Students watch ‘An Inconvenient Truth’

first_imgIt’s “an inconvenient truth,” but only about 25 people showed up for a Harvard screening Sunday (Oct. 19) of a film by the same name, which earned former Vice President Al Gore ’69 both an Oscar and a Nobel Peace Prize.Apathy about Gore’s subject — the freight train of global warming — did not account for the slim crowd at Boylston Hall’s 140-seat Fong Auditorium. The Red Sox, after all, were in game six of a playoff series that night.Clad in a ball cap, jeans, and open sandals, Timothy Treuer ‘10, a volunteer with the Harvard College Environmental Action Committee (HCEAC), introduced the 2006 Gore film. Reminded afterward of the Sox game, he agreed that “people were probably in front of a big screen, watching something else.”But Gore’s message was heard at Harvard in many ways this week, including from the man himself, who spoke Wednesday (Oct. 22) to a Commencement-size crowd in the Tercentenary Theatre. His talk was the highlight of multiday celebrations this month of the University’s commitment to sustainability.Around campus, “An Inconvenient Truth” got an update too. On Tuesday night (Oct. 22), HCEAC sponsored three simultaneous screenings of Gore’s 25-minute follow-up film, based on a February talk he gave at a TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) conference in Monterey, Calif. The coffee house-style events — at the Barker Center, and at Lowell and Currier houses — were moderated by faculty experts and drew small crowds of student discussants.Treuer was at Barker, where about 10 students watched the film. As an organic and evolutionary biology concentrator, he was familiar with the facts of global warming, but left impressed by Gore’s tone — “doggedly determined [and] forcefully optimistic,” said Treuer.At Currier House, about 20 watchers relaxed on sofas as Gore’s renewed message of horror and hope flickered on a television screen. Most had just enjoyed a House “sustainable dinner” — a meal of New England mussels, greens, squash, turnips, and cheese that was designed to illustrate the ecological advantages of eating regionally.Biologist James McCarthy, moderator of the post-film discussion, was thrilled to see mussels on the menu. “One of the most sustainable harvests,” he explained — low-cost filter feeders raised on floating coastal rafts. “Every time I see it, I’m delighted.”McCarthy is Harvard’s Alexander Agassiz Professor of Biological Oceanography and was one of the lead authors of the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment, a 2005 document that outlined the likely consequences of sustained warming in the Arctic.On screen, Gore got right to the point. “In order to solve the climate crisis, we have to solve the democracy crisis — and we have one,” he said. To arrest global warming, individual environmental action is needed, but changing the law is needed more.Gore also called for “a global transition to a low-carbon economy,” emphasizing conservation and renewable energy. Part of that is “a single, very simple solution” to the climate crisis, he said: “Put a price on carbon.”The element, trapped on Earth in vast reserves of coal, oil, and natural gas, is released as pollution when burned, filling the thin shell of the atmosphere with gases that trap heat.Gore added rapid updates of his prize-winning film — satellite images of shrinking forest cover, melting ice cover at the North Pole, and California-size snow melts in the Antarctic.But there is good news, said Gore: The technology for producing low-carbon energy already exists.And there is bad news: Developing countries are burning fossil fuel at a rate that matches the Western world in 1965; by 2025, energy-hungry emerging nations will reach 1985 levels.As one antidote, Gore likes a recent proposal floated in Europe: Set up a vast system of linked solar energy plants in developing countries, creating a product that would benefit both worlds.In the United States, 68 percent of citizens believe that human activity influences global warming, but they are tangled in “a culture of distraction,” said Gore, and put climate change way down on a list of priorities. “What’s missing,” he said, “is a sense of urgency.”To take on global climate change, Gore called for “another hero generation” like that of the Founding Fathers, or those inspired by Lincoln’s emancipation of the slaves, the triumph of women’s suffrage, or the sacrifices of World War II.Afterwards, McCarthy said Gore had found in global warming “the one issue around which civilization could rally.”Karen McKinnon ’10, an HCEAC volunteer who organized the Currier event, liked the updated film. It modified the impression in “An Inconvenient Truth” that climate change could be turned back by private action alone. Instead, Gore started to emphasize changing the behavior of world leaders.Political leaders are changing fast, and even both presidential candidates see the urgency of climate change, said McCarthy — “a truly remarkable transformation of political understanding.”last_img read more

