Dear OLLI "Climate & Society" Course Participants,

Thank you for registering to attend this course which, as you know, began
today (Sept. 29) with a detailed look at the intersections between Energy &
Climate. I recognize, however, that some registrants were unable to attend
today due to their observance of Rosh Hoshanah. So this note serves as a
reminder to folks who were there today, as well as a means of helping folks
catch up who could not be there today.

I am forwarding copies of both presenters' presentations. Specifically, we
had Dr. Steven Smith, a Research Scientist and Climate Modeler at the
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, who gave a high-level overview and
made the case that substantial changes in our nation's (and the
global) energy sector are needed to stabilize climate. He believes that
these shifts will not happen without a price put on carbon emissions; his
rationale is that there is no real incentive to reduce or cut emissions when
the price to emit is zero. We also heard from Mr. Tyler White, a Manager at
Pepco Holdings, Inc., who presented from a commercial utility company's
perspective. Tyler gave an overview of Pepco's new Smart Grid system, which
is designed to improve service to customers and empower them to manage their
energy use and costs. This new technology not only represents improved
efficiency, cost savings, and reduced energy consumption, it also represents
new high-tech jobs in the states and regions where it's been deployed.

Please note that there will be no expert presentations in next week's (Oct.
6) class. Rather, we will divide the class members into 7 or 8 round tables
to participate in facilitated, small-group discussions.
Toward that objective, you have been given a bit of homework to do.
Specifically, we would like you to prepare your own answers to the following
four questions ...

1. What do you feel is the main issue or challenge in meeting our nation's
energy needs while also reducing our greenhouse gas emissions?
2. What opportunity or solution (technology, policy, etc.) do you feel
offers the best pathway forward?
3. What barrier(s) do you see that may block or hinder our moving forward on
that pathway?
4. How do you propose we overcome the barrier(s)?

... and come prepared to share / discuss your answers with the other members
of your group.

In addition to the experts' presentations, here are some recommended
authoritative sources of information available on the Internet that you
might find helpful to skim through as you think about how you want to answer
these questions:

Emissions Mitigation and The Role Of Technology (GTSP Phase 2 Capstone
Report) -

CCSP Emissions Scenarios -

IPCC 4th Assessment Report -

National Academy of Sciences: America's Climate Choices -


Alan Rubin