August 2, 2017 – 1:15 TO 2:45 PM EDT – http://bit.ly/2tLYiJ1
Today we announce another Closing the Environmental Literacy Gap webinar in collaboration with the World Watch Institute and Island Press. This new webinar features contributors to WWI’s latest State of the World publication, “EarthEd – Rethinking Education on a Changing Planet“.
 
EarthEd addresses applying a systems approach to environmental learning at all levels of development, from preschool to professional. Its guidance can inform teachers, policy makers, school administrators, community leaders, parents and students alike.  Its vision will inspire anyone who wants to prepare students not only for the storms ahead, but to become the next generation of sustainability leaders.
We are still firming up the panel for the session, but registration is open.
Three Other Webinars in SSF’s Closing the Environmental Literacy Gap Series
 
We recently announced another webinar in this series. We also produced and archived two earlier webinars in the series.
Through the Closing the Environmental Literacy Gap seriesThe Security and Sustainability Forum is aligned with other leading climate education organizations in emphasizing the need to accelerate systems thinking in education with the goals of training a climate-ready workforce, raising awareness of the impacts of climate change, understanding the interrelationships within and between natural and social systems, and exploring appropriate responses at the national, regional and local levels.  Democracy depends on an informed citizenry and climate literacy will become increasingly important as climate impacts accelerate.
MEET THE PANEL
Erik Assadourian is a senior fellow at the Worldwatch Institute and is directing State of the World 2017: EarthEd: Rethinking Education on a Changing Planet. He is author of the introductory chapter and the final chapter, “The Future of Education: A Glimpse from 2030.”  Erik studies cultural change, consumerism, degrowth, ecological ethics, corporate responsibility, religion, and sustainable communities over the past 15 years.
Josslyn Trivett
Joslyn Rose Trivett manages environmental education and outreach for the Sustainability in Prisons Project. Her expertise in human development, anti-bias, and sociology have fed her inclusive, productive approach to environmental learning and action. She partners with incarcerated students and technicians, corrections staff, academics, and many partner organizations to create innovative, solutions-based programs
Melissa Nelson

Melissa K. Nelson, Ph.D., (Anishinaabe/Métis [Turtle Mountain Chippewa]) is an ecologist, writer, and indigenous scholar-activist. She is an associate professor of American Indian Studies at San Francisco State University and President of the Cultural Conservancy, an indigenous rights organization, which she has directed since 1993. Her first edited anthology Original Instructions – Indigenous Teachings For A Sustainable Future (2008), features three of her essays and focuses on the persistence of Traditional Ecological Knowledge by contemporary native communities.

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Systems thinking and a sustainability framework can serve to effectively guide investment in natural, built, cyber, and social infrastructure.  The trifecta of science, business and education working together, presents an opportunity for infrastructure to be built, rebuilt, maintained or upgraded to meet standards of sustainability.
Innovation in all fields of natural sciences, engineering, computing, social sciences, and education working with business and government offers great potential to apply systems thinking to maximize co-benefits and meet society’s resilience needs.
Join SSF and the National Council for Science and the Environment in an important discussion on systems thinking applied to the built environment and the status of university sustainability educational programs to prepare the workforce of the future. The webinar is a lead up to the 2018 NCSE National Conference and Global Forum on Science, Policy, and the Environment and will include a report out from the  NCSE Census Report on Sustainability Programs in Higher Education in the United States Today .

PANEL

Moderator: Michelle Wyman is the Executive Director of the National Council for Science and the Environment (NCSE). Michelle has worked on energy and environmental policy for over 20 years domestically and internationally. Her work includes developing and executing strategies that engage science, higher education and policy at all levels of government to accelerate advances in strong environmental policies and actions informed by science.

 

Speakers Include:

Shirley Vincent is the Director of environmental and sustainability education research programs for the National Council for Science and the Environment (NCSE). Dr. Vincent is a frequent author and speaker on interdisciplinary and sustainability education topics. She is an advisor to a number of universities on their sustainability education programs and has advised the National Science Foundation Advisory Committee on Environmental Education and Research.

 

Dr. Peter Walker is a professor and since 2014 serves as the Dean of the Falk School of Sustainability & Environment, Chatham University. One of the earliest schools of its kind in the country, the Falk School is a wellspring for leadership and education to overcome current and future sustainability challenges. Previously, Dr. Walker spent twelve years as the Director of the Feinstein International Center at Tufts University in Boston and 15 years on international disaster response around the Golberg.

 

Zach Schafer is Executive Director of Infrastructure Week, the nation’s largest infrastructure education and advocacy coalition. Infrastructure Week challenges elected officials, business and labor leaders, and citizens to move beyond short-term fixes and deferred maintenance, and to deploy the innovative technologies, policies, and investments that will bring America’s infrastructure into the 21st century. Mr. Schafer has more than 10 years’ experience in the sustainability, climate, energy, and infrastructure sectors, across the Obama Administration, the private sector, and academia.

 

Tom Richard is a Professor of Agricultural and Biological Engineering and Director of Penn State Institutes for Energy and the Environment. Dr. Richard’s Bioconversion Research Group applies fundamental engineering science to microbial ecosystems, developing innovative strategies for a more sustainable agriculture and the emerging bio-based economy.

 

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country-by-country fishery dataWed, Jul 26, 2017 1:15 PM – 2:45 PM EDT – http://bit.ly/2rUQF3z

Until now, there has been only one source of data on global fishery catches: information reported to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations by member countries. An extensive, ten-year study conducted by The Sea Around Us Project of the University of British Columbia shows that this catch data is fundamentally misleading. Many countries under report the amount of fish caught (some by as much as 500%), while others such as China significantly over report their catches.

The Global Atlas of Marine Fisheries is the first and only book to provide accurate, country-by-country fishery data. This groundbreaking information has been gathered from independent sources by the world’s foremost fisheries experts, and edited by Daniel Pauly and Dirk Zeller of the Sea Around Us Project.
Meet the Panel
Ayana Elizabeth Johnson is moderating the session. Ayana is a marine biologist, policy expert, and conservation strategist.  She is founder and principal of Ocean Collectiv, a consulting firm that creates and amplifies solutions for a healthy ocean, while centering social justice.  Ayana co-founded the Blue Halo Initiative and led the Caribbean’s first successful island-wide ocean zoning effort. She writes about how we can use the ocean without using it up on the National Geographic blog and @ayanaeliza .
 
Daniel Pauly

Daniel Pauly is a professor at the Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries (formerly Fisheries Centre) at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver. He is also Principal Investigator for the Sea Around Us, a scientific collaboration funded mainly by The Pew Charitable Trusts and by the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation.

 
Dirk Zeller

Dirk Zeller is the Senior Research Scientist and Executive Director of the Sea Around Us. He has produced over 300 scientific contributions in journals, book chapters, and research reports.

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Webinar: Cities on the Leading Edge of Resilience

by Arturo Herrera on June 14, 2017

The private sector and all levels of government are embracing resilience as a holistic, proactive framework to reduce risk, improve services, adapt to changing conditions, and empower citizens. Recent high profile programs, such as the $1 billion National Disaster Resilience Competition initiated by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Communities, have helped define and advance this resilience framework for local government.
In 2016, the National League of Cities (NLC) launched a Leadership in Community Resilience program to help elected officials, city staff, and community partners share their experiences and advance local resilience efforts. The pilot initiative is providing technical assistance and professional development opportunities for 10 cities by supporting local resilience initiatives that have been prioritized by each city.
This webinar, hosted by Arizona State University and NLC, spotlights several cities and shares their process for planning, building engagement, and implementing resilience initiatives with limited resources.

Click here to download the slides

 PANEL
Lauren Withycombe Keeler will moderate the webinar.  Dr. Keeler is a visiting assistant professor in the School for the Future of Innovation in Society at Arizona State University and founding member of the Center for the Study of the Future and the Risk Innovation Lab. She is trained in sustainability science and in her research and teaching she explores the future impacts of social and technological innovation on sustainability goals.  She has worked in the United States and Germany with universities, businesses, and governments utilizing participatory scenario construction, visioning and sustainability assessment to explore issues of sustainability and responsible innovation with a focus on cities, water systems, and human health and well-being.
At the National League of Cities, Shafaq Choudry oversees the Leadership in Community Resilience program where she provides technical assistance to local officials, city staff and community partners across 10 cities. The program is shaped to support and elevate cities economic, environmental, and social resiliency initiatives as they prepare, adapt and respond to climate change.
Braden Kay is the Sustainability Manager for the City of Tempe and a Senior Sustainability Fellow in ASU’s Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability. Dr. Kay was recently the Sustainability Project Manager for the City of Orlando, where he led sustainability implementation in waste diversion, urban forestry, and urban agriculture programs.
Cooper Martin is the Program Director for the Sustainable Cities Institute at the National League of Cities. The SCI program provides information, tools, and guidance to strengthen communities and enable them to thrive while facing the challenges presented by a changing climate and uncertain global economy. His areas of expertise include climate resilience, community development, transportation, environmental economics, and emergency management.

 

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Steven Cohen, Contributor Executive Director, Columbia University’s Earth Institute  — Last week I anticipated President Trump’s shortsighted decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accord and predicted that his actions might provide environmentalists with a common enemy to rally against. That seems to be happening. Former NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg is organizing American corporations, states, cities and other institutions to commit to greenhouse gas reductions and be recognized by the U.N. as they fulfill the U.S. reduction obligations under Paris. Now all we need is a few billion dollars for renewable energy in the developing world and Trump’s Rose Garden rant last week becomes truly meaningless. Bloomberg’s leadership and the rapid mobilization of leaders concerned about climate change demonstrates that America’s power resides both inside and outside the Washington beltway.

Withdrawing from the Paris Agreement was the most straightforward part of Trump’s rhetoric last week. The truly convoluted part of his talk was his misread of the economic impact of environmental regulation and his ideas about how America’s economy will be revitalized. It is true that some of our trade deals and regulations could be better, but the world has a global economy and America has the strongest economy in the world. The rules and our trade agreements can’t be that bad if we seem to be winning. This horrible, depressed, crime-ridden America the president presented in his inaugural address and again in the Rose Garden may be the view he sees from Trump Tower, but it’s not the reality a majority of Americans experience. Still, enough people are suffering that it makes political sense for him to try to serve as their voice. I get his motivation. But the part that really makes no sense is his idea that a vast increase in the fossil fuel business will generate an American economic boom. It won’t.

The economic future does not belong to resource extraction industries. Communities that host these businesses know what I mean. The resource extractors come, they dig, drill, pump and spread money around but also strain local services and infrastructure. Eventually they leave, and the local folks get to clean up the mess. There’s always a good economic reason that extraction comes to an end. The price of the resource might drop, the resource becomes harder and more expensive to get to, or cheaper alternatives are discovered. For the coal business, it’s been fracking and natural gas that caused them pain. For coal workers, it was mountain top removal and other mechanized forms of extraction that reduced the employment in mining. It is unbelievably deceptive of the President of the United States to articulate an economic strategy that calls for the revival of these businesses. The coal miners know that they need to prepare for a different type of work. They certainly know their children need to be prepared for change.

The nature of economic life is changing and it is very important that we look forward instead of backward. The U.S. energy sector added 300,000 jobs in 2016: most were in energy efficiency and renewable energy. According to the Department of Energy’s U.S. Energy Employment Report:

“Electric Power Generation and Fuels technologies directly employ more than 1.9 million workers. In 2016, 55 percent, or 1.1 million, of these employees worked in traditional coal, oil, and gas, while almost 800,000 workers were employed in low carbon emission generation technologies, including renewables, nuclear, and advanced/low emission natural gas. Just under 374,000 individuals work, in whole or in part, for solar firms, with more than 260,000 of those employees spending the majority of their time on solar. There are an additional 102,000 workers employed at wind firms across the nation. The solar workforce increased by 25% in 2016, while wind employment increased by 32%.”

The report also notes that “2.2 million Americans are employed, in whole or in part, in the design, installation, and manufacture of Energy Efficiency products and services, adding 133,000 jobs in 2016.” Modernizing our energy system to make it more efficient and less polluting is a growing business. Coal mining is a shrinking business. President Trump is doubling down on a loser.

As an educator, I am biased, but I believe that the economic future requires us to attract, educate and employ the world’s best minds. That requires intelligent and encouraging immigration policy, improved public schools, great universities, and great quality of life in the cities that house America’s researchers and businesses. Great quality of life means clean air, clean water, health care, safe cities, stimulating and exciting cities, along with preserved and beautiful natural spaces. Walking away from a global climate treaty, discouraging immigration, and cutting spending on science and education make it more difficult for our communities and for our nation to be competitive in the brain based economy.

Fortunately, many of Trump’s plans are being countered by other parts of our government, other institutions, and his own inability to form a competent government. Congress seems to be restoring some of his science budget cuts, the courts are countering his immigration policy excesses, and nearly everyone is trying to reduce their greenhouse gases. President Trump’s visible attack on the climate treaty is disheartening, but it is far from the last word on the subject. Paris, after all, does not mandate greenhouse gas reductions, it sets voluntary targets; America’s own Clean Air Act mandates reductions in greenhouse gases. This was decided in a Supreme Court decision handed down in 2007 when George W. Bush was president. The Court was responding to a lawsuit brought by a group of state attorneys general. The U.S. Supreme Court determined at that time that greenhouse gases were dangerous air pollutants. EPA was directed to develop regulations to reduce that pollution and Trump and his EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt are required to issue and enforce that regulation. Trump can withdraw from Paris, but he is sworn to uphold the U.S. Constitution.

The U.S. must act, but what about the rest of the world? Climate change is a global problem that requires global solutions. Nearly every government in the world understands that and we have seen no retreat from the climate treaty since the president’s announcement. In fact, we have seen a broad and uniform recommitment to the goals of mitigating climate change. President Trump took a symbolic act to achieve a political objective. He kept his campaign promise, largely because he and his team do not understand the climate issue or the economic opportunity presented by the transition to a renewable resource based economy. While we still do not know the long-term impact of his action, the short term impact has been to mobilize a broad segment of the U.S. and global public in support of the agreement. The Paris agreement remains intact, despite Trump’s reckless action. As Bogart told Bergman at the Casablanca airport: “We’ll always have Paris.” Of course, he meant the memory of what might have been. Let’s hope we do better with the planet than Bogey seemed to do with the Nazis or his love life in the movie Casablanca. I suspect we will.

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Going Green Without Going Into the Red : Solar Hot Water Systems

June 2, 2017
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SSF is starting a new webinar series to feature green energy and environmentally friendly technologies with big potential benefits. The purpose of Going Green Without Going Into the Red is to learn about green technology applications and provide developers an opportunity to feature their innovations. The format for Going Green Without Going Into the Red will be […]

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Teaching Systems Thinking to Fill the Climate Literacy Gap

May 12, 2017

What will it take to produce a workforce that understands the relationships between environmental, social, and business factors so we can better address the risks of climate change in the coming years? A number of interrelating systems comprise each factor so incorporating systems thinking into the public and private educational systems should result in graduates […]

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Webinar: How Sustainable is Our Global Climate Ethos

May 3, 2017
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Building on decades of work across the globe by the public and private sectors, has a shared global climate ethos —  a sense of collective commitment and common purpose — reached a  tipping point? Are the Paris Agreement and the growing number of cities adopting carbon-based energy goals evidence of that? How durable are these […]

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June 7th – Join us for the Economist Events’ Sustainability Summit in Austin

April 27, 2017

REGISTER AND SAVE 15% WITH CODE SSF15 The race for business to take the lead for global sustainability efforts is on. What does business leadership on sustainability look like in a profit-driven industry? How can sustainability shift to be more friendly to the bottom line? And how can big business partner with government to achieve […]

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Webinar: Ending Energy Poverty

April 24, 2017

Global electrification reached 85.3% in 2014, however, over 1 billion people still do not have electricity and more than 2.7 billion people are without clean cooking facilities. What has worked in developing nations to increase access to modern energy services, how can affordable energy deployment be accelerated and how can the social, cultural, geopolitical and […]

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