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AIChE election and climate science

  • 1.  AIChE election and climate science

    SENIOR MEMBER
    Posted 09-08-2019 19:29
    Edited by Kirsten Rosselot 09-09-2019 15:46
      |   view attached
    Hi, everyone.  As many of you know, I have been trying to gather the climate science positions of the AIChE election candidates.  Dr. Gregory Frank is running against Deb Grubbe for the office of president-elect.  He gave me permission to post this on Discussion Central:

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    Often in business, science and our personal lives we're faced with making decisions without complete information or understanding. Either out of necessity, or if delaying or doing nothing would lead to unacceptable consequences or risks, we make rational decisions based on what we know at the time.

    The world is changing, our climate is changing. The major factors causing these changes and to what extent human activity is contributing continues to be discussed and debated. There are people who are certain they know whether or not human activity is a major factor in climate change and others who are uncertain, unconcerned, or just don't want to hear about it anymore.

    Looking at the continued debate, the ongoing advances in climate science, and our current understanding around human factors as it relates to climate change we haven't eliminated all uncertainties at this time. As others have pointed out, however, the risks of continued climate change can be dire, affecting many around the globe (EPA Endangerment Findings).

    As I consider these consequences and potential irreversibility of the current trajectory of climate change we should not passively standby until we have fully defined to what extent human activities are or are not contributing to these changes through GHG emissions. Rather we should be actively developing science and technologies that can practically, cost-effectively reduce humankind's contribution to climate change factors that we have control over. It's been demonstrated that there are reasonable cost-effective technologies to do just that. Solar panels providing power to energy intensive data centers is just one example of such technology. We needn't stop there. Our members and their colleagues in other professional societies who are so inclined should be motivated to use their science and engineering skills to look for ways to slow or mitigate climate change and GHG emissions that we have control over.

    I realize there are those who won't agree with some or all of the points I've made, while some will. AIChE is a diverse community and with it comes a wealth of talent and ideas. It's through differing perspectives that AIChE can be at the forefront of this important issue. What's important is to have a healthy debate to advance climate related science and engineering to make a world of difference where we should.

    Respectfully, Greg

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    I've attached a pdf of the positions so far.  We have yet to hear from Dr. Ann Lee, Professor Linda Broadbelt, and Professor Douglas Clark, all of whom are running for Director.

    Electronic voting is slated to begin tomorrow (9/9).  I will continue to add to the candidate positions on climate science until the election is over.  You can vote and read candidate bios and election statements here:  https://www.aiche.org/about/governance/elections/2019-board-directors-election .

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    -Kirsten

    Kirsten Rosselot
    Process Profiles
    Calabasas, CA United States
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  • 2.  RE: AIChE election and climate science

    SENIOR MEMBER
    Posted 09-10-2019 13:06
      |   view attached
    Hi, everyone.  Here is Dr. Ann Lee's position statement on climate science, I am posting it on her behalf.

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    There is overwhelming evidence that man-made sources of greenhouse gases are detrimentally affecting our global climate, and the impacts are increasingly likely to become severe. Our professional knowledge and capabilities allow us to become advocates for change, in particular by contributing toward innovative technologies and processes to pragmatically reduce emissions and/or mitigate their effects. Our Chemical Process Industries exist to supply the products needed by everyone for healthy, prosperous, and productive lives. Almost all of our chemical and energy producing and utilizing companies as well as product consumers, however, can evolve in ways that substantially reduce global emissions and reduce non-recyclable waste. We all face a great challenge which will require governmental and societal commitment to global collaboration, technological innovations, and some adaptability to changes in work and lifestyle. As a professional society, AIChE must play an important role in holistically evaluating the impacts and sustainability of potential changes across the energy and CPI from starting materials through consumer usage, so that policy and law makers have clear engineering assessments for risk-based, cost-benefit evaluations of potential consequences to guide decisions and actions.

