Showing posts from November, 2019

Brattle Film Foundation

I don’t make it to the Brattle Theatre as often as I used to, but it’s still dear to my heart and a true gem within the community. Today, I made my annual donation to the Brattle, so it can continue its learned yet countercultural arthouse film programming.

Buy Nothing Somerville updates

Today, I posted a new announcement to the Buy Nothing Somerville community. It was long overdue. I can see a drift in the posts toward a tone of where you can get free stuff, or recycling options, or donations to organizations. While we appreciate the spirit of those posts, Buy Nothing is about gifting among people, so those kinds of posts are forbidden. I think we’ll need to continue to do more care and feeding of the community to keep things in line.

Save Venice

Two weeks ago, Venice, Italy, experienced its worst tidal flooding in decades. And a new flood alert was just issued. Today, I donated to Save Venice and its Immediate Response Fund , which will disperse funds to save the cultural and artistic treasures in Venice.

Climate Reality Boston Metro website

Today, I spend some time building a website for the Climate Reality Project Boston Metro chapter. It was a long time coming. Still some details to be worked out, but it’s just about together.

Letter to the editor

Today, I wrote a letter to the editor of the Patriot Ledger, pointing out the hypocrisy of the Massachusetts government in addressing climate change.

Fighting Type 1 Diabetes

A friend’s daughter was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes when she was three years old. Today, I donated to a fundraiser that she launched , at just seven years old, for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) .

Pass the Climate Displaced Persons Act

Today, I added my name to a petition asking Congress to pass the Climate Displaced Persons Act, a bill that would allow climate refugees to safely enter the United States and re-settle here.

Tokyo Climate Leader

Today, I metup with a Climate Reality Project leader from Tokyo who was visiting Boston. She was just trained in Tokyo and wanted to meet some people who have been engaged on climate in their local communities.

Climate Reality follow-up

Having given two presentations yesterday, today, I had to follow-up with the organizations that I presented to, and also coordinate some activities with the Boston Metro chapter of the Climate Reality Project.

24 Hours of Reality: Truth in Action

Today, I gave two presentations on climate. The first was to Synapse Energy Economics and Climable, two great organizations at the forefront of climate mobilization and renewable energy consulting. The second was to Nexamp, a builder and operator of community solar farms. In total, I spoke to about 100 people, all of whom are engaged in the energy transition professionally. The talks went well and I hope I energized a few folks.

24 Hours of Reality: Truth in Action with Al Gore

Today, I attended a kickoff call, led by Al Gore, to launch 24 Hours of Reality: Truth in Action. This Climate Reality Project initiative will see 1,200 climate reality leaders giving 1750 presentations in a 24 hour period. It’s being billed as the largest climate conversation in history. I’ll be giving two presentations of my own tomorrow.

Somerville Land Use Committee meeting

Today, I attended a Somerville City Council Land Use Committee meeting, during which the City’s new zoning overhaul was discussed. In particular, the committee covered the sustainability-related measures, which appear to be trending in a good direction.

Climate Coalition of Somerville meeting

Today, I attended our monthly meeting for the Climate Coalition of Somerville. It was a small meeting this month, just five of us, plus one by voice. But we got a lot accomplished.

Art for All 2

Today, I attended a fundraiser run by Boston for All , an organization that brings the community together for initiatives related to inclusion. This fundraiser was for the Boston Immigration Justice Accompaniment Network (BIJAN) .

New Climate Reality presentation

Today, I responded to a new request for a presentation from a trained Climate Reality Project leader. This will be for next Thursday, so pretty short notice, but I it shouldn’t be a problem.

Agenda for next week

The Climate Coalition of Somerville’s monthly meeting is next Monday. We generally rotate roles, but our agenda-maker let us know that he won’t be able to make it, unfortunately. Today, I drafted an agenda for the meeting and circulated it.

