Did you miss one of our ECA Mass “zoom” meetings, or do you want to watch again? You can catch up with videos from our monthly chapter meetings, our periodic Deep Dialogue conversation sessions with experts on important climate issues, and our research team’s recent five-part educational series on “Getting to Net Negative – A Massachusetts Approach.” Check out the links to these informative videos and presentation slides below:
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.
ECA Mass chapter meeting – 4/12/22 – Green Heating and Cooling for Your Home, Legislative update
Did you know heating and hot water for buildings in Massachusetts are responsible for over 25% of statewide greenhouse gas emissions and for a typical home, heating and hot water represent 75% of total energy use? This is the major challenge we face in achieving net zero emissions by 2050 as well as a 50% emissions reduction by 2030.
At our chapter meeting we heard from Bob Zogg, a founder of the HeatSmart Alliance and Joel Boucher, HVAC design engineer for Boucher Energy Systems to learn about real world solutions for “greening our homes” with heat pumps. We began with a presentation from Bob followed by a lively and informative panel discussion and Q&A. The slides for the presentation are here.
For more information, you can reach Bob Zogg at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the HeatSmart Alliance website at https://dev.heatsmartalliance.org/. Boucher Energy Systems website is https://boucherenergy.com/ or call 508-473-6648 (note: Boucher Energy Systems does not serve Boston and some surrounding communities).
Roger Luckmann brought us up to date with unfolding state climate legislation with a focus on the Senate climate bill introduced last week – An Act Driving Climate Policy Forward (S.2819)
The video of the “green heating” presentation and panel discussion along with the legislative update 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 email@example.com.
ECA Mass chapter meeting – 3/8/22 – Representative Roy, House Chair Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy Committee (TUE). Offshore wind legislation and the outlook for climate legislation.
Representative Roy provided us with an overview of the offshore wind bill (H.4524) passed by the house last week. Massachusetts has the largest offshore wind potential of any state in the country which will be key to making the state more energy independent. We also heard about the outlook for other initiatives this session including support for electric vehicles and building retrofits to all-electric heating.
Following the presentation, Rep. Roy answered several questions on a range of topics which provided additional clarity on the outlook for climate legislation this session and moving forward.
The video of Rep. Roy’s meeting at our ECA Mass chapter meeting is here.
ECA Mass chapter meeting – 2/8/22 – Senator Barrett, State Climate Legislation, Elders for Sound Democracy, & Climate Action Now app
More than 80 people joined us on Zoom for our February chapter meeting for two hours of up-to-the-minute climate news and action. If you missed this information-packed meeting or want to see it again, you can watch the video, with all the slides, announcements and Q&A, here.
We were excited to welcome Senator Mike Barrett, lead author of the state’s landmark climate “roadmap” law and the Senate chair of the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities & Energy. He shared details about a brand-new (and controversial) building code proposal from the Baker administration and gave us his perspectives on what to expect in coming weeks as climate bills make their way through the House and Senate. Roger Luckmann of our ECA Mass Legislative Team followed with a clear (and entertaining!) slide show and summary (“MA Legislative Sausage Making: What’s Next?”) about the status of our priority bills and strategy. Our Paul Dryfoos, with several other activists from Elders for Sound Democracy, presented “Working for Voting Rights Where It Matters: Don’t Sit This One Out!,” explaining many ways to make a difference in key states. And we introduced the great new Climate Action Now app, which makes it easy to reach out to legislators on your cell phone
Deep Dialogue – 1/24/22 – Fresh Water and Climate Change
Did you know that only 2.5% of water on Earth is fresh water? And only a small portion of that fresh water is available, at the surface in lakes and rivers, and in groundwater, to sustain human, plant and animal life. Floods, drought and extreme weather are much in the news, as climate change exacerbates our water problems.
At our January conversation series, Betty Krikorian of the ECA Mass Research Team took us on a deep dive into Fresh Water and Climate Change, with a fascinating presentation that helped us understand the increasing threats to our precious fresh water resources. She explored water management and its potential for climate change mitigation, highlighting the water challenges in three very different geographical regions of the United States. Watch the presentation video, with the Q&A and lively discussion here, and access the presentation slides here.
