Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Gabby Ahmadia to speak tonight October 30, 2019, 7 pm in Rueckert Auditorium, Dominican Hall, Siena Heights University

Dr. Gabby Ahmadia is a director of marine conservation science on the Ocean Conservation team at WWF where she provides programmatic and technical support on a range of marine issues. Gabby is interested in how we better design and implement conservation programs at the intersection of communities and coastal ecosystems (primarily coral reefs and mangroves). She has expertise in tropical marine ecology, community-based conservation, area-based management (i.e. LMMAs, MPAs), monitoring design and implementation, and impact evaluation of marine conservation interventions. Gabby is focused geographically in the Coral Triangle and Coastal East Africa.
Originally hailing from Hawai‘i, Gabby has a wealth of experience, ranging from monitoring and eradication programs for invasive plant species in Natural Area Reserve Systems in Hawaii to marine ecophysiology to developing rapid vulnerability and resilience assessments for coral reefs. She has worked for over 15 years on marine science and conservation issues across the Pacific Ocean and into the Coral Triangle, with a recent expansion into Coastal Africa.  Gabby completed her PhD in Coastal and Marine Systems Science from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, investigating factors that structure coral reef fish assemblages.

The title of Gabby’s talk is "Conservation in the Anthropocene: creating a world where both people and nature can co-exist”.
Species and habitats are declining at alarming rates and are under siege from overuse, exploitation, and degradation from human activities. These threats are being further compounded by impacts from climate change that are changing the environment including changes in rainfall patterns, frequency and intensity of storms, ocean acidification, increasing sea-temperatures, and rising sea-levels.   With an increasing human population, conservation is shifting from the traditional biodiversity focus in a world that restricts access to those ‘wild places’ to increasing considerations of sustainable development and human well-being while maintaining a healthy, intact environment.  And it’s also not all ‘doom and gloom’; there are examples across the globe in which NGOs, governments, communities, and other stakeholders come together to tackle environmental issues and provide sustainable solutions for both nature and people.  This presentation will: (1) give an overview on global trends in biodiversity in both the land and the sea; (2) describe the evolution of conservation approaches;  (3) provide a dose of conservation optimism and journey through different regions of the world with conservation success stories, highlighting projects that WWF has supported; and (4) discuss collective action: how individuals can act across the world to help tackle biodiversity loss and climate change.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Nobel Prize for Economics 2019 Awarded to 3 Pioneers for Their Fight Against Poverty

The recipients include Esther Duflo — who’s the youngest winner ever and only the second woman.
This year, the Nobel Prize for Economics has been awarded to three pioneers in the fight against poverty: Esther Duflo, Abhijit Banerjee, and Michael Kremer.
The recipients of the prestigious award were announced by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences on Monday morning in Stockholm.
The economics prize — officially known as the Sveriges Riksbank Prize — was awarded to the three academics for their work, which has “dramatically improved our ability to fight poverty in practice,” according to the Academy.
Image result for Nobel Prize for Economics 2019

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Sunday, October 13, 2019

Plato’s Warning: If You Don’t Vote, You Will Be Governed by Idiots

A dire warning what can easily happen if wise and skilled women and men are not running for office - Trump can happen...

Plato (427–347 BC) is considered one of the most brilliant and influential philosophers in history. Plato (his given name was Aristocles; Plato is his nickname, from platos, meaning “broad” since he had a broad physique and forehead) was a student of Socrates and took what he learned to found the influential Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the West. Amidst a beautiful grove of olive trees, Plato taught some very fortunate and intelligent students (including Aristotle who later founded his own academy) philosophy, mathematics, politics, and astronomy. His most famous and influential work, that is still widely studied in universities, is the Republic, where Plato covered a broad (pun intended) range of significant topics: philosophy, ethics, moral psychology, epistemology, metaphysics, and of course, political philosophy. It is this last topic that concerns us today as we examine his views on political participation.
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Plato. Luni marble, copy of the portrait made by Silanion ca. 370 BC for the Academia in Athens. From the sacred area in Largo Argentina. Wikimedia.
The quote that serves as the title of this post is actually a tongue-in-cheek variation (underscoring the importance of voting in a critical election) of the quote most often attributed to Plato, ubiquitous on the internet: “One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics, is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.” There are many other variants of this famous quotation. Among them is this one crafted by poet and philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson that appears in Society and Solitude (1870): “Plato says that the punishment which the wise suffer who refuse to take part in the government, is, to live under the government of worse men.”
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Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Using momentum to build a stronger movement

Mark and Paul Engler's 'This Is an Uprising' proposes a craft that makes the best of both mass protest and community/labor organizing traditions.
George Lakey March 1, 2016
We always looked forward to the annual visit of Saul Alinsky when I taught at a small graduate school. Alinsky was the terror of city hall bosses everywhere, and he told us colorful stories from his organizing experience. Ours was the Martin Luther King School of Social Change. The students could earn an M. A. in Social Change, which, when asked, I would explain stood for “Master’s in Agitation.”


