Event: Bill McKibben on Building the New Climate Movement 1/31/08

Building the New Climate Movement
Date: Thursday, Jan. 31, 2008
Time: 8:00pm
Location: Wellesley College, Alumnae Hall
Directions to Wellesley College
College Map
Speaker: Bill McKibben

Bill McKibben Few have done more to raise public awareness or inspire action on climate change than Bill McKibben.

In 1989, McKibben first brought climate change to the public’s attention with the publication of The End of Nature. He has written on environmental issues for The New York Times, The Atlantic Monthly, Harper’s, Rolling Stone, and Outside. Recently, he has launched a campaign, Step It Up, to mobilize citizens to demand 80% cuts in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

Come hear McKibben speak on “Building the New Climate Movement” as part of Focus the Nation, a national event aimed at encouraging discussion and action on climate change.

Parking is free in the Davis Parking Facility at the college’s Route 135 Entrance. Alumnae Hall is located adjacent to the parking garage.

All are welcome. The talk is free and open to the public. Contact the Office of Public Affairs for more information: (781) 283-2373

More about Focus the Nation


Link of the Day 012508: 500 Bn Tons of Prehistoric Organic Matter May Massively Accelerate ‘Global Warming’

In a nutshell: Widespread Melting in the arctic = widespread melting of permafrost = decomposition of organic matter that has been in deep freeze for centuries = massive release of CO2 and methane in the process = doom and …uh… gloom.

From the Daily Galaxy:

For thousands of years animal waste, and other organic matter left behind on the Arctic tundra, have been sealed off from the environment by permafrost. Now climate change is melting the permafrost and freeing mass quantities of prehistoric “ooze” from its state of suspended animation.

Russian scientist, Sergei Zimov, has been studying climate change in Russia’s Arctic for 30 years now. He is worried that as this organic matter becomes exposed to the air it will drastically accelerate global warming predictions even beyond some of the most pessimistic forecasts.

Hmm, I had always thought that current climate models took the permafrost melting into account. Perhaps not. Must do more sleuthing to see.

Thanks PCH.

World Economic Forum in Davos on YouTube

The Davos Question

Duration: 2min 14sec

Every year, global leaders attend the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, to discuss how to better the world.

This year, you get to join them.

The Annual Meeting has begun, and world leaders have been gathering at the YouTube corner in the Congress Centre to view and respond to the videos many of you have submitted.

And its not too late to join The Davos Conversation. You can still submit a video answering The Davos Question:

“What one thing do you think that countries, companies or individuals must do to make the world a better place in 2008?”

Some of your videos will be screened at select plenary sessions (January 23-27). World leaders will continue to watch your videos and make responses of their own.

A few choice vids:
Maria Eitel responds to NoorAkhterBRAC at Davos

Duration: 2min 18sec

Maria Eitel, President of the Nike Foundation talks about the outcome of one of the Girls Count session on adolescent girls in poverty at the WEF 2008.

Dr. Shamshad Akhtar, Governor of the State Bank of Pakistan

Dr. Shamshad Akhtar, the Governor of the State Bank Of Pakistan, talks about addressing economic empowerment and education of women in Asia in particular.

Craig Barrett, Chairman of Intel, agrees that education is key. [Doesn’t he seem like one tough cookie.]

Intel’s Bruce Sewell : More collaboration between the public and private sector to solve world problems
Bill George, author of True North and HBS Prof: Leaders who are more committed to the global community than to their own private interests.
Shimon Peres “responds in no uncertain terms that terrorism and climate change are the key things we must address in 2008.”
Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, Chairman of the IPCC, “talks about innovative solutions for energy and climate”
2 of my favorite uber-bloggers
trading notes at Davos:

Related Resources:
Watch World Economic Forum Sessions on YouTube

Vegan purists displeased with chicken fat biodiesel

I guess you can’t keep all of the people happy all of the time.

From Treehugger:

While this TreeHugger’s local biodiesel supplier, Piedmont Biofuels, may get its hands dirty in everything from soap making to community supported agriculture in an effort to support local resilience and resource efficiency, that does not put it above criticism from some quarters. Recently a row has broken out in the local press over Piedmont’s use of poultry fat as a feedstock. On the one side stand the vegan-purists, who claim that any purchase of waste animal fats is inexcusable, due to the support it gives to the factory farming industry.

Sigh. One of the commenters did well by quoting Voltaire: “The perfect is the enemy of the good”.

On a separate note, our friend and colleague, Matt Rudolf, is the Executive Director of Piedmont Biofuels. We first met in Guatemala when he was a principal on a biodiesel project, for Comunidad Nueva Alianza.

Here is a piece from Fresh Cup [Green Power to the People] about his work at the finca.

Starting up Biodiesel generator in the wake of Hurricane Stan

HURRICANE FORCE: Matthew Rudolf (left) and Javier Echando start up the generator, running biodiesel for the first time, in the wake of Hurricane Stan. (Source: Matthew Rudolf)

…Rudolf then led a team of university students who worked in exchange for room, board and valuable experience to supply Nueva Alianza with a biodiesel reactor. When Hurricane Stan hit in October 2005, the system immediately was put to the test.

“The reactor made 20 gallons at a time, one little generator for the community,” says Rudolf. “This was the first time biodiesel was used to power this community.”

Related Posts:
Treehugger Interviews Lyle Estill of Piedmont Biofuels
12 Days of Xmas – 8 fuels combusting

Global Water Challenge & Ashoka's Changemakers Searching for Social Entrepreneurs with Solutions to Water Challenges

From Forbes:

Global Water Challenge (GWC) and Ashoka’s Changemakers have partnered to launch Tapping Local Innovation: Unclogging the Water and Sanitation Crisis, an online collaborative competition to discover and support entrepreneurs large and small who offer groundbreaking approaches to the most pressing water and sanitation challenges. The Coca-Cola Company is contributing a lead grant of $1 million (US) to support the collaborative effort to find and fund truly innovative solutions that address the water crisis.

Direct Link to Competition

Enter by: Mar 26, 2008
Voting begins: Apr 25, 2008
Winners Announced: May 12, 2008

via Green Skeptic’s Twitterstream

Link of the Day 012408: PRI's The World Tech Podcast

PRI’s World Technology Podcast gives, as you may expect, technology news from around the world.

Some of the stories they covered recently:
Technology from Estonia (4:30)
The Baltic nation of Estonia is trying to make a name for itself in the world of technology. So far, at least one of its high-tech innovations has gone global. Skype…the software that lets you make free phone calls over the internet is used by millions around the world. Anchor Marco Werman speaks with Skype manager Sten Tamkivi.

Cell phone credit shortage in Kenya (3:30)

The World’s Clark Boyd reports that the political turmoil in Kenya has led to shortages of several commodities that Kenyans rely on daily. Among them, pre-paid cell phone credit. Cell phones and pre-paid minutes are key communication tools for many Kenyans who don’t have access to traditional land lines. Now cell phone credit is more valuable than cash in Kenya.

Kenya bloggers monitor unrest (4:30)

Post-election unrest in Kenya has been widespread and hard to monitor in real time. Some concerned bloggers are trying to help. They’ve set up a website where Kenyans can report on what they see in their own communities. The result: a real-time, web-based map that shows what’s happening all across Kenya. The World’s Clark Boyd has the story.
web resources: http://www.ushahidi.com

Where “e-waste” ends up (5:00)

Anchor Lisa Mullins speaks with Chris Carroll, who writes about e-waste in this month’s edition of the National Geographic Magazine. Americans are increasingly recycling their old electronic gadgets. But much of that recycling involves shipping e-waste to developing countries, where hazardous materials are not always handled or disposed of safely.

Wireless access in developing world (4:00)

Cyrus Farivar reports on a Silicon Valley company that helps to set up low-cost wireless networks around the world. The company started as a student project at MIT.
web resources: http://meraki.com

From Jacques C. via Steph H.

Event: Save the Date – MIT International Development Career Expo April 20, 2008

Millennium Campus Conference Career Expo
Location: MIT
Date: April 20, 2008
Time: TBA

Brief Description:
The MCC Career Expo is designed as a venue for students to meet poverty conscious organizations and businesses who share a common goal in the everyday fight against poverty.

Hosted by the MIT’s Global Poverty Initiative, and co-sponsored by the intercollegiate network Millennium Campus Network, the conference has an expected attendance of over 700 guests, aiming to bring together students to (1) learn about global poverty; (2) connect to resources; (3) create and implement ideas for sustainable solutions for global poverty.

Expected to be in attendance:
Motivated students around greater Boston area, representing top universities such as Berklee College of Music, Boston College, Boston University, Brandeis University, Emerson College, Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Northeastern University, Tufts University, and Wellesley College.