Deep Dialogues and Expert Series

Deep Dialogue – 1/23/23 – Mini-Forest Revolution with Hannah Lewis

Take a narrated visual tour of Miyawaki method forests planted around the world with Mini-Forest Revolution author Hannah Lewis. Learn something about how this proven method allows us to reforest even small urban plots to grow trees for shade and other ecological services faster than we ever thought possible. The first Miyawaki forest in the Northeast, planted in Sept. 2021, is thriving in Cambridge at Danehy Park and several are now in the works in Brookline and Somerville. The questions and discussion were also very instructive. Hannah and her book may inspire you to plan one too! 

The slides from the presentation are here. The video for the meeting is here.

Deep Dialogue – 11/28/2022 – The Importance of Slow Water Movement

Our speaker for the November Deep Dialogue was Erica Gies, an independent environmental journalist who authored the recent book Water Always Wins: Thriving in an Age of Drought and Deluge. Erica covers the work of “water detectives” studying the way water works on earth, how our efforts to control water have created problems worsened by climate change and how water problems can be mitigated by restoring natural, slow water cycles. In her presentation Erica offers examples of how innovators in the “slow water” movement in many parts of the world have restored water environments, improved the well-being of people and helped heal the earth

See a review of Erica’s book in our August ECA Mass newsletter.

Watch the video here.

Deep Dialogue – 10/24/22 – Is it Time to Take a Second Look at Nuclear Power?

Carolyn McCreary and Roger Luckmann of our research team work together to answer the question “Is it Time to Take a Second Look at Nuclear Power?” Roger surveys recent nuclear news, documents the nuclear reactor installations in the states and around the world, reports on attitudes toward nuclear energy, cites the opinions of influential people and presents a list of reasons why we should consider nuclear energy. Carolyn addresses the advantages and concerns about adding nuclear power to our power grid.

Watch the video of this deep dialogue here. The slide deck is here.

Deep Dialogue: 9/26/22 – Dr. Ousmane Pame, Founder: REDES Ecovillages, Senegal

Dr. Ousmane Pame, founder: REDES Ecovillages (Senegal, West Africa) shared his personal stories and observations about its global and regional contexts as well as how its grassroots, community-based approach makes a difference on the ground.  REDES Ecovillages’ projects address both ecological and socio-economic root issues of the global climate crisis.  Dr. Pame gave compelling examples of such projects, including (1) pushing back the encroaching desert by developing a food forest and promoting regenerative agriculture; and (2) digging wells and channels to bring water to rural villages, thereby freeing women and girls for education and income generation.

Donations to REDES Ecovillages may be made here.

The video for this Deep Dialogue is here.

Deep Dialogue – 8/29/22 – Senator Barrett discusses climate legislation

We were excited to welcome Senator Mike Barrett, Senate chair of the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities, & Energy and lead author of the state’s landmark climate “roadmap” law and the recently passed climate legislation, An Act Driving Clean Energy and Offshore Wind.  He provided his viewpoint of the new climate bill and the road ahead as well as answering our questions.  Senator Barrett provides a highly informed and straight forward perspective to the challenges we face and urged as all to remain engaged in the fight against climate change.

The video for this Deep Dialogue is here.

Deep Dialogue – 7/25/22 and 8/8/22 – Residential Building Decarbonization

Roger Luckmann, Ed Woll, and Arnie Epstein of our Research Team have been exploring the challenges of weatherizing and electrifying heating in residential buildings.  The building sector is the second largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the state and small residential buildings account for the major share of building emissions.  This is a two-part presentation.  In the first part, the nature and scope of the challenge, is reviewed along with an overview of residential building weatherization and heat pump retrofits.

The video for the first part of this series is here.  The slides from the presentation are here.

In Part 2 of the series we discussed our view of approaches to meet the emissions reduction targets for these buildings and review the scenarios identified by the administration in their recently released 2030 CECP (Clean Energy and Climate Plan).  

The video for Part 2 of this series is here. The slides from the presentation are here.

Deep Dialogue – 6/27/22 – Representative Tackey Chan

He came at us and probably comes at everyone with a mile-a-second intelligence and insight on all things climate. He’s got so much knowledge on so many topics, you have to be willing to press pause while watching the video to think over what he just said. You may not agree with everything, but the purpose of our Deep Dialogues is to engage on these key topics.  The video of this presentation and discussion is here.

In Honor of Larry Rosenberg – The Climate Crisis

This Deep Dialogue was held in honor of Larry Rosenberg, who was a founding member of the Massachusetts chapter of ECA, and served on both the leadership and research teams.  Larry died of cancer on May 2, 2022, the day after he finished editing his paper on climate change: “The Climate Crisis: Impending Catastrophe and Possible Responses”.  After working much of his life on a number of different causes, Larry recognized climate change as the greatest threat to humanity and the world. To honor Larry and his work and to inspire and rededicate us to the fight against climate change, this Deep Dialogue focusses on the presentation of Larry’s paper and what we can all do to continue his work. The meeting begins with remembrances of Larry from five people who knew him well and were inspired by his activism.  Another group of ECA members share presenting Larrys’ paper, which can be seen as a slide show as they speak. The paper is an overview of the current state of the climate crisis, the  expected consequences of it, and the many ways we can address it.  The paper covers both accepted and controversial means of fighting climate change, and urges us to keep all options open, as our time for reducing catastrophic harm has grown so short. Larry’s paper is here and the video is here.

Climate Change in New England

Our April Deep Dialogue featured a presentation and Q&A with guest speaker Dr. Stephen Young, professor of remote sensing and environmental sustainability at Salem State University. Dr Young focused on his recent publication “Overall warming with reduced seasonality: temperature change in New England, USA, 1900 – 2020”, and discussed the current and impending effects of continued warming in New England. His presentation included photographs of climate change impacts on the North Shore. 

If you missed this informative Deep Dialogue, or want to watch the video again, the recording is here. The slides from the presentation are here.

Why we need lifestyle change to fight climate change

Climate change is often seen as a challenge that can be met by technological solutions like renewable energy. While these are necessary parts of the solution, they may not be sufficient, especially in a world where more and more people seek to consume more materials and energy. Yet changes in lifestyles to reduce our carbon footprints is a difficult topic for policy makers and activists.

At our March Deep Dialogue, we heard about the challenge of changing lifestyles from Newton climate activist and scientist, Philip J. Vergragt PhD, who has spent years researching “sustainable consumption” and “sustainable lifestyles.” His presentation explored if and how our wellbeing can be maintained – and improved – while reducing our “consumption carbon footprint.” Watch the presentation video, with the Q&A and informative discussion here, and access the presentation slides here. You can also reach Philip directly. His email is pvergragt@outlook.com.

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