Friday, October 23, 2020

Climate Related Commentary in the Final Presidential Debate

Here is a full transcript of the climate related questions and commentary from the second and final debate between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden. The debate took place on Thursday October 22 at Belmont University in Tennessee and was moderated by Kristen Welker.

Kristen Welker: (12:41) Gentlemen, we’re running out of time so we got to get onto climate change, please. You both have very different visions on climate change. President Trump, you say that environmental regulations have hurt jobs in the energy sector, Vice President Biden, you have said you see addressing climate change as an opportunity to create new jobs. For each of you, how would you both combat climate change and support job growth at the same time? Starting with you, President Trump, you have two minutes uninterrupted.

Donald Trump: (13:08) So, we have the trillion trees program, we have so many different programs, I do love the environment, but what I want is that cleanest crystal clear water, the cleanest air. We have the best lowest number in carbon emissions, which is a big standard that I noticed Obama goes with all the time, not Joe, I haven’t heard Joe use the term because I’m not sure he knows what it represents or means, but I have heard Obama use it. And we have the best carbon emission numbers that we’ve had in 35 years under this administration, we are working so well with industry, but here’s what we can’t do. Look at China, how filthy it is, look at Russia, look at India, it’s filthy, the air is filthy. The [Paris Accord 00:00:13:55], I took us out because we were going to have to spend trillions of dollars and we were treated very unfairly.

Donald Trump: (14:03) When they put us in there, they did us a great disservice, they were going to take away our businesses. I will not sacrifice tens of millions of jobs, thousands and thousands of companies because of the Paris Accord, it was so unfair. China doesn’t kick in until 2030, Russia goes back to a low standard, and we kicked in right away, it would have been… It would have destroyed our businesses. So, you ready? We have done an incredible job environmentally, we have the cleanest air, the cleanest water, and the best carbon emission standards that we’ve seen in many, many years.

Kristen Welker: (14:41) Vice President Biden-

Donald Trump: (14:41) And we haven’t destroyed our industries.

Kristen Welker: (14:44) Vice President Biden, two minutes to you uninterrupted.

Joe Biden: (14:47) Climate change, global warming is an existential threat to humanity. We have a moral obligation to deal with it. And we’re told by all the leading scientists in the world we don’t have much time, we’re going to pass the point of no return within the next 8 to 10 years. Four more years of this man eliminating all the regulations that were put in by us to clean up the climate, to clean up… To limit the emissions, will put us in a position where we’re going to be in real trouble. Here’s where we have a great opportunity. I was able to get both all the environmental organizations as well as the labor, the people worried about jobs, to support my climate plan.

Joe Biden: (15:32) Because what it does, it will create millions of new good paying jobs, we’re going to invest in, for example, 500,000… Excuse me, 50,000 charging stations on our highways so that we can own the electric car market of the future. In the meantime, China is doing that. We’re going to be in a position where we’re going to see to it that we’re going to take 4 million existing buildings and 2 million existing homes and retrofit them so they don’t leak as much energy, saving hundreds of millions of barrels of…

Joe Biden: (16:03) So they don’t leak as much energy saving hundreds of millions of barrels of oil in the process and creating significant number of jobs. By the way, the whole idea of what this is all going to do, it’s going to create millions of jobs and it’s going to clean the environment. Our health and our jobs are at stake. That’s what’s happening and what right now, by the way, Wall Street firms indicated that my plan, my plan will in fact, create 18.6 million jobs, 7 million more than his. This is from Wall Street and I’ll create $1 trillion more in economic growth than his proposal does. Not on climate, just on economy.

Kristen Welker: (16:41) President Trump, your response.

Donald Trump: (16:42) They came out and said very strongly $6,500 will be taken away from families under his plan, that his plan is an economic disaster. If you look at what he wants to do, if you look at his plan, his-

Donald Trump: (16:57)… his environmental plan, do you know developed it? AOC plus three, they know nothing about the climate. I mean, she’s got a good line of stuff, but she knows nothing about the climate and they’re all hopping through hoops for AOC plus three. Look, their real plan cost a hundred trillion dollars. If we had the best year in the history of our country for a hundred years, we would not even come close to a number like that. When he says buildings, they want to take buildings down because they want to make bigger windows into smaller windows. As far as they’re concerned, if you had no window, it would be a lovely thing.

Donald Trump: (17:32) This is the craziest plan that anybody has ever seen and this wasn’t done by smart people. This wasn’t done by anybody. Frankly, I don’t even know how it can be good politically. They want to spend a hundred trillion dollars. That’s their real number. He’s trying to say it was six. It’s a hundred trillion dollars. They want to knock down buildings and build new buildings with little, tiny, small windows and many other things-

Kristen Welker: (17:57) Okay.

Donald Trump: (17:57) And many other things. And many other things.

Kristen Welker: (17:58) Okay, let me have the vice-president respond.

Donald Trump: (17:58) It is crazy.

Kristen Welker: (17:59) We’re running out of time and we have a lot more questions to get back to.

Donald Trump: (18:01) You’ll destroy our country.

Kristen Welker: (18:02) So let’s hear from the vice president. I have a number of more question..

