Daily Archives: July 16, 2015

US Conservatives Criticize Pope’s View of Global Economy


VOA News

Published on Jul 16, 2015

Pope Francis has won praise from the political left and from environmentalists for saying that globalization is hurting the poor and contributing to climate change. But conservative Catholics in America say his economic thinking is wrong. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

70 years after A-bomb testing, nearby residents seek compensation for cancer


RT America

Published on Jul 16, 2015

Residents of many southwestern American cities and towns located near atom bomb testing grounds are claiming deadly effects from the tests ‒ like radiation poisoning and cancer ‒ and are suing the federal government. RT’s Lindsay France looks at how those who lived in affected areas hope to gain compensation from the US government.

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice
Nuclear

Ignatius Press discussion of Laudato Si’: Pope Francis


ignatiuspress

Published on Jun 18, 2015

New Encyclical by Pope Francis – http://www.ignatius.com/Products/PBTY…. Ignatius Press president Mark Brumley is joined by Fr. Joseph Fessio, S.J., founder of Ignatius Press, editor Vivian Dudro, and John Herreid for a discussion of the new encyclical Laudato Si’.

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

The Climate Deception Dossiers


The Big Picture RT

Published on Jul 14, 2015

Aaron Huertas, Union of Concerned Scientists, joins Thom. Thanks to a new report from the Union of Concerned Scientists – we know that the fossil fuel industry never believed the denial science that they’ve been funding for the last 30 years. The report shows that as early as 1981 – ExxonMobil was having internal discussions about the climate impacts of one particularly large extraction project. That’s almost seven years before NASA scientist James Hansen testified about the threat of a warming world to Congress. And in 1995 – a memo circulated among companies that said that climate change is caused by burning their products – and that the relevant science is “well established and cannot be denied” So the industry knew that their actions were driving the planet to a crisis – and they did nothing to avoid it. And when scientists and the public cried out – they spread lies to cover their guilt. The simple fact is – we wouldn’t be facing such a dire crisis if we had taken action when the companies first knew that burning fossil fuels drives climate change. But what happens now that we know that the companies lied to cover up their systematic abuse of our planet?

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

Letter to the Editor | Opinion | The Harvard Crimson

http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2015/7/16/letter-editor-paulson-gift/

By Timothy R. McDonald

To the Editor:

The July 7, 2015 article “A $400 Million Gift and Accompanying Criticism describes controversy around John Paulson’s record gift to the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. The root of much criticism is a sense that the gift is unjust—one university president called it “obscene”—and that Harvard doesn’t need the gift as it is already wealthy. Some defend the gift by arguing that the SEAS needs the money relative to other schools in the university, or to keep pace with other engineering schools.

I’d like to offer a different way to think about it—that Harvard has no needs, and that’s precisely why the gift is so powerful.

Jim Lord, a development professional who has many good insights on the field, likes to say organizations have no needs. Communities, societies, and individuals, of course, has needs to satisfy and problems to solve. Not so for organizations. They have solutions. They have answers. They have capabilities. But they do not have needs.

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

A $400 Million Gift, and Accompanying Scrutiny

Zara Zhang

Analysis: John Paulson’s record donation brings Harvard fundraising unprecedented criticism

By Mariel A. Klein , CRIMSON STAFF WRITER July 7, 2015
UPDATED: July 7, 2015, at 12:25 p.m.

After the announcement that billionaire John A. Paulson had pledged $400 million to rename the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard administrators celebrated the huge stimulus to the growing school, the largest gift so far in University history and its record-seeking capital campaign.

University President Drew G. Faust lauded Paulson’s donation as “transformative.” The gift, she wrote in a University-wide email last month, “will place the School on sound footing as it establishes itself in new spaces on our campus in Allston, deploys knowledge in service to humanity, and pushes the boundaries of discovery.”

Outside the Harvard bubble, however, a number of commentators had a nearly opposite reaction: The world’s richest university, they said, did not deserve the money.

Boston Globe columnist Steven Syre argued that Paulson’s gift and the “sheer voraciousness of the Harvard money machine… shines an unflattering spotlight on the wealth gap in higher education and the ways in which it is perpetuated.”

