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The Commonwealth Club, SF Club Office
595 Market Street, 2nd Floor, San Francisco, CA, 94105, United States

Upcoming Events At This Venue

October 30, 2014

With American oil production increasing and domestic demand in decline, does it make sense to build the Keystone XL pipeline? The Keystone battle is one of the biggest political fights over energy in decades and could shape President Obama’s legacy. Supporters say it will provide reliable energy from a friendly neighbor, adding that if the oil doesn’t come here, it will go to Asia. Opponents say that building it will commit the U.S. to some of the dirtiest fuel on Earth and send a message that the country is not serious about stabilizing the climate. Keystone is just one hunk of metal in a web of energy infrastructure. There are 2.5 million miles of pipeline that carry energy around the United States. As a recent accident in Lynchburg, Virginia, demonstrated, transporting the oil by rail is dangerous. Furthermore, other pipelines are in the works to get the oil to ports and global markets.

John Cushman’s book on Keystone tells the story of the country’s most discussed piece of pipe. He will tell that story and be joined by a reporter for a discussion of how America can run its economy while getting off fossil fuels before we fry the planet. Will divestment from fossil fuels have any impact on capital and energy markets? Is attacking supply an effective strategy for decarbonizing the economy? Join a conversation with leading energy journalists on powering this country’s future.

Buy tickets online.

Date: October 30, 2014 6:00 pm
Cost: $7-$20

November 5, 2014

Feeding 9 billion people on a hot planet is a daunting challenge. California can play a leading role, but its searing drought is stressing its ability to be the world’s fruit basket and salad bowl. Does the solution involve organic food, industrial monoculture, GMOs or all of the above? What can Americans do to make food choices that support change in the food system?  A recent cover story in National Geographic outlined Jonathan Foley’s five-step plan to feed a hot and crowded world. We’ll discuss that plan for food security with Dr. Foley and two food leaders from the top levels of government and business.

Climate One Connect
Audience members are invited to engage in breakout group conversations led by speakers for 20 minutes following the program. We hope you’ll take part in this unique opportunity to delve deeper into solutions for sustainable living.

Buy tickets online.

Date: November 5, 2014 6:00 pm
Cost: $7-$20

November 20, 2014

Coffee, beer, chocolate — all popular guilty pleasures. However, a warming world could affect our ability to enjoy these delicacies. Changes in microclimates are changing when and where many crops will grow. Arabica, the most consumed coffee species in the world, could go extinct in the wild within the next 70 years due to warmer temperatures and a deadly fungus. Clean water and high-quality barley and hops are essential to the beer making process — but ample supplies of these ingredients are expected to dwindle in the coming decades. Between 2030 and 2050, a warmer world will dramatically decrease the land suitable for cacao production, and in turn could deal a huge blow to the $9 billion cacao industry.

Will these industries be forced to pack up and move their crops to a more suitable region? Can technology insulate crops from climate shocks? Leading local crafters and brewmasters join us to discuss how they’re adapting their businesses in the face of climate volatility.

Date: November 20, 2014 6:00 pm
Cost: $20, $12 members, $7 students