Institute at Brown for Environment and Society
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In an interview with meteorologist Jeff Berardelli, IBES Director Kim Cobb discusses how and why marine limestone functions as a climate proxy. “I’m proud to say that the corals that I work with in the middle of the Pacific Ocean are as good, if not better than the temperature records from satellites,” says Cobb.
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NPR's Short Wave Podcast

Prof. Larry Smith: A course correction in managing drying rivers

“The American West is going to have to learn how to do more with less,” says Laurence Smith, IBES Professor and Professor of Earth, Environmental, and Planetary Studies. In a recent episode of the NPR Short Wave podcast, Smith argues that strategically managing rivers in the present will pave the way for a better, climate-adapted future.
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Visiting Professor of Environment and Society Robert Brulle offered commentary on research showing that scientists at oil giant Exxon were ‘uncannily accurate’ in their climate change modeling since the 1970s. These findings support ongoing efforts to hold Exxon and other fossil fuel companies accountable for deliberate climate misinformation.
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Brown University, Department of Earth, Environmental & Planetary Sciences (EEPS)

Brown Students Join Pakistan Ambassador at the United Nations Conference for Climate Change Relief

11 Brown students attended a special #UnitedNations conference supporting Pakistan's post-flood rebuilding efforts. The opportunity was made possible through the course "Climate Extremes and Human Rights: Winter Session in Geneva," co-led by IBES and EEPS Professor Amanda Lynch.
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Even with the decelerated population growth of the past six decades, global population reached 8 billion people on Nov. 15. The climate emergency and the past population growth crisis represent existential challenges requiring sustained global efforts. Our success on the population issue holds key lessons for addressing the climate crisis as well.
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Inside Climate News

Prof. Fussell: Americans are 'Flocking to Fire'

Recent U.S. migration data shows that Americans continue moving to areas prone to wildfire, despite increased risk spurred by climate change. In a recent article from Inside Climate News, IBES Associate Research Professor Elizabeth Fussell says the situation demonstrates how “the public has not fully acknowledged the climate emergency.”
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New York Times

Prof. Smith: The Mississippi River is Running Dry

This critical river and its tributaries — responsible for transporting more than $17 billion worth of farm products and 60 percent of all U.S. corn and soybean exports annually — has been stricken by drought since September, amid a time of global grain shortage and soaring food prices.
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Leah VanWey, an accomplished scholar and academic leader who serves currently as dean of Brown’s School of Professional Studies, has been appointed the University’s next dean of the faculty, effective July 1, 2022.
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Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine has set off a flood of speculation about his motives. Myriad factors — including perceptions of Russia’s historical ties to Ukraine and regional security concerns — probably drive his ambitions. But Russia’s personalist domestic politics and its oil and gas wealth also contributed to this aggression.
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This week a peer-reviewed study confirmed what many have suspected for years: major oil companies are not fully backing up their clean energy talk with action. Now the PR and advertising firms that have been creating the industry’s greenwashing strategies for decades face a reckoning over whether they will continue serving big oil.

Brulle said “This is the first robust, empirical, peer-reviewed analysis of the activities – of the speech, business plans, and the actual investment patterns – of the major oil companies regarding their support or opposition to the transition to a sustainable society".
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Bwog - Columbia Student News

Professor Myles Lennon - Politics of Solar Technology

Staff Writer Kate Mekechuk attended the Department of Anthropology’s Boas Talk by Dr. Myles Lennon who discussed “Affective Energy: The ‘Equicratic’ Politics of Solar Technology From Wall Street to West Harlem.”
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Lynch will lead a board of approximately 30 international scientists and researchers responsible for establishing the WMO’s research priorities and coordinating scientific programs and projects across the world. The board plays a key role in the WMO’s mission to track weather, climate and water resources globally and disseminate that information to its 193 member states and territories.
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Electric and gas utilities spent $24 million on lobbying state lawmakers between 2013 and 2020, four times that spent by renewable energy firms and more than eight times that of environmental organizations, according to the analysis from the Institute at Brown for Environment and Society.

Connecticut should be a “best-case scenario” for progress on climate change, given that the economy is not reliant on fossil fuel extraction and there’s a “Democratic trifecta” in state government, said Timmons Roberts, professor of environmental studies and sociology at Brown and executive director of the Climate Social Science Network.
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The Boston Globe

Professor J. Timmons Roberts - "Who killed the TCI?"

The Transportation Climate Initiative was held up as a crucial part of driving down emissions and raising revenue each year to pay for key programs to address climate change. It’s now on pause.
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Robert Brulle told Joselow that “the Heartland Institute and the Competitive Enterprise Institute and the Koch brothers” are “not really news anymore.” What is news, per Brulle’s paper, is the extensive work being done by the oil and gas industry “to greenwash their reputation and shift public opinion.”
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A study released Tuesday in the journal Climatic Change is the first to thoroughly document the role PR firms have had in helping fossil fuel companies finesse their public image and manipulate science to fit their messaging.
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“What we can say is that while the number of people moving because of environmental disasters is small, it is growing and it is responding to disaster events,” said Elizabeth Fussell, associate professor of population studies and environment and society at Brown University. “This disaster-related mobility is responsive to these very large crises, and these very large crises are increasing. The trend is toward more disasters.”
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Coauthored by IBES Professor Scott Frickel, "Residues: Thinking Through Chemical Environments", offers readers a new approach for conceptualizing the environmental impacts of chemicals production, consumption, disposal, and regulation.
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Climate Social Science Network

Climate Social Science Network Announces Reporting Fellows

PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island – September 13, 2021 – Today the Climate Social Science Network — an international network of social science scholars focused on understanding the cultural and institutional dynamics of the political conflict over climate change — announced its inaugural journalism fellows, Kate Aronoff and Taylor Kate Brown. These experienced journalists will collaborate on investigative research with local and global teams of social scientists.
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Academic researchers say the fossil fuel industry has a new tool to delay efforts to curb emissions – a social justice strategy

Supported by
guardian.org
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Amy Westervelt
@amywestervelt
Thu 9 Sep 2021 06.00 EDT

ExxonMobil has been touting its commitment to “reducing carbon emissions with innovative energy solutions”. Chevron would like to remind you it is keeping the lights on during this dark time. BP is going #NetZero, but is also very proud of the “digital innovations” on its new, enormous oil drilling platform in the Gulf of Mexico. Meanwhile Shell insists it really supports women in traditionally male-dominated jobs.

A casual social media user might get the impression the fossil fuel industry views itself as a social justice warrior, fighting on behalf of the poor, the marginalized, and women – at least based on its marketing material in recent years.
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Summer Gonsalves knows the ins and outs of the U.S. food system, and she knows exactly who it leaves behind.

In an online workshop hosted by the Providence-based Southside Community Land Trust on Aug. 6, Gonsalves dug into the social and environmental factors that limit food access from seed and soil to the supermarket shelf. The U.S. food system, she said, has purposefully and unfailingly disconnected people of color from nutritious and affordable foods.
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James M. Russell received the 2020 Willi Dansgaard Award at AGU’s virtual Fall Meeting 2020. The award is given in recognition of “high research impact, innovative interdisciplinary work, educational accomplishments, such as mentoring, or positive societal impact” and “exceptional promise for continued leadership in paleoceanography and paleoclimatology.”
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Things are changing in America and you either go with the flow or get left behind.

Exxon Mobile Corporation had a board election yesterday and at least two “rebels” were elected. These rebels aren’t members of the downtrodden masses. They were put forward by a hedge fund, Engine 1, in an effort to force Exxon to address climate change.

By the end of the day, Exxon had been shaken to its foundation
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