Category: Climate (page 2 of 16)

From Ethnobotany to Energy Democracy—ENVS Lunch & Learn 2018

Content based on an Environmental Studies Lunch & Learn Talk given to professors, staff, and students at Tufts University. Every week during the academic year, the ENVS Lunch & Learn lecture series features speakers from government, industry, academia and non-profit organizations to give presentations on environmental topics. This is a great opportunity to broaden your knowledge beyond the curriculum, meet other faculty and students and network with the speakers.

Students, faculty, staff, and members of the community are welcome to attend.

This lecture series is co-sponsored by the Tufts Institute of the Environment and the Tisch College of Civic Life.


Medicinal Plants in their Environments: The chemical warfare of ethnobotany
John de la Parra, Visiting Lecturer, Tufts Experimental College
Watch video

Redistributing Power: Energy Democracy, Renewables & Community Resilience
Jennie Stephens, Dean’s Professor of Sustainability Science & Policy, Northeastern University
Watch video

This semester, the Environmental Studies Lunch & Learn series is off to a great start with an emphasis on justice and respecting the knowledge, needs, and problem solving of indigenous people, women, communities of color, and low-income communities.

The first talk of the semester, given by John de la Parra, explored the intersections of indigenous knowledge and medicine, and advancements in the biotechnology sphere that increase consistency of products through standardization and analysis. He began by centering the talk on respecting a woman’s knowledge as powerful, as he explains that in many cultures, medicine people are women who know their way around the local plants. About 80% of the world uses plants to heal themselves. Knowledge of the native plants in a given area points to understanding chemical differences between plants that impact their healing qualities and abilities based on the plants’ own “chemical warfare—reactions to pathogens, weather or drought, other plants, and herbivores.” Ethnobotany pairs the technological advances now available with this indigenous knowledge to grow a huge density of plants within the controlled environment of a bioreactor—needing fewer inputs—to produce concentrated tinctures for different illnesses. De la Parra discusses these lab experiments as a way to dramatically increase accessibility to many treatments by curating very specific and tested directions to grow and create the treatments —and possibly distribute them by drone drop-offs—to people all around the world who may be unable to afford or reach pharmaceuticals.  Ethnobotany can produce a product to be used by indigenous cultures to treat existing health problems.

In another talk, Jennie Stephens discussed the movement of Energy Democracy—a concept that connects social change with the energy system transition away from fossil fuels and toward renewable energy. The energy democracy integrates concerns about the environment, climate change, social justice, income inequality, racism, wealth, and human rights. This vision is an alternative to fossil fuel dominated systems, as the fossil fuel industry is the most profitable industry in the world and the biggest contributor to climate change. This resistance is forming as a response to growing inequalities, unequal distribution of the impacts of energy and climate change, and the political power of the fossil fuel industry. Stephens reminds us that we are within this energy transition from fossil fuels, even if we sometimes feel we are stuck without much progress. The Energy Democracy sees this transition as an opportunity to democratize and decentralize energy while intentionally advancing justice through inclusion and awareness of the implications and connections between issues of inequality, justice, climate, and energy. Stephens posits that renewable energy systems offer a possibility, but not a certainty for more democratic energy futures.

Stay tuned for more Environmental Studies Lunch & Learns highlighting the intersections of the environment, climate change, and justice.

Barr Resilience Program Officer

Resilience Program Officer, Barr (Boston, MA)

The goal of the Climate Resilience focus area is to increase the capacity of Greater Boston’s residents, neighborhoods, institutions, and businesses to prepare for and adapt to the impacts of climate change.

This program officer will report to the Co-Director of Climate who focuses on mobility, and work with the overall climate team to help roll out the Climate Resilience focus area. The program officer will play an important role in thought leadership, strategy implementation, and grantmaking.

Barr’s program officers are integral in identifying new grant concepts—through conversation and network building with current and prospective grantees and leaders in our fields—and preparing effective written summaries and other communications for our trustees.

Application Deadline: February 2nd
Apply Online: Here

Slacktivism or #Activism?

Content based on a Tisch College Civic Life Lunch given to professors, staff, and students at Tufts University.


Civic Life Lunch – #Standing Rock: Starting + Sustaining a Movement
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 6, 2017, 12 – 1PM

Featuring: LaDonna Brave Bull Allard & Cutcha Risling Baldy, Moderated by Tufts American Studies Professor Jami Powell

Join us for a conversation with LaDonna Brave Bull Allard & Cutcha Risling Baldy. LaDonna Brave Bull Allard is the Historian and Genealogist for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. Allard is also the Founder and Director of the Sacred Stone Camp, a spirit camp established in April 2016 that has become the center of cultural preservation and spiritual resistance to the Dakota Access pipeline. Cutcha Risling Baldy is the Assistant Professor of Native American Studies at Humboldt State University, where her research focuses on #IndigenousHashtagActivism and #TheNewNativeIntellectualism and how Indigenous people are engaging in #HashtagActivism to achieve social change.

