- Instead of calling grocery store workers “heroes” for putting their health at risk to make sure we all got to eat, how about we agree to pay them all a sustainable wage?
- The same goes for nursing home workers and all the rest.
- If now is not the time to demand health care as a citizen’s right, what else has to happen?
- How about a system where the US government funds all critical drug research and the findings of that research are open sourced providing us all with inexpensive generic drugs?
- Can we push for a tax code that rewards any business that has a CEO-Owner/Average worker earnings ration of 20:1 or less? That’s what is was in the 1960’s and thing seemed pretty good at the time.
- Instead of suggesting ways to tax mega-millionaires and billionaires, how about suggesting ways to prohibit the possibility of anyone becoming a mega-millionaire or billionaire.
- Do we really need 40 hours in a full time work week?
- Life without the Internet is virtually impossible. It’s time to make it a municipally provided service, like roads and water.
- Do we really need a 5 day work week?
Front Page Posts
I’ve been publishing a free weekly listing of Energy (and Other) Events around Cambridge, MA for more than a decade as a listserv and a webpage (http://hubevents.blogspot.com). It covers public events in the community and in the local universities. I generally look at Harvard, MIT, BU, Northeastern, and Tufts, all of which have events to which the public is invited although they rarely know it.
Since, in these days of quarantine, everything has migrated online, I’ve been finding online events from far beyond the Boston/Cambridge area. Over the next weeks, you can attend a discussion of a new book on the future of energy in Africa, hear from the executive director of the International Energy Agency, Dr. Fatih Birol, economists Joseph Stiglitz and Nicholas Stern together, climate scientist Dr Michael Mann, and energy expert Mark Z Jacobson. The events from London Climate Action Week (https://www.londonclimateactionweek.org/events) on July 1 – 3 alone could provide a wealth of information.
How much of this online and thus global networking will continue and change the nature of international conversations after the quarantine ceases? We’ll find out. Right now, I’m just collecting and distributing as much of these international possibilities as this one person can. I thought, when I began my weekly listings service, that it would evolve into a public listing of all the public events at all the local colleges and universities, which in the Boston area is significant.
Unfortunately, I’ve not found anyone interested in that possibility. Now I think about a global online event listing for climate and energy and environmental issues. Judging from the past, I doubt anyone else is interested in that possibility either but I’ll put it out there anyway and continue to do what I do anyway.
Stay safe, be well.
Tuesday, June 30
Official Book Launch: What is the Future of the African Energy Sector?
Tuesday, June 30
7:00 – 9:00am EDT
RSVP at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/official-book-launch-what-is-the-future-of-the-african-energy-sector-tickets-105777214496
You will be able to hear from the contributors of a recent book on the African energy sector. The book analyses the current developments in the African energy sector and highlights how these are likely to be affected by the current global efforts to transition to a low carbon economy and tackle climate change.
This is an edited book project with contributions from authors across the African continent. The book reviews the current developments in the African energy sector and highlights how they are likely to be affected by the ongoing global efforts to transition to a low carbon economy and tackle climate change.
The book uniquely examines the progressive nature of global energy use and introduces a new concept which Dr.Victoria Nalule christens ‘Energy Progression’ and opines is the most appropriate pathway for Africa to adopt in order benefit from its massive energy resources. The various concerns of the energy transition in Africa are expounded by Ms. Noreen Kidunduhu who argues against a ‘wholesale transition’ and suggests a blend of strategies that would allow African countries to capitalise their fossil fuels while simultaneously constraining carbon emissions. Indeed, all this highlights the need to progress from one energy source to another. However, the anticipated boom in urbanisation, industrialisation and population growth on the African continent necessitates the utilisation of fossil fuels. It is in this respect that Mr. Ayebare Rukundo analyses the continued role of fossil fuels for economic development in African countries.
The progressive nature of energy use is further highlighted by Ms. Catherine Nabukalu and Dr. Reto Giere in their chapter which analyses the continued reliance on charcoal alongside modern energy in Africa. This is an important chapter for the reason that, over 70% of rural populations in Africa are still dependent on traditional biomass energy and may need more time to progress from traditional biomass to fossil fuels.
The above discussions, however, do not mean that African countries are climate change deniers. The progress made by African countries to deploy renewable energy sources is evaluated by various authors including Ms. Susan Nakanwagi who explores the prospects and challenges of nuclear energy developments in Africa. National case studies analysing the deployment of renewables in Africa are discussed by; Dr. Mostafa Elshazly who focuses on Egypt; Mr. Marvin Tumusiime who focuses on Uganda and Cosmos Nike Nwedu who brings in the Nigerian experience. While emphasising the crucial role of renewables, Mr. Peter Reat Gatkuoth addresses the environmental impacts of oil and gas in South Sudan.
Besides referring to national case studies, the book highlights the growing efforts to tackle energy access and climate change challenges on the African continent through regionalism. In this regard, regional efforts in the development of the African energy sector are adequately considered by Dr. Macdonald Irowariwa. Additionally, various key thematic issues are addressed in this book including energy justice in the African energy sector as elucidated by Ms. Tosin Timitimi; local content advancements and their impact on the African energy sector as discussed by Dr. Rukonge Muhongo and Ms. Linda Lindsey; energy legislations and their impact on the industry as explained by Michael Uche Ukponu, Yusuf Sulayman and Kester Oyibo.
It is no secret that most African countries have not benefited from their energy resources, the book thus considers the different initiatives that ensure local communities benefit from their resources in the Chapter by Wairimu Karanja & Nduta Njenga that looks into the aspects of Corporate Social Responsibility and Social Licence to Operate in the oil and gas sector. Recognising that women are the major users of energy in Africa, Dr. Florence Masajuwa, Ms. Alaka Lugonzo & Mr. Kennedy Chege discuss gender justice in the energy transition.