Better Future Project

Today, I sat down for a coffee with the Executive Director of the Better Future Project , which runs 350Mass and CREW, among other initiatives.

Commission on Energy Use and Climate Change

Today, I attended the City of Somerville’s Commission on Energy Use and Climate Change. It was my first meeting since being sworn on officially as a commissioner. We set to work trying to define our objectives for 2020.

Climate Reality Boston November meeting

Today, I helped to run the Climate Reality Project Boston chapter’s November meeting. We had quick media training, which was really helpful, and then turned to some strategic planning for 2020.

East Somerville fire

There was a bizarre fire in Somerville on October 28. A car parked in a driveway between two houses blew up spontaneously, spreading flames to neighboring buildings. Three students from the East Somerville Community School lost their homes. Today, I donated to a GoFundMe for the family of those children.

Somerville Community Greening Celebration

Today, I attended a joint fundraiser for the Somerville Garden Club and the Somerville Growing Center, two great community-based organizations that strengthen our connections with the environment. And it was held at the Somerville Museum, another great community institution.

Letter to the Providence Journal

Today, I wrote a letter to the editor of the Providence Journal , lauding Cranston’s planning efforts to democratize its power. I was responding to this article .

Realtors and sustainable buildings

You might have noticed that I’ve been doing a lot of advocacy recently around sustainable buildings. Today, I continued that track by meeting with several realtors to better understand what’s being heard in the market.

Gas infrastructure ban

Today, I attended a meeting at City Hall with a City Councilor, several climate advocates and representatives from the City to talk about the potential for a natural gas infrastructure ban in new construction. It’s a follow-up to a meeting we held a month ago. This time we brought in some legal and architectural design advice to chime in.

A state bill, a partnership, and a reception

Today, I attended a quick call to keep up to date on the Least Developed Countries Fund bill I’ve been advocating for at the State House. Today, I also attended a meeting that pulled together some partners for a potential transportation-related partnership in Somerville. Today, I also attended a reception for the Environmental Defense Fund.

Election day, a state hearing and a local meeting

Today, I voted in Somerville’s municipal elections. Today, I also attended a hearing before the state’s Board of Building Standards and Regulations. Today, in addition, I went to a meeting with several Somerville climate advocates, the City Council president, and the City’s Sustainability Director and Senior Planner, to discuss the City’s zoning overhaul.

Travel offsets

I just returned from a ten-day trip involving flights from Boston to Las Vegas (via Los Angeles) and a whole lot of driving, from Vegas to the Grand Canyon to Zion National Park to the Hoover Dam and back to Vegas. That’s about 770 miles of driving. Still, the airplane travel was an order of magnitude worse in terms of carbon emissions. Today, I bought carbon offsets to reduce the impact of this trip.

Zion National Park Forever Project

I just visited Zion National Park in southern Utah. And it is an absolutely stunning vista. It’s really hard to explain how beautiful that part of the world is. It’s also under a lot of pressure from the volume of visitors who come through every year. Today, I donated to the Zion National Park Forever Project , the nonprofit partner of the National Parks Service in Zion. Their mission is to protect the park, forever. It’ll be worth it.

Public transportation in Massachusetts

Today, I signed another petition. This time, it’s for 350 Massachusetts, which is pushing the importance of clean, affordable public transportation across the state. That means major investments in infrastructure will be required in the coming years, including investments in electric buses. Let’s build the political will to make those investments.

Somerville Dreamers Scholarship

Today, I made a donation to the Somerville Dreams Scholarship, managed by the MIRA Coalition . What’s that, you ask? Here’s how they describe it: Somerville High School draws talented students from all over the world, but when they graduate, many face a huge obstacle: If they’re undocumented, have a temporary status, or are in the process of getting papers, they don’t qualify for federal financial aid. Most also won’t qualify for in-state tuition at Massachusetts public colleges. Invest today in students who’ve already been admitted to college, and help bring their dreams closer to reality!