ECA Mass chapter meeting – 1/11/22 – Senator Eldridge and Legislative Advocacy
Our January chapter meeting kicked off the new year with a focus on state legislative advocacy. First we heard from our special guest, Massachusetts Senator Jamie Eldridge, a longtime climate champion, who offered his perspectives on pending climate bills and what to expect in the weeks ahead from legislative committees and the administration. Now is a key time for advocacy, he said! Watch Sen. Eldridge’s informative presentation and the wide-ranging Q&A in the first 25 minutes of the video below. Next Roger Luckmann of our Legislative Team explained more about the legislative timeline and ECA Mass plans for action. Then Roger guided us in an “actionar” – sending emails via Action Network to our state reps and senators in support of our six top priority climate bills about wind energy, electrifying transportation and buildings, forest protection, and environmental justice. See details about all six bills here.
Deep Dialogue – 12/20/21 – The Role of MA Public Forests in Addressing the Climate Emergency
Massachusetts has 1 million acres of public forests, which play a critical role in removing and storing carbon, and helping to achieve the net-zero climate goals of the Massachusetts Next Generation Roadmap Law. So why does the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) persist in commercial logging of our public forests, destroying thousands of acres and intentionally targeting the largest mature trees, while violating numerous laws and regulations? How would pending forest legislation (H.912 and H. 1002) change outdated laws and make DCR accountable to the public, protect our trees and wildlife, and address the climate crisis? What can you do to support passage of these important bills?
ECA Mass Legislative Team member and Forest Bill Manager, Glen Ayers, answered these questions and much more, analyzing the past 10 years of DCR logging in state parks and forests, and the changes we need to meet our climate goals. His eye-opening presentation is essential viewing for everyone who cares about forests and climate.
You can watch a video of Glen’s presentation, with all the Q&A and discussion, here. Glen’s presentation slides, with dozens of useful links to legislation and regulations, scientific research, and many other resources, are available here.
ECA Mass chapter meeting – 12/14/21 – Legislative Advocacy Training
Have you ever lobbied in person or on Zoom with your state legislator? Whether you’re an experienced activist or new to legislative advocacy, you’ll want to watch the video of our December chapter meeting, where we presented a how-to interactive training session for talking with your legislator. The highlight was a demo by members of our ECA Mass Leadership Team, who role-played constituents meeting with their legislator to advocate for one of our priority climate bills. After the demo, we practiced in breakout sessions, gaining skills and confidence.
You can access the meeting video here (the demo starts at 21 minutes into the meeting, and you can access the role-playing script here). Before the training, members reflected on what they found meaningful about the work of ECA Mass and inspiration for the work ahead. The ECA Mass Leadership Team also presented details about six priority bills we support for the 2021-2022 state legislative session, which support implementation of the landmark Next Generation Roadmap law.
Deep Dialogue – 11/30/21 – Net Zero and Carbon Dioxide Removal
The IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) determined we must keep global warming below 1.5 degrees Centigrade to avoid some of the worst impacts of climate change. To do this our CO2 emissions must be “net zero” by 2050.
Arnie Epstein of our Research Team discussed what net zero means and why the target is net zero and not simply zero emissions. Why net zero entails removing CO2 from the atmosphere and why this is needed regardless of how successful we are in reducing worldwide emissions. The amount of CO2 removal required is covered along with the approaches and outlook for achieving it. Finally, we discussed the moral hazard represented by CO2 removal and ways to avoid becoming over reliant and not acting with the urgency needed to reduce CO2 emissions.
The video of this deep dialogue, including a lively discussion, is below. The slides from the presentation are here.
Deep Dialogue – 10/25/25 – Natural Solutions: A Path to Mitigate both Climate Change and Biodiversity Loss
It has become clear that climate change and biodiversity loss present equal threats to human existence and a habitable planet. These interrelated crises need to be acted on simultaneously to avoid worsening them both.
Amy Meltzer of our Research Team gives an introduction to the biodiversity crisis, and discusses the crucial role of land based ecosystems in both carbon sequestration and biodiversity support. She shows how actions informed by an understanding of ecological relationships can improve carbon sequestration and increase climate resilience, while lessening the threat of species extinction. She discusses actions that can be taken through policy at all levels of government, and by individuals and community groups. You will find resource slides at the end of the slide show. The slides from the presentation are here.
ECA Mass chapter meeting – 10/12/21 – Federal Infrastructure and Reconciliation Bills, and Offshore Wind in New England and Massachusetts
Another lively and informative chapter meeting! This month we were privileged to welcome four special guests who brought us the inside scoop on some of the most important climate initiatives pending in Washington and New England.
First, on the national scene, we heard from Anna Lenhart, Senior Legislative Assistant to U.S. Rep. Lori Trahan, and from two of U.S. Sen. Edward J. Markey’s aides – Katherine Morfill, Staff Assistant, and Nolan O’Brien, Regional Director. They shared the latest news about the federal Infrastructure bill and Reconciliation package, and answered our questions about key climate priorities, strategy for getting these bills passed, and how we can focus our advocacy.
