The University Alumnus: Kyuwon Kim(Interview conducted by Martha van Gelder, associate editor of the Green American magazine) “Universities are very sensitive to how they are portrayed.” Kyuwon Kim and two recent university graduates, Elysia Petrone and Yasmin Parodi, are attempting a unique method of pressuring universities to divest from fossil fuels. The three friends are asking Maclean’s Magazine, a current affairs publication that annually ranks Canadian universities, to add an “ethical investment” ranking to its report. Green America/Martha van Gelder: How did you get involved with the divestment movement? Kyuwon Kim: I met Elysia and Yasmin at a workshop in Toronto that was run by the Sierra Youth Coalition back in October. The three of us had a big interest in the divestment campaign because we came from different 350.org chapters, which inspired us to take action. Green America/Martha: How did you get the idea to use the universities’ rankings as a way to encourage them to take action? It is such a unique approach! Kim: At the end of each year, Maclean’s publish a universities issue in which it ranks Canadian universities based on class size, funding, reputation, student support, etc. Most Canadian high school students use it when they search for universities. I used it myself! We noticed that there was nothing that mentioned ethical investment, so we started a petition asking Maclean’s to include information in its university rankings that reference the ethicality of their endowments. Green […]
Green America is pleased to serve as a convening organization of the Good Jobs Green Jobs Conference, to be held in Washington, DC, Feb. 10-11, 2014. There will be more than 1,000 participants representing academia, labor, the environmental movement, sustainable business, community organizations, and more! Exciting news! We just learned that EPA G she has worked at the federal, state, and local levels on critical environmental issues and helped coordinate policies on economic growth, energy, transportation and the environment.
Late in the day on Friday, January 31, 2014 the State Department released its Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for the Keystone XL Project. The new report contains the important statement that “The total direct and indirect emissions associated with the proposed Project would contribute to cumulative global GHG emissions.” This is a crucial, over-due acknowledgement by the State Department and an important one because President Obama has stated that climate impacts will influence his decision-making on the pipeline: “Allowing the Keystone pipeline to be built requires a finding that doing so would be in our nation’s interest, and our national interest will be served only if this project does not significantly exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution. The net effects of the pipeline’s impact on our climate will be absolutely critical to determining whether this project is allowed to go forward.” Unfortunately, the report also states that “approval or denial of any one crude oil transport project, including the proposed Project, is unlikely to significantly impact the rate of extraction in the oil sands….” So advocates both for and against the pipeline are finding support for their positions in the latest governmental report. The report is not definitive in its assessment and is flawed in a number of ways: The report fails to capture the full scope of the climate, environmental, economic and health consequences of proceeding with the Keystone XL pipeline. For a more comprehensive understanding of the […]
http://www.c-span.org/video/?319976-1/president-obama-university-californiairvine This past weekend, President Obama delivered a commencement speech to UC Irvine, in which he urged the graduating class to take challenges related to climate change seriously. In his address, the President called out members of Congress for resisting efforts to address climate change, asserting that there was really no substance behind some peoples’ rejection of the scientific consensus on the issue. The president used his speech to announce a $1 billion dollar fund, the National Disaster Resilience Competition, to be made available to states having endured a presidentially-declared national disaster between 2011 and 2013 for the purpose of rebuilding infrastructure to better withstand shocks from the environment. He also stated that this graduating class’s generation, the largest age group in the country (22), has many challenges and opportunities in dealing with this issue ahead. “We need scientists to design new fuels. We need farmers to help grow them. We need engineers to invent new technologies. We need entrepreneurs to sell those technologies. We need workers to operate assembly lines that hum with high-tech, zero-carbon components. We need builders to hammer into place the foundations for a clean energy age. We need diplomats and businessmen and women, and Peace Corps volunteers to help developing nations skip past the dirty phase of development and transition to sustainable sources of energy…You need to invest in what helps, and divest from what harms.” The President’s address should serve as a reminder that […]
The Fossil Free Index tracks the stock market’s performance, minus the oil, gas, and coal industries. Given the link between burning fossil fuels and global climate change, financial professionals are increasingly searching for investment opportunities that exclude oil, gas, and coal companies. Fossil-Free Indexes LLC (FFI), an environmental, social, and governance index and research company released its first broad American market fossil-free index last week. The announcement of the new index is a timely contribution to the growing fossil fuel company divestment movement across the country. Market indices represent the value of an entire stock market at a single moment, and may be used to track changes over time. The Fossil-Free Index is based on the Standard & Poor’s 500 index, omitting any fossil fuel companies identified by FFI’s “The Carbon Underground 200,” a proprietary list cataloguing some of the most carbon-intensive investment options. The release of the index, coming in the same week as the Rhodium Group’s “Risky Business” report on the broad economic effects of climate change, strengthens the message that a warming globe is most certainly not good for businesses. As rising temperatures and more intense weather events become commonplace, so do the risks of damage to critical infrastructure and natural resources. By seeking out opportunities for economic growth while minimizing the negative effects of greenhouse gas emissions (by decentivizing them altogether), investors can help shift focus away from climate- damaging fossil fuels, and towards efficient, clean, […]
Smithsonian Produces 19 Million Magazines Annually; Green America Calls On Environmentally-Minded Publication to Spare Nearly 20,000 Trees a Year. WASHINGTON, DC – April 5, 2016 – In its latest campaign to move the magazine industry to recycled paper, the nonprofit Green America today launched “Practice What You Print, Smithsonian” to encourage Smithsonian Magazine to move to recycled-content paper in order […]
At first glance, it may be difficult to see what the tobacco and oil industries have in common, but upon scrutiny, a disconcerting picture of two public disinformation campaigns begins to form. Not only do these campaigns appear to parallel each other, but new information reveals a behind-the-scenes collaboration to cover up data linking these two powerful industries to a […]
The House Appropriations Committee has recommended that action be taken on H.R. 5538, a bill that would prohibit federal agencies from regulating methane emissions in the oil and gas sector.
The House and Senate have now both passed the reconciled toxic chemical control legislation – the House bill on May 24, 2016 by a vote of 403 to 12 and the Senate bill on June 7, 2016 by voice vote. The legislation will next move to the President’s desk for signing. Advocates for human and environmental health, environmental justice, worker safety, sustainable business, cancer […]
Today, the EPA published its final rule regarding methane leaks from new, modified, and reconstructed oil and gas sources. This is an important step forward for the US, especially in light of our climate commitments from the Paris Agreement. Thanks to the thousands of Green America individual and business members that took action to support the rule. The rule is a […]