Whereas there are various national and regional initiatives geared towards developing the African energy sector, we note that energy projects are capital intensive ventures. Mr. Japhet Miano therefore spotlights the struggles of achieving the ‘Power Dream’ specifically analyzing Chinese investments in the Kenyan energy sector. These investments are prone to disputes and as such Mr. Nicholas Muhereza dissects International Arbitration as it relates to the African energy sector. The book is then concluded by Dr. Victoria Nalule who offers thoughts on the future of the African energy sector post COVID-19.
The foregoing highlights the salient present and future aspects of the African energy sector. With contributions from researchers, academics, practioners and high-level policymakers, the book brings a unique flavor to the global energy discussion pertaining to the African continent in the international sphere and is especially relevant to African governments and policy makers, African regional organisations, universities, energy practitioners, international organisations and energy enthusiasts alike.
IEA World Energy Outlook Special Report on Sustainable Recovery
Tuesday, June 30
11:30 AM – 1:00 PM
RSVP at https://columbiauniversity.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_QFmYPncdTJyshR0zkWPO1A
The economic crisis brought on by COVID-19 is the largest since the great depression of the 1930s and is prompting governments around the world to develop recovery packages on a scale that will shape infrastructure and industries for decades to come. These packages offer a significant opportunity to advance national and global objectives for long-term growth and sustainable development. If well designed, the parts of these packages focused on the energy sector have the potential to deliver both jobs and growth, as well as an energy system that is cleaner, more secure, resilient and cost-effective. This IEA World Energy Outlook special report analyses energy-related measures that could be included in recovery plans and quantifies their implications for jobs, emissions and energy sector resilience. It proposes a variety of measures that could provide a major boost to economies, generate millions of new jobs, make the energy sector more resilient, and provide a pathway towards achieving long-term climate and sustainable development objectives.
The Center on Global Energy Policy will host Dr. Fatih Birol, IEA’s Executive Director, and Laura Cozzi, IEA’s Chief Energy Modeller, for a presentation of key findings from the World Energy Outlook Special Report on Sustainable Recovery. Following the presentation, they will take part in a discussion with Joe Aldy, Professor of the Practice of Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School, and Dr. Noah Kaufman, CGEP Research Scholar, moderated by Jason Bordoff, CGEP Founding Director.
Advance registration is required. Upon registration, you will receive a confirmation email with access details.
This event is open to press. Media should register for this event. Media inquiries or requests for interviews should be directed to Artealia Gilliard (email@example.com) or Genna Morton (firstname.lastname@example.org).
For more information contact: email@example.com.
Event Contact Information:
Center on Global Energy Policy
Wednesday, July 1
Microfinance and climate change adaptation: Insights from rural Rwanda
Wednesday, July 1
10:00 – 11:30 EDT
RSVP at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/microfinance-and-climate-change-adaptation-insights-from-rural-rwanda-tickets-109784504408
Join us and our partners to learn more about GCU’s recent research on microfinance and climate change adaptation in Rwanda.
Climate change poses serious risks for rural livelihoods and food security in Rwanda. At the same time, a significant number of Rwandan farmers pool their resources together through cooperatives and Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLAs) in order to increase productivity. Therefore, it is important to consider on the one hand the future impacts of climate change on the microfinance sector in Rwanda, and on the other to ensure that the benefits of microfinance can decrease rural residents’ vulnerability to climate impacts.
This event will provide an overview of research focused on the clients of Urwego Bank, one of Opportunity International UK’s local partners in a development project funded by the Scottish Government which aimed to provide microcredit loans to 8,500 smallholder farmers working in government-supported agricultural cooperatives. We will explore the impacts of small loans on the vulnerability and adaptive capacity of farmers in southern and western Rwanda (Huye and Rubavu districts) along with its implications for climate justice and discuss the recommendations included in the final report.
Join us for three presentations and Q&A (entirely online) featuring:
Dr Karin Helwig, Glasgow Caledonian University
Dr Michael Mikulewicz, Glasgow Caledonian University
Pete Parisetti, Opportunity International UK
This event will be hosted by the Centre for Climate Justice and is free to attend. If you have any questions about the event or taking part in future events, please contact Michael Mikulewicz at Michael.Mikulewicz@gcu.ac.uk.
The session link will be shared with the registrants closer to the event.
Central Banks and Climate Change: The short and long view
Wednesday, July 1
10:30 – 12:00 EDT
RSVP at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/central-banks-and-climate-change-the-short-and-long-view-registration-109801256514
How central banks can fulfil their mandates for macro-financial stability & align their COVID-19 response measures with the Paris Agreement.
Central banks are playing a crucial role in shaping the responses to the COVID-19 crisis. Central banks have intervened on an unprecedented scale to avert a full-scale financial and economic meltdown, leading for calls on central banks to also throw their full weight behind fighting climate change and supporting a just transition. Against this backdrop, this LCAW event will discuss how central banks can fulfil their mandates for macro-financial stability and align their COVID-19 response measures with the Paris Agreement and avoid lock-in to a high-carbon recovery. It will also discuss whether a new era of central banking is dawning, and if so, what the new normal for central banks should look like in a decade from now.
Shamshad Akhtar, Chair of the Board of Directors, Karandaaz Pakistan
Danae Kyriakopoulou, Chief Economist & Director of Research, Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum
Nick Robins, Professor of Practice in Sustainable Finance, LSE Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment
Adam Tooze, Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Professor of History and Director of the European Institute, Columbia University
Ulrich Volz, Director of the Centre for Sustainable Finance and Reader in Economics, SOAS University of London
This London Climate Action Week event is jointly organised by the SOAS Centre for Sustainable Finance and the LSE Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.
Thursday, July 2
Bridging the fossil fuel production gap for a just and resilient recovery
Thursday, July 2
10:00 AM – 11:15 AM EDT
RSVP at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/bridging-the-fossil-fuel-production-gap-for-a-just-and-resilient-recovery-tickets-108876390214
This London Climate Action Week Event will feature researchers and government and UN officials to preview the 2020 Production Gap Report.
