Climate change was at the forefront Monday night at the Tower Theatre in Bend, as a former NASA scientist gave a presentation on the topic.
A big crowd came out for the event, put on by OSU-Cascades, to hear Michael Freilich speak about climate change and its impacts, and how NASA tracks the changes from far above the Earth. The talk was entitled: “There Is No ‘Planet B’: Tracking Earth’s Changing Climate from Space.”
Freilich, the recently retired director of NASA’s Earth Science Division, said with today’s technology, we’re able to see proof of climate change through, for example, the rising ocean water levels.
He that added satellites are being used to constantly measure sea levels, along with other variables in the climate.
Freilich said with this advancement in science, we are better able to understand just how the Earth is changing.
“The fact that we know that the climate is changing, is really a profound testament to our technological abilities” Freilich said. “It’s that information that allows us to understand our complex planet, as an integrated system.”
Freilich said the next steps will be up to everyone, to decide how they would like to respond to this information.
He said the biggest proof of climate change is the rising sea levels around the globe.
He added that humans do have the ability to slow down the effects of rising sea levels by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
And he said the main thing is changing the way we use materials, by utilizing more renewable resources and more efficient power networks.
But he said it’s going to take more than just one single change.
“We can make many, many incremental changes,” Freilich said. “We can continue to encourage environmental sensitivity in populations at large. And, over time, although there will be some changes, we can undoubtedly mitigate the worst ones, if we get started now.”
Freilich, along with being a former professor at Oregon State University, also spent the last 13 years at NASA before retiring this past year.
Freilich also will be speaking in several classes Tuesday at OSU-Cascades.