I Believe in Science, and I Believe in Climate Change

And I commit to publicly discussing climate change, even as references to combating climate change are being stripped from government websites.


Upcoming Events & Webinars

A list of upcoming webinars and Bay Area events for the next three weeks.


For details, locations, and links to register for these events, visit our Webinars page.Send interesting webinars to webinars@zeroresource.com.

Friday, March 9
  • 12:00pm –  Using Wireless Technology to Evaluate Building Performance (Online)
Thursday, March 15
  • 6:30pm –  Water Needs of Energy (Online)
Friday, March 16
  • 12:00pm –  Achieving UC Merced’s Triple Zero Commitment: Zero Net Energy, Zero Landfill Waste, and Zero Net Greenhouse Gas Emissions by 2020 (Online)


For details, locations, and links to register for these events, visit our Bay Area Events page. Send interesting events to calendar@zeroresource.com.

Tuesday, March 6
  • 11:30am – Affordable Water: Conservation and Reuse Tactics for Multifamily Projects (Oakland)
Thursday, March 8
  • 1:30pm –  Revitalizing the Clean Energy Economy (San Francisco, CA)
Friday, March 9
  • 12:00pm –  Using Wireless Technology to Evaluate Building Performance (Berkeley, CA)
Tuesday, March 13
  • 9:00am –  Getting to Net Zero: Rethinking Percent Savings Beyond Code (San Jose, CA)
Wednesday, March 14
  • 5:00pm –  Rainwater Harvesting & Graywater Reuse: Tips of the Trade (San Rafael, CA)
Thursday, March 15
  • 2:30pm –  Green Pioneers: A Walking Tour of Downtown Berkeley (Berkeley, CA)
  • 6:30pm –  Water Needs of Energy (San Francisco, CA)
Friday, March 16
  • 12:00pm –  Achieving UC Merced’s Triple Zero Commitment: Zero Net Energy, Zero Landfill Waste, and Zero Net Greenhouse Gas Emissions by 2020 (Berkeley, CA)
Tuesday, March 20
  • 9:00am –  9th Annual Water Conservation Showcase (San Francisco, CA)
Wednesday, March 21
  • 5:30pm –  Electric Cars, Residential Energy Monitoring Systems & Smart Meters (San Francisco, CA)

New & Improved Events Calendar!

We have integrated Google calendar to better display upcoming events – check it out on our Bay Area Events page!

We will be turning old events posts into entries on the calendar.

We’re Updating the Website

We are working on updating the layout of the website over the next day or two. Please excuse any weirdness that may occur as we move things around and change our look.

Water Conservation Calculators


Image: Wikimedia Commons

In honor of  World Water Day March 22, here is a list of  online Water Conservation Calculators:

H20 Conserve Calculator

This calculator is less a predictor of actual water usage than a comprehensive look at daily habits that affect water use.

Water Use Calculator

Manufacturer Kohler, has a simple online calculator to estimate your home water usage against the U.S. average

H2Ouse Calculator

This is a more nuts-and-bolts calculator that will let you plug in your actual water usage (from your water bills) along with home appliance and landscaping details to come up with an overall “water budget”.

Water Footprint Calculator

A calculator that extends past showering and watering the lawn to detailed information on food consumption by food-type.

Happy World Water Day!

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Upcoming Bay Area Events, January 2011

Happy New Year Zero Resource Readers!

Below is a collection of interesting events for the month of January.

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Electric Vehicles + Smart Grid

Dian Grueneich, Former Commissioner, California Public Utilities Commission, Mark Duvall, Director of Electric Transportation and Energy Storage, Electric Power Research Institute and Ted Howes, Partner, IDEO, discuss new technologies and their implications for the future of power generation, while Anthony Eggert, Commissioner, California Energy Commission, Transportation Lead, Diane Wittenberg, Executive Director, California EV Strategic Plan, Diarmuid O’Connell, Vice President of Business Development, Tesla Motors, and Marc Geller, Co-founder, Plug-In America, discuss the future of the electric car in California. At the San Francisco Commonwealth Club, with a networking break between topics.

Thursday, January 13,  9 – 11:30 a.m.

595 Market St., 2nd Floor, San Francisco, CA

$45 member, $65 standard, and $15 student tickets

event link


A Look Ahead at California’s Clean Energy Future

Panama Bartholomy from the CEC and Emma Wendt from PG&E discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the new report “California’s Clean Energy Future”, jointly issued by the California Air Resources Board, California Energy Commission and the California Environmental Protection Agency, among others.

SPUR Evening Forum, Tuesday January 25, 6p.m.