Joe Biden: (18:07) I don’t know where he comes from. I don’t know where he comes up with these numbers.

Joe Biden: (18:09) A hundred trillion dollars, give me a break. This plan has been endorsed by every major, every major environmental group and every labor group, labor, because they know the future lies. The future lies in us being able to breathe and they know they’re good jobs and getting us there.

Joe Biden: (18:29) By the way, the fastest growing industry in America is the electric, excuse me, solar energy and wind. He thinks wind causes cancer, windmills. It’s the fastest growing jobs and they pay good prevailing wages, 45, 50 bucks an hour. We can grow and we can be cleaner if we go the route I’m proposing.

Kristen Welker: (18:54) President Trump-

Donald Trump: (18:55) Excuse me. 

Kristen Welker: (18:55) Please respond and then I have his follow up.

Donald Trump: (18:56) We are energy independent for first time. We don’t need all of these countries that we had to fight war over because we needed their energy. We are energy independent. I know more about wind than you do. It’s extremely expensive. Kills all the birds. It’s very intermittent. It’s got a lot of problems and they happen to make the windmills in both Germany and China and the fumes coming up, if you’re a believer in carbon emission, the fumes coming up to make these massive windmills is more than anything that we’re talking about with natural gas, which is very clear.

Donald Trump: (19:29) One other thing, solar-

Joe Biden: (19:31) Find me a scientist who says that.

Donald Trump: (19:31) I love solar, but solar doesn’t quite have it yet. It’s not powerful yet to really run our big, beautiful factories that we need to compete with the world.

Joe Biden: (19:42) False.

Donald Trump: (19:42) It’s all a pipe dream, but you know what we’ll do? We’re going to have the greatest economy in the world, but if you want to kill the economy, get rid of your oil industry you want. And what about fracking?

Kristen Welker: (19:54) Let me-

Donald Trump: (19:54) Now we have to ask him about fracking.

Kristen Welker: (19:56) Let me allow the Vice President Biden to respond.

Joe Biden: (19:57) I never said I oppose fracking.

Donald Trump: (20:00) You said it on tape.
Joe Biden: (20:02) Show the tape, put it on your website.

Donald Trump: (20:04) I’ll put it on.

Joe Biden: (20:05) Put it on the website. The fact of the matter is he’s flat lying.

Kristen Welker: (20:09) Would you rule out about banning fracking?

Joe Biden: (20:11) I do rule out banning fracking because the answer we need, we need other industries to transition, to get to ultimately a complete zero emissions by 2025. What I will do with fracking over time is make sure that we can capture the emissions from the fracking, capture the emissions from gas. We can do that and we can do that by investing money in doing it, but it’s a transition to that.

Kristen Welker: (20:38) I have one more question in this pile then-

Donald Trump: (20:40) Excuse me. He was against fracking. He said it. I will show that to you tomorrow.

Joe Biden: (20:45) Good.

Donald Trump: (20:45) I am against fracking. Until he got the nomination, he went to Pennsylvania. Then he said, “But you know what Pennsylvania?” He’ll be against it very soon because his party is totally against it.

Joe Biden: (20:54) Fracking on federal land. I said, no fracking and/or oil on federal land.

Kristen Welker: (20:59) Let me ask this final question in this section and then I want to move on to our final section. President Trump, people of color are much more likely to live near oil refineries and chemical plants. In Texas, there are families who worry the plants near them are making them sick. Your administration has rolled back regulations on these kinds of facilities. Why should these families give you another four years in office?

Donald Trump: (21:21) The families that we’re talking about are employed heavily and they are making a lot of money, more money than they’ve ever made. If you look at the kind of numbers that we’ve produced for Hispanic, for Black, for Asian, it’s nine times greater the percentage gain than it was under in three years than it was under eight years of the two of them to put it nicely, nine times more.

Donald Trump: (21:48) Now somebody lives, I have not heard the numbers or the statistics that you’re saying, but they’re making a tremendous amount of money. Economically, we saved it and I saved it again a number of months ago, when oil was crashing because of the pandemic. We saved it.

Donald Trump: (22:04) Say what you want to bet relationship. We got Saudi Arabia, Mexico and Russia to cut back, way back. We saved our oil industry and now it’s very vibrant again and everybody has very inexpensive gasoline. Remember that.

Kristen Welker: (22:17) Vice President Biden, your response and then we’re going to have a final question for both of you.

Joe Biden: (22:21) My response is that those people live on what they call fence lines. He doesn’t understand this. They live near chemical plants that in fact, pollute, chemical plants and oil plants and refineries that pollute.

Joe Biden: (22:33) I used to live near that when I was growing up in Claymont, Delaware and there are more oil refineries in Marcus Hook and the Delaware River than there is any place, including in Houston at the time. When my mom get in the car and when there are first frost to drive me to school, turning the windshield wiper, there’d been oil slick in the window. That’s why so many people in my state were dying and getting cancer. The fact is those frontline communities, it’s not a matter of what you’re paying them. It matters how you keep them safe. What do you do? You impose restrictions on the pollutions that if the pollutants coming out of those fence line communities.

Kristen Welker: (23:07) Okay. I have one final question called.

Donald Trump: (23:08) Would he close down the oil industry?