Our meeting’s second hour featured an inspiring presentation by Susannah Hatch, Regional Lead for the New England Offshore Wind coalition, and Clean Energy Director at the Environmental League of Massachusetts. Susanna explained how offshore wind is “the single biggest lever we can pull to meet New England’s climate goals.” She filled us in on the coalition’s work (which ECA Mass supports as one 95 regional coalition partners), and she updated us on the status of the Massachusetts offshore wind bill that’s one of our priorities, H.3302/S.2158.
Deep Dialogue – 9/27/21 – Hydrogen and the Clean Energy Transition
We’ve all heard of hydrogen, but did you know there’s green hydrogen (and blue, turquoise, and grey hydrogen)? Did you know that hydrogen may be one of the energy sources to help address the climate crisis and get us to net-zero carbon emissions? Our September ECA Mass Deep Dialogue conversation series focused on the potential role of hydrogen in the clean energy transformation.
We heard from hydrogen expert Brad Bradshaw, president of the Hydrogen Energy Center, a non-profit organization that conducts research and provides educational forums on the application of hydrogen. He explained how the various types of hydrogen are produced, stored, and transported, and emerging applications for renewable hydrogen – and the key role it can play in decarbonizing our economy, particularly in “difficult to electrify” sectors. Brad brought clarity to a complicated and controversial subject, and graciously stayed on for an extended Q&A session after his presentation. If you missed this interesting Deep Dialogue, or want to watch the video again, you can access the recording here. The slides from the presentation are here.
ECA Mass chapter meeting – 9/14/21 – The federal Clean Energy Performance Program and state legislation for decarbonizing the building sector
You’ve probably seen the acronyms RPS, CES, and CEPP, but you’re not alone if you’ve been confused about what they mean and why they’re so important in tackling climate change. Arnie Epstein and Roger Luckmann of our Research and Legislative Teams answered our questions and clarified what climate activists need to know about the state Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) and Clean Energy Standard (CES), and how those compare with the Clean Energy Performance Program (CEPP) in the $3.5 trillion federal Reconciliation Bill now in Congress.
After their informative talk, we heard from Leah Robins, Senior Government Affairs Specialist at the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC). Her engaging presentation focused on a state bill we support, H.3350/S.2202, An Act Relative to building energy and decarbonization filed by Massachusetts Rep. Joan Meschino and Sen. Jason Lewis. The bill provides a plan for how the state can address greenhouse gas emissions from new construction and existing buildings, empower municipal leadership, and ensure access for overburdened communities. Leah also told us about the wide-ranging climate initiatives of MAPC.
As usual, we learned a lot at the September chapter meeting! Watch the recording of the meeting with all the presentations, discussion and announcements here.
ECA Mass chapter meeting – 8/10/21 – ECA Mass Policy on Climate Solutions
At our August 10 meeting, our Research and Legislative Teams shared a draft policy statement about the climate solutions ECA Mass supports, and why we sometimes differ from the positions taken by friends and allies in the climate movement.
ECA Mass believes that we should be open to all potentially effective technological, socio-economic, and nature-based means of combating climate change. But we disagree with some other environmental organizations, which contend that certain approaches, such as carbon capture and sequestration, carbon fees, and advanced nuclear power, are “false” solutions that should be taken off the table.
We divided up into small break-out groups on Zoom to consider the ECA Mass draft policy statement, and then we all came back to the full meeting group for a lively facilitated discussion about our feedback and questions.
ECA Mass chapter meeting – 7/13/21 – Actions to Protect Democracy and Update on Bills in Congress
At our July 13 chapter meeting, Paul Dryfoos of our ECA Mass Leadership Team and his colleague Jan Singer updated us about the Elders for Sound Democracy (ESD) campaign. (ECA Mass is partnering with ESD, which is a project of our parent organization, Elders Action Network.) Watch the video of their presentation, explaining the threats to our democracy and many specific actions we can take NOW to protect our freedom to vote. See the presentation slides here, and read the ESD Action Agenda and ESD Why Now?
We also heard from Michael Sales of ECA Mass, who has been following federal climate action, about the bipartisan infrastructure bill soon to come before Congress and the proposed budget reconciliation package that will likely include a lot of climate funding. He helped us make sense of the complicating political maneuvering on climate in Washington! Watch his presentation on the YouTube video. The slides from the presentation are here.