654 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA

free to SPUR and Association of Environmental Professionals members, $10 general admission

event link


Film, ‘ A Sea Change: Imagine A World Without Fish’

The San Francisco Public library will be hosting two free screenings of  ‘A Sea Change’.  “The documentary film A Sea Change, broadens the discussion about the dramatic changes we are seeing in the chemistry of the oceans, and conveys the urgent threat those changes pose to our survival, while surveying the steps we can take to reduce the severity of climate change.”

Wednesday, January 26, 6 p.m. and Saturday, January 29 at 2 p.m.

Koret Auditorium, Main Library, 100 Larkin St., San Francisco, CA.


event link


“Transforum” with Peter Calthorpe: ‘Urbanism in the Age of Climate Change’

Highly influential urban planner Peter Calthorpe discusses his new book, ‘Urbanism in the Age of Climate Change’.

Thursday, January 27, 6:30 p.m.

Hosted by Transform, and held at the SPUR Urban Center, 654 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA.

$15, rsvp recommended.

event link


“Save Our Caltrain!” Summit

Attend this summit to learn about and discuss the severe fiscal crisis facing Caltrain, an important Bay Area transit agency that lacks its own dedicated funding, and connect with others working to find solutions. Organized by the Friends of Caltrain.

Saturday, January 29, 8:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Samtrans Auditorium 1250 San Carlos Avenue, San Carlos, CA


event link

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Photo – The Elevator


I recently saw this photo on the outside of the elevator at the City College of San Francisco campus in the Mission neighborhood of San Francisco. (Apologies for the blurry cell phone photo.)

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Chris Field – Director of Dept. of Global Ecology


On Friday (10/1) and Saturday (10/2), I was in the audience at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre in Berkeley, California, as Chris Field, Director of the Carnegie Institution’s Department of Global Ecology at Stanford University, gave a presentation titled “The Velocity of Climate Change: 2010”.

The post below consists of selected snippets of my record of the presentation. All portions are included in chronological order.

An ellipsis (…) indicates that I was not able to capture the words or thoughts skipped. The presentation is transcribed as accurately as possible – punctuation choices are mine.

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… What I want to do is talk about pace … in four different contexts … We already know enough to make smart decisions and the challenge is how we go from at atmosphere of doubt to one where we can really make decisions … … The idea of a threshold isn’t necessarily the best way to think of this issue – there are some places that have probably already passed their threshold … we need to instead think of risk management …

Risk = probability x consequence

In terms of the calculation of risk, there’s risk in high-probability events, but also risk in low-probability events that happen over a wide spectrum … Steve Schneider compared climate change to playing with loaded dice …

… … …

Today, I want to talk about the velocity of climate change in terms of the rate of climate change, the history of understanding climate change, the velocity required for ecosystem and societal responses (adaptation), and commitments to future changes.

The warming of the climate system is unequivocal … there is some indication that the pace is increasing … What we do in the future makes a huge difference … It’s really striking that there’s still a tremendous amount of uncertainty about where we’ll wind up … We can see a very wide range between the low end and the high end of temperature impacts … We need research into coping and adaptation strategies …

There is now more thinking about climate change impacts in the context of risk … fire in the western United States … risk of extreme events (2003 heat wave in Western Europe) …

There is also thinking about velocities of ecosystems on the ground … the plants and animals that are best at moving and taking advantage of climate change are the weeds and pests …

… … …

… We are not looking at consequences of a century or two of climate change, but essentially fixed changes … The inertia in the system is really dramatic … The Hoover Dam was completed in 1936, and we are still using it … When we’re thinking of setting up energy infrastructure for the future, we need to remember that the infrastructure lasts for a long time. We’re building the energy infrastructure for the next century now … There are significant emissions commitments from existing infrastructure … In China, much of the infrastructure is new and won’t be retired very fast. In the United States, we have mostly old infrastructure, so the committed emissions could drop rapidly. This type of analysis gives us a sobering picture of the amount of climate change we can’t avoid …

In looking at where the missions are coming from, it’s useful to look per country and per capita … the United States still has fives times the emission per capita as China …

… … …

In terms of the pace of human responses to climate change, there are many reasons we might want to delay: to avoid unnecessary expenditures, to allow natural progress with technology development, and to start from a position of greater wealth … But there are questionable economics in the study of rapid emissions reduction. In a paper in Nature (Wigley et al, 1996), it was concluded that if you want to optimize economically, you would stay with “business as usual” but then deploy technologies aggressively. But the paper didn’t really discuss the implications of delay. Delay doesn’t mean do nothing – it has to mean get prepared with investment and readiness to aggressively deploy technology …

Is the technology available? Humanity already possesses the fundamental scientific, technical, and industrial knowledge now to solve the carbon and climate problem for the next half century …

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This exchange was followed by a question and answer session with the audience.

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