Climate Home Deputy Editor Megan Darby will moderate this online event, which brings together researchers, and government and UN officials to preview emerging findings from the 2020 Production Gap Report.
The Production Gap Report was first published in 2019 by leading research institutions and the UN Environment Programme. It highlights the alarming discrepancy between plans for coal, oil, and gas production and levels consistent with Paris goals. A 2020 special issue will speak to changes in energy markets and government responses to the COVID-19 pandemic to shore up, expand, or transition oil, gas, and coal industries.
In this online event, panellists will explore what these changes might mean for the production gap, and how a managed and equitable transition away from fossil fuel production can contribute to a sustainable, just, and resilient recovery.
The event is hosted by the Stockholm Environment Institute, the International Institute for Sustainable Development, the Overseas Development Institute, and the UN Environment Programme, in partnership with Climate Home News.
Welcome Megan Darby, Acting Editor, Climate Home
Introductory remarks from panel:
Adam Matthews, Co-Chair, Transitions Pathway Initiative
Andrea Meza, Director, Climate Change Directorate (DCC), Costa Rica Ministry of Environment and Energy
Ivetta Gerasimchuk, Sustainable Energy Supplies Lead, IISD
Michael Lazarus, Center Director, SEI US
Niklas Hagelberg, Coordinator, Sub-Programme on Climate Change, UNEP
Affordable energy for income growth in low-resource settings
Thursday, July 2
11:00 AM – 12:15 PM
RSVP at https://columbiauniversity.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJ0pcemvqjMsEtNRyBTVMFz1kDCSUYS7Fx3Q
Webinars by Prof. Vijay Modi
While lectures are 1 hour each, we will allow last 15 min for discussions.
Please register using the link above.
For any difficulties registering/joining email: John at firstname.lastname@example.org
Taking the Carbon Out of Credit
Thursday, July 2
11:00 AM – 12:30 PM EDT
RSVP at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/taking-the-carbon-out-of-credit-tickets-108906851324
What does it take to transition to a net-zero carbon economy? Find out how your organization can lead the way to a climate safe future.
Join us for a provocative and engaging discussion about how banking institutions can demonstrate leadership in transitioning to a net-zero carbon economy by aligning lending with a well below 2 degree global temperature rise. Hosted by Climate Safe Lending Network, in partnership with London Climate Action Week, this interactive webinar will feature a presentation of the Network’s newly published report: Taking the Carbon Out of Credit: An integrated approach to removing climate emissions from lending.
Hear from climate finance experts about where their organizations are in the journey along a climate safe lending pathway from stopping the flow of funding to fossil fuel projects to decarbonization of bank lending and financing innovative solutions, such as the sequestration of carbon emissions. Find out what lies ahead in fostering an inclusive and green recovery.
Welcome and Introductions
Keynote Presentation featuring DR. SIMON ZADEK, Principal of UNDP Project Catalyst and SANDRINE DIXSON DECLEVE, President of Club of Rome: Now is the time for bold action. What can banks do to demonstrate leadership in addressing climate change?
Taking the Carbon Out of Credit Presentation by JAMES VACCARO, Interim Director, Climate Safe Lending Network
Conversations and Q&A with LAUREN COMPERE, Director of Stakeholder Engagement at Boston Common Asset Management, CATHERINE HOWARTH, Chief Executive at ShareAction, IVAN FRISHBERG, Director of Impact Policy, Sustainability Banking at Amalgamated Bank, and ANDERS LANGWORTH, Head of Group Sustainable Finance at Nordea: How does managing risks relate to managing impact and setting targets? What practical strategies can lending institutions implement that will accelerate the transitions of their clients and support innovative solutions?
Climate Safe Lending Network Initiatives presented by LYDIA HASCOTT, Climate Safe Learning Lab Lead and JAMES VACCARO, Interim Director, Climate Safe Lending Network
Next Steps and Closing
* Registrants will receive a copy of the Taking the Carbon Out of Credit report in advance of this webinar.
Climate Safe Lending Network is a network of diverse bank stakeholders from across North America and Europe who are collaborating to align bank lending with a well below 2 degree global temperature rise.
London Climate Action Week is an online event taking place from July 1-3, 2020 that brings together climate leadership from across London to generate and scale-up solutions to the climate emergency.
For questions concerning this event, contact email@example.com.
Strong, Sustainable & Resilient Recovery: the evidence & a pathway to action
Thursday, July 2
11:00am – 1:00pm EDT
RSVP at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/strong-sustainable-resilient-recoverythe-evidence-a-pathway-to-action-tickets-110267306482
This event will build on a recent review on ‘Will COVID-19 fiscal recovery packages accelerate or retard progress on climate change?’
Economic recovery packages from the COVID-19 pandemic need to be informed by the latest evidence on how climate action can promote growth and tackle unemployment. This event will build on a recent review on ‘Will COVID-19 fiscal recovery packages accelerate or retard progress on climate change?’
Speakers and panellists will include:
Professor Joseph Stiglitz (Columbia University)
Professor Lord Stern of Brentford (London School of Economics and Political Science)
Professor Cameron Hepburn (University of Oxford)
This event is co-organised for London Climate Action Week by the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics and Political Science and the Smith School at the University of Oxford.
Friday, July 3
Forests and climate change: The pitfalls and benefits of reforestation
Friday, July 3
7:00am – 08:00aam EDT
RSVP at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/forests-and-climate-change-the-pitfalls-and-benefits-of-reforestation-tickets-110659004060
Join an expert discussion on how mass tree planting can most effectively and sustainably help tackle the climate emergency
Because growing trees absorb carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere, forests can help fight climate change by capturing fossil fuel emissions. As a result, large-scale tree planting is an increasingly popular component of global efforts to meet climate targets. However, the role of forests in climate mitigation is complex, and poorly planned planting efforts can actually increase CO2 emissions and warming. Only through open communication among scientists, policy-makers, and environmental groups can we ensure the multiple ecological and societal benefits of planted forests.