Harvick: Las Vegas penalty ‘just motivates us’

first_imgKevin Harvick said Friday that the psyche of the Stewart-Haas Racing No. 4 team is undaunted, explaining that a midweek penalty after last Sunday’s win at Las Vegas Motor Speedway “just motivates us.”Harvick’s response may be reason enough for the rest of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series field to be worried at ISM Raceway at Phoenix, easily one of the veteran driver’s best tracks.“It says a lot about our team,” Harvick said Friday before opening practice for the series’ fourth race of the year. “A lot of us didn’t know where we were going to stand as far as performance. As a whole, Stewart-Haas Racing, we were within a half a lap of winning every race so far. You can’t knock anything that we have done and everybody has done a great job.“We have a lot of momentum and these things tend to make you closer, stronger and better.”MORE: Harvick says no decision yet on appealOn Wednesday, NASCAR announced the No. 4 team was found in violation of Sections 20.4.8.1 (dealing with rear window support) and 20.4.18 (rocker panel extensions) in the 2018 NASCAR Rule Book. A brace meant to support the rear window was found to have failed, and the rocker panels (side skirts) were not made of aluminum.In addition to the loss of seven playoff points, the team lost 20 points from the overall championship standings and crew chief Rodney Childers was fined $50,000 for the L1-level penalty. Car chief Robert “Cheddar” Smith is set to serve the first race of a two-event suspension this weekend.Childers noted that it has been a bit tough without Smith and agreed that the penalty is motivational.“(Harvick has) actually talked about the last 24 hours how badly he wants to come out here and win and just kind of put everything to bed,” Childers told NASCAR.com after Harvick qualified 10th. “In all honesty we haven’t been as good here lately as what we should have been or what we were in our early years here at Phoenix. We did better last fall; we had a top-five car most of the race. Normally qualifying in the top 12 is a good thing for us here. To qualify top 10 is pretty good. …“The car’s been driving good, we really haven’t had to make many adjustments and I haven’t had to work on it a whole lot,” he continued. “It’s always a deal where he needs to kind of get in a rhythm – that’s the reason he’s good here, he kind of gets in a rhythm and gets stuff figured out and today just doing qualifying runs it was hard to get in a rhythm and get sorted out.”Childers added later, “The best way is just to go out there and run good and prove a point. So that’s what we’re going to try to do.”Sunday’s TicketGuardian 500 (3:30 p.m. ET, FOX, MRN, SiriusXM) marks the second event in the three-race NASCAR Goes West swing for the sport’s top series. Harvick is aiming to become the series’ first driver since Joey Logano in 2015 to win three consecutive races.Harvick tops the 1-mile track’s all-time win list with eight Phoenix victories in his career, but he hasn’t won here since March 2016. That triumph capped an especially successful stretch of six wins in an eight-race span in the Arizona desert.RELATED: Drivers to win three straight races | No. 4 team penalizedContributing: Jessica Ruffinlast_img read more

Dale Jr. documents fatherhood, shares stories of Isla Rose’s first week

first_imgIsla Rose already has the ‘Earnhardt smirk’ down. At least according to her dad.It’s been one week since Dale Earnhardt Jr. and wife Amy welcomed home their new bundle of joy, and the first seven days of fatherhood have been a whirlwind.MORE: Junior, Amy through the years“I feel like everything that’s going to come out of my mouth is so cliche,” Earnhardt Jr. said during the most recent episode of “The Dale Jr. Download” podcast. “The love that you have is more than ever. This person … I don’t know what it is. It’s hard to explain. You feel this love for this baby that is not a love that you’ve felt for anyone else. I love my wife to death. I love my parents, my father and my sister. … It’s a 100 times more than that.”The couple, who wed on New Year’s Eve in 2016, announced the pregnancy in October 2017 and had the racing world on pins and needles as the due date got closer.The newest little Earnhardt was born April 30, just one day after what would have been Dale Earnhardt Sr.’s 67th birthday.“I was really emotional, more so than Amy” he said. “This whole week I keep telling Amy she reminds me of a pit crew. The car comes down pit row, hops in the box … it’s like clockwork. It hits this line, the crew jumps over, goes to work, does the work, crew goes over wall, car leaves and everyone is back watching the race.RELATED: Drivers offer fatherhood advice to Junior“It’s instinctual. That’s the way she’s been. Baby comes out, she knows what to do, she’s doing it. She’s not crying, not emotional. She’s just doing her mother thing. I’m just a basket of nerves and crying.”And it didn’t take long for Junior to find a little personality in his daughter either.“She smirks the ‘Earnhardt smirk’ some, where she does it off to the side,” he proudly shared. “… I like to tell Amy that’s the Earnhardt in her coming out, because that’s how Daddy always smiled.”RELATED: Dale’s sister on fatherhood: ‘He gets it, now’last_img read more

