Climate Change News from New York

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The big news coming out of the United Nations Climate Summit in N.Y. City –  following the largest climate change march in history is…

….what WILL NOT happen.

 

This is from a news story from the Associated Press – flash!

  • The United States WILL NOT join 73 other countries to support a price on carbon.
  • Brazil WILL NOT sign a pledge to halt deforestation by 2030.
  • China WILL NOT agree to President Obama’s declaration that “nobody gets a pass” and insists that developing nations be treated differently

The rhetoric coming out of the historic meeting of nations following massive rallies by climate supporters in NY and around the world was indeed inspiring.

“Today we must set the world on a new course” according to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon.

President Obama proclaimed “Today I call on all countries to join us, not next year or the year after that, but right now.  Because no nation can meet this global threat alone.Continue reading

Why Agricultural Systems Thinking?

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I’m gearing up to teach my favorite class again this fall at UMass, Agricultural Systems Thinking, in which we learn how to think about the many problems created by modern industrial agriculture. This post is written for the 25 students who will join me in what I consider to be an exciting exploration into a toolbox for thinkers that might just “save the world.”

Let me explain….

First, the class is called “agricultural” systems thinking simply because I get paid to think about food and farming stuff by the UMass Stockbridge School of Agriculture.  The systems thinking tools I teach can be used to better understand any complex system.  Although it is critical to advancing our sustainability agenda, classes in systems thinking are missing from most university programs today.  As I wrote in “Learn to Think Like a Continue reading

A question of faith – struggling with being a Catholic academic

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With a deep breath and a prayer, I wade into a topic I have avoided writing about (or even talking about).  Although I’ve written more than 100 blogs for World.edu over the past 3 years, I’ve rarely shared any thoughts on spirituality and never on religion.

So, why would anyone in their right mind want to write about something as controversial as their own particular form of religion – especially one as unpopular among academics as the Roman Catholic Church?

Why speak out now?

I’ve struggled with my own Catholic identity for more than 50 years, but over the past 15 Continue reading