In Massachusetts alone, plants make up more than half of the total native species that are officially considered Endangered, Threatened, and Rare. In this talk, we will focus on how ex-situ plant conservation, coordinated plant collection efforts, and plant propagation play vital roles in preserving biodiversity and slowing the deleterious effects of climate change.
We will discuss how collection trips are planned—and how citizen science now plays a role in these efforts—while providing a behind-the-scenes look at the planning process. A large focus will be plant propagation...
Harvard University Center for African Studies—Online
The event, moderated by Bruno Carvalho and Diane Davis, will bring together perspectives from different regions of the globe. AbdouMaliq Simone, Eric Klinenberg, and Hiba Bou Akar will present their views of the connections between the ongoing pandemic and urbanization. They will respond to questions from the moderators as well as attendees. Audience members will have a chance to present questions to the speakers during the event, and in advance at registration.
Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard—Online
Thea Riofrancos’s current project, “Brine to Batteries: The Extractive Frontiers of the Global Energy Transition,” explores the politics of the transition to renewable energy through the lens of one of its key technologies: lithium batteries. Based on multisited fieldwork following lithium’s global supply chains from the point of extraction in the Chilean desert, “Brine to Batteries” will be the first scholarly account of the rapidly moving processes shaping the contours of the next energy system—and those of our planetary future.
Make a difference by eating plant-rich food. Did you know Harvard recently signed the Cool Food Pledge? Learn more about the Cool Food Pledge with speaker, Gerard Pozzi, as he breaks down the impacts of a plant-based diet.
A quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions come from food production. By simply changing what we eat, we can make a difference to our climate. Cool Food (coolfood.org) helps people and organizations reduce the climate impact of their food through shifting towards more plant-rich diets. Climate action has never been so delicious.
For this event with the Harvard Graduate School of Design, speaker Emmanuel Pratt will contextualize the historical degeneration vs. regeneration of The Commonwealth to present date, lead viewers on a virtual site visit, and share some upcoming developments emerging across a network of value-based partners.
Speaker: Emmanuel Pratt, LF ‘17, received a BArch (1999) from Cornell University and an MSAUD (Master of Science in Architecture and Urban Design, 2003) from Columbia University. From 2011 to 2019, Pratt served as the director of aquaponics at Chicago...
Online—Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard
As the Beatrice Shepherd Blane Fellow, Leslie M. Harris is completing “Leaving New Orleans: A Personal Urban History.” She uses memoir and family, urban, and environmental histories to explore the multiple meanings of New Orleans in the nation, from its founding through its uncertain future amid climate change.
Almost 200,000 acres of land in the fertile Mezquital Valley are irrigated with the untreated sewage of Mexico City. Every drop of rain, urban runoff, industrial effluent, and sewage in Mexico City is sent to the Mezquital Valley through a 60 kilometer pipe. Soils in this valley have been continuously irrigated with urban wastewater since 1901, longer than any other soil in the world. The capacity of these soils to produce conditions in which agriculture can be practiced safely and produce healthy crops depends on a complex negotiation between soil...
Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) may be the fastest-growing part of the investment landscape. Many investors care deeply about how to use the money they allocate in the markets to make a positive difference in the world. Caring is the crucial first step, but in this talk we consider what comes next: how can investors achieve the maximum possible per investment dollar? We argue that some of the most commonly-used approaches to ESG investing may do little,or even be counterproductive, and we suggest alternative ways to invest with impact.
This lecture explores whether it is possible to achieve both social justice and environmental sustainability in efforts to mitigate urban flood risk. The expanding scale of urban flooding under climate change has renewed interest in large-scale restoration projects that make room for water in metro centers. However, ecologically functioning green infrastructure – unleashed rivers, sprawling wetlands – is inconsistent with the current governance landscape of fragmented local governments seeking to maximize local land values and minimize affordable housing. Moreover, even...
