Institute at Brown for Environment and Society
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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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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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Watson Institute

How to Teach Climate Change

The Watson-based Climate Solutions Lab has created a syllabus bank to encourage more social-science instructors to teach university-level courses on climate change.
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The Public's Radio

This I Believe New England - The Health of the Planet

There is so much to worry about in our world today: political turmoil, civil unrest, a pandemic, climate change. The list goes on . . . and on and on. All of us want to be hopeful, of course, as we stare down all of these challenges. Let’s listen to Curt Spalding’s sanguine words, as he reflects on the future of our precious planet.
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“Faster and Steeper is Feasible: Modeling Deeper Decarbonization in a Northeastern U.S. State,” published in Energy Research & Social Science, uses and updates a energy model originally developed for Rhode Island’s 2016 climate plan to assess the viability of more rapid decarbonization pathways for the state.
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News from IBES

Shadowy Twitter bots spread climate disinformation

Thomas Marlow and John Cook, scholars with the IBES-supported Climate Social Science Network, are featured in E&E News, where they discuss new research showing that a substantial amount of climate change disinformation online comes from Twitter bots.
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The New Republic

Sea Shanties and the Whale Oil Myth

Oil companies like to point to the demise of the whaling industry as an example of market-based energy solutions. The reality is much more complicated.
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New England News Collaborative

What The Biden Administration Will Mean For Climate Change In New England

Severe storms. Heat waves. Rising seas. New England is already seeing the impacts of climate change, and scientists project they will become more severe and deadly, shaping how we live and work in the northeastern U.S. This week on NEXT, in a special ahead of Inauguration Day, the New England News Collaborative and America Amplified look at climate change in our region and how President-elect Joe Biden’s administration could affect climate action in the future. Biden has proposed the most ambitious climate platform of any incoming U.S. president in history.
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Last year the Black Lives Matter movement that intensified with the high-profile deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and others led to heightened conversations nationwide around institutional discrimination against marginalized groups in workplaces, academia and government.

Women and minorities in the earth and atmospheric sciences were already on it.
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The New York Times

The Darkest Timeline

“Deep Adaptation” made people confront the end of the world from climate change. Does it matter if it’s not correct?
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Today's advertising, lobbying, and public-relations firms help provide the rationalizations and the justifications that slow the pace of climate change action. IBES fellow Robert Brulle studies such marketing extensively, as described in The New Yorker.
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