Kristen Welker: (23:10) It falls-
Donald Trump: (23:10) Would you close dow the oil industry?

Joe Biden: (23:12) By the way, I have a transition from the old industry, yes.

Donald Trump: (23:15) Oh, that’s a big statement.

Joe Biden: (23:15) I will transition. It is a big statement.

Donald Trump: (23:17) That’s a big statement.

Joe Biden: (23:18) Because I would stop.

Kristen Welker: (23:19) Why would you do that?

Joe Biden: (23:21) Because the oil industry pollutes, significantly.

Donald Trump: (23:24) Oh, I see. Okay.

Joe Biden: (23:24) Here’s the deal-

Donald Trump: (23:25) That’s a big statement.

Joe Biden: (23:26) Well if you let me finish the statement, because it has to be replaced by renewable energy over time, over time, and I’d stopped giving to the oil industry, I’d stop giving them federal subsidies. You won’t get federal subsidies to the gas, oh, excuse me to solar and wind.

Donald Trump: (23:45) Yeah.

Joe Biden: (23:46) Why are we giving it to oil industry?

Donald Trump: (23:47) We actually give it to solar and wind. That’s maybe the biggest statement. In terms of business, that’s the biggest statement.

Kristen Welker: (23:53) Okay.

Donald Trump: (23:53) Because basically what he’s saying is-

Kristen Welker: (23:55) We have one final question, Mr. President.

Donald Trump: (23:55)… he is going to destroy the oil industry. Will you remember that Texas? Will you remember that Pennsylvania, Oklahoma?

Kristen Welker: (24:03) Okay, Vice President Biden, let me give you 10 seconds.

Kristen Welker: (24:03) Okay.

Donald Trump: (24:03) Remember that Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, is-

Kristen Welker: (24:03) Vice President Biden, let me give you 10 seconds to respond-

Donald Trump: (24:04) Ohio.

Kristen Welker: (24:05)… and then I have to get to the final question. Vice President Biden.

Joe Biden: (24:07) He takes everything out of context, but the point is, look, we have to move toward net zero emissions. The first place to do that by the year 2035 is in energy production, by 2050 totally.

Kristen Welker: (24:21) All right. One final question to both of you-

Donald Trump: (24:22) Is he going to get China to do it?

Kristen Welker: (24:23) No, we’re finished with this-

Donald Trump: (24:23) Is he going to get China to do it?

Kristen Welker: (24:24) We have to move onto our final question.

Joe Biden: (24:25) No, I’m going to rejoin Paris Accord and make China abide by what they agreed to.

Kristen Welker: (24:30) All right. This is about leadership, gentlemen. And this first question does go to you, President Trump. Imagine this is your inauguration day. What will you say in your address, to Americans who did not vote for you? You’ll each have one minute, starting with you, Mr. Trump.

Joe Biden: (24:47) We have to make our country totally successful, as it was prior to the plague coming in from China. Now we’re rebuilding it and we’re doing record numbers, 11.4 million jobs in a short period of time, et cetera. But, I will tell you, go back.

Joe Biden: (25:01) Before the plague came in, just before, I was getting calls from people that were not normally people that would call me. They wanted to get together. We had the best Black unemployment numbers in the history of our country. Hispanic, women, Asian, people with diplomas, with no diplomas, MIT graduates; number one in the class, everybody had the best numbers. And you know what? The other side wanted to get together. They wanted to unify.

Joe Biden: (25:28) Success is going to bring us together. We are on the road to success. But I’m cutting taxes, and he wants to raise everybody’s taxes and he wants to put new regulations on everything. He will kill it. If he gets in, you will have a Depression, the likes of which you’ve never seen. Your 401(k)s will go to hell, and it’ll be a very, very sad day for this country.

Kristen Welker: (25:49) All right. Vice President Biden, same question to you: what will you say during your inaugural address to Americans who did not vote for you?

Joe Biden: (25:57) I will say, I’m an American President. I represent all of you, whether you voted for me or against me, and I’m going to make sure that you’re represented. I’m going to give you hope. We’re going to move; we’re going to choose science over fiction. We’re going to choose hope over fear. We’re going to choose to move forward because we have enormous opportunities, enormous opportunities to make things better.

Joe Biden: (26:19) We can grow this economy, we can deal with the systemic racism. At the same time, we can make sure that our economy is being run and moved and motivated by clean energy, creating millions of new jobs. That’s the fact, that’s what we’re going to do. And I’m going to say, as I said at the beginning, what is on the ballot here is the character of this country. Decency, honor, respect. Treating people with dignity, making sure that everyone has an even chance. And I’m going to make sure you get that. You haven’t been getting it the last four years.