As part of London Climate Action Week, the Grantham Institute at Imperial College London will host a discussion on this emerging natural solution to fighting climate change. This event will address how much carbon different types of forests can store, and evaluate best practices for balancing reforestation, afforestation, and forest conservation based on the three Ws;
Where to plant trees;
What tree species are ecologically suited to the site;
Who are the local stakeholders who will be affected by changes in land use.
The discussion will be chaired by co-director of the Grantham Institute, Professor Martin Siegert, and will feature Dr Bonnie Waring, co-author of a new Grantham Institute briefing note titled ‘What role can forests play in tackling climate change?’
Regenerative livestock production: part of the solution to climate change
Friday, July 3
3:00 PM – 4:00 PM EDT
RSVP at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/regenerative-livestock-production-part-of-the-solution-to-climate-change-tickets-111302256044
Adriana Marina (founder of the NGO Hecho por Nosotros and animaná) is proud to host Pablo Borrelli. They will discuss climate change and environmental degradation and their accumulating effects that will lead to a global crisis. Beyond emission reduction strategies, it is not feasible for humanity to cope with climate change without the regeneration of living soils as the natural sink for excess CO2. Regenerative livestock production is a real, scalable, multi-benefit proposal that has the chance of capturing massive amounts of carbon while providing natural fibers, nutrient dense foods and other environmental services as clean, pure water and biodiversity.
About our guest speaker Pablo Borrelli:
Pablo is an agronomist who co-founded Ovis 21, a certified B Corporation. He’s also a Holistic Management Trainer and a Hub Leader in Argentina for the Savory Network, as well as a Project Manager of Ecological Outcome Verification at the Savory Institute.
Sunday, July 5
An Activist’s Sketchbook: Architecture and Climate Activism
Sunday, July 5
2:00 – 3:30 EDT
RSVP at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/an-activists-sketchbook-architecture-and-climate-activism-tickets-110508417652
Instead of just designing buildings, should we be tearing some structures down? Discussing climate activism+architecture with #penpaperpint
In a Climate and Ecological Emergency, architects must be part of tearing down damaging systems and designing regenerative ones – but where do we start? Must you wait until you leave architecture school or can you begin anytime?
The Climate Crisis didn’t hit us out of the blue: it was forecast for decades and is having immediate, disproportionately felt impacts upon society. Our built environment is responsible for 39% of GHG emissions globally (UKGBC, 2019) so represents a significant challenge for the construction industry but an even bigger opportunity for architects to have a positive impact.
How can we rise to this before entering the profession and whilst designing buildings? We must be part of a solution, as the IPCC’s 2018 Special Report on 1.5°C made very clear.
We can create a positive impact in a variety of ways as architectural practitioners and even as students – activism need not always be blocking roads and holding placards. It can be using university projects to make statements; it can be persuading a client to specify a more sustainable material, to re-use what exists or not to build at all; it can be writing and running the gauntlet of online comments sections; it can even be admitting you have more to learn and simply doing that work.
We have brought the Anthropocene Architecture School to the LFA to contextualise the climate and ecological emergency and place the built environment into that context – recognising its negative impact and potential for positive change. Afterwards, we shall share crash-tested recipes for action: from design studios to the streets; from the practical to the playful; from the theatrical to the openly provocative. With these tools, we shall brainstorm, discuss and help you to plan your own actions: this is not a drill, so this is not just a one-off workshop.
Anthropocene Architecture School
The AAS is a decentralised school of architecture, activism and climate literacy and since its launch during Scotland’s Architecture Fringe in June 2019, it has catalysed over 20 workshops and contributed to over a dozen events across the U.K and internationally by digital means. Its outputs include climate literacy sessions and workshops for activists, built environment professionals, the public and architectural educators; publication in a variety of journals and magazines; research into architectural education; and transdisciplinary studios that have supported over 100 architecture students in learning sustainable design skills.
Should you wish to support the work of the AAS and keep up with its second year, you can find out more at:
The Lockdown Festival of Architecture is a spontaneous response to the unprecedented situation we find ourselves in. From the 4th of May until the lockdown ends, we’ll be providing a series of positive, productive and provocative activities to debate the future after coronavirus. Serious topics, but no stuffy conversations.
Tuesday, July 7
Scaling up low-carbon energy: Economic, geopolitical, and environmental impacts
Tuesday, July 7
10:00 AM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)
RSVP at https://mit.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_a7pU0GVsQE6LeVb323s-Zw
The energy sector is facing unprecedented challenges, with the global Covid-19 pandemic complicating an already challenging transition toward a low-carbon future. One of the key elements in addressing both the current pandemic and climate change is with forward-looking collaborations in technology development and innovation—which have long been a hallmark of MIT’s approach to problem solving.
MIT’s Industrial Liaison Program (ILP) and Energy Initiative (MITEI) are pleased to present a special webinar series with leading researchers and experts in the energy domain sharing their insights on important themes: “Energy Transitions & Economics” (May 6), “Innovations in Critical Low-Carbon Technologies” (May 13), “Grid-Scale Energy Storage” (May 21) and “Scaling up low-carbon energy: Economic, geopolitical, and environmental impacts” (July 7).
Please join us in these webinars to hear and discuss with the experts so together we will be able to better navigate these difficult times for a successful transition to a sustainable energy future after the current crisis.