Deep Dialogue – 6/28/21 – Nuclear Energy
In environmental discussions Nuclear Energy is often as welcome as a skunk at a picnic. Do we really need it? Isn’t solar, wind, and storage enough? What about safety in a world full of malfeasance and incompetence? Don’t waste products lasting millions of years make it a nonstarter? Are the next-generation reactors an improvement? Paul Reisberg of our Research Team took us on a deep dive into Nuclear Energy and its future.
Paul dives into this important and controversial topic along with questions and perspectives from the Deep Dialogue participants. The slides from the presentation are here.
ECA Mass chapter meeting – 6/8/21 – Senator Barrett guest speaker
At our June 8th chapter meeting, we were honored to host state Senator Michael Barrett. Senator Barrett is a longtime climate champion, the lead author in the Senate of the landmark climate “roadmap” bill, and the Senate chair of TUE (Telecommunications, Utilities, and Energy joint committee) which is responsible for most state climate legislation.
Senator Barrett shared his thoughts about the climate bill and the way forward. He presents this issues head on and directly addresses difficult issues during the Q&A period.
Deep Dialogue – 5/24/21 – Forest Protection
Our May 24 Deep Dialogue featured a presentation and Q&A with guests Michael Kellett of RESTORE The North Woods and Janet Sinclair of Concerned Citizens of Franklin County, co-authors of two complementary forest bills we support, H.912 (An Act Relative to Forest Protection) and H.1002 (An Act Relative to Increased Protection of Wildlife Management Areas).That legislation would designate most public lands as parks and reserves that are off-limits to commercial logging and other resource development, protecting almost 9% of the state’s land base.
Deep Dialogue – 4/26/21 – Federal Climate Policy
Michael Sales, one of the founding members of ECA Mass, facilitated a Deep Dialogue discussion on April 26, giving us an overview of national climate initiatives and the people in Washington DC who are moving these proposals forward. Guest Anna Lenhart, Senior Legislative Assistant to US Rep. Lori Trahan (Mass 3rd Congressional District), shared her perspectives. (Michael’s introductory remarks, and the discussion with Anna Lenhart, were not recorded.) But you can watch the video of Michael’s illustrated presentation, and the lively Q&A that followed.
ECA Mass Chapter Meeting – 4/13/21 – Representative Joan Meschino and Legislative Priorities
“We’ve got the Roadmap – Now what’s the Road Forward?” was the topic for our April chapter meeting. We began with a round of applause and thanks for our special guest, Rep. Joan Meschino, who sponsored the original Roadmap bill in the Massachusetts House and with whom we had worked long and hard since 2018 to get the landmark Next-Generation Roadmap for Massachusetts Climate Policy passed and finally signed into law. She praised ECA Mass for our teamwork and advocacy! Following a discussion with Rep. Meschino, the ECA Mass Legislative Team explained more about next steps to implement the climate law, and legislative priorities for the new 2021-2022 session.
ECA Mass Chapter Meeting – 2/9/21 – Video of Poet Amanda Gorman, Speakers from Other ECA Chapters, and Legislative Updates
Our February 9 chapter meeting led with an inspiring 2018 video of poet Amanda Gorman presenting her poem “Earthrise.” Then the meeting featured three guests from other ECA chapters around the country telling us about the climate work they and their members have been doing, followed by a Massachusetts legislative update.
Five Part Series – Getting to Net Negative – A Massachusetts Approach
In support of our mission to combat climate change, we presented an educational series aimed at Massachusetts climate activists who want to understand and participate in the state’s planning to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
- Part 1 – Getting to and beyond Net Zero – a Massachusetts approach. This video covers.
- Why we must go beyond net zero to “net negative” emissions.
- Progress the state has made to date in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
- Core principles and values moving forward.
The slides for Part 1 are here.
- Part 2 – Getting Rid of Fossil Fuels in Transportation and Buildings. This video covers.
- The primary strategy – electrification with clean electricity.
- Transportation electrification – approaches, challenges, alternatives.
- Building electrification – approaches, challenges, alternatives.
- Impact on demand for electricity
The slides for Part 2 are here.
- Part 3 – Achieving 100% Clean Electricity in Massachusetts. This video covers.
- The key requirements for electricity
- A close look at wind and solar – the variable renewables.
- Approaches to address variability.
The slides for Part 3 are here.
- Part 4 – A Decade of Change. This video covers.
- The administration’s 2050 Roadmap
- The administration’s draft 2030 CECP (Clean Energy and Climate Plan).
- Climate Legislation – Next-Generation Roadmap for Massachusetts Climate Policy (S.2995).
The slides for Part 4 are here.