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Dire Scientific Warnings from the Study of Fossilized Shells

A slew of recent studies corroborate the scientific consensus on climate change. It is both a current day reality and a serious threat to life on Earth. In recent decades we have witnessed a sharp increases in the number of floods, storms, heat waves, droughts, hurricanes and wildfires. This is corroborated by the daily news which shows wildfires in the West and storms in the East. Thus far in 2020 we have seen 25 named storms in the Atlantic, making this only the second time that the the World Meteorological Organization has run out of human for storms in the Atlantic. While individual weather events help to raise awareness, it is the long-term trends that reveal that we are in a climate emergency and on the cusp of the collapse of civilization

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Online Event - Web Summit: Technology at a Crossroads

This event will take place on December 2-4, 2020. Society has reached a crossroads, and we’re facing some critical decisions. Join world leaders, policymakers, activists and innovators online as they sketch out the future we want to see, and discuss the best way to get there. This is the world's fastest-growing technology event and it will bring together top decision-makers from the tech industry, including founders, CEOs and leading innovators. More than 100,000 attendees, 800 speakers, 2,000 journalists,  2,500 startups, from 150 countries will come together. at this event organised by the people behind RISE and Collision.  Subjects include:

Friday, October 16, 2020

Two Town Halls One Clear Leader

President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden participated in head-to-head town halls on Thursday October 15th. The bellicose disposition that defined Trump's comportment in the first presidential debate carried over into his town hall. By comparison Biden's town hall included a series of sober exchanges on a wide range of topics from covid to climate. Obfuscation was the name of Trump's game in the first presidential debate and he stayed the course.

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Prestigious Medical Journal Condemns Trump and Urges Voters to Reject Him

The usually nonpartisan New England Journal of Medicine has come out against Donald Trump's bid for a second term. This is the first time in its 208-year history that the world's leading medical journal has come out against a sitting president. In a blunt statement editors at the journal said the Trump administration is "dangerously incompetent."  They cite the fact that this administration "took a crisis and turned it into a tragedy." Without referring to Democratic challenger Joe Biden by name they are urging people to replace President Trump.

Monday, October 12, 2020

Canadian Thanksgiving and Columbus Day

Columbus Day and Canadian Thanksgiving are celebrated on the second Monday in October. In 2020 they are taking place on Monday October 12th.  In many respects these two holidays are diametrically opposed to each other. While Canadian Thanksgiving is a harvest festival, Columbus Day marks the beginning of our systematic destruction of the new world. It is hard to reconcile the start of our exploitation of the Americas with the expression of gratitude for nature's bounty. 

Sunday, October 11, 2020

Online Event - The International Economic Forum of the Americas

This online event will take place on October 26-28, 2020. Plenaries, forums and fireside chats will focus on a wide variety of issues including macro issues like shaping the global recovery to the need for meaning and advice on how to run a purpose driven business.   It will also feature segments on trailblazing women in 2020 and prioritizing health to rebuild the economy. Building on the success of the IEFA Online Conversation Series launched in April 2020, the International Economic Forum of the Americas continues its pursuit of bringing together the world’s leaders, legislators, economists, Fortune 500 CEOs and world-class experts, to an active and impactful platform for dialogue, corporate insight and collaboration. 

Virtual Event - The Future of Sustainable Buildings Conference

The Future of Sustainable Buildings Conference will take place on October 27, 2020 1 p.m. - 2 p.m. (EDT). This free live virtual conference is subtitled "How Timber Will Define the Skylines of Our Future". Climate change will impact how we live and design in the future. To slow the rate of climate change we need to rethink the way we build. Sustainable design has many meanings, but  it starts with the recipe of building and the choice of healthy ingredients. 

Virtual Event - 2020 Zero Waste Conference

The 2020 Zero Waste virtual conference will take place on November 13, 2020.  This is one of the world’s foremost conferences on the circular economy and zero waste it will focus on a future without waste that contribute to resiliency, prosperity, and carbon neutrality.  For 10 years, the Zero Waste Conference has been at the forefront of Canada’s circular economy journey.

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Fact Checking Climate and Environmental Statements in the Vice Presidential Debate

Vice President Mike Pence and Senator Kamala Harris participated in the 2020 vice presidential debate on October 7, moderated by Susan Page of USA Today. The debate took place at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. This is the first and only vice presidential debate of 2020, it was sponsored by the nonpartisan commission on presidential debates. 

The candidates were seated 12 feed apart and separated by a plexiglass barrier because of a coronavirus outbreak in the White House that has seen more than 30 people infected including U.S. president Donald Trump. 

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Trump is a Superspreader of Both the Coronavirus and Disinformation

U.S. President Donald Trump is a superspreader of both disinformation and COVID-19.  It is now widely understood that the event nominating Amy Coney Barrett for the Supreme Court was a superspreader event that has infected dozens of people including members of the white house and the Senate. Polls show that with a month to go before the election Trump trails Democratic presidential challenger Joe Biden by 16 points. Biden leads trump in every category except mendacity. Research out of Cornell University indicates that Trump is the leading superspreader of misinformation.

