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Posts Tagged ‘350’

Over the past year at Second Nature I’ve been coordinating the “Higher Education Adaptation Committee” – a group of college and university administrators, climate scientists, sustainability professionals and educators exploring higher education’s role and responsibility in ensuring that society is prepared to weather the storms of climate change.

On Monday at the Smart and Sustainable Campuses Conference at the University of Maryland, I co-facilitated a session on this topic with David Caruso, President of Antioch University New England (who serves on the Adaptation Committee).

It proved to be a timely event.  On the day of the session, temperatures in New Hampshire reached the 90s (in April!). It’s been a warm spring all over the northeastern US.  And it was a warm winter – not really a winter at all in many places. Here, the mild weather doesn’t feel all that bad.  But if you understand the implications of climate disruption, it’s pretty horrifying.

I won’t run through the usual list of climate impacts – but here are just a few of recent headlines:

The following video does a great job of explaining how increases in the global average temperatures (global warming) drives all kinds of complex climactic changes – what’s become known as “global weirding”:

On May 5, 2012, the global network of concerned citizens under the 350.org banner will be “connecting the dots” between these impacts of climate change and what they represent in terms of economic damage, ecological destruction and human suffering.

To minimize this damage, we need to continue to create better ways of doing things.  We need to eliminate our greenhouse gas emissions and land-use changes that are driving climate change. (more…)

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On this Tuesday night (Sept. 7, 2010), the Solar Road Trip will stop in Boston at the Old South Church in Copley Square, starting at 5:30pm.  Second Nature has teamed up with Unity College, 350.org, Students for a Just and Stable Future, and others to help promote this exciting trip.

Jesse Pyles, Sustainability Coordinator at Unity, gets one of the Carter solar panels ready to hit the road back to DC

Author Bill McKibben and a team of students from Unity College in Maine travel to Washington D.C. to deliver one of the original Carter panels to President Obama, asking him to reinstall solar on the White House on 10/10/10, and to follow this symbolic gesture with substantial legislative action.

Second Nature President Tony Cortese will speak, along with Bill McKibben and other leaders, about the importance of taking action on climate and energy.  This should be a major press event, and a strong showing of supporters will go along way to raise the profile of these efforts – please join us on Tuesday night at the Old South Church in Copley Square!

Here are the details of the event:

Please forward to anyone in the Boston area who might be interested.

And if you didn’t catch Bill McKibben on Letterman Tuesday night, watch the clip here.

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On January 10th, 2007 Diana Van Der Ploeg, President of Butte College in Oroville, CA signed the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), making the institutional pledge to create a plan for pursuing climate neutrality and promoting education and research on climate and sustainability.  They have set a target date of 2015 for achieving climate neutrality.

Last week, Butte announced that it’s latest installation of solar photovoltaics, once completed in May 2011, will make the college grid positive – meaning it will generate more electricity on site than it purchases from the grid each year.  This leading project is another big step toward climate neutrality and sustainability.  Butte’s 2006 GHG inventory shows Scope 2 emissions of 2,942 metric tons CO2e – the updated report that will be submitted this fall will undoubtedly show the sharp drop in emissions associated with grid-purchased electricity due to these efforts.

The $17 million project was funded in large part by Clean Renewable Energy Bonds (CREBs) along with funding from the college and support from state and federal rebates and incentives.

President Van Der Ploeg points to active student involvement for much of the college’s success in moving towards sustainability.  This video, from Butte’s day of climate action on 10/24/09 (part of the international day of action organized by 350.org) shows the level of student engagement and creativity:

Raven’s Message from Daniel Dancer on Vimeo.

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The Energy Action Coalition is back in… action.   Check out this video launching the Power Vote 2010 campaign aimed at getting dirty energy out of politics, so that energy efficiency and clean energy solutions can power green jobs and economic recovery:

College and university students are leading the youth climate movement to create a safer future for all of us.  They have opened applications for political campaign training courses this fall; they are working internationally through the Great Power Race; they are creating visions of the future they want through Define Our Decade; and  they are getting to work on 10/10/10 to show politicians how we can reduce atmospheric concentrations of CO2 to 350 parts per million.

As the July issue of the ACUPCC Implementer focused on – addressing the climate crisis requires great leadership at all levels.  The youth of our country are certainly among the most important and effective actors in ensuring we make this great transition successfully, peacefully, and quickly.

Here in Boston, The Leadership Campaign has been working hard to green Massachusetts campuses and improve energy policy in the Commonwealth – read more about their efforts in this piece by former Second Nature intern Dan Abrams.

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by Georges Dyer, Second Nature

Last week I had the pleasure of traveling to Lima, Peru to participate in an exciting seminar with leaders from universities, government, business, and NGOs on higher education’s opportunity to lead the shift to sustainability. As is the case in most countries around the world, Peru’s energy ministries are working to take control of their energy future.  With the geopolitical issues, volatile prices, supply constraints, security threats, and imminent threat of climate disruption, we need to make fossil fuels yesterday’s energy source.  And quickly.

How to do so is of course another question – particularly when there is a need for continued economic growth and increased standards of living.  (‘developed’ countries like the US don’t need to keep growing the amount of physical through-puts in our economy to improve our quality of life, in fact I think the opposite is true, but there’s still room for such growth in Peru with 20% of the country without access to electricity and 36% living in poverty).

(more…)

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College and university students across the world – but particularly those in the US, China, and India – are gearing up for some friendly competition to save the world.

Four groups – 350.org, China Youth Climate Action Network, Indian Youth Climate Network, and the Energy Action Coalition – are supporting the campaign that will run through the end of 2010.

Right now, in the first phase, the goal is to see how many campus teams they can get signed up from each country, so if you’re a college or university student, see if your campus has a team yet, and if not, start one: www.greatpowerrace.org

Later on this year, teams will earn points by implementing projects that promote clean energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

This is a critical year for ramping up action to avoid the worst impacts of climate disruption, so get involved – and good luck!

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