Detroit EMT Suffers Heart Attack While Performing CPR

first_imgDiscuss: What If This Happened to Your Partner? DETROIT – A Detroit EMS technician is recovering in a hospital following a heart attack while performing CPR on a patient, officials said. Union rep Joe Barney said EMS technician Joseph Hardman was performing CPR on a patient on the way to a hospital Saturday morning when he suffered a heart attack, the Detroit Free Press reported Monday. “He nearly died, had to go to surgery,” Barney said. Hardman “dropped his patient off alive while he was having a heart attack, then went to the ER, where they treated him immediately. He survived, and he’s in fact laying three beds over from the guy he brought into the hospital,” the union rep said. “I talked to him this evening to make sure his family was OK, and he’s doing better,” he said. “But he’s scared. The stress of the job is getting to be too much.” Barney said the EMS department is down to about 150 technicians from 304 just eight years ago. He said 30 techs recently quit due to pay cuts and work conditions.last_img read more

Researcher describes environmental racism in Flint in Klau Center lecture

first_imgWhen Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha learned that children in Flint, Mich. were drinking water so contaminated that it was corroding car engines, she knew she had to act.In a virtual lecture Friday, Hanna-Attisha, who serves as the director of the Michigan State University and Hurley Children’s Hospital Pediatric Public Health Initiative, described the water crisis in Flint and her role as a researcher in exposing the problems. The lecture was a part of the Klau Center’s initiative this semester entitled, “Building an Anti-Racist Vocabulary.”The author of “What the Eyes Don’t See: A Story of Crisis, Resilience and Hope in an American City,” Hanna-Attisha was spurred to action after a friend told her that there were reports that Flint’s water was not being treated properly.Flint residents had long been suspicious of the quality of the drinking water, citing its unusual color, smell and taste. But despite their concerns, the government continually reassured residents that there was nothing to worry about — and even offered safeguards to the corporations that are the backbone of Flint’s economy.“The most jaw-dropping red flag for me — and it still makes my jaw drop — is learning that our drinking water was corroding engine parts at a General Motors plant,” Hanna-Attisha said. “Can you believe that? Our drinking water was corroding car parts.”General Motors was permitted to use water from a cleaner source, but the people of Flint “were told to relax,” Hanna-Attisha recalled.When Hanna-Attisha learned of the reports that could confirm residents’ suspicions, she began her research to determine that community advocates’ fears were grounded in reality: lead levels in Flint water were not safe.Hanna-Attisha underscored how environmental justice and racial justice intersect, noting that it was “no surprise” that lead poisoning is most prevalent in minority communities.“Lead poisoning [is] a form of environmental injustice and also a form of environmental racism. I think the words can be used the same [way],” she said.A range of investigations into the Flint water crisis support Hanna-Attisha’s conclusion, including one from the Michigan Civil Rights Commission. Flint’s demographics are central to understanding the crisis: compared to other Michigan cities such as Ann Arbor and Grosse Point, Flint has a much larger African American and low-income population.“This never would have happened in a richer or whiter community,” Hanna-Attisha said.While the crisis in Flint revealed a number of racial inequalities and disparities, the pandemic in 2020 has similarly had a disproportionate impact on poor and African American communities, Hanna-Attisha said. She said four major lessons officials learned from responding to the Flint crisis can also help the United States learn from the COVID-19 pandemic.She emphasized the importance of a good government that values public health, the essential nature of democracy, the need to respect science and medicine and the value of investing in preventative and proactive health care measures.“We were trying to share these lessons in Flint, and now much of the nation is experiencing these very same lessons,” Hanna-Attisha said. “That gives me hope that we will be able to reimagine and rebuild and finally take heed of these lessons.”Despite the tragedy of Flint’s drinking water, Hanna-Attisha remains hopeful that lessons can be drawn from the crisis and response in Flint.“I am this eternal optimist,” she said. “I am hopeful — I am absolutely hopeful. I have already seen some of the ripple effects of our crisis that have prevented other crises.”As cities across the country saw the drinking water crisis unfold in Flint, they became much more aware of drinking water and regulations in their own governments. Prior to the Flint crisis, many people viewed lead in water as a problem that had already been fixed. Once the failings in Flint’s water system were revealed, however, it was impossible to continue to take clean drinking water for granted.Hanna-Attisha said that this national reckoning sparked many cities to make important changes to ensure safer water for their residents.“The nation’s really woken up to the issues of drinking water, and that’s strengthened a lot of regulations in some places and forced folks to ask more questions and hold folks accountable to the status of the quality of our drinking water,” Hanna-Attisha said.Tags: Building an Anti-Racist Vocabulary, Flint water crisis, Klau Centerlast_img read more

Norwich University and Middlebury College Solar Decathlon teams to celebrate at the Statehouse

first_imgNorwich University and Middlebury College will co-host a send-off event at the Statehouse in Montpelier on Tuesday, September 10, from 11:30 am ‘1:30 pm for the student teams competing in the international US Department of Energy Solar Decathlon in Irvine, Calif., October 3-13, 2013. Norwich and Middlebury are two of only 20 teams in the world to be accepted into the 2013 Solar Decathlon, a biennial solar house design competition and expo. Each team’s house is soon to be en route to the competition on the west coast. The public expo on solar house design is expected to attract upwards of 100,000 people to the Orange County Great Park in Irvine. The winner of the competition is the team that best blends affordability, consumer appeal, and design excellence with optimal energy production and maximum efficiency. The Statehouse program will begin at 11:30 a.m. with remarks by State of Vermont officials, Norwich University President Richard Schneider, and Middlebury College President Ronald Liebowitz, followed by a student press conference. The public is invited to engage with teams on the unique aspects of their designs and celebrate with complimentary refreshments and live music on the Statehouse lawn.  Norwich’s home, DeltaT-90, is a modular home designed and built for the unique climate challenges presented by living in the New England region. The team responded to the challenge of creating high performance, affordable housing that is accessible and promotes conservation based living.Middlebury’s house, InSite, is a home for local living. The team designed the home with a focus on reconnecting people with their communities and emphasizing environmental, economic and social sustainability.In case of rain, the event will be held in Statehouse Room 11.Norwich University is a diversified academic institution that educates traditional-age students and adults in a Corps of Cadets and as civilians. Norwich offers a broad selection of traditional and distance-learning programs culminating in Baccalaureate and Graduate Degrees. Norwich University was founded in 1819 by Captain Alden Partridge of the U.S. Army and is the oldest private military college in the United States of America. Norwich is one of our nation’s six senior military colleges and the birthplace of the Reserve Officers’Training Corps (ROTC). www.norwich.edu(link is external) Middlebury College, one of the country’s leading liberal arts colleges, offers a rigorous liberal arts curriculum that is particularly strong in languages, international studies, environmental studies, sciences and literature. About 2,450 students attend Middlebury, which was founded in 1800. Middlebury has established itself as a leader in campus environmental initiatives, with an accompanying educational focus on environmental issues around the globe. The college’s strong international dimension has extended its borders beyond Addison County, and includes Middlebury’s Language Schools, Schools Abroad, Bread Loaf School of English, Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and the Monterey Institute for International Studies. www.middlebury.edu(link is external)last_img read more

Shawnee Mission area legislators get behind bill that would see district get $11 million in new funding next year

first_imgShawnee Mission staff greeting students on the first day of school. A funding approach supported by a group of Shawnee Mission area legislators would see the district getting $11 million in new funds next year instead of around $4 million in the “fix” plan introduced earlier.A group of Shawnee Mission area legislators are backing a K-12 funding approach that would see the district getting $11 million in new funds next year instead of the approximately $4 million the district would see under other “fix” schemes introduced at the start of the veto session.The bill, HB 2799, includes the so-called Trimmer and Pittman amendments that together would inject $150 million more into K-12 schools next year than in the bill passed by the legislature and signed into law by Gov. Jeff Colyer earlier this month.But the approach faces a number of procedural and political hurdles. First and foremost, because it was put forward by a group of Johnson County Democrats, the bill itself is almost certainly not going to be advanced by Republican leadership for debate on the floor.The bill’s best hope, says Rep. Brett Parker, is that its supporters can offer its language as an amendment to whatever “fix” bill is advanced by leaders in the House and the Senate.Parker said that the bill not only would benefit Shawnee Mission schools, but its supporters believe it would reduce the likelihood that the court will rule against the state in the Gannon case, triggering a special session and the possibility of closed schools.“I think you would start off with 40 Democratic votes right off the bat, and then you’d need to find 23 Republicans to get behind it,” Parker said of the bill’s prospects in the House.He added that with the increase in projected revenue estimates, he hoped more Republicans would be willing to get behind the approach.“We’ve got new revenue figures in, and this close to the court deadline, we’re saying ‘Let’s get this right and avoid having the court make us come back,’” he said.Under the current bill as signed by Colyer, Shawnee Mission schools stand to lose access to more than $2 million in funds they could use next school year — a swing that district administrators would be “devastating” as it looks to restore staffing of counselors and accommodate scheduled pay increases for teachers. Colyer has called for the legislature to fix the $80 million drafting error.At Monday’s board meeting, district CFO Russell Knapp outlined a number of the expense considerations the board will need to evaluate during the upcoming budget process. Step-and-column pay increases plus a 1 percent base salary increase for all pay groups would cost the district $4.5 million next year. Increasing staffing so that each elementary school has a social worker and counselor would cost $3.2 million. And staffing changes to add counselors and reduce teachers’ schedules from six classes to five classes per day at the high school level would cost around $4.1 million.The “fix” legislation that would correct an $80 million drafting error would at least get Shawnee Mission back on the positive side of the ledger — but would not provide enough new funds for the district to take up those initiatives.last_img read more

Good Governance: Fiduciary and strategic thought needed

first_img ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Finding the right balance between operational oversight and visionary dialogue in your boardroom is worth the struggle.by. Michael G. DaigneaultI’ve long said that being a CEO of an organization is one of the hardest jobs in the world. I’ve had the opportunity to help lead a number of organizations myself and have found myself being challenged to find the right balance between fiduciary and strategic agenda items at board meetings.Having formally observed a number of credit union board meetings in recent years, I have realized that this struggle is shared by many credit union CEOs and board chairs. And the proof of this difficulty goes well beyond the anecdotal. In recent assessments of credit unions throughout the United States, a surprising number of credit union board members reported a lack of genuine strategic dialogue at their monthly board meetings.Finding the right balance between operational oversight and strategic dialogue is a real struggle. But one that is very much worth fighting. There are a number of reasons why such a balance is difficult to achieve, but I’d like to focus on one reason in particular: Many credit union leaders get “stuck” in one mode of thought. What do I mean by that?CEOs and board members frequently lack a framework or vocabulary to ask the full range of questions necessary to effectively carry out their governance responsibilities. As such, and often by default, many credit union boards spend the majority of their time in the fiduciary realm of thought. continue reading »last_img read more

Justice Teaching recognizes Judge Davidson

first_img THE JUSTICE TEACHING program recently recognized the efforts of 18th Circuit Judge Lisa Davidson, who not only serves on the Select Committee on Justice Teaching and coordinates volunteer efforts for her entire circuit, but also volunteers significant amounts of time as a Justice Teaching volunteer in not one, but two schools. “Despite the most recent challenges facing the judicial branch, including elevated caseloads and fewer resources, Judge Davidson nonetheless finds time to visit two schools — Lyndon B. Johnson Middle School, located in Melbourne, and the Holy Name of Jesus Catholic School, located in Indiatlantic,” said JT coordinator Michelle Ballard. “In November 2010, she visited Holy Name and conducted Justice Teaching sessions with three social studies classes of teacher Christine Neilson. Even more impressive, on February 15, Judge Davidson performed Justice Teaching exercises with seven social studies classes of teachers Jeff Getrost and Jack Ratterman at Johnson Middle School.  Judge Davidson’s lesson of choice during her most recent visit was “The Invaders,” an activity that informs students about the various freedoms guaranteed by the Bill of Rights and then requires the students to select the freedoms they would relinquish if forced to do so by a hostile government. According to Judge Davidson, none of the students from Johnson Middle School were willing to surrender the right to free speech.  Interestingly, the rights that the students were most likely to relinquish were the right to counsel, the right to peaceably assemble, and freedom of the press. Judge Davidson described the experience as “wonderful” and stated that the students really enjoyed the lesson and were engaged throughout the presentation. If you would like to follow in Judge Davidson’s footsteps and assist with bringing civic education alive for the children of Florida, visit www.justiceteaching.org. Justice Teaching recognizes Judge Davidson July 1, 2011 Regular Newslast_img read more

Lindsay Agnew learns how to play at higher level after Nations Cup

first_imgLindsay Agnew learns how to play at higher level after Nations CupAgnew represented team Canada in the four-day tournament.Max Ostenso, Daily File PhotoForward Lindsay Agnew passes the puck during a game against Bemidji State on Dec. 12, 2017. Max BiegertFebruary 22, 2018Jump to CommentsShare on FacebookShare on TwitterShare via EmailPrintSophomore forward Lindsay Agnew scored two first period goals off of two assists from fellow sophomore linemate Taylor Williamson the last time the Gophers took the ice against the Huskies.Agnew will hope to find that form once again as the No. 3 seed Gophers take on the No. 6 seed this weekend at Ridder Arena for the WCHA first round. The third line of Sophie Skarzynski, Agnew and Williamson combined for three goals in the most recent series against St. Cloud. “The last few weeks we were talking about moving our feet, that will put us in good spots out there,” Agnew said. “Playing unselfish hockey out there too, which we did in that Saturday St. Cloud game will put us in a good spot to do well this weekend.” Since she had time off from the Gophers before the second half of the season, Agnew competed in Nations Cup, a four-day competition between various national teams around the world. She represented Canada in the event. Agnew played with three other players who have ties to Minnesota. Agnew faced off against former Gophers Noora Raty and Mira Jalosuo when Canada played Finland. Raty and Jalosuo just took the Bronze medal in the Olympic Games. Amy Potomak, the sister of Sarah Potomak, also played for Canada. Agnew’s team went 1-2 in the tournament and took fifth place. Still, the experiences she took from that are helping her as the Gophers lead up to the playoffs. “Playing in the Nations Cup, you just kind of learn to play at a higher level,” Agnew said. “That gave me more confidence coming back after break with our team.” Agnew has tallied 10 points on the season with five goals and five assists. Three of the goals have come in the second half of the season, building off that confidence-boosting experience at the Nations Cup. Williamson said something that makes Agnew so valuable for the Gophers is her unique high IQ of the game of hockey. “What sets her apart from other players is that unselfishness, yet she knows when she has to shoot the puck,” Williamson said. “The way she thinks about the game is fun and I am able to think about how my strengths work with her.”The two sophomores will need to continue to be unselfish as the Gophers enter the playoff season. The last time the Gophers didn’t make it to the Frozen Four was the 2010-2011 season. The No. 7 Gophers have a 39-game winning streak over the Huskies, and have only lost to them a total of three times in the program history. This will be Minnesota’s sixth time playing St. Cloud State this year. They have a 4-0-1 record against them.“It’s a fresh start and a new series here, and we know we got to win it to keep playing, and we haven’t been in this position in quite a few years,” said head coach Brad Frost.last_img read more