Sunday, October 4, 2020

Announcing the Launch of the Short Film "The Seed"

"The Seed" is six-and-a-half-minute film that takes us on an allegorical journey through a fallen world. This simple yet authentic parable reflects the serious reality of the climate crisis and environmental degradation without succumbing to futility or despair. This simple yet authentic parable was produced by NorthSky Films and directed by Sundance Ignite Fellow, Aziz Zoromba, who has produced and directed award-winning films that have screened at TIFF, SXSW, IDFA, Festival du Nouveau Cinema, RIDM, and more. The Seed was narrated by voiceover artists Ruth Capri and Lileina Joy, whose commercial work was recently nominated for an Emmy. The film's editor and co-producer, Ashley Gilmour, was nominated for a Canadian Screen Award and is a fellow of the Doc Accelerator Program at Hot Docs, as well as an upcoming resident at the Canadian Film Centre. The colourist and co-producer, Max Machado, was the recipient of the Jean-François Bourassa Memorial Award and was nominated for a Canadian Society of Cinematographers Award. The writer, Alexander MacKenzie, has likewise worked on award-winning narrative films, documentaries, and music videos. Richard Matthews is the film's executive producer, and he is a sustainability advocate and the chair of the SEC. He collaborated on the film The Search for Greta Thunberg.

Click here to see the film.

Saturday, October 3, 2020

Webinar - Canada’s Clean Energy Landscape

This webinar will take place on Wed, October 21, 2020 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM EDT it will look at Canada’s current wind, solar and energy storage portfolio and project pipeline. The Canadian Renewable Energy Association will leverage its newly aggregated data to provide key insights into renewable energy and storage in Canada. The webinar will feature expert opinion on the rapidly accelerating energy transition, and industry leading guest speakers will shine a light on the true state of the industry in Q4 2020.

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Climate, Environment and Sustainability in the Presidential Debate

For 11 minutes climate change took center stage in the September 29th presidential debate in Cleveland, Ohio.  This is not only the first presidential debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden it is the first presidential debate to focus on climate change for any protracted period of time.  

The debate featured Trump's flagrant disregard for civility and showcased his nightlong battle with both Biden and Fox News moderator Chris Wallace. However it was his failure to condemn white supremacists that made headlines.  After Charlottesville no one should be surprised. What was truly surprising was Trump's tepid admission that anthropogenic GHGs are driving global warming.  Here is the transcript from the section of the debate on climate change starting at the 48 minute mark.

Monday, September 28, 2020

How Environmental Action Can Survive Another Conservative Supreme Court Justice

President Trump's decision to replace the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg with Amy Coney Barrett threatens our ability to address the climate crisis, environmental degradation, and biodiversity loss. If she is confirmed Barret is expected to make it difficult to limit greenhouse gas emissions and protect American laws that give people a legal right to clean air, clean water, a stable climate, and healthy ecosystems. Trump's attempt to rush through his Supreme Court pick comes against the backdrop of his efforts to sow fears of election chaos and his failure to manage the COVID-19 pandemic which has led to the deaths of more than 200,000 Americans.

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Virtual Event - Cities Designing Smarter Forest Plans and Policies

This online event will take place on Tuesday September 29th (4 PM – 5 PM EDT). This event will be hosted by World Resources Institute and WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities. It will highlight the latest research and practice from Cities4Forests, an initiative led by more than 60 cities around the world, to better conserve, manage, and restore forests and other natural infrastructure.

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Spotlight on the Tongass for National Public Lands Day

On National Public Lands Day we turn our focus to Alaska and the Tongass National Forest in Southwest Alaska which is being targeted by the Trump administration. The final environmental impact statement issued on September 25th by the Department of Agriculture and Forest Service clears the way for these forests to be dissected by logging roads and the clear cutting of the Tongess. It also sets a dangerous precedent for other forests across the country.
Ninety-six percent of the public comments urge the government to save the old growth forests in the Tongass and preserve Alaska's Roadless Rule protections.

Thursday, September 24, 2020

The Build Back Better Liberal Throne Speech

Canadian Prime Minister Justine Trudeau's ruling Liberal government has announced its intention to focus on the COVID-19 pandemic, climate action and green jobs. On Wednesday September 22 Governor General Julie Payette delivered a Throne Speech that marks the second session of the 43rd Parliament. The speech was written by the Prime Minister’s Office and delivered in the Senate chambers. It promises to exceed Canada's 2030 climate goal and legislate Canada’s goal of net-zero emissions by 2050. They also vowed to work towards a fairer more resilient country.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Summary of 2860 Sustainability Focused Academic Programs

Here is an AASHE summary of 2860 sustainability focused academic programs comprising 672 organizations in 27 countries including 52 U.S. States and Territories and 9 Canadian provinces. The list includes Environmental Studies and Sciences, Engineering, Urban Community and Response Planning, Biological Sciences (includes Ecology), Social Sciences (Economics, Geography, Political Science etc), Public Administration and Policy, Law and Legal Studies, Technology and Trades, Design, Architecture, Education, Humanities (except languages), International and Global Studies, Health Sciences and Medicine, Recreation Leisure and Tourism, Communication Media Studies and Journalism, as well as Fine and Performing Arts.  The list can be searched by Sustainability Topic, Academic Discipline and Office or Department. Bars in graphs can be clicked to view resources that align with a particular category.

Monday, September 21, 2020

Scientific American Endorses a Presidential Candidate for the First Time in its 175 Year History

For the first time in its 175 year history Scientific American announced that it issuing a political endorsement.  They are not only backing Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden they are actively opposing a second term for U.S. President Donald Trump. In 2016 Scientific American warned about Trump's contempt for science and in 2020 they are taking their concerns to the next level by urging voters to vote against him. Founded in 1845 Scientific American is one of the oldest continuously published magazines in the United States. The fact that they feel the need to break with almost two centuries of tradition speaks to the dangers they see in another four years of Trump. As the editors explain in their announcement:

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Virtual Event - Sustainable Investment Forum North America 2020

This 4-Part Digital Event Series will take plae on September 24, October 1, 8, and 15. The fifth edition of the Forum, in official partnership with UNEP-FI will launch as a virtual event on September 24 during Climate Week NYC. It is the largest finance forum during Climate Week NYC. 

Friday, September 18, 2020

BA Joint Major in Environmental and Sustainability Studies and Political Science

The University of Northern British Columbia is offering a joint bachelor degree in environmental and sustainability studies and political science. The joint major explores environmental issues and the world of politics. This degree provides a sound grounding in environmental and sustainability issues alongside various political processes. The degree also addresses how political processes can be made to include environmental concerns and is excellent preparation for students interested in going into politics or in working within government.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Joe Biden's September 14th "Climate Arsonist" Speech

Here is a transcript of Joe Biden's Climate Change Speech at the Natural History Museum in Wilmington, Delaware on September 14th 2020. 

This speech was delivered against the backdrop of the record setting storms and wildfires.

Monday, September 14, 2020

From Covid to Climate How Trump Has Made Everything Worse

U.S. president Donald Trump has failed to manage both the cornavirus and the climate crisis. He initially dismissed both issues as a hoax, then he downplayed the virus. As we now know, he knew the truth but he hid it from the American public for the sake of political gain. Trump has politicized science and silenced scientists. This is a man who is at war with science and fact based journalism because they threaten his false narratives.

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Online Event - Climate Networking Conference

This event will take place on September 26, 2020. The Climate Networking Conference will include virtual panels, discussions and exhibitions dedicated to ensuring that climate stays at the top of the agenda amid a postponed COP26! The conference will bring together a variety of climate change actors from civil society, politics, activism and academia to determine what climate leadership looks like in 2020, As well as effective strategies, messages and objectives.

Friday, September 11, 2020

The Enviromental and Health Impacts of 9/11

Many first responders are suffering from inhaling the toxic fumes in the wake of the World Trade Center terrorist attack. This year these people are especially vulnerable to COVID-19. The pandemic has already claimed more than 193,000 American lives that is more than 60 times the number of people that died in 9/11. Every few days the death toll from this virus in the U.S. equals the number of people who died in the twin towers.

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

The Deadly Connection Between Climate Change, COVID-19, Wildfires, Hurricanes and Tornadoes

Once again we are witnessing the bi-coastal carnage of hurricanes in the east and wildfires out west. However, this year these record breaking disasters are being compounded by a global pandemic. Extreme weather is one of the most pervasive and persuasive manifestations of climate change. We have seen decades of data that conclusively demonstrate the world is warming.

Monday, September 7, 2020

Building Back Better: Job Creation through Green Recovery Stimulus Investments

Investing in the low carbon economy is a good investment that will supply jobs, cut costs and reduce pollution all while combating climate change. Covid-19 has helped to increase support for a green stimulus. This pandemic has augured an economic crisis and exposed the fault lines in our economy and our social structures. Investing in a more sustainable economy addresses a wide range of issues including the increasingly imminent threat of climate change. We have seen the return of 7.9 million jobs since June but many of the 11.5 million jobs lost since February may be gone for good.

Sunday, September 6, 2020

Virtual Event - Bloomberg Green Festival

The Bloomberg Green Festival will take place on September 14th - 18th, 2020. This is a 5-day immersive experience featuring global voices and proprietary insight including the Bloomberg Green Data Dashboard. It will be a true thought leadership experience operating at the crossroads of sustainability, design, culture, food, technology, science, politics and entertainment. Built to foster solutions-oriented conversations, the five-day festival will feature a mix of panels, presentations, fireside chats, and interactive elements. Climate action and sustainability are the core issues of the festival which will focus on four predominant themes: Business & Finance, Policy & Influence, Science, Data & Insights, Arts & Culture.

Thursday, September 3, 2020

50 Books on Climate Change and Sustainability

Here are fifty recently published books on the subjects of global warming, climate mitigation and social change. This is a companion piece to the the 25 books in The Green Market Oracle's well informed readers list. These books are divided into the following six categories:

1. Climate impacts
2. Sustainability and business
3. Climate action
4. Justice
5. Agriculture
6. Health

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Italy Makes the Study of Climate Change Compulsory in Public Schools

Climate change is now embedded into the curricula of Italian public schools. The children in Italy are back at school for the first time since the coronavirus interrupted their education in March. Due to a law passed last year by the Italian government all students will now study both climate change and sustainable development.  The move makes Italy the first country in the world to make climate and sustainability mandatory subject matter. The new policy applies to children in Italy's public school system from grade one to grade 13, from the ages of six through to 19.

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

University Installs Innovative Water Battery to Harness Solar Power

Batteries are a critical part of effectively harnessing the power of renewable energy and one university has installed a giant water battery that will cut costs by 100 million over the next quarter century.  The University of the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia is using a three story high water battery along with 6,000 solar panels they have installed on campus roofs and parking lots. The battery acts like a huge thermal energy storage tank, solar panels cool water and then it is used in campus' air conditioning system. The project will reduce dependence on the grid by 42 percent and prevent 100,000 tons of CO2 from being emitted into the atmosphere. The university expects to be carbon neutral by 2025.