A GREEN FUTURE: RACE-GENDER-ENVIRONMENT
Tuesday, July 7
5-6:30 pm EST
RSVP at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/a-green-future-race-gender-environment-tickets-109902820294
CLIMATE CHANGE (w/Dr. Michael Mann )
Dr. Heidi Hutner (Professor, Writer, Filmmaker, Eco-Feminist)
Dr. Heidi Hutner, Director and Producer, is a professor of Sustainability and English at Stony Brook University, and a scholar of nuclear and environmental history and ecofeminism. She is the winner of Sierra Club Long Island’s 2015 Environmentalist of the Year Award. At Stony Brook University, she teaches courses on environmental literature, history, and film. She chaired the Sustainability Studies Program for six years and was Associate Dean in the School of Marine and Atmospheric Science. Hutner publishes widely as a writer and journalist on nuclear, environmental, and gender issues. She regularly gives public and keynote talks at universities and conferences on environmental studies and ecofeminism. Her current book project, ACCIDENTS CAN HAPPEN: VOICES OF WOMEN AND NUCLEAR DISASTERS will accompany the documentary and forms the basis of the film series. Hutner’s many books, book chapters, and essays have been published by Oxford University Press, University of Virginia Press, Palgrave Press, Rowman and Littlefield Press, Broadview Press, among others. As a journalist, she writes for the New York Times, Ms. Magazine, Public Radio International, DAME, Spirituality and Health, Mom’s Clean Air Force, Yes!, Tikkun, and more. Hutner produces the popular web video show, Coffee with Hx2, in which she interviews world experts, Nobel Peace Prize winners, McArthur Genius Fellows, and other luminaries on sustainability and environmental issues. She recently appeared on the NBC News Think episode, “Clean Water is a Human Right” and gave a TEDx on “Eco-Grief and Ecofeminism.” Hutner was the associate producer of the off-Broadway climate-change musical, Endangered.
WATCH Heidi’s Ted Talk “Eco-Grief and Ecofeminism”
Dr. Michael Mann (Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric Science at Penn State, Director of Earth System Science Center)
SPECIAL GUEST – Webinar #1 JULY 7: 5-6:30 pm EST – CLIMATE CHANGE
Dr. Michael E. Mann is Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric Science at Penn State, with joint appointments in the Department of Geosciences and the Earth and Environmental Systems Institute (EESI). He is also director of the Penn State Earth System Science Center (ESSC).
Dr. Mann received his undergraduate degrees in Physics and Applied Math from the University of California at Berkeley, an M.S. degree in Physics from Yale University, and a Ph.D. in Geology & Geophysics from Yale University. His research involves the use of theoretical models and observational data to better understand Earth’s climate system.
Dr. Mann was a Lead Author on the Observed Climate Variability and Change chapter of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Third Scientific Assessment Report in 2001 and was organizing committee chair for the National Academy of Sciences Frontiers of Science in 2003. He has received a number of honors and awards including NOAA’s outstanding publication award in 2002 and selection by Scientific American as one of the fifty leading visionaries in science and technology in 2002. He contributed, with other IPCC authors, to the award of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. He was awarded the Hans Oeschger Medal of the European Geosciences Union in 2012 and was awarded the National Conservation Achievement Award for science by the National Wildlife Federation in 2013. He made Bloomberg News’ list of fifty most influential people in 2013. In 2014, he was named Highly Cited Researcher by the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI) and received the Friend of the Planet Award from the National Center for Science Education. He received the Stephen H. Schneider Award for Outstanding Climate Science Communication from Climate One in 2017, the Award for Public Engagement with Science from the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2018 and the Climate Communication Prize from the American Geophysical Union in 2018. In 2019 he received the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement. He was elected to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences in 2020. He is a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union, the American Meteorological Society, the Geological Society of America, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. He is also a co-founder of the award-winning science website RealClimate.org.
Dr. Mann is author of more than 200 peer-reviewed and edited publications, numerous op-eds and commentaries, and four books including Dire Predictions: Understanding Climate Change, The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: Dispatches from the Front Lines, The Madhouse Effect: How Climate Change Denial is Threatening our Planet, Destroying Our Politics, and Driving Us Crazy and The Tantrum that Saved the World.
The mission of the Florence Belsky Foundation is “Connecting People, Sharing Ideas, Empowering Each Generation to Teach the Others”.
Prior online series by Flobel include Best Practices for Documentary Films which was dedicated to Charles Hobson, who was an Emmy award-winning producer and educator. Charles was a trailblazing documentary filmmaker who helped shatter stereotypes with pioneering shows such as “Inside Bed-Stuy” and “Like It Is.
For More Distance Learning Webinars CLICK HERE.
WEBSITE: http://www.Flobel.org and http://www.FlobelAngels.com
Full Webinar Dates:
JULY 7: 5-6:30 pm EST – CLIMATE CHANGE (w/Dr. Michael Mann )
JULY 14: 7-8:30 pm EST- CLIMATE SOLUTIONS (w/ Mark Jacobson )
JULY 21: 7-8:30 pm EST – Languages of Nature (w/Tiokasin Ghosthorse )
JULY 28: 7-8:30 pm EST – Nuclear Weapons abolition, racism, and gender (w/ Gina Belafonte & Beatrice Fihn )
AUGUST 4: 7-8:30 pm EST – Environmental Justice, racism, activism, artivism. (w/Lyla June & J. Drew Lanham )
This series will be Co-Hosted by Dr. Heidi Hutner (Professor, Writer, Filmmaker, Eco-Feminist) & Dennis Yerry (Composer, Musician, Environmentalist).
Special Guests: Dr. Michael Mann, Dr. Mark Z. Jacobson, Gina Belafonte, Beatrice Fihn – Nobel 2017 (TBC), Tiokasin Ghosthorse, Lyla June Johnston, J. Drew Lanham, and other luminaries TBA!
Solidarity Symposium Series: Climate, Health & Social Justice
Tuesday, July 7
8:30 PM – 9:30 PM EDT
RSVP at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/solidarity-symposium-series-climate-health-social-justice-tickets-110015906538
How do we elevate progressive issues and achieve equity in the time of COVID, and beyond?
Join a diverse panel of experts for the 1st in a 5-part web series by Zoom or FB Live to discuss the connection between the climate and health crisis, addressing inequalities, and how we can stand together to fight for change. Throughout the discussion, we’ll be answering questions and using interactive audience polls.
Each upcoming webinar will include a discussion on how the climate and health crisis intersect with social justice issues including education, immigration, elections, and the economy.
