Daily Archives: July 24, 2014

Evolving Resiliency: Managing Climate Risks in the Northeast

July 25, 2014
1:30 pm – 3:00 pm

562 Dirksen Senate Office Building – Constitution Avenue and 1st Street, NE

The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) invites you to a briefing examining the current and projected impacts of climate change in the Northeast and regional efforts to manage these risks. The Northeast is home to approximately 64 million people and is one of the most built-up environments in the world. Since much of the population and infrastructure is located along the coast, this region is extremely vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, as was most clearly seen when Hurricanes Irene and Sandy struck in 2011 and 2012, respectively. Between 1958 and 2010, the Northeast experienced a 70 percent increase in the amount of precipitation falling during very heavy events.

The Third National Climate Assessment (NCA), which was released on May 6, projects that climate change will further threaten the region’s environmental, social, and economic systems. While many of the states and municipalities in the Northeast have developed plans to mitigate and adapt to the threats of climate change, implementation is still in the early stages. How have federal, state, and local government initiatives acted to increase resiliency against current and future impacts of climate change? What more can and should be done to reduce these risks?

…(read more).

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

Climate Change: Implications for Buildings

Climate-buildingsA new briefing issued today distils the key findings from the recently released Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fifth Assessment Report for the buildings sector:

  • In 2010, the world’s buildings accounted for 32% of global final energy use and 19% of all greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Under business-as-usual projections, use of energy in buildings globally could double or even triple by 2050.
  • Widespread implementation of best practices and technologies could see energy use in buildings stabilise or even fall by 2050. Many mitigation options promise multiple co-benefits.
  • Know-how exists on retrofitting and how to build very low- and zero-energy buildings, often at little marginal investment cost; and there is a broad portfolio of effective policy instruments available to remove barriers to uptake.
  • Buildings face major risks of damage from the projected impacts of climate change, having already experienced a big increase in extreme weather damage in recent decades.



See other sectors with IPCC subject-briefings:


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Clueless Rich Kids on the Rise: How Millennial Aristocrats Will Destroy Our Future | Alternet

July 23, 2014  |

Prevailing neoliberal ideology, which perverts  capitalism as an economic system into capitalism as an unyielding political ideology, lurks in the shadows of almost every major issue in America, though nowhere is its influence more obvious or profound than in the spiraling rise of income and wealth inequality today.

When Thomas Piketty’s “Capital in the 21st Century” was first released in English, it followed the Culture War Playbook to perfection: First came the triumphant plaudits from like-minded thinkers, followed shortly by the hasty rebuttals of their ideological opponents, followed themselves by a torrent of commentary from pundits left and right who skimmed the book before adding their own two cents. Soon, there was the predictable “unskewing” by the right, after which came the fact-checking of the “unskewers” on the left… at which point the whole process had reached its inevitable conclusion. High-traffic angles fully juiced, our treadmill news cycle moved on to the next plank in our bitter, pointless culture clash, what author William Gibson has termed our “cold civil war.”

..(read more)

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3 ways Harvard President Drew Faust measures colleges | Marketplace.org

By 2015, the Obama administration will evaluate colleges on average tuition cost, low-income student enrollment, graduation rates and job earnings after graduation.

When they released this proposal last year, the higher education community generally disagreed with their criteria. One strong critic is Drew Faust, the president at Harvard University. Here are some measurements she thinks are important to consider:

Measurement: Jobs, but not salaries.

Faust is not opposed to focusing on kinds of work students can do after they graduate. However, she believes emphazing earnings at a first job distorts the picture.

“Some of our economists at Harvard have done analysis of this, and find that you really only begin to get an accurate reflection of lifetime earnings if you look at 10 years out. So I think they’re looking hard at more nuanced ways of measuring output of education.”

Measurement: The percentage of students on financial aid.

Of course, she cites the stats from Harvard: They accepted 5.9 percent of the 24,294 applicants for the entering class of 2014, and Faust says they have expanded financial aid programs so that those select few can actually afford to enroll.

“We have a financial aid policy that supports 60 percent of our undergraduates,” she said. “They pay an average of $12,000 a year.”

Faust also said that about 20 percent of Harvard’s class makes no parental or family contribution at all.

…(read more).

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The Cost of War

The Department of Veteran Affairs building in Washington. JOHN TLUMACKI PHOTO/GLOBE STAFF

By Sen. Bernie Sanders, The Boston Globe

23 July 14

rsn-T.jpghe cost of war is great, and it is far more than the hundreds of billions of dollars we spend on planes, tanks, missiles and guns.

The cost of war is more than 6,800 service members who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan. The cost of war is caring for the spouses and children who have to rebuild their lives after the loss of their loved ones. It’s about hundreds of thousands of men and women coming home from war with post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury, many of them having difficulty keeping jobs in order to pay their bills. It’s about high divorce rates. It’s about the terrible tragedy of veterans committing suicide.

…(read more).

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Green-Weiskel and Burns to Speak on “Hope for the Future” – Sustain Wayne


Lucia Green-Weiskel and Meghan Burns will share their views on global sustainability efforts as part of the Sustain Wayne’s “Hope for the Future” speaker series on Sunday, July 27th at the Ladd Recreation Center beginning at 4pm.

Lucia Green-WeiskelLucia Green-Weiskel is an Adjunct Professor of Asian Politics at Queens College. She is currently completing a PhD in Political Science at the CUNY Graduate Center in New York. She is also a Special Advisor for the Innovation Center for Energy and Transportation, a policy research center based in Beijing, China. She is the co-creator and manager of the Energy and Climate Registry, a greenhouse gas management tool and reporting platform for corporations in China. Lucia has been interviewed on Democracy Now!, WNYC’ Brian Lehrer show, Doug Henwood’s Behind the News and This American Life. Her writing has appeared in The Nation, Huffington Post, Grist, Alternet, The Brooklyn Rail, Global Politics, Chinadialogue.net, Red Pepper and The New York Times. To read her work go to: luciagreenweiskel.commons.gc.cuny.edu

ICET logoDescription of talk: LESSONS FROM CHINA: Ten years ago, many officials in China thought that climate change was a hoax – an invented concept designed by Western countries to undermine the rapid growth of the Chinese economy. Today, China‘s leaders have committed that country to some of the most ambitious carbon-reducing policies in the world.  To meet those targets, China has become a leader in wind and solar energy, biofuels and public transportation and is the only country in the world that is building an industry of green technology at a scale that could bring down the price of goods like electric vehicles, solar panels, and wind turbines, making them affordable in the developing world. But will these policies — which look good on paper — be implemented satisfactorily?

Meghan BurnsMeghan Burns, a Global Sustainability Analyst with Burton Snowboards in Vermont, will discuss the emerging role of sustainability in corporate culture.

Burns began her work at Burton in 2010 after completing a masters in Musicology from McGill University. She holds a Professional Certificate in Sustainable Business Practices from the University of Vermont.  As part of the Sustainability Team Meghan has visited Burton’s operations around the US and in China.  She will share the lessons she’s learned while working for a leader in the corporate sustainability movement.


Burton Sustainability Sustainability: Burton’s Stance
We have a responsibility to the sport we pioneered – and to the people and environment that sustain it.
Our commitment is to make Burton as respected for our environmental and social impact as we are for our products. In doing so, we will help to make snowboarding – and our lifestyle – sustainable well into the future.

http:// www.burton.com/default/sustainability.


Burns and Green-Weiskel will each offer a half hour talk to be held at the Ladd Recreation Center on Gott Road in Wayne beginning at 4pm followed by a half hour question and answer session.


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