Monday, August 31, 2020

How to Counter Trump's Mail-in Ballot Voter Suppression

The fact that the United States Postal Service (USPS) is protected by the Constitution has not deterred the Trump administration from  slowing mail delivery to undermine a free and fair general election.  Efforts to slow mail delivery began shortly after Trump appointed Louis DeJoy to run the USPS. DeJoy is one of Trump's major donors and within weeks of being on the job he began removing sorting machines and eliminating overtime. This has slowed down the mail and caused the USPS to warn  at least 40 states that their mail-in ballot deadlines conflict with the service's ability to deliver ballots on time.  The Trump appointed bipartisan board of governors who run USPS have called for a $25 billion cash infusion for USPS. However, efforts in the House to provide these funds have been rejected by the president. 

Sunday, August 30, 2020

Online Event - VERGE Energy Conference

VERGE Energy Conference (VERGE 20) will take place on October 26-30, 2020.  This online event can be attended from anywhere, The central theme at VERGE 20 will focus on how energy systems can be decarbonized, decentralized, digitized and democratized. It will specifically explore systemic solutions to the climate crisis focusing on clean energy, electrified, transportation, the circular economy, carbon removal and sustainable food systems. VERGE 20 will be attended by more than 15,000 leaders, it will feature 300+ speakers. 400+ sessions.  Participants at this conference come from the private and public sectors, utilities, solution providers, investors, and startups.

Saturday, August 29, 2020

Open Letter Warns Us to Stop Wasting Time and Act Now

An open letter to world leaders warns that we must act now or face the collapse of civilization.

The clock is ticking and what we do in the coming months will determine our future or lack thereof.  On  July 16, 2020 Greta Thunberg, Luisa Neubauer, Anuna De Wever and Adélaïde Charlier published the open letter. Since then, more than 125,000 people have signed this letter which speaks to our moral responsibility to act.

An excerpt from the letter reads as follows:

Thursday, August 27, 2020

The Facts Call Americans to Vote for Leaders Who Support Science-Based Policy

The ruling administration's mishandling of the coronavirus gives Americans a reason to reflect on the implications of a government at war with science.  We cannot ignore the tragedy of the 180,000 Americans that have succumbed to COVID-19, however, there is an upside to this horrible plague.  If nothing else it has helped to educate the electorate about President Trump's inability to respond to a crisis. This virus is but one example of the many ways that the Trump administration is at odds with the majority of Americans.  Despite the fact that a growing number of Americans support climate action, this president is also the world's leading advocate of climate denial.

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

University of Queensland Goes 100% Renewable

The University of Queensland (UQ) in Australia has become the first institute of higher learning in the world to have its entire energy consumption offset by renewable energy produced from its own assets. With 50,000 solar panels on campuses in Brisbane and Gatton generating 7 megawatts (MW) the university was already Australia's largest solar energy producing university. The new Warwick facility that was completed in 2020 generates about 160GWh per year making UQ energy neutral. The new facility not only meets its current electricity needs it also offsets projected future demand.

Monday, August 24, 2020

Inflection Point: America's Turning Tide

Coverage of the 2020 Democratic National Convention from the perspective of four key participants. Former first lady Michelle Obama and former president Barack Obama who called on Americans to defend their democracy. Democratic Vice Presidential Nominee Kamala Harris who offered us an intimate portrait of her life and career and the Democratic Presidential Nominee Joe Biden, whose speech earned praise from both the left and the right.

Sunday, August 23, 2020

Online Event - 2020 International Climate Action Challenge

This kick off event will take place on August 26 & 27, 2020.  This initiative will help you jump-start your environmental or community initiative in 90 days. The action-packed two-day FREE Kick-Off Event will give you tips for launching your initiative. You can meet the mentors and connect with fellow challengers.

This event is for anyone interested in participating in the Challenge. Get your free pass to the Challenge Kick-Off Event that will give you instant access to the Challenge Quick Start Guide.

Friday, August 21, 2020

Princeton Review Ranking of Green Colleges (Top 20)

Here are the top 20 green colleges as listed in the tenth Guide to Green Colleges. Out of almost 700 schools it surveyed 413 colleges were selected and profiled for the 2019 edition. Rob Franek, The Princeton Review’s Editor-in-Chief, explains that schools are selected based on their "exemplary commitments to sustainability". According to a 2020 survey, a solid majority (64%) of college applicants and their parents are interested in environmental and sustainability issues. These rankings provide information about a college's commitment to the environment that can make it easier to choose a school. 

Thursday, August 20, 2020

The Milano School of Policy, Management, and Environment Graduate Programs at The New School

Policy and Environment Graduate Programs at The New School in NYC prepares you to become a leader in your field while promoting social justice. Their master’s degree programs enable you to critically examine contemporary environmental and urban policy systems, develop equitable and sustainable solutions, and launch a thriving, transformative career.

