Today CWR takes you to a conference at the intersection between climate change and transportation held last week at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. There, climate scientists, engineers, government officials and activists gathered for a “Climate Change Think Tank” to brainstorm solutions to the problem of transport accounting for some 30 percent of carbon emissions. CWR co-hosts Francesca Rheannon and Bill Baue spoke with Representative John Olver, chair of the House Appropriations Sub-committee on Transportation; Paul Brubaker, head of the US Department of Transportation Research and Innovation Technology Administration; Michael Replogle of Environmental Defense Fund; and Jeff Brown of RideBuzz.org, a regional ride-sharing initiative.
CWR co-host Bill Baue speaks Michael Conroy, author of Branded! How the “Certification Revolution” is Transforming Global Corporations. Conroy discusses how activist campaigning for improved corporate social and environmental practices has gotten companies to respond. The two sides moved from antagonism to tense collaboration in the creation of certification schemes that solved activist concerns while preserving–and often boosting–companies’ profitability. Conroy brings a hands-on view to the story as a program officer at the Ford Foundation and Rockefeller Brothers Fund, where he helped fund the activists NGOs as well as the resulting certification processes. He also serves as chair of TransFair, the Fair Trade certifying body in the US, as well as serving on the board of Forest Stewardship Council, which certifies lumber and paper practices.
Michael Ash of the Political Economy Research Institute (PERI) at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, provides this week’s commentary on the Toxic 100 list of the top corporate polluters that PERI produces.
The second in a two-part conversation with Chris Martenson of the Martenson Report, who recently spoke about the convergence of economic, environmental, and energy crises at the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association (NESEA) Annual Conference. Martenson has a doctorate in neurotoxicology from Duke, an MBA in finance from Cornell, and is a former vice president at Pfizer. In the early 2000s, Martenson quit his high-status position when he recognized profound instabilities in our economic, environmental, and social structures. The interview culminates with Martenson mapping out the idea of re-imagining and transforming the stories we tell ourselves as a culture about growth, surplus, and prosperity.
We also hear commentary from Jennifer Taub of the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst on how mutual fund conflicts of interest intersect with genocide-free investing.