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    Dr. Lee is one of eight candidates for four Director positions in the AIChE elections.  Voting has commenced.  I've attached an updated pdf of all the candidate positions we have so far.  Now we are only waiting to hear from Professor Linda Broadbelt and Professor Douglas Clark.

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    -Kirsten

    Kirsten Rosselot
    Process Profiles
    Calabasas, CA United States
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  • 3.  RE: AIChE election and climate science

    Posted 09-11-2019 00:57
    As the current Vice Chair of the Public Affairs and Information Committee, I have participated in, voted in favor of and fully support the current AIChE Policy Statement on Climate Change.

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    Deborah Grubbe, PE, CEng, FAIChE, FIChemE, NAC
    Past Chair, Licensing and Professional Development Committee
    Head, AIChE Center for Ethical Practice
    Owner and President
    Operations and Safety Solutions, Pennsylvania, USA
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  • 4.  RE: AIChE election and climate science

    SENIOR MEMBER
    Posted 09-11-2019 14:40
      |   view attached
    Hi, everyone.  Here is Professor Linda Broadbelt's statement on climate science.  I am posting it on her behalf.

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    I am definitely concerned about the effect that human activities have on the environment and have directed many projects in my research over the years to address questions that are relevant to the science of climate change. For example, my students and I have developed models that aim to understand the chemistry of hydrocarbon emissions in the troposphere and how we might recover value from waste plastics. I have been heartened by how many students are passionate about research projects in this area, and I believe that chemical engineers are very well positioned to address problems related to the environment that demand systems-level thinking.

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    Professor Broadbelt is one of eight candidates for four Director positions in the AIChE elections. Voting has commenced. I've attached an updated pdf of all the candidate positions we have so far. Now we are only waiting to hear from Professor Douglas Clark.

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    -Kirsten

    Kirsten Rosselot
    Process Profiles
    Calabasas, CA United States
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  • 5.  RE: AIChE election and climate science

    Posted 09-12-2019 10:25
    Thanks for compiling this Kirsten!

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    K.J. Hecht
    Research Associate
    Otto-von-Guericke University
    Magdeburg, Germany
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  • 6.  RE: AIChE election and climate science

    FELLOW
    Posted 09-12-2019 13:54
    I was very impressed to see Dr. Bob Kiss raise the topic of climate change ​in his original candidate statement, and how AIChE may play an active role in this "critical strategic area."
    Our concern has us working to contribute more to the necessary changes required to reduce or arrest factors leading to the effects of climate change.

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    Joseph Yurko, PE, AIChE Fellow
    Past Chair Cleveland Section
    Associate Project Lead
    Xellia Pharmaceuticals USA, LLC
    Cleveland, OH, USA
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  • 7.  RE: AIChE election and climate science

    SENIOR MEMBER
    Posted 09-25-2019 03:25
    Thank you so much for compiling this information, Kirsten!  This was a very helpful complement to the candidate information & statements.  Since we don't have a forum in which the candidates can receive & respond to questions ("town halls," etc.), this particular topic is the only area where I have seen responses from the candidates that aren't prepared "campaign ad" statements.  I thought it was interesting to compare the tone & content of the responses about climate change to the official candidate statements.

    As Joseph noted, I found it very interesting and impressive that Bob Kiss was the only one of the 10 candidates that brought up climate change in his candidate statement.  My conclusion is that he's the only one of the 10 that considers it a high enough priority to mention in his "campaign" rather than just in a response to a targeted question.

    I was also disappointed by the fact that Prof. Clark was the only one of the 10 candidates that did not respond to the solicitation for comments on this topic.  While I liked some of the comments in his candidate statement, I was not able to vote for someone who did not respond to a specific request for engagement & information regarding his position as a candidate.

    Overall, the information developed during the Exchange posts on this topic definitely complemented the other information available to me as a voter.  Thank you, Kirsten, for compiling and sharing the information!  And thank you to everyone who contributed in these interesting discussions.

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    Andrew Riederer
    Quality Operations Manager
    Boehringer Ingelheim
    Koropi, Greece
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