Huxley Speaker Series 1/18/18: Sandy Lawrence: A Sea of Change

Posted: Friday, January 12, 2018 - 1:56pm

Date: Thursday, January 18, 2018 - 4:00pm

Location: AW-204

A Sea Change: Overpopulation, King Tides, Storm Surges, Acidification, Deoxygenation, Coral Bleaching, Plastic Accumulation and Overfishing just sound daunting.  Solutions actually exist for all of these problems except Milutin Milankovich and his stubborn orbital mechanics.

Sandy W. Lawrence is a retired physician with a lifelong interest in environmental issues.  He obtained his BA in psychology from Stanford and medical degree from University of Missouri at Columbia.  A residency in family medicine was completed at University of California at San Francisco.  Sandy then taught medicine for 16 years in a University of California at Davis-affiliated residency, with infectious disease and obstetrics constituting the majority of his teaching, research and practice.  After moving to Bellingham in 1995, his remaining years of work were in non-academic medicine.

Retired since 2010, his main areas of investigation intensified concerning global energy systems, climate change, the electric grid, and the history of science.  Sandy has taught several seminar series for Western’s ALL program and also a couple of individual lectures in the Geology Department, as well as a number of community presentations.  He drives an electric vehicle and is building a PassivHaus-certified net zero home.

In Bellingham we live on the shore of the world’s ocean, constituting 71% of its surface area.  Marine algae and plankton are the source of half of our oxygen.  Marine fish, crustaceans and molluscs are the predominant sources of protein for many of the world’s people.  And a sea level rise of only three feet could displace 145 million coastal residents.  Many climate scientists project that continued land clearance and exploitation of fossil fuels could lead to a sea level rise comparable of that during the Eemian Interglacial, although this remains controversial.  The precautionary principle informs the concept that solutions be vigorously sought to minimize all current and future impacts on the climate.  Except of course the influences of the Milankovich cycles.

The Huxley Speaker Series is hosted by Huxley College of the Environment, at Western Washington University.

The Series is free and open to the public. Presentations are held each Thursday at 4:00 in the Academic Center West (AW-204) on the WWU campus in Bellingham, WA.

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