( music playing )
Lord, if you're
not listening
I'll stop praying
If you're not watching
Will you see me fall
to my knees?
Lose it all
Lord, if I can't see it
I can't feel it
If I can't feel it
It's not happening
Love is light
but ice keeps burning
Love and hope
are just a fall
From your hill
Can you hear us
calling again?
Lord, we're all lost
Is life worth living?
If you're not watching
I'm not doing wrong
Hope and rain
and ice is burning
Then you see us
turn on a friend
Will you hear them
calling again?
Lord, the world went dark
The wave came crashing
If we're all gone
will you still carry on?
Love is light
but ice keeps burning
Will you see us
ride to the edge?
One last fall from the hill
Dear Lord
If you don't want me
I'm not staying
Love is light
light keeps burning
Let me know
if I'm worth saving
We're almost gone
So if we fall again
Will you carry on?
If we're falling in
Will you catch us all?
Lord, just let me know
if I'm worth saving