#1 The Intersection of the Climate & Health Crisis
The COVID pandemic drew attention to the flaws and inequities in our healthcare system and made it obvious that the US, and the world, are not prepared to respond to a global-level pandemic. At the same time, we are entering a climate crisis that is beyond comprehension – one that the US, and the world, are also not adequately prepared to address.
COVID-19 brought the world to its knees and increasing air pollution has made people more susceptible to respiratory infections, such as COVID. Similar to COVID, climate change is disproportionately impacting marginalized communities and communities of color.
As climate change worsens, we are likely to see more pandemics that will further cripple our struggling healthcare systems and deepen the inequities that already exist.
RSVP by sending an email to Susan Gilbert at firstname.lastname@example.org
A Just Renewal and Green New Deal for Canada
Tuesday, July 7
9:00 PM – 10:00 PM EDT
RSVP at https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/a-just-renewal-and-green-new-deal-for-canada-tickets-110532561868
A panel and discussion on how Christians can pursue bibically informed climate justice and economic renewal during and after COVID-19.
Since the pandemic has started, we’ve noticed cleaner air and quieter traffic in major cities, while at the same same time, over 5 million Canadians have been receiving CERB. How can we build an economy that’s more resilient for both people and nature? And for Christians, how can the Bible inform us on ways we can contribute to a ‘greener’ economy after COVID-19?
Join the discussion to find out!
Together, we will discuss policy changes and civic actions that could change our world for the better.
This session will focus on:
Where we are: the current economy and Christian perspectives on this.
Where we want to go and why: Biblical perspectives and why they matter for economic renewal.
A way forward: A Just Renewal and Green New Deal in Canada. There are actions you can take!
How we matter: Why civic engagement and actions by Christians matter.
You’ll also hear from the following facilitators:
Nelson Lee, a climate action engineer working with industry as they transform to a low carbon sustainable and resilient mode.
Monica Tang, an experienced Policy Analyst completing her MA in Leadership, Theology, and Society at Regent College.
Gary Lewitt, a former UBC instructor of business, economics, and law. He is convinced that significant governmental policy changes, promoted by faithful intercessory prayer, lifestyle changes, advocacy and prophetic action are required to halt and reverse climate change.
Samuel Chiu, the current Multicultural Program Director at A Rocha Canada. His multi-disciplinary background in environmental issues, public policy, theology and congregational ministry has equipped him to reach out to churches and Christian groups in Canada and East Asia on creation care in the last ten years.
This is a chance to ask your questions or express some of your views, as there will be a dedicated time for discussion.
This event is no charge. Donations to support Earthkeepers in our continuing mandate to provide Christian faith-oriented climate education and organize civic engagement are gratefully accepted.
Please invite your interested friends and family! We can help make a difference that could impact generations.
We hope to see you there!
Technology and Privacy
Registration and Event Access
The password-protected webinar link will be sent to all registrants via email a few days prior to the workshop.
To fully participate in the webinar, the following is recommended:
Computer or smartphone
Speakers or a headset
This event will be recorded. Please be reminded that anything you share is public, and please refrain from sharing sensitive information.
Thursday, July 9
Europe’s Green Recovery
Thursday, July 9
9:00am – 10:00am
RSVP at https://harvard.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_1O0He7MSSf2GgpXwuvhGvw
Speaker: Mauro Petriccione, Director-General for Climate Action, European Commission
Mauro Petriccione will discuss approaches to ensuring that Europe’s economic-recovery packages advance a green agenda — reduced greenhouse-gas emissions, reduced air and water pollution, and long-term sustainable development on the basis of a circular economy.
Saturday, July 11
Who Killed Berta Cáceres?: Dams, Death Squads, and an Indigenous Defender’s Battle for the Planet
Saturday, July 11
4pm EDT/1pm PDT
RSVP at https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_q3a1AU4oRZ-6RttQ84oMGw
An online conversation with Nina Lakhani, author of the recently released book “Who Killed Berta Cáceres?: Dams, Death Squads, and an Indigenous Defender’s Battle for the Planet”
‘Who Killed Berta Cáceres?’ paints a picture of Berta’s extraordinary life, investigates her murder, and puts both into their broader and necessary context. In the book, Lakhani examines the role of US-backed special forces, militarization, and the use of counterinsurgency, interweaving this analysis with anecdotes from Berta’s life. This pays a fitting tribute to Berta Cáceres herself, who had a remarkable ability to analyze structural oppression and global and regional policies and make them relevant to people’s lives.
In this online conversation with journalist and author Nina Lakhani and Brigitte Gynther of School of the Americas Watch (SOAW), we will discuss ‘Who Killed Berta Cáceres?’ and the themes it touches on, including the role of US militarization and counterinsurgency. In addition to Nina’s presentation, we will devote significant time to Q & A and discussion. You are invited to submit questions ahead of time or during the event itself. To submit questions ahead of time, you can put them in the registration form or write to Brigitte@soaw.org.
Save the date for Saturday, July 11, 2020 at 4pm EDT/1pm PDT and register here to join us for this important conversation!
You are invited to read one or more of the following resources before the event (though doing so is not a requirement!):
Excerpt from the book ‘Who Killed Berta Cáceres?’ (Published in The Guardian.) https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jun/02/who-killed-berta-caceres-behind-the-brutal-of-an-environment-crusader
‘The remarkable life and legacy of Indigenous leader Berta Cáceres,’ which has another excerpt from the book. (Published in Salon.) https://www.salon.com/2020/06/21/the-remarkable-life-and-legacy-of-indigenous-leader-berta-cceras/
‘Who Killed Berta Cáceres: Dams, Death Squads, and an Indigenous Defender’s Battle of the Planet.’ The book is available in Hardcopy and as an eBook from Verso Books: https://www.versobooks.com/books/3180-who-killed-berta-caceres
Overview of the Honduran legal cases for the murder of Berta Cáceres: https://soaw.org/overview-of-the-berta-caceres-murder-cases-in-honduras/
We look forward to seeing you online for this conversation!
