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.