Showing posts from December, 2019

Project Ropa

Homelessness is pernicious and persistent, robbing people of their dignity. Today, I donated to one small program that is trying to address the problem in Los Angeles. Project Ropa deliver clothing and showers to people experiencing homelessness, provides employment opportunities for previously incarcerated individuals and people transitioning out of homelessness, and runs a recycling program for clothing.


Environment Defense Fund brings a unique combination of deep scientific understanding and pragmatic policy partnerships to the climate change fight. Today, I made a donation to EDF.

Planned Parenthood

Planned Parenthood lost its federal support this year. The organization is too important for its broad network providing primary care for women across the country, not to mention its support for reproductive rights. Today, I made a donation to Planned Parenthood.


I support public art because it has the ability to transform spaces as well as people. Today, I made a donation to Now+There , which is expanding its public art support in Boston, including through the accelerator it launched in 2018.

Environmental League of Massachusetts

Today, I made a donation to the Environmental League of Massachusetts, an advocacy organization that’s been operating since 1898. They’re small but mighty and punch way above their weight in legislative circles.

Fearless Girl

Two years ago, State Street installed an inspirational bronze statue: the Fearless Girl staring down the bronze bull on Wall Street . It was a rallying cry for gender equity in the financial services industry and State Street pledged to change its own practices to address gender equity. In a strange twist, State Street is now suing the sculptor who created the Fearless Girl, alleging that she breached her contract when she sold copies of her sculpture to clients in Australia and Norway. Today, I made a donation for the legal defense of Kristen Visbal , the sculptor.

No Compressor Weymouth

A utility is attempting to build a “compressor station” in Weymouth, just south of Boston, to expand the natural gas pipeline infrastructure in the region. The compressor will create air, noise and odor problems for Weymouth, Quincy and Braintree, and poses a serious health risk for the dense residential neighborhood. And “utility giants National Grid and Eversource have publicly stated ‘that they do not need the Weymouth compressor to fulfill customer needs, calling into question it is appropriate to still deem its construction necessary’,” according to a Boston Globe article last month. Still, the project got its federal approvals. The Governor won’t take a stand despite strong community resistance that has federal and state elected officials standing alongside. The community isn’t backing down, however, and residents have started a series of non-violent resistance actions. Today, I made a donation to the legal defense fund started for No Compressor Weymouth .

Climate Xchange

Climate Xchange has been working for the past few years on research, education and advocacy on carbon pricing. They’ve merged with Climate Action Business Association and driven state-level carbon pricing advocacy as well. Today, I bought a raffle ticket to support Climate Xchange.

Letter to the Boston Herald

Today, I wrote a letter to the Boston Herald . I was responding to an op-ed about unleashing the market to develop the renewable energy industry, but it unfortunately ignored the need to remove subsidies for the fossil fuel industry.

Ecosia part deux

Last year, I switched my default browser from Google to Ecosia , because I’m not 100% comfortable with everything Google represents. I’ve since switched from Chrome to Firefox. Today, I took another step toward weening myself from Google by installing the Ecosia extension on Firefox.

Shape Massachusetts' Clean Energy Future

One of the biggest challenges to transforming the state’s energy sector is the entrenched power of utilities. They even have a stranglehold over the state’s regulatory authority and ISO New England, the organization that makes the rules for buying and selling energy in New England. The state Attorney General is trying to change that. Today, I signed a petition created by the Attorney General’s office to tell ISO New England that we need market rules that promote affordable clean energy, healthy communities, and climate protection.

Green realtor interviews

I’ve spent a lot of time over the past year advocating for better buildings (i.e., more sustainable). More recently, I’ve begun to talk to more people in the real estate industry to try to uncover levers to push the market toward better buildings. Today, I joined a friend to interview another realtor, the chief sustainability officer of his real estate brokerage, about the state of the market.

Climate Reality and the En-ROADS simulation

Today, I locked down details for the January meeting of the Climate Reality Project Boston Metro chapter. We’ll be doing a workshop with the En-ROADS simulation , so we can play around with how different climate strategies contribute to achieving the Paris Climate Accord goals of limiting emissions to 1.5 degrees above pre-Industrial times.

Brattle Development Committee

Today, I attended Development Committee for the Brattle Film Foundation. I hadn’t been in a few months, so I’m glad I was able to attend. And it was a good meeting to attend because we were able to go over our plans for 2020.

Climate Reality Boston call

Today, I hosted a call for the Boston chapter of the Climate Reality Project. We didn’t have great attendance, but we had a great conversation.

Climate Coalition of Somerville meeting

Today, I attended our Climate Coalition of Somerville meeting. We took the time this month to reflect on what we’ve achieved this past year, but also to just enjoy one another’s company for the holidays.

Meeting prep

Our monthly meeting for the Climate Coalition of Somerville is tomorrow. I had a quick meeting last night to talk about our meeting agenda. Today, I synthesized those notes ahead of the meeting, so that we’d have somewhat of a plan.

It's a Wonderful Life

Today, I worked two shifts taking donations for the Brattle Film Foundation . It’s the holiday season so there multiple shows for It’s a Wonderful Life. I staffed a table between the 12 and 3pm shows, and between the 3pm and 6pm shows.

Somerville Museum and Historic Somerville

Today, I went to a joint holiday party for the Somerville Museum and Historic Somerville . And I renewed my Somerville Museum membership while I was at it.

Climate Ambassadors party

The City of Somerville started a Climate Ambassadors program earlier this year, bringing together 20 individuals to learn about climate impact and action together for a six-month period. Today, I attended the closing party for this cohort of Climate Ambassadors. Their projects were amazing, from a crochet timeline of temperatures in Boston from 1896 to 2018, to a spoken word presentation, to a market analysis of how Somervillen’s transport themselves around the city. Today, I also ran over from the Climate Ambassadors party to the City Council hearing. I witness history when the Council passed the zoning overhaul , just seven years in the making.

Cambridge hearing on a natural gas ban

Today, I attended a public hearing by the City of Cambridge City Council on their proposed ordinance to ban natural gas infrastructure within buildings. I was really only interested in the early part of the hearing, during which the City Solicitor provided feedback.

Zoning hearing

Today, I testified at the final (at least, presumably) hearing for Somerville’s zoning overhaul. There is a lot to like about the sustainability aspects of the zoning. Technically, it was before the City’s Planning Board and the City Council’s Land Use Committee. Big turnout for advocates, most of whom were thankful for the City’s thoughtful approach to engagement on zoning.

Zoning madness

It’s going to be a busy week, with Somerville’s seven-year long zoning overhaul coming to a head. A last-minute issue came up, specifically about the requirements for lab buildings. Today, I spent some time scrambling to find the right people to connect and meet with, in advance of the hearing tomorrow evening.

Loíza Fe: Futuro de Energía para Villa Cañona

Villa Cañona is a community in Puerto Rico which was devastated by Hurricanes Irma and María. It’s still recovering. Today, I made a donation to a project called “ Loíza FE: Futuro de Energia para Villa Cañona .” The project will provide solar panels, battery storage and water purification in Villa Cañona.

Climate Neutral

Climate Neutral is a new organization that hopes to make it easier for small and mid-size businesses to measure, reduce and offset their emissions. And if more consumers recognize their certification, it makes the process more valuable for companies. Today, I made offset my own emissions for a year, via Climate Neutral’s Kickstarter campaign .

Climate Strike

Today, I joined hundreds of strikers at the State House for the latest climate strike Boston. This youth-led rally and action had clear messages aimed directly at the state legislature — and more pointedly at Governor Baker — for the state’s inaction on climate. The youth are now leading the fight for #