Climate change trio
Climatologist Gavin Schmidt took the stage to explain the complexity of predicting climate change.
We live in a very complex environment, Schmidt said. It's a huge challenge to understand.
He discussed 14 orders of magnitude that can be studied, the climate models' influences and their effectiveness. He also discussed predicting the influence mitigation might have on climate change.
Following Schmidt, Peggy Liu took the stage to describe what her country of China is doing to mitigate climate change and improve living conditions.
"China's problem is everybody's problem," Liu said.
Within a decade, China's emissions will double those of the U.S., Liu said. She said China is the only battlefield in climate change that matters right now. Demand continues to grow very fast. In a 20-year time frame, China will have 350 million people move into cities, Liu said.
"We want to move from survive to thrive," Liu said.
To improve living standards without increasing emissions, China will have to run a marathon at a sprinter's pace, she said. The country is very motivated and has the flexibility to make things happen quickly, she said.
China is already the largest investor in renewable energy, Liu said. China has moved from just being the factory of the world to the clean-tech laboratory of the world, she said.
"If you are frustrated about the slow progress the world is making on climate change," Liu said, "why aren't you in China yet?"
Plasma physicist Michel Laberge wrapped up the afternoon talks having to do with renewable energy and climate change.
Laberge's company, General Fusion, is seeking to produce energy from fusion. Fusion is really, really hard to do, he said.
Fusion is criticized for being expensive, said Laberge. Then he compared it to the development funds needed to produce the cellphone.
"I don't think it's too expensive," he said. "I think it's been shortchanged."
Laberge detailed his efforts in producing fusion energy.
"Fusion is getting very close," Laberge said. "We are almost there."
The evening's keynote speakers began at 9 p.m. and didn't wrap up until too late to be included in today's edition. Those scheduled included Melinda Gates, Bill Gates, Zak Ebrahim, Sting and the TED Prize winner.
Those at the Eldersburg simulcast were impressed with the content of the talks they had seen so far Tuesday. However, Rich Waganer, of Cre-a-tv Studios, said the speakers did not seem to be as polished as in previous years. Kati Townsley, of the Carroll Technology Council, and several others attending the simulcast agreed with that assessment.
Townsley said about 65 people reserved a seat at the simulcast, but only about half of that number attended the sessions earlier in the day. Townsley said the biggest crowd was expected for the late evening session.