Opinion writers and pundits joined the chorus, maintaining that the New York hedge fund manager’s money would have been better served at a needier school—at least not the country’s wealthiest—or to tackle other world issues, like poverty or malaria. “Literally any other charity is a better choice,” one critic wrote.

Paulson is not the first to donate hundreds of millions of dollars to Harvard. Billionaire Gerald L. Chan pledged $350 million to the since-renamed School of Public Health last September, and Kenneth C. Griffin ’89 put down $150 million, mostly toward College financial aid, in early 2014.

But unlike those donations, Paulson and his $400 million donation have received much more than praise. Administrators maintain that the criticism will do little to hurt their fundraising efforts, but one fact remains: Paulson’s record gift has brought record scrutiny to Harvard’s $6.5 billion capital campaign.

DRIVING CRITICISM

A few factors, experts and administrators say, could make Paulson and his gift different from the high-profile donations that preceded them.

Harry R. Lewis ’68, who serves as SEAS’s interim dean, suggested that the gift may have received more flack because of the nature of the school it benefits. The impact of an unrestricted gift to engineering and science, Lewis said, is more abstract than the promise of public health research and financial aid.

…(read more).

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

“Something Big Is Happening”: John Nichols on Bernie Sanders’ Surge and Rising Power of Movements


Democracy Now!

Published on Jul 14, 2015

http://democracynow.org – We speak with John Nichols, political writer for The Nation, about the presidential candidacy of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. Nichols introduced Sanders at a recent event in Madison, Wisconsin, where the senator drew a record crowd of more than 10,000 people. “The key thing here is this 2016 presidential race, at least on the Democratic side, and I would even suggest on the Republican side, is being profoundly influenced by movements that are demanding that income inequality, wage gaps, wage stagnation be addressed,” Nichols says. “Something big is happening, and I think that’s why people are turning out in these huge numbers.”

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

Consciousness is a mathematical pattern: Max Tegmark at TEDxCambridge 2014


TEDx Talks

Published on Jun 30, 2014

As a physicist, Max Tegmark sees people as “food, rearranged.” That makes his answer to complicated questions like “What is consciousness?” simple: It’s just math. Why? Because it’s the patterns, not the particles, that matter.

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

Sweden ranked as most sustainable country in the world

Worldwide, Policy, Sustainable Energy

Sweden is the most sustainable country in the world, according to a new study by investment company RobecoSAM.

Zurich-based RobecoSAM focuses exclusively on sustainability investing and assessed 60 countries across a range of environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors with Norway coming in second place.

The Measuring Country Intangibles RobecoSAM’s Country Sustainability Ranking is based on key risk and return drivers relevant for investors and consists of 17 indicators that give insights into the investment risks and opportunities associated with each country.

Sweden did not score particularly well on renewable energy or overall energy use but did perform well on liberty and equality, investment in education and the ability to respond to environmental threats.

…(read more).

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

CEC – Commission for Environmental Cooperation: CEC Council names roster of experts on traditional ecological knowledge

Boston, MA, 15 July 2015—The governing Council of the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) today named a new roster of experts on traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) from Canada, Mexico and the United States. The experts will work with the CEC’s Joint Public Advisory Committee (JPAC) to provide advice to the Council on opportunities to apply TEK to the CEC’s operations and policy recommendations.

Leona Aglukkaq, Canada’s Minister of the Environment, made the announcement at the Council’s 22nd Regular Session in Boston, Massachusetts, in company with her Session colleagues, Rodolfo Lacy Tamayo, Mexico’s Deputy Secretary of Planning and Environmental Policy for Semarnat, representing Juan José Guerra Abud, Mexico’s Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources on this occasion, and United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy, who is this year’s CEC Council Chair and host for the Session.

“These traditional knowledge experts from across North America will provide invaluable input into the work of the CEC,” said the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of the Environment, Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency and Minister for the Arctic Council. “When considered alongside science, traditional knowledge contributes to improved understanding of ecological processes and ultimately better results for the environment.These nominees will contribute a tremendous wealth of knowledge and understanding of the land and our environment.”

…(read more).

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice