In the summer of 2015, Pope Francis is expected to issue a Papal Encyclical on the environment, in which he is expected to declare climate action a moral imperative for the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics. This panel of experts from across several disciplines at Yale discusses the potential implications of this event–and how it might transform the global climate debate for Catholics and non-Catholics alike.
With Stuart Ewen, scientist Michael Mann, and James Hoggan. Moderated by Jodi Dean.
Shifting strategies–from denialism to obfuscation, advertising, and public relations–mislead the public. People become cynical and uncertain, mistrusting of any and all efforts to confront the changing climate. With science under attack, what is to be done? How might we break through the propaganda fog and into collective action?
* * * * * *
Stuart Ewen is Distinguished Professor in the Department of Film & Media Studies at Hunter College, and in the Ph.D. Programs in History, Sociology and American Studies at The CUNY Graduate Center. He is generally considered one of the originators of the field of Media Studies, and his writings have continued to shape debates in the field. He is the author of a number of influential books, including PR! A Social History of Spin (1996) and All Consuming images: The Politics of Style in Contemporary Culture (1987; 1999). The latter provided the foundation for Bill Moyers’ 4-part, Peabody, Emmy, and National Education Association Awards winning PBS series, “The Public Mind.” PR! provided the basis for a 4-part BBC Television Series, “The Century of the Self.” Ewen’s other books include Captains of Consciousness: Advertising and the Social Roots of the Consumer Culture (1976) and Channels of Desire: Mass /images and the Shaping of American Consciousness (also with Elizabeth Ewen. 1982; 1992).
Michael Mann is Distinguished Professor of Meteorology at Penn State University, with joint appointments in the Department of Geosciences and the Earth and Environmental Systems Institute (EESI). He is also director of the Penn State Earth System Science Center (ESSC). Dr. Mann received his undergraduate degrees in Physics and Applied Math from the University of California at Berkeley, an M.S. degree in Physics from Yale University, and a Ph.D. in Geology & Geophysics from Yale University. Dr. Mann was a Lead Author on the Observed Climate Variability and Change chapter of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Third Scientific Assessment Report in 2001 and was organizing committee chair for the National Academy of Sciences Frontiers of Science in 2003. He has received a number of honors and awards including NOAA’s outstanding publication award in 2002 and selection by Scientific American as one of the fifty leading visionaries in science and technology in 2002. He contributed, with other IPCC authors, to the award of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. He made Bloomberg News’ list of fifty most influential people in 2013. In 2014, he was named Highly Cited Researcher by the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI) and received the Friend of the Planet Award from the National Center for Science Education. He is a Fellow of both the American Geophysical Union and the American Meteorological Society. Dr. Mann is author of more than 170 peer-reviewed and edited publications, and has published two books including Dire Predictions: Understanding Global Warming in 2008 and The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: Dispatches from the Front Lines in 2012. He is also a co-founder and avid contributor to the award-winning science website RealClimate.org.
Jim Hoggan is the co-founder of Stonehouse Standing Circle, an innovative public-engagement and communications think-tank and the influential website DeSmogBlog, chosen as one of Time Magazine’s Best Blogs for 2011 for its work exposing corporate misinformation campaigns. He also serves as a trustee of the Dalai Lama Center for Peace and Education and is the former chair of Climate Project Canada – the Canadian chapter of Al Gore’s global education and advocacy organization. Jim is the author of three books, Do the Right Thing: PR Tips for Skeptical Public (2009), Climate Cover-Up: The Crusade to Deny Global Warming (2009) and Polluted Public Square (Fall 2013). Jim speaks, writes, and presents widely on public attitudes towards sustainability, climate change, and the environment.
On the 1st of December 2014, US journalist,Glenn Greenwald was awarded one of Germany’s most prestigious award known as the Geschwister-Scholl Prize.
Sophie and Hans Scholl were both members of the White Rose student group which staged a non-violent resistance against Nazi Germany. They were imprisoned without a trial by the Nazis and executed in 1943 at the age of 21 and 24, respectively.
(ENG) An informational event was hosted by acTVism Munich at the Muffatwerk in Munich in which the significance and role of whistleblowers, the alternative media, activism and a host of other related issues were discussed.
(DEU) acTVism Munich e.V hat im Muffatwerk München zu einer Informationsveranstaltung eingeladen, bei der die Bedeutung und Rolle von Whistleblowern, alternativen Medien, Aktivismus sowie eine Vielzahl verwandter Themen diskutiert wurden.
As a collection of phenomena that transcend political and disciplinary boundaries, climate change presents both management and epistemological challenges. While the dominant discourses and approaches to climate change have focused on the biophysical, political, and economic aspects of the phenomenon, increasing discussion and debate addresses the ways in which climate change represents a cultural and moral challenge (Moore and Nelson 2010; Gardiner 2011), and the possibilities for new moral insights and forms to arise out of this global challenge.
Environment advocate Gus Speth claims that climate change is not simply an environmental and economic issue, it is also moral and humanitarian issue, requiring “new consciousness” resulting from “profound change in social values, culture and worldviews” (2009: 9-10; 25). Political scientist Paul Wapner contends that climate change may be seen to present a unique socio-historical moment that, when genuinely engaged, has the potential to provide access to untapped human capacities of compassion, perseverance, devotion, and innovation. In his view, deep engagement with “climate suffering” may lead to deepened human capacities (Wapner 2012).
These arguments suggest that shifting social values and worldviews will bring about greater humanitarian and environmental consciousness such that justice is extended more widely across human and ecological communities. One of the many necessary preconditions for the greater reach of both economic justice and environmental justice – both of which climate change seems poised to worsen through disparate impacts on those least able to bear them – is greater epistemic justice, and concomitant dedication to a practice of approaching the silences created by dominant epistemic practices.
Elizabeth Allison, PhD received her PhD (2009) in Environmental Science, Policy and Management from the University of California, Berkeley. She also holds a Master of Arts in Religion from Yale Divinity School, and a Master of Environmental Management from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. She has taught environmental studies in academic settings at UC Berkeley, Yale, and Williams College, and through experiential modes in youth development programs in Vermont and California.
Elizabeth’s current research explores the role of religious and spiritual discourse and practice in environmental action through case studies of natural resource management in the Himalayas, where she has lived and conducted field research for more than two years. Additional research interests include environmental ethics, political ecology, religion and ecology, the politics of knowledge, biodiversity conservation, and climate change.
“The IPCC 5th Assessment Report: When Will Climate Change Become Dangerous?”
On November 20, 2014, Dr. Michael Oppenheimer, world-renowned scientist, Princeton University professor, and Pace Academy for Applied Environmental Studies 2014-2015 Visiting Fellow presented on the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report at Pace University School of Law.
The notion of a carbon tax as the most efficient way to combat greenhouse gas emissions was first proposed by MIT professor David G. Wilson in 1973 and was greeted with silence. James Hansen proposed the idea again 30 years later and was greeted with skepticism. Now Massachusetts has taken up the idea. A panel including Massachusetts State Senator Mike Barrett , co-sponsor of a bill proposing the nation’s first carbon tax, physicist and activist Dr. Gary Rucinski, and Anne Kelly, director of public policy at CERES, discusses using a carbon tax to combat global warming and create a sustainable economic future. How would a carbon tax work? What impact would it have on jobs and the economy? What hurdles would it have to clear to be adopted?
Michael Barrett is a member of the Massachusetts Senate representing Bedford, Carlisle, Chelmsford, Concord, Lincoln, Waltham, Weston, and large parts of Lexington and Sudbury in Middlesex County. An attorney and consultant with expertise in the areas of healthcare and information technology, Barrett has published articles on public policy and politics in the Atlantic Monthly, Boston Globe, Boston Herald, Christian Science Monitor and New York Newsday. He is the co-sponsor, with Rep. Tom Conroy of Wayland, of a bill to introduce the nation’s first carbon tax in Massachusetts.
Gary Rucinski is a physicist currently developing high performance teams at MIT Lincoln Laboratory. He is the co-founder and chair of Citizens for a Green Economy and Northeast Regional Coordinator for Citizens Climate Lobby, which he founded in 2010 to “create the political will for a stable climate.” One of the group’s current focal points is putting a pruce on carbon.
Anne Kelly is Director of Public Policy at CERES, a non-profit coalition of investors and businesses which seeks to promote leadership and best practices in sustainability. An environmental lawyer with more than twenty years of experience practicing in the public and private sectors, she also directs BICEP, a coalition of 23 companies, including Nike, Starbucks, and eBay, seeking to advocate for meaningful climate and energy policies at the federal level.
This talk was filmed at the First Parish Church on Wednesday, October 1, 2014.
In this informal talk, William Nordhaus, Sterling Professor of Economics at Yale University and author of two widely used models of the economics of climate change, makes the case for using markets to mitigate the issue of global climate change by putting a price on pollution.
Thom Hartmann comments on a graphic on Democratic Underground that compares the number of gun deaths in America since the Sandy Hook school shooting in 2012 to the number of people killed in the Benghazi attack and the lack of Congressional action on guns.
Welcome to Transition Studies. To prosper for very much longer on the changing Earth humankind will need to move beyond its current fossil-fueled civilization toward one that is sustained on recycled materials and renewable energy. This is not a trivial shift. It will require a major transition in all aspects of our lives.
This weblog explores the transition to a sustainable future on our finite planet. It provides links to current news, key documents from government sources and non-governmental organizations, as well as video documentaries about climate change, environmental ethics and environmental justice concerns.
The links are listed here to be used in whatever manner they may be helpful in public information campaigns, course preparation, teaching, letter-writing, lectures, class presentations, policy discussions, article writing, civic or Congressional hearings and citizen action campaigns, etc. For further information on this blog see: About this weblog. and How to use this weblog.
Calendar – Click on Date for links entered on that Day