Social media has transformed the way people communicate and relate to the world in the last few years. It has been applauded as a unifier and simultaneously criticized as “fake news,” as a realm where people lose touch with reality and get trapped into a world of likes and retweets. Could it be that social media is actually the great equalizer? Could social media really be a platform that empowers the people to broadcast their truths to the world while mainstream media and “the news” continue to ignore or distort them?

If you ask Professor Cutcha Risling Balding, she’d tell you that social media, especially Twitter, makes a huge impact on the growth and success of a movement, as seen at Standing Rock—one of the most widely recognized and recent cases of blatant environmental injustice. Risling Balding studies #HashtagActivism of social justice movements and believes that there is no such thing as “slacktivism.” As she explained at the Civic Life Lunch, there is no harm done by retweeting and liking posts that elevate and amplify indigenous voices which are so often silenced. Often, people seeing these posts get inspired and feel empowered to do something to stand in solidarity, even if locally. These actions can have a huge impact, pushing the mainstream media to actually cover movements on the news and even calling out the President to come out with a public stance on an issue.

Calling these actions “slacktivism” diminishes the importance of movements that are seen as “indigenous issues.” The reality is that water protectors at Standing Rock, organized by young indigenous women, put their lives on the line to protect water in the Missouri River from pollution because “Mni Wiconi,” “Water is Life”—a universal truth for all living beings. Access to clean and safe drinking water is a human rights issue facing many communities in the US, disproportionately communities of color. Social media enabled millions of non-native people to become allies and engage with the Standing Rock water protectors through retweets and likes of their posts, checking in at Standing Rock on Facebook, watching live videos and pictures as evidence of the police brutality and militarization. All of this shaped the narrative of what was occurring at Standing Rock, instead of it being entirely decided by distant, out of touch, and inaccurate media and government reports.

This so called “slacktivism” caught the attention of media outlets and politicians who were now pressured to address the sovereignty rights of the Sioux tribe in the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. News outlets began to invite and speak to indigenous people involved with the #NoDAPL movement. This #HashtagActivism as brought the movement to decolonize Native American tribes and the United States one step further. Through social media, activists at Standing Rock have spread awareness to the public of the real, living, contemporary indigenous people and can further shape the narrative of these social movements.

Hazard Mitigation Community Forums

Don’t miss the upcoming Tufts Hazard Mitigation Community Forums on 9/27 and 9/28:

Over the past few weeks, several institutions of higher education have been impacted by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Come contribute to Tufts’ own plan to prepare for future disasters and adapt to the impacts of #climatechange. Learn about hazard mitigation strategies that have been identified to make each Tufts campus more resilient to disaster and provide input on how the university can best ensure its resilience in the years and decades to come.

What is hazard mitigation?
Hazard mitigation is defined as any sustained action taken to reduce or eliminate the long-term risk to life and property from hazard events. It is an on-going process that occurs before, during, and after disasters and serves to break the cycle of damage and repair in hazardous areas.

Wednesday, September 27
Medford/Somerville (students): 12:15-1:15 PM (Terrace Room, Paige Hall)
Medford/Somerville (faculty/staff): 3:00-4:00 PM (Austin Conference Room, Tisch Library)

Thursday, September 28
Boston Health Sciences: 10:00-11:00 AM (Rachel’s Amphitheater, Room 1414, 35 Kneeland Street)
SMFA: 12:30-1:30 PM (Conference Room B201)
Grafton: 3:00-4:00 PM (Dean’s Conference Room, Jean Mayer Administration Building)

Environmental Organizing Fellowship, Green Corps (USA)

Green Corps is looking for college graduates who are ready to take on the biggest environmental challenges of our day.

The planet needs all the help it can get, especially now with so many environmental protections under attack. To win now and build a strong foundation for lasting progress, we need people who know how to organize: to run organizations and campaigns that will inspire the support and action we need to save our planet. Our year-long program gives you intensive classroom training with people like Bill McKibben, Jane Kleeb, and Phil Radford. Then, you move to hands-on experience working with groups like Corporate Accountability International, The Wilderness Society and Mighty Earth to fight climate change, protect public lands, and reform our food system. When you graduate, we help you join our nearly 400 alumni in a career with one of the nation’s leading environmental and social change groups. We’re accepting the top 20-30 candidates out of more than 1,000 applicants for our 2018-2019 program. If you’re passionate about the environment and ready to learn the craft of organizing, apply today!

Green Corps’ year-long program begins in August 2018 with Introductory Classroom Training in Denver, and continues with field placements in multiple locations across the U.S. Candidates must be willing to relocate. For more information, click here.

Early fall application deadline: October 6th, 2017
Apply online:  http://www.greencorps.org/apply.html

 

« Older posts Newer posts »

Disclaimer | Non-Discrimination | Privacy | Terms for Creating and Maintaining Sites