Tuesday, July 14
CLIMATE SOLUTIONS (w/ Mark Jacobson )
Tuesday, July 14
7-8:30 pm EST
RSVP at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/a-green-future-race-gender-environment-tickets-109902820294
Dr. Mark Z. Jacobson (Professor of Civil Environmental Engineering)
SPECIAL GUEST – Webinar #2 JULY 14: 7-8:30 pm EST- CLIMATE SOLUTIONS
Mark Z. Jacobson’s career has focused on better understanding air pollution and global warming problems and developing large-scale clean, renewable energy solutions to them. Toward that end, he has developed and applied three-dimensional atmosphere-biosphere-ocean computer models and solvers to simulate air pollution, weather, climate, and renewable energy. He has also developed roadmaps to transition states and countries to 100% clean, renewable energy for all purposes and computer models to examine grid stability in the presence of high penetrations of renewable energy.
The most important jigsaw puzzle right now is how the CoV-2 spike, a 3 part structure, attaches to the human ACE2 protein through which it enters the cells of our bodies. That is the microscopic gap in our defenses.
When we understand that, we can figure out how to stop this pandemic. Right at the source.
A more detailed animation of the spike/receptor interaction
FoldIt (https://fold.it), the citizen science crowdsourcing protein folding site which has been around for over a decade, is currently hosting a series of CoV-2 protein folding puzzles.
Here’s their latest report
Another way to approach the Coronavirus may be through sound. There are sonic representations of the Coronavirus spike made by Markus Buehler and his team at MIT (http://news.mit.edu/2020/qa-markus-buehler-setting-coronavirus-and-ai-inspired-proteins-to-music-0402). They translated the 20 amino acids that make up protein chains into tones based upon their spectra. They used duration and volume to indicate other features like curvature into helices and stretching out into flatness (A Self-Consistent Sonification Method to Translate Amino Acid Sequences into Musical Compositions and Application in Protein Design Using Artificial Intelligence https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acsnano.9b02180).
The Sonification of the Coronavirus Spike Protein (Amino Acid Scale) is about 35 minutes long
The Viral Counterpoint of the Coronavirus Spike Protein (2019-nCoV)
(https://soundcloud.com/user-275864738/viral-counterpoint-of-the-coronavirus-spike-protein-2019-ncov) is about an hour and 50 minutes long and has three distinct movements, probably one for each strand of the spike.
The music, as presented by the MIT project, is engaging and sounds like some minimalist pieces from human composers, like Terry Riley, Steve Reich, Philip Glass, many others.
I’ve listened to the music of the Coronavirus spike and played along with parts of it wondering if jamming with the virus could jam the virus or whether noise cancelling algorithms could cancel the CoV-2 spike, that is if the MIT amino acid to sound notation can go back from sound to amino acid.
Just an idle thought during quarantine. Yet.
Would be good if we would focus more attention on this critical point, where virus meets human cell, in a whole species conversation because we just might need a whole species conversation right now, and not just about COVID19. Certainly, we have more than one whole species threat.
During the pandemic, MA jails and prisons have shut down visiting, and in an attempt to help keep families in touch with their loved ones, they have begun offering a couple of free phone calls per week, though some facilities are starting to phase them out. While we think all phone calls should be made free, not just during the pandemic, as New York City and San Francisco have done, at the very least the rates should be brought down to within reason.
The MA Department of Telecommunications and Cable (DTC) has set an interim in-state rate cap of 21 cents per minute debit and 25 cents collect to match the FCC’s interstate cap. Nevertheless, for in-state calls, five of ten jails that hold contracts with a Texas company, Securus Technologies, continue to charge over $3.10 for the first minute, in blatant violation of the DTC order. Those counties are: Barnstable, Berkshire, Bristol, Dukes, and Franklin. It turns out that five counties’ contracts are expiring next week: Berkshire, Bristol, and Franklin (along with Worcester and Middlesex, which abide by the DTC cap, but just barely at 21 cents per minute and 18 cents, respectively). For comparison, the New Hampshire DOC charges 1.2 cents per minute.
A coalition of groups, most involved in the Keeping Families Connected coalition, have written to the Berkshire, Bristol, and Franklin Sheriffs, asking them to bring the rates down and comply with the DTC order in their new contracts. Additionally, the coalition is working on legislation to lower phone costs and improve visitation in the state, along with other racial justice legislation. The bills are before the Ways and Means committee.
To contact legislators, go to: Take Action to Support Racial Justice Legislation.
Here are some excerpts from the Bristol letter, Keeping Families Connected Letter to Sheriff Hodgson June 26 2020:
At the end of June, Bristol County Sheriff’s Office contract with the Securus Technologies will expire – requiring a new contract negotiation. Nationwide, Securus is responsible for driving families into debt as they attempt to stay connected with their incarcerated loved ones. And while public reporting has exposed how Securus charges grossly inflated rates and fees – well beyond the $0.21 debit and $0.25 collect intrastate rate cap regulated by the Department of Telecommunications and Cable (DTC) – counties in Massachusetts continue to award the corporation egregiously high-cost prison and jail telecom contracts. We urge you to consider making calls free, or negotiate a contract with reasonable rates well within the DTC interim rate cap.
Amid global crises – the COVID-19 pandemic and the cascading economic downturn – families are struggling more than ever before. Massachusetts has the 4th highest rate of unemployment in the nation, a rate that is predicted to persist through 2021. With families facing altogether new forms of economic insecurity, the already-predatory rates charged by Securus are as unconscionable as they are cost prohibitive.
The groups signed on include: Prisoners’ Legal Services, Prison Policy Initiative, CORI & Re-entry Project of Greater Boston Legal Services, National Consumer Law Center (on behalf of its low-income clients), The Real Cost of Prisons, and Worth Rises
In the last month, seemingly every Massachusetts political establishment leader has made a statement against racism. The MA House has just passed a bill making Juneteenth a state holiday. Good for us, let’s pat ourselves on the back.
