Monthly Archives: November 2012

Sandy and the Age of Superstorms – Dr. Kerry Emanuel of MIT

Published on Nov 28, 2012 by yaleclimateforum

Has Hurricane Sandy inaugurated a new age of climate fueled superstorms?
Peter Sinclair interviews Hurricane Expert Dr. Kerry Emanuel of MIT, and Dr. Jason Box of the Byrd Polar Center.

Emanuel 2007, Environmental Factors Affecting Tropical Cyclone Power Dissipation

Judith Lean, Cycles and Trends in Solar Irradiance and Climate

Yes Men Visit Occupy Sandy in the Rockaways

MSNBC Sandy and Global Warming, Morning Joe Program

Global Climate Change
Environmental Justice
Environment Ethics

Newest Yale Forum Video: A ‘Play-by-Play’ on Sandy with Kerry Emanuel

November 28, 2012

MIT atmospheric science professor Kerry Emanuel offers a concise “play-by-play” as Superstorm Sandy forms and heads for the New Jersey shoreline in the latest Yale Forum video produced by independent film maker Peter Sinclair.

Sinclair’s catchy video captures Ohio State University professor Jason Box on the subject of Sandy’s relationship to our warming planet. Climate change, Box says, “shifted the odds in its favor” and made its impact more severe as a result of the warmer sea temperatures along the eastern seaboard … and the resulting higher sea levels resulting from those higher temperatures.

Weather Underground founder Jeff Masters and video from “Morning Joe” provide additional material in the video, with “Morning Joe” host Joe Scarborough pointing to a discussion he had recently had with a man who handles insurance rate tables. “This is going to just keep coming,” Scarborough quotes him as saying in reference to sky-high storm-related expenses.

Emanuel at one point notes the irony that greatly reduced sulfur aerosol emissions across North America starting in the mid- to late-1980s as a result of Clean Air Act regulations have allowed ocean temperatures to increase. “That silver cloud, if you will, had a black lining,” Emanuel notes.

Global Climate Change
Environmental Justice
Environment Ethics

Dr. Eric Chivian on Biodiversity, Health, and Climate Change
Dr. Eric Chivian on Biodiversity, Health, and Climate Change
Dr. Chivian looks at polar bears and cone snails — species whose survival is threatened by climate change and what medical science stands to lose if these species disappear. Specifically, Chivian looks at how studying polar bears in their native habitat could help scientists address such human health issues as osteoporosis, renal disease, and obesity related diabetes. He describes how cones snails contribute significantly to the development of medication for chronic pain in patients who no longer respond to opiates.

Environment Ethics

Plantagon: The Future of Urban Food

Growing food vertically in the city? The Swedish company Plantagon will show how to grow more food in less space when it opens its first urban greenhouse in 2013 in Linkoping, a city some 180 miles from Stockholm. The plan is to grow vegetables in a turning helix with minimal water, energy and the need for fertilizer. With the world’s population to top 9 billion by 2050 — and with 80% of those people projected to live in cities — finding innovative, cost effective, and environmentally friendly ways to supply food to cities is a major challenge. Earth Focus visits Plantagon for a look at what might well be the future of urban food.

Environmental Justice
Environment Ethics
Food-Matters http://Food-Matters.TV

Faust Discusses Harvard Investments | News | The Harvard Crimson
By Quinn D. Hatoff and Hana N. Rouse, CRIMSON STAFF WRITERS
Published: Tuesday, October 23, 2012


Rishi Goel

President Drew Faust answers questions at the Undergraduate Council and Harvard Graduate Council General Meeting. Her presence at the open forum was driven by a motivation to increase contact and dialogue with students.

Harvard’s investment strategy is aimed at providing funds for the University’s teaching and research initiatives, rather than promoting a particular social cause through investing, University President Drew G. Faust tried to impress upon students during an open forum hosted by the Undergraduate Council and Harvard Graduate Council Monday evening.

“Its primary purpose and its fundamental commitment is to generating the revenue from the endowment that enables us to do everything that we do,” Faust said of the Harvard Management Company, which oversees the University’s investments. “That is its sustaining goal and it devotes itself to that, not to using the investments to advance particular agendas of one sort or another.”

Global Climate Change
Environmental Justice
Environment Ethics

University ‘Not Considering’ Divestment | News | The Harvard Crimson
Published: Sunday, November 25, 2012

A week after about 2,600 undergraduates voted in support of a referendum calling for Harvard to divest its $30.7 billion endowment from the fossil fuel industry, a Harvard spokesperson said on Wednesday that the University has no plans to adjust its investment portfolio in response to the student plebiscite.

“Harvard is not considering divesting from companies related to fossil fuels,” Harvard Director of News and Media Relations Kevin Galvin wrote in an email to The Crimson.

The divestment referendum, which was approved along with two other student-initiated ballot questions in this month’s Undergraduate Council presidential election, earned 72 percent of the student vote. …(more).

Global Climate Change
Environmental Justice
Environment Ethics
Harvard Crimson

Do we need the S-word? Yes, for many reasons
By Matthew Polsky
Published November 29, 2012

Do we really need to use the “S-word” – sustainability — in order to talk about sustainability? Joel Makower originally posed this question (and answered with a “no”). This strikes me as one of the classic questions for our still-young field, one that goes to its core, and which will be raised again and again.

The polar extremes of response to the question are: “Sustainability just doesn’t resonate with my audiences, I can make changes in my organization without it, so who needs it?” versus “How can you possibly talk about a subject without mentioning the main way you refer to that subject?” I aim to speak both to the critics at the first pole, as well as those who want to take the sustainability term further. ….(more).

Environmental Justice
Environment Ethics