This was the late 1960s and most of our students were drawn from front-line communities where the struggles were hot. The students were famously direct and critical, and by the time Alinsky turned up they would have read his “Rules for Radicals” and been eager to take him on.

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The Albert Einstein Institution

The Albert Einstein Institution is a nonprofit organization founded by Dr. Gene Sharp in 1983 to advance the study and use of strategic nonviolent action in conflicts throughout the world.

We are committed to the defense of freedom, democracy, and the reduction of political violence through the use of nonviolent action.  Our goals are to understand the dynamics of nonviolent action in conflicts, to explore its policy potential, and to communicate this through print and other media, translations, conferences, consultations, and workshops. 

The Institution has been responsible for the translation and dissemination of some of the most influential texts on nonviolent action. Many of these works have been studied among resistance movements worldwide.

Dr. Sharp’s most popular book, From Dictatorship to Democracy, was first published in Burma in 1993. It has since been translated into at least 34 other languages and was used by the campaigns of Serbia’s Otpor, Georgia’s Kmara, Ukraine’s Pora, Kyrgyzstan’s KelKel and Belarus’ Zubr. One of Pora’s leaders, Oleh Kyriyenko said in 2004, “The bible of Pora has been the book of Gene Sharp, also used by Otpor, it’s called: From Dictatorship to Democracy.”

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This Is Not a Drill: 700+ Arrested as Extinction Rebellion Fights Climate Crisis with Direct Action

More than 700 people have been arrested in civil disobedience actions as the group Extinction Rebellion kicked off two weeks of protests in 60 cities worldwide, demanding urgent government action on the climate crisis. Its members have superglued themselves to government buildings, occupied public landmarks, shut down roads and taken to the streets to sound the alarm about the impending catastrophe of global warming. Extinction Rebellion, a nonpolitical movement, launched last year in the U.K. and rose to prominence in April, when it disrupted traffic in Central London for 11 days. For more about the significance of the coordinated global protests, we speak with Extinction Rebellion co-founder Gail Bradbrook.

The study on collapse they thought you should not read – yet

Posted by jembendell on July 26, 2018
A research paper concluding that climate-induced collapse is now inevitable, was recently rejected by anonymous reviewers of an academic journal.
It has been released directly by the Professor who wrote it, to promote discussion of the necessary deep adaptation to climate chaos.
“I am releasing this paper immediately, directly, because I can’t wait any longer in exploring how to learn the implications of the social collapse we now face,” explained the author Dr Bendell, a full Professor of Sustainability Leadership.  deep adaptation paper
In saying the paper was not suitable for publication, one of the comments from the reviewers questioned the emotional impact that the paper might have on readers. “I was left wondering about the social implications of presenting a scenario for the future as inevitable reality, and about the responsibility of research in communicating climate change scenarios and strategies for adaptation.” wrote one of the reviewers. “As the authors pointed out, denial is a common emotional response to situations that are perceived as threatening and inescapable, leading to a sense of helplessness, inadequacy, and hopelessness and ultimately disengagement from the issue…”

Nature Doesn’t Do Deals – why we rise on climate

Posted by jembendell on October 5, 2019

It is easy to pick holes in it. We can question tactics, timing, scope or messaging. But climate activism works. Over the past year, non-violent activism has increased awareness of climate change, so that many politicians now refer to it as the emergency that it is. Yet within a toxic economic system that requires us to borrow and grow forever, and a toxic media system that misleads us about what to blame and whom to hate, it isn’t surprising that rising awareness has not delivered change in our environmental impact. Nor has it triggered inquiry into why we got into this mess and how we might prepare as the climate gets worse for human habitation.

It is why we go again. This month, the non-violent civil disobedience campaign to demand government action on the climate and ecological emergency is calling on #EverybodyNow to take to the streets.


Some commentators in the UK, where the movement began, are asking whether now is the right time for disruptive tactics. But Extinction Rebellion has become a global movement that is rising again this month. It started in London, and Brits are playing a key role in waking up humanity, so can’t step down because of the current performance of our government. Our climate isn’t waiting for Brexit – or any political squabble. Whether wanting to leave or remain in the EU, all Britons want to eat well. After the rise of climate activism in 2019, British MPs admitted the country faces a food security crisis. Extreme weather has been damaging both domestic and foreign food production and increasing the risks that simultaneous crop failures in key exporting countries could make prices shoot up to unprecedented levels.

Extreme rainfall is another sign of the destabilising climate, with 150 flood alerts issued for the UK for the weekend before the #InternationalRebellion. More scientists are admitting publicly that they have been too cautious, partly because they were seeking to be relevant to mainstream policy makers. Climatologist Dr Wolfgang Knorr explains that such scientists should be the first to admit failure, recognise how scientists norms of communication have been counter-productive – and consider direct action to promote social and political change.

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