Learn to become agents of change from a world-class faculty. Their innovative, collaborative cross-disciplinary approach to  learning extend far beyond the classroom.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Trump is Targeting Mail-In Ballots in an Effort to Suppress the Vote and Undermine Democracy

Voting by mail is the only safe way to vote during a pandemic, however, U.S. President Donald Trump is using his bully pulpit to do everything he can to ensure these vote don't get counted. This president is forcing people to make the choice between their personal safety and their right to vote. This is a clear political calculation designed to help him win reelection.  Trump's attempt to deprive people of their right to vote by mail is more than just an attempt to suppress the vote, it is a self-serving attack on democracy.  As Michelle Obama said at the 2020 Democratic National Convention "they are doing everything they can to stop us from voting".

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Biden Leads the Most Climate Friendly Presidential Ticket in the History of the Democratic Party

Climate action is a high profile election issue in 2020 and presumptive Democratic nominee Joseph R. Biden Jr. gets the urgency of this crisis. His inclusion of Kamala Harris as his running mate cements the Biden ticket as the most climate forward presidential candidacy in the history of the Republic. Biden's climate focus is critical because the U.S. is currently ranked as the worst performing country in the world on climate action.  Another four years of Trump could augur the end of civilization as we know it.

Monday, August 17, 2020

Advocates of Climate Action and Environmental Justice Laud Biden's Selection of Harris as his Running Mate

Presumptive Democratic presidential  nominee Joe Biden recently named Kamala Harris as his running mate prompting Sierra Club President, Ramon Cruz Diaz to say the VP pick, "cements" the Democratic ticket as "the strongest ever for proposed climate action." Harris is the first black woman and first person of Indian descent to be nominated for vice president by a major party. Tamara Toles O’Laughlin, North America Director of 350 Action, said, "Harris has demonstrated a solid understanding of the scale of the climate crisis".

Sunday, August 16, 2020

Virtual Event - Sustainability Week 2020: Disruption as a Catalyst for Action

This virtual event will take place on October 5th - 9th 2020 1pm - 3pm BST (8am - 10am EDT). It includes 10 hours of curated content over 5 days. As Greta Thunberg declared at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos in January 2020, “Our house is on fire.” From scorched landscapes to melting ice caps and polluted oceans, the impacts of climate change are clear and immediate.

Friday, August 14, 2020

Abandoned Oil Wells Leaking Methane and other Contaminants

Methane may be less visible than oil spills but it is another serious corollary of fossil fuel extraction. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change. According to a 2020 special report by Reuters, millions of abandoned wells are leaking methane. This report indicates that it is difficult if not impossible to hold companies accountable after they fold or sell a well. Across the U.S. the number of abandoned wells has increased by more than 12 percent since 2008 according to the EPA. The spate of fossil fuel industry bankruptcies we are seeing in 2020 is increasing the number of abandoned wells.

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

The Symbiotic Relationship Between Trump and the Fossil Fuel Industry

Donald Trump is the world's most powerful advocate of the industry that is at the heart of the climate crisis. It is an irrefutable scientific fact that if we are to minimize global warming we must stop burning coal, oil and gas. The fossil fuel industry has known this for decades. However, they concealed that information and launched sophisticated disinformation campaigns to deceive the public so that they can keep profiting from their energy dominance. Their rejection of science and climate denial have brought us to the brink of collapse. They are complicit in the systemic racism that plagues the U.S. They have a long history of environmental racism and funding police including falsely characterizing peaceful protestors as terrorists.

Oil Spills Illustrate the Dangers of Fossil Fuels

Oil spills are inevitable, they are difficult to clean-up and they can have devastating effects on local ecosystems. Here are few examples of oil spills that illustrate the dangers of fossil fuels. 

The fossil fuel industry is driving feedback loops that include both melting permafrost and sea level rise.  It is not hyperbole to say that the fossil fuel industry is pushing us towards tipping points that could cause the collapse of civilization.

Monday, August 10, 2020

Comprehensive Green School Information and Resources 2010 - 2019

In 2019 the Green Market Oracle (GMO) is reprising its annual Green School Series. This series is for people who want to know what schools are doing to be more sustainable, it is also for students and professionals interested in sustainability focused programs, degrees and courses.

Over the course of the last decade the GMO has published almost 400 articles related to environmentally oriented academics, sustainable infrastructure and green initiatives in pedagogical settings.

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Online Event - Sustain, Scale, Impact: Building a Sustainable Business Model

These free online events from the the Idea Center at Miami Dade College will take place on August 13th at 5 PM EDT, August 27th 12 PM EDT, September 9th at 4 PM EDT.  These sessions are intended for those behind early stage projects, startups and organizations that aims to address social or environmental issues.

Friday, August 7, 2020

GMO's Annual Green School Series 2019

Each year since 2010 the Green Market Oracle (GMO) publishes a series of posts addressing a wide range of green school related subjects. In addition to green buildings, this series has reviewed hundreds of sustainability-focused schools and accreditation as well as a wide range of related topics. The tenth edition of the GMO Green School Series included 17 posts bringing the total to 399. To see all the posts from preceding years click here. Posts in the 2019 Green School Series addressed green school buildings, climate curricula, climate denial, protest and education in the Trump administration.