Scientists really aren’t the best champions of climate science

Facts and data alone won’t inspire people to take action in the fight against global warming. So what will?

This is the sixth episode of Climate Lab, a six-part series produced by the University of California in partnership with Vox. Hosted by Emmy-nominated conservation scientist Dr. M. Sanjayan, the videos explore the surprising elements of our lives that contribute to climate change and the groundbreaking work being done to fight back. Featuring conversations with experts, scientists, thought leaders and activists, the series takes what can seem like an overwhelming problem and breaks it down into manageable parts: from clean energy to food waste, religion to smartphones. Sanjayan is an alum of UC Santa Cruz and a Visiting Researcher at UCLA. Taking action on global warming doesn’t stop here.

Symposium: Investing in the Age of Climate Change

On April 28, 2017, the University of Oregon held “Investing in the Age of Climate Change.” Organized by students, faculty, staff engaged in sustainability issues on campus, and the University of Oregon Foundation, the forum tackled the question of how climate change is affecting businesses and investors. The forum was videotaped and is now available free of charge at http://media.uoregon.edu/channel/archives/category/office-of-sustainability

The nine videos posted track the speakers throughout the day:

Steve Mital, UO Director of Sustainability, Quinn Haaga, President of the Associated Students of the University of Oregon, and Clay Hurand, UO student activist, started things off with introductions to the forum.

Paul Slovak, UO Psychology, provided a psychologist’s perspective on understanding risk.

Susan Gary, UO Law, discussed fiduciary responsibilities for those who make investment decisions for others and explained investment strategies that use environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors.

Jay Namyet, CIO of the UO Foundation, and James Shephard, Chair of the UO Foundation, explored how the Foundation invests and its success with using ESG factors in analyzing risks and opportunities.

Max Fleisher, UO MBA student, introduced the four finalist teams from the Impact Investing Pitch Competition who proposed new investment ideas for consideration by the UO Foundation.

University President Michael Schill introduced the keynote speaker, Kate Gordon, of the Paulson Institute, who described the Risky Business Project’s research analyzing the risks and opportunities associated with climate change.

Dave Chen, Founder and Chair of the Equilibrium Capital Group, explained how investment managers manage climate risk.

Emilie Mazzacurati , Founder and CEO of Four Twenty Seven, explained the need for climate-competent boards of directors.

Stephen Brence, UO Philosophy, David Lewis, Consultant, Ethnohistory Research, and John Bellamy Foster, UO Sociology, explored our ethical responsibilities related to the environment.

6 insights for creating a great sustainability video

Read the full story in GreenBiz.

“I’d love to create a video about what we’re doing!” I hear this line frequently from people who are doing fantastic work and want to showcase their innovations or be a sustainability role model and inspire others to follow suit.

It’s a noble idea, but it’s not that simple. For starters, it generally requires analyzing the big-picture, including getting clear about who your audience is and establishing what your goals are for the video before charging forward. The answers can influence almost every decision you make along the way.

I’ve been producing videos on sustainability topics for 25 years. (View some examples here, including a recent video for the University of San Francisco’s Office of Sustainability that I’ll reference going forward.) I’d like to offer six insights that can help your project succeed.

Hearing on Nomination of Attorney General Scott Pruitt to be Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works is holding Scott Pruitt’s confirmation hearing today. Pruitt has been nominated by President-Elect Trump to lead the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Video of the hearing is available on the committee’s web site.

In Defense of Darkness (TEDxRichland)

My good friend Scott Butner gave a talk on the advantage of dark skies at TEDxRichland awhile back. The video is now available on YouTube. The photos and time lapse video are all his. Here’s the summary:

How many times have you looked up at the night sky? The stars and the moon…the occasional shooting star. Did you realize that most likely you are seeing very little of what is actually up there? Light pollution ruins the experience for most. Maybe it’s time to take back the night.

Edible food packaging made from milk proteins

Read the full story from the American Chemical Society.

At the grocery store, most foods—meats, breads, cheeses, snacks—come wrapped in plastic packaging. Not only does this create a lot of non-recyclable, non-biodegradable waste, but thin plastic films are not great at preventing spoilage. And some plastics are suspected of leaching potentially harmful compounds into food. To address these issues, scientists are now developing a packaging film made of milk proteins—and it is even edible.

The researchers are presenting their work today at the 252nd National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS). ACS, the world’s largest scientific society, is holding the meeting here through Thursday. It features more than 9,000 presentations on a wide range of science topics.