Keynote: Dr. John P. Holdren, assistant to the President for Science and Technology and director, Office of Science and Technology Policy
Humans have long confronted the pollution created by the use of energy. The current challenge is not only the visible soot from wood and coal fires, or smog from poorly combusted gasoline and diesel, which affects human health in direct and obvious ways, but also invisible greenhouse gases, which do not directly affect human health but will impact our environment significantly.
Carbon emission contributes to global warming and climate changes affecting our water supply and quality. The impact of increasing atmospheric carbon is widely recognized, but diminution of human emissions of carbon will either require a difficult decrease in our use of fossil fuels or significant scientific and technological breakthroughs.
The increase in atmospheric carbon represents a generational challenge of global importance.