A big problem deserves a big program. The Vail Symposium takes a look at some of the diverse solutions currently proposed to address climate change in this longer format, wide-ranging program. None of these options on their own is a silver bullet. However, taken together, these and other measures can begin to chip away at the problem that imperils our future.
5 – 5:30 p.m. Seaweed: For many people, seaweed is either the slimy stuff wrapping around their ankles at the beach or the edible wrapper sushi comes in. Due to its ability to absorb carbon dioxide, seaweed might be a climate change MVP. In addition to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, legacy carbon dioxide will need to be removed from the atmosphere. Seaweed absorbs carbon dioxide 20 times faster than trees. A hero whose time has come? Dr. Nichole Price examines the promise of aquaculture to absorb carbon dioxide.
5:30 – 5:40 p.m. Solar Schools: One of the complaints regarding solar power is the sun does not shine during peak demand periods. However, there are places that do need power during daylight hours–schools. Furthermore, most modern public schools are housed in flat, sprawling buildings. What if those flat roofs could be put to work harnessing the power of the sun? This video from Generation 180 profiles school districts that did just that.
5:40 – 6 p.m. Beavers: Beavers were once hunted nearly to extinction for their fur. To add insult to injury, they have been treated as unwelcome guests in their own habitat ever since. Have beavers been an overlooked factor when it comes to managing the West’s most precious resource: water? Peter Suneson, the education and outreach coordinator with the Eagle County Open Space Department, joins Dr. Sarah Marshall, ecohydrologist at the Colorado Natural Heritage Program, for a discussion of these furry allies.
6 – 6:40 p.m. Carbon Tax: Americans have a reflexive dislike for the word “tax”; it’s in our DNA. But what if a tax could be used as a policy tool to change or modify polluting behavior? Carbon tax expert Catrina Rorke is joined in conversation with Eagle County Commissioner Matt Scherr to explore the possibility for a carbon tax to significantly reduce carbon emissions in a relatively short time.
6:40 – 7 p.m. Fermentation: An old technology is playing a significant role in the future of food. In this lighthearted segment, the Vail Symposium talks with journalist and Le Cordon Bleu-trained chef Katie Quinn about her recent book, “Cheese, Bread, and Wine,” about some of the world’s favorite, and oldest, fermented foods.
7 – 7:40 p.m. Saving Ourselves: She has been called “one of the nation’s most effective communicators on climate change” by The New York Times. Over the past fifteen years, Dr. Katharine Hayhoe has found that the most important thing we can do to address climate change is talk about it—and she wants to teach you how. In the final segment of the program, climate scientist Dr. Hayhoe is joined in conversation by Dr. Mercedes Quesada-Embid to discuss how we move forward as individuals and a country to effect positive change.