Just last year, the state passed the Student Opportunity Act, new education funding formula theoretically backed by $1.5 billion targeted at the particular challenges of low-income and “gateway” communities. This was actually a meaningful, anti-racist bill.
But structural racism is ever a system of last-in, first out. The funding piece of the SOA was always merely a promise, albeit one enshrined in law. Now, in the midst of genuine uncertainty, our leaders seem primed to put off its investment in the SOA, and are getting encouragement to do so from the Massachusetts Taxpayers Association, among others.
”Prior to COVID-19, education finance reform was on track to be the centerpiece of the fiscal 2021 budget,” MTF President Eileen McAnneny wrote in a letter to lawmakers. She added, “After the fiscal impact of COVID-19, however, policymakers may need to modify the implementation schedule for this new law. For example, lawmakers may postpone the start of implementation until fiscal 2022, presumably after the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has abated.
Schools in lower-income areas were unacceptably short of funds already — and now we’re talking about compounding the problem with “flat-lining” funding. (Inflation is a thing; “flat-lining” is a cut.)
Part of the frustration, said Roberto Jiménez-Rivera, a Chelsea School Committee member, is that local officials keep getting mixed messages about school funding for next year.
“It seems like some legislators are more concerned we will go down in funding,” he said in an interview. “The best scenario we are hearing is level funding. But no one is saying more money next year.”
One can acknowledge a tremendous amount of uncertainty about the resources that will be available to us. How big is the state’s revenue shortfall? Will MA get a substantial federal bailout to the states?*
As for things under our control in Massachusetts: Will we raise revenue to actually fund the SOA; not to mention the special challenges to schools posed by re-opening under COVID-19 guidelines?
If we don’t fund SOA, we’ll be perpetuating and compounding a racist system. Sorry children of color, immigrants and refugees: It’s last-in, first-out. You’re left out again. Try again next generation.
If we say we’re against racism, our school budgets have to reflect that. A new holiday won’t get you off the hook, legislators and Governor Baker. Find the money.
Must-read article, along these themes of social investment vs. racism, in the Globe. Newly-woke white people, put your money where your mouth is.
*Will Mitch McConnell feel enough heat to allow that to happen? Interestingly, the results from Tuesday’s Senate primary in Kentucky might have a profound effect on our state finances. Charles Booker is a vastly better, tougher candidate than Amy McGrath; he’ll receive a lot of money and will bring more pressure against McConnell than McGrath would. I’d have to imagine that state assistance would be a big part of that campaign.
I defended Joe Kennedy from attacks against him because he ran against Ed Markey, someone with a mixed record whom I thought this blog overrated as a progressive champion. Later I decided to support him for two key reasons. I felt like he could be a better progressive communicator than Markey and that he was reaching out to constituencies Markey neglected. With those two qualities overshadowing Markey’s seniority which has become a devalued currency in Mitch McConnell’s Senate.
A few things have changed. Markey knows he’s in the fight of his life and has activated the growing power of the youth vote and climate vote while actively closing the gap with Hispanic voters and communities of color.
Secondly, his seniority and expertise will now be invaluable under a much more likely Democratic President and Democratic Senate. Joe Biden has vowed to sign a major climate bill in his first 100 days and Markey is the person to craft it. Especially since Joe Kennedy is trying to have it both ways on the Green New Deal. Arguing essentially he was for it before he was against it.
Like Pete Buttigieg and Seth Moulton before him, he’s another rising talent whose campaign is suffering death from a thousand consultants. Speaking of Moulton, it’s obvious now he viewed his seat not as an opportunity to serve but as a stepping stone to a laughably quixotic presidential run. Ted Kennedy became his best self after he lost a largely self serving primary challenge to another Democratic incumbent, and I think his great nephew has a model to follow after this primary.
We need a workhorse to get climate done right in a Democratic Senate. I wish Joe the best and unlike many others here, I like him and hope he runs again in the future. Maybe the near future if our senior senator joins the Biden ticket or the Biden administration. Now is not the time. Not when a simple majority in the Senate could pass generation saving legislation.
In no uncertain terms, the conservative Boston Herald has lambasted Governor Romney's turnabout on stem cell research. Today's editorial in the Herald calls Romney an "ostrich with head firmly planted in the sand." It … [Read more...]
A new poll by the State House News Service shows that, if the election for Governor were held today, Tom Reilly would trounce Mitt Romney, 49.1% to 39.6%. There's lots more bad news for His Excellency in the poll: 56.3% of the poll's … [Read more...]
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Via Taegan Goddard, check out this interview with a member of the Federal Election Commission. Current FEC regulations pretty much exempt anything that happens on the internet from campaign finance law (excluding, obviously, online … [Read more...]
We were distressed to see last week that the NY Times, in its ongoing and misguided quest to stymie the investigation into Novak-Plame-gate, had signed on to one of the right wing's favorite canards: that the disclosure of Valerie Plame's … [Read more...]
A reminder: Wednesday night 3/2 is the event for Tim Schofield, State Rep candidate for the 18th Suffolk district. And with respect to our resident troll, you will definitely get to meet Tim if you so desire, and bend his ear about … [Read more...]
Let us consider the latest from NY Times columnist David Brooks:The larger, far more important point is that in a society as individualistic as ours, it's especially important to protect and nurture the countervailing institutions. It's so … [Read more...]
Today the Supreme Court declared that the Eighth Amendment (which prohibits cruel and unusual punishment) bars the execution of persons who were under 18 at the time they committed their crime.I don't think executing juveniles is a very … [Read more...]
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Food for thought, relevant to this year's forthcoming Big Discussion on expanding health care to more MA folks. None of this stuff is brand-spanking new, but it behooves us to know the terms of the debate."The Best Care Anywhere" … [Read more...]