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.

Thursday, August 6, 2020

The Fossil Fuel Industry is Financing the Militarization of Police

A recent report has revealed the fossil fuel industries, utilities and banks have extensive ties to police groups. Police organizations in big cities like Seattle, Chicago, Washington, New Orleans and Salt Lake City have all received funding from oil giants including Chevron, Marathon and Shell. Funds are diverted to and through these groups without public input or oversight. Some of this money is used to pay for training, weapons, equipment, and surveillance technology.  Fossil fuel companies even have senior staff serving as directors of some police foundations.

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

The Fossil Fuel Industry's Environmental Racism and Funding of Racist Police

As revealed in a July 27th report, fossil fuel companies are guilty of environmental racism and they also support racist cops who terrorize the communities they are supposed to be policing. The fight against racism is intimately connected to the fight for environmental justice. It is no secret that people of color are far more likely to be exposed to dirty air and polluted water and they are also much more likely to to be the victims of police brutality.

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

The Power of Protest in 2020

The freedom to participate in non-violent protest is an essential part of a healthy democracy. Over the years such protests have been crucial to the advance of a range of issues from women's rights to civil rights.  Most recently the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement stood up to police brutality and helped to bring real reforms to cities across the United States.

From income inequality to gun violence protestors are fighting for justice. These interrelated undertakings include the struggle against environmental racism. All around the world climate demonstrations are being led by young people. People like Greta Thunberg and many others show us the true power of protest.

Monday, August 3, 2020

The Plague Economy: Inequality and the Preoccupation with Growth

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed fault lines that highlight weaknesses in our economic system. Unfettered capitalism imperils biodiversity and endangers the future of civilization. Julia Steinberger echoes these sentiments saying that confronting capitalism is the only way we can "avoid disaster". We will not be able to protect the natural world or combat global warming without changes in corporate governance and more specifically the fiduciary obligation to deliver profits.

Sunday, August 2, 2020

Online Workshops - Enhancing Federal Clean Energy Innovation

The remaining workshops in the National Academies series will take place August 3 - 7, 2020. These workshops are titled: Advanced Manufacturing and the Climate Crisis: Changes and Opportunities, Challenges and Opportunities for Cross-Agency and Cross-Sector Collaborations and Thinking Globally.

Saturday, August 1, 2020

Republicans, Conservative Groups, Veterans and Donors Opposing Trump's Reelection

Veterans and conservative groups are criticizing Trump calling him a failure and a traitor. Even some Republicans are openly disagreeing with him for the first time. Trump is the most consistently unpopular president in the history of the republic and his support is eroding even among the minority that make up his base*. Trump's support is collapsing because he is on the wrong side of all the major issues of the day. His strategy divides Americans with culture wars, systemic racism, secret police, portraying protestors as terrorists, disinformation, conspiracy theories, corruption, nepotism, cronyism, disparaging popular media and rejection of science.