Although nearly all economists consider a carbon-pricing policy — either in the form of a carbon tax or a carbon emissions trading system — to be necessary to accomplish ambitious CO2 emissions reductions in large, complex economies, most such economists would also recognize such a carbon-pricing policy will not be sufficient. This is partly because of other market failures that get in the way of price signals, such as principal-agent problems and information spillovers of the results of research and development activities. Beyond this, there are significant political impediments to...
In this webinar, Rachel Kyte (Dean, Fletcher School, Tufts University) will discuss a potential green recovery from the pandemic—how recovery efforts might be leveraged to accelerate the transition to a clean and sustainable energy system—in the United States and globally.
Mauro Petriccione (Director-General for Climate Action, European Commission) will discuss approaches to ensuring that Europe’s economic-recovery packages advance a green agenda—reduced greenhouse-gas emissions, reduced air and water pollution, and long-term sustainable development on the basis of a circular economy.
Three decades after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the breakup of the Soviet empire, the West faces a new era of East-West tensions. Any vision of a modern Russia integrated into the world economy and aligned in peaceful partnership with a reunited Europe has abruptly vanished. Two opposing narratives vie to explain the strategic future of Europe, one geopolitical and one economic, and both center on the same resource: natural gas. In The Bridge, Thane Gustafson, an expert on Russian oil and gas, argues that the political rivalries that capture the lions share of media attention...
The social and environmental values underlying artisanal chocolate production have become increasingly important in its marketing. Good taste is paramount, of course, but how does one measure "social goodness," and what additional value does it add for the consumer? Chocolate makers’ interests often diverge from those of cacao producers, and industry stakeholders have not clearly addressed these concerns. Carla Martin will examine the cacao-chocolate industry and highlight the often conflicting goals that can create gaps in social and environmental responsibility.
Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Knafel Center, 10 Garden Street, Cambridge,
The Internet of Things (IoT) is a deeply interconnected ecosystem of billions of devices and systems that are transforming commerce, science, and society. IoT technologies can be used to disrupt, exploit, bias, bully, and intrude as well as to make our lives safer, more efficient, and more convenient. Join Francine Berman, Edward P. Hamilton Distinguished Professor in Computer Science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, in an exploration of the larger social and environmental ecosystem needed to develop an IoT that maximizes benefits, minimizes risk, and promotes individual protections...
Solar geoengineering research aims to reduce the impacts of global climate change. One possibility is to put aerosols into the stratosphere to alter Earth’s energy budget. This emerging technology entails risks and uncertainties, along with serious challenges to global governance. The greatest threat, perhaps, is that it will be used as a technical fix and encourage people to avoid the emissions cuts that are fundamental to curbing long-term climate risks.
Lecturer David Keith will describe the simple physics underlying the climate’s response to stratospheric aerosols, the...
Harvard Graduate School of Design, Gund Hall, Stubbins, Room 112, 48 Quincy St., Cambridge
Today, public discussion and policy focuses on “aging in place” as a way to improve quality of life and reduce costs. However, in part because of socioeconomic differences and structural inequalities, not all older adults can live in or move to age-supportive communities, neighborhoods, or homes that match their values and needs. Differences in access to places to age well can take the form of spatial inequalities, such as inadequate market rate housing for older adults on fixed incomes.
Hunnewell Building, Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Boston
In this workshop, participants will work in groups to creatively respond to climate change with discussion and prompting from Susan Israel, architect, artist, climate communicator, and social entrepreneur. Their efforts will result in a collaborative commitment to change, a talisman of sorts, represented in three dimensions.
Cost: $30 for members; $40 for nonmembers; $20 for students.
Ancient Maya civilization—known for its cities, monumental architecture, ceramics, hieroglyphic writing, and advanced understanding of mathematics and astronomy—suffered a major demise between the tenth and eleventh centuries. The causes continue to be investigated and debated. Paleoenvironmental research over the past twenty years has revealed that the demise coincided with a prolonged intensive drought that extended across the region, providing compelling evidence that climate change played a key role in the collapse of the Maya.
Take a guided tour of the Arnold Arboretum's state-of-the-art Weld Hill Research and Administration Building. Learn about some of the cutting-edge plant research and explore the “green” building design.