Daily Archives: January 7, 2019

Supreme Court declines to hear Exxon Mobil’s appeal in climate change lawsuit – Vox

A billboard outside an Exxon Mobil refinery in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The Supreme Court on Monday declined to take up the company’s appeal in a climate change lawsuit from the state of Massachusetts. Julie Dermansky/Corbis/Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Monday issued a significant ruling for ongoing legal battles around climate change by declining to hear oil giant Exxon Mobil’s appeal in its suit with the state of Massachusetts. In the appeal, the company was attempting to block the release of records of its knowledge of how burning fossil fuels changes the climate.

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey filed suit against the company in 2016 alleging that Exxon, the world’s largest investor-owned oil company, violated state consumer protection rules and misled investors about the impacts of fossil fuels on climate change as well as risks of climate change to its business.

…(read more).

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Environmentalist Questions Harvard’s Investment In Vineyards And Water

In this March 7, 2017 file photo, rowers paddle along the Charles River past the Harvard College campus in Cambridge, Mass.

Charles Krupa/AP

By Kirk Carapezza
December 11, 2018

A local environmentalist is criticizing Harvard University following a report that the college’s endowment fund is banking on water rights in California’s parched central coast.

The Wall Street Journal on Monday reported that Harvard’s endowment fund secretly bought thousands of acres of farmland, focusing on parcels with healthy groundwater deposits. The idea is that in drought-stricken California, the value of that water will only increase.

“[Harvard’s] $39 billion fund, among America’s biggest endowments, now values its vineyards at $305 million, up nearly threefold from in 2013,” the Journal reported.

Environmentalist Bill McKibben, a Harvard graduate, said that strategy looks particularly bad given Harvard’s refusal to divest from fossil fuel companies.

“Refusing to divest from fossil fuel and trying to profit from climate change strikes me as pretty darn cynical,” McKibben said. “Their willingness to stand with the fossil fuel giants exacerbates global warming and the thesis of this investment seems to be that as the planet warms these investments will appreciate in value.”

In March, Kat Taylor, a member of Harvard’s Board of Overseers, demanded the university get rid of its investments in fossil fuels. Taylor, a cofounder of a community development bank in Oakland and the wife of philanthropist Tom Steyer, was the first member of that board to openly embrace divestment.

At the time, she cited Harvard’s “dismal” financial returns as one reason to divest from fossil fuels.

“But the real reason to do it is a moral one,” Taylor said. “Harvard has a very high public purpose and it should align all of its activities with that high purpose.”

A spokesman for the Harvard Corporation, which oversees the university’s endowment, said it does not comment on specific investments.

Sunrise Movement: Pelosi’s Actions on Climate Fall Woefully & Inexcusably Short of What We Need

Published on Jan 7, 2019
Democracy Now

https://democracynow.org – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is facing criticism from some climate activists for failing to back a Green New Deal. Last week Pelosi announced the formation of a new Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, headed by long-standing Florida Congressmember Kathy Castor. But the committee is far weaker than what backers of a Green New Deal had envisioned. The committee will not have subpoena power or the power to draft legislation. We speak with Varshini Prakash, founder of the Sunrise Movement, a youth-led climate group that has occupied and lobbied at congressional offices, risking arrest to demand adoption of the Green New Deal and bold climate leadership.

Potential irreversible Planet thresholds for a disastrous Future

Climate State
Published on Jan 7, 2019

Johan Rockström (Stockholm Resilience Centre), talks about planetary boundaries and tipping points, “Living in the Anthropocene”, at the Club of Rome 50th Anniversary Meeting in Rome, October 2018. https://www.pik-potsdam.de/news/in-sh…
And briefly outlines the report, “Transformation is feasible – How to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals within Planetary Boundaries” https://www.stockholmresilience.org/r…
Source https://www.facebook.com/clubofrome/v… and https://50thclubofrome.com
Johan Rockström https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johan_R… http://twi2050.org

What It Really Takes to Change the World | Anand Giridharadas

Scheduled for Jan 16, 2019

In his acclaimed book Winners Take All, Anand Giridharadas offers a trenchant analysis of a global elite who claim to be in the business of ‘changing the world’ while all the while preserving a status quo that favours their interests and obscures their role in causing the problems they later seek to solve. Taking us into the inner sanctums of a new gilded age, Giridharadas shows how the rich and powerful fight for equality and justice any way they can – except ways that threaten the social order and their position at the top. We see how they rebrand themselves as saviours of the poor; how they reward ‘thought leaders’ who redefine ‘change’ in winner-friendly ways; and how they constantly seek to do more good, but never less harm.

Uncommon Monument: A King Memorial For Boston

Published on Jan 7, 2019

The Boston Society of Architects/AIA and the BSA Foundation consider the shifting landscape of public remembrance, specifically as Boston considers a new memorial on the Boston Common to commemorate Martin Luther King and Coretta Scott King. What role do memorials play in contemporary society? How do we decide what to commemorate? What are the design considerations for this work of public art and how it relates to its site and to the history of race in Boston?

Independent Lens | Left by the Ship | Video Extra | PBS

Published on May 23, 2012

http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/le… Premiering May 24, 2012. Check local listings: http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/br…

In this companion video to the Independent Lens documentary, Left by the Ship, Robert, a Filipino Amerasian blogger meets with other Amerasians living in Olongapo City, whose fathers were U.S. servicemen once stationed here. Their stories are sadly consistent, telling of rejection and discrimination, along with a hope that they will be reunited with their fathers.

JR, Charlene, Margarita, and Robert are half American; they are among the many children born to U.S. servicemen who were stationed in military bases in the Philippines until 1992. Like most Filipino Amerasians, they were left behind by their biological fathers and largely forgotten. Over the course of two years, they delve into the psychological and social consequences of the U.S. military presence and its legacy.

Learn more about “Independent Lens”: http://www.pbs.org/independentlens
Watch “Independent Lens” films online: http://video.pbs.org/program/1218239994/