Social Change

Conservative Climate Disinformation and the False Gods of Capitalism

Despite the clear scientific consensus, Climate change denial is being kept alive by conservatives. In the United States, this is evident in the major gulf separating Republicans and Democrats. Such divisions are also present in Canada and Australia. At the Canadian Conservative convention in March, delegates refused to support a policy shift that would have acknowledged climate change. Even when conservative leaders try to pivot away from climate change denial, the rank and file refuse to follow. So what is it about conservatives in the U.S., Canada, and Australia that makes them such passionate deniers of reality?   The one thing that conservatives...

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Disinformation: Deception that Delayed Climate Action

We live in a world awash with disinformation and fake news. Social media platforms divide people and put them into partisan echo chambers moving them away from fact-based journalism and funneling them towards sources of information that confirm their biases. For decades sophisticated climate disinformation campaigns have concealed the facts and sown doubt about the science. Lobbyists paid for by the fossil fuel industry have deliberately deceived the public about the climate impacts of coal, oil, and gas. Billions have been spent on multi-faceted disinformation initiatives designed to undermine consensus. Traditional energy interests have colluded with the GOP to erode...

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Women’s Day is also Sustainability Day: How Gender Equality Buoys Climate Action

In recognition of International Women's Day, we honor the sustainability efforts of women all around the globe. This is a day for everyone, as Gloria Steinem once explained, women's day is not just for women, it is for those who care about human rights. This is an occasion to celebrate the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. This day is also an opportunity to expose inequality and advance gender parity. The theme this year is "choose to challenge" which promotes change that leads to greater equality between the sexes.   As revealed by the UN, Women’s empowerment and advancing gender...

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America’s Most Popular Purveyor of Climate Disinformation is Dead

Rush Limbaugh died on February 17, 2021, and in the wake of his passing, some lauded him as a patriot, while many others decried his hateful and divisive speech. The conservative radio personality, pundit, and author was a pioneering purveyor of disinformation who defined the brand of far-right media commentators.  He was well known for feeding his fans a steady diet of racism and sexism. He called President Barack Obama a "magical negro" and he once told a black caller to "remove the bone from her nose". In many respects, he set the stage for Donald Trump, who led the most destructive...

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Climate Action: Why We May Finally Do What Needs to be Done

To avoid a climate disaster we need to eliminate heat-trapping greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.  With less than a decade* to significantly draw down emissions the window of opportunity to act is rapidly closing. While this is a serious crisis it is not getting the urgent attention it demands. However, with consorted efforts from governments, businesses, and civil society we still have time to avert a civilization-altering calamity.  As reflected in the GHG data we are facing an imminent crisis. Ever-rising concentrations of the three main GHGs are largely responsible for climate change. We have seen increases in carbon dioxide (CO₂), the principle...

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Disinformation is the Most Pressing Global Sustainability Issue

Disinformation is the most pressing global sustainability issue in the world today. By eroding shared acceptance of facts, disinformation makes consensus building around key sustainability issues exceedingly difficult. The unholy alliance between industry, conservative politicians and right-wing media has caused disinformation to spread like the wildfires that have become commonplace in an ever-warmer world. We face many sustainability challenges including the UN's 16 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). However, disinformation has prevented millions of people from heeding what should be a clear call to address existential global threats like climate change and biodiversity loss. This is the reason that we have not been...

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Eco-Anxiety: Finding Hope Through Uncertainty

Climate change can be overwhelming and these feelings have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.  People are suffering from ecological anxiety and grief and this can sometimes lead to paralysis or denial. Paralysis occurs when people don't know what to do or feel there is too much to deal with. People can also deny serious threats as a way of coping with them. In both cases the end result is that people do not act to avert the threat.  Climate scientist and activist Susanne Moser has proposed an interesting philosophical position that encourages both awareness and action. She calls this attitude...

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How to Mass Market Electric Vehicles

Access to the course closes on February 5, 2021. This course includes self-paced videos and live webinars. Students that take this professional course will learn about the types of electric vehicles, the market and factors driving market growth, barriers to growth and how the market may overcome potential barriers, EV charging structures and charging station deployment. The course is designed for educators, government and corporate decision makers, automobile dealers and consultants. The course material is organized into three self-study modules of recorded lectures and includes Q&A webinars with instructor, Mr. Julian Bentley, for student questions. Students who want a certificate...

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How to Build a Circular Economy

Titled The Circular Economy and Sustainability Strategies, this 6 week online programme from the Cambridge Judge Business School starts on March 9, 2021.  The over-exploitation of natural resources required to achieve economic growth and development has had a negative impact on the environment while also causing these resources to become scarcer and costlier. So it’s easy to see why the idea of a circular economy that offers new ways to create a more sustainable economic growth model is taking hold across the globe.  This programme is designed to help you understand the growing business case for sustainable solutions and learn...

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Online Course – Ecosystem Restoration Design

This 8 month online course  requires 5-10 hours per week and it starts on January 18, 2021. This course will explore the inner workings of ecosystem restoration projects and techniques, and create a plan for how to restore an ecosystem close to your heart. You will learn from 16 ecosystem restoration practitioners and cover a range of topics about natural ecosystem restoration, agricultural, urban, and ecosystem restoration business models. In the end of the course you will develop your own restoration plan for an ecosystem of your choice. Skills you will learn Naming several causes of degradation (social, political, economic,...

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