Institute at Brown for Environment and Society
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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
About this content
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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Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Biden’s climate report card: 4 A’s, 2 B’s, 3 Incompletes

Now that we have gotten past the first few months of a Biden presidency, what has his administration’s concerted efforts accomplished? What priorities remain outstanding, and what are in need of further attention as we look toward the upcoming Glasgow Climate Change Conference this November?
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There’s lots of talk from the GOP and fossil fuel companies these days about changing their tune and finally getting really serious about climate change. But new research shows that not much has changed in the world of organized climate denial: It’s still massively funded by mostly anonymous donors shielding major conservative actors, and money has increased at a steady churn of around 3.4% per year over the past two decades. This consistency could be the key to climate denial’s continued success.
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A scientific drilling project in China has retrieved a continuous history of conditions from Earth’s most recent “greenhouse” period that may offer insights about future climate scenarios.
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The River Radius Podcast

The Book: Rivers of Power

Rivers, their water and their usefulness for society has not changed. What is changing is how humans can and do move that water from source to a place of use. This episode explores great canals that are under construction, massive dams that are creating international tensions, efforts to use water over and over and over.
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Limited access to clean water remains a struggle for millions of Americans. And lack of water access is expected to become an even greater problem in the coming years across the U.S. and around the world.
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Australia’s premier tax cheat Exxon is one of a number of companies in the US using conflicting Facebook ads to target both liberals and conservatives, writes Jeremy B Merrill. The left wing sees narratives extolling Exxon tackling climate change while right wing Facebook users see ads asking for support to stop regulation.
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Brown School of Public Health

Humans in Public Health Podcast: Joe Braun

Host Megan Hall speaks with associate professor of epidemiology Joe Braun about plastics and how everyday exposure impacts our health.

Humans in Public Health is a special podcast series for National Public Health Week. Hosted by Megan Hall and brought to you by Brown University’s School of Public Health.
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New research shows that water pressure beneath a glacier influences how fast it flows, a finding that could help in predicting the pace at which glaciers slide into the ocean and drive sea level upward.
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In the Urban Environmental Lab, a small, unassuming building that sits behind a vegetable garden on Waterman Street, students and professors are taking on one of the most powerful forces of the past three decades: the climate denial movement.
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It’s no secret that Providence is at risk from climate change.

There are numerous reports detailing the vulnerability of the Port of Providence, the downtown and other low-lying areas to storm surges and tidal flooding. Other studies detail the risks of heat exposure and respiratory illnesses in such neighborhoods as Elmwood and Washington Park as temperatures rise.
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Meeting Street Podcast

Why We Need the Environmental Humanities

Humanities scholars are at the forefront of the response to climate change. In this show Amanda Anderson talks with two influential and innovative scholars in the field of the environmental humanities: Bathsheba Demuth, an environmental historian who studies the arctic North, and Macarena Gomez-Barris, a cultural critic whose work focuses on the Global South. Topics include the environmental justice movement, extractivism, ecotourism, and the nature-culture divide.
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When the Texas power grid failed during a historic winter storm, millions of people were left in the cold and dark. The operator of that grid, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) said they were only moments away from an absolute nightmare scenario: a statewide blackout that could have lasted weeks — or months.

The storm was unprecedented — but it wasn’t unpredictable. How did this disaster happen, and what can be done to prevent a similar failure?
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A group of Brown University researchers, funded by the Shared Beringian Heritage Program, is tracking evidence that supports a new but disputed theory about when and how human beings first arrived on the American continent. Brown professor Yongsong Huang and his team of researchers believe they have found traces of human fecal matter and fire activity in northern Alaska dating back more than 30,000 years—thousands of years before the archaeological record indicates humans were in Alaska.
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