Daily Archives: October 5, 2016

UN Makes Power Play Against Trump on Climate Deal

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and European Parliament President Martin Schulz smile after the European Parliament vote in favor of ratifying the Paris accord. (photo: Vincent Kessler/Reuters)

By Devin Henry, The Hill   05 October 16

nternational governments have made a power play against Donald Trump by ratifying an international climate deal earlier than expected, effectively preventing him from “canceling” the deal as he has promised to do.

The European Union’s Tuesday decision to join the Paris climate deal will push the deal over the threshold for ratification; it will formally take effect in 30 days.

That means Trump, should he be elected president in November, could not “cancel” or renegotiate the terms of the agreement.

President Obama committed the United States to reduce its emissions by 26 percent to 28 percent by 2025 as part of the deal. The agreement is nonbinding, so Trump would be free to ignore it if he wins the White House.

Some say Trump’s rhetoric about the deal helped speed up ratification.

Most officials expected the climate deal, negotiated in December in Paris, to take effect no earlier than next year. A similar international climate accord, the Kyoto Protocol, wasn’t ratified for five years.

But the specter of a Trump presidency appears to have spurred the deal along.

“His threat stimulated this rapid series of ratifications — China, the USA, Europe, and many others,” Robert Stavins, the director of the Harvard Project on Climate Agreements, wrote in an email.

…(read more).

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

The Sixth Extinction: Patterns of Life and the Future of Humankind: Richard E. Leakey, Roger Lewin

Richard Leakey, One Of The World’s Foremost Experts On Man’s Evolutionary Past, Now Turns His Eye To The Future And Doesn’t Like What He Sees.

To the philosophical the  earth is eternal, while the human race –presumptive  keeper of the world’s history — is a mere speck  in the rich stream of life. It is known that  nothing upon Earth is forever; geography, climate, and  plant and animal life are all subject to radical  change. On five occasions in the past, catastrophic  natural events have caused mass extinctions on  Earth. But today humans stand alone, in dubious  distinction, among Earth’s species: Homo  Sapiens possesses the ability to destroy  entire species at will, to trigger the sixth  extinction in the history of life.

In The Sixth  Extinction, Richard Leakey and Roger Lewin  consider how the grand sprawl of human life is  inexorably wreaking havoc around the world. The  authors of Origins and  Origins Reconsidered, unimpeachable  authorities on the human fossil record, turn their  attention to the most uncharted anthropological territory  of all: the future, and man’s role in defining it.  According to Leakey and Lewin, man and his  surrounding species are end products of history and  chance. Now, however, humans have the unique  opportunity to recognize their influence on the global  ecosystem, and consciously steer the outcome in order  to avoid triggering an unimaginable upheaval.

Obama: ‘Pay Attention’ to Hurricane Matthew

Published on Oct 5, 2016

President Barack Obama is being briefed on preparations being made in advance of Hurricane Matthew as the storm makes its way to the U.S. mainland. The president says now is the time to “hope for the best but we want to prepare for the worst.” (Oct. 5)

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

We did it: Canada People’s Climate Plan Wrap Up Video


Published on Oct 5, 2016

In the summer of 2016, people across Canada participated in over 80 government townhalls on a national climate strategy. Together, they spoke up for a national climate strategy that keeps fossil fuels in the grounds, commits Canada to a 100% renewable energy future, and ensures a just transition for workers, Indigenous peoples, and climate impacted communities.

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

Breaking Through Power: Mike Jacobson on Organizing for Safe Food


Published on Oct 5, 2016

The Center for Study of Responsive Law held its second four-day conference on securing long-overdue democratic solutions in Washington, D.C. from September 26-28, 2016

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

FES Research Seminar: October 5, 2016

Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies

Streamed live 2 hours ago

Monica White
Assistant Professor, Gaylord Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies and Department of Community & Environmental Sociology,
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

Speed 4×: Massive scale of Hurricane Matthew captured from ISS

RT America

Published on Oct 5, 2016

Cameras on the International Space Station captured the whopping scale of Hurricane Matthew on Monday. The storm has ravaged Haiti and Cuba ‒ killing 11 people so far ‒ and some US states have already declared a state of emergency as they brace for the deadly storm.

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

Green Cambridge Monthly Newsletter

Our next monthly meeting is this Thursday, October 6th at 6:30pm at the Eastern Bank Community Room, 1 Brattle Square.

See also:

Cambridge Climate Research Associates (CCRA) | Cambridge Community Television


Cambridge Climate Research Associates presents programs for public viewing each week through Cambridge Community Television BeLive series. These programs focus upon local and global environment and climate issues, and they link one to the other, emphasizing how the activities of Green Cambridge are both informed by and help to instruct global environmental issues.  See links at:

and other Cambridge Forum activities.


ClimateCongress2016 – Green Cambridge


OPENING Presentation


The congress will gather 100 volunteer delegates from throughout the Cambridge community to make practical recommendations on how all residents can participate in responding to climate change. Grassroots groups Green Cambridge, Mothers Out Front, the South Asian Center and HEET, the Home Energy Efficiency Team support the call for the congress.

“In 2009 at the first Cambridge Climate Congress, the goals were to build awareness of the urgency of climate change and to get the City to do more. Now, most people are aware that climate change is here to stay, and Cambridge and governments at all levels have begun to respond in earnest,” said Quinton Zondervan, president of Green Cambridge and a lead organizer of the Climate Congress.

“The issue facing everyone today is how to respond in the best possible way whatever our circumstances and differences. We can’t all be climate activists, but there are steps we can all be taking to play a more active role in protecting our environment. Our hope is that this Climate Congress will help us all be more mindful of what those individuals’ roles will look like,” said Mayor Simmons of her vision for the Congress.

The Congress will open with a plenary session on October 1st in Cambridge City Hall with informative presentations on the climate situation and the many ways governments and people are responding to it. In a series of focused discussions, interested delegates will then consider the responses available to people from different backgrounds, in different circumstances and with different beliefs. In a closing plenary session on November 12, delegates will convene to adopt a final statement on climate citizenship.

To nominate yourself, or an individual from your group, organization, business, or community, please click on one of the links below.

Visit our FAQ if you have any questions.

Agenda for the 2016 Cambridge Climate Congress

Saturday, October 1st – Cambridge City Hall
9:00 AM to 12:00 PM Opening Session (will be videotaped for later viewing)

9:00 AM Welcome and Opening Remarks
9:30 AM Climate Change Now
9:45 AM COP21 and US National Policy
10:00 AM Massachusetts Policy
10:15 AM City of Cambridge Policy
10:30 AM Individual and Community Response
10:45 AM Local Business Response
11:00 AM Climate Education
11:15 AM Soil Eco-Restoration
11:30 AM The Role of the Arts
11:45 AM Climate Citizenship
Mayor E. Denise Simmons
Dr. Paul Kirshen:
the state of the climate and its implications for Cambridge today and tomorrow
Michael Green: Energy and Climate Policy, their reliance on policy and actions at “lower” state and local levels
Rep. Marjorie Decker: Massachusetts’ Climate and Energy Policy and implications for Cambridge.
Susanne Rasmussen: Cambridge’s Climate and Energy Policy and their implications for residents.
Quinton Zondervan: Individual and community actions, in response to climate change and energy policies.
Susan Labandibar: Actions taken by businesses in response to climate change, climate and energy policies.
Kristen Middleton: What children are being taught about climate change and local community responses.
Seth Itzkan: Soil carbon and why it is important for Cambridge residents.
Dr. John Fernandez: The role of the arts in building a common response to climate change.
John Pitkin: The challenge of climate citizenship

Move to St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, 838 Massachusetts Avenue
12:00 PM to 1:00 PM Lunch (Provided by the South Asian Center)
1:00 PM to 3:00 PM First Discussion Group: Ages and Generations

  • Wednesday, October 5thCitywide Senior Center
    6:00 PM to 8:00 PM Second Discussion Group: Origins
  • Thursday, October 13thSt. James Episcopal Church, 1991 Massachusetts Avenue
    6:00 PM to 8:00 PM Third Discussion Group: Faiths
  • Wednesday, October 19thCitywide Senior Center
    6:00 PM to 8:00 PM Fourth Discussion Group: Personal Resources
  • Wednesday, October 26thCitywide Senior Center
    6:00 PM to 8:00 PM Fifth Discussion Group: Political Values
  • Wednesday, November 2nd – Location TBD
    6:00 PM to 8:00 PM Sixth Discussion Group: Climate Action and Activism
  • Saturday, November 12thCambridge City Hall
    9:00 AM to 12:00 PM Closing Plenary Discussion
    12:00 PM to 1:00 PM Lunch
    1:00 PM to 4:00 PM Closing Plenary Overflow, as needed

Further information is available at:

as well as:

and other Cambridge Forum activities relating to climate change and the environment.

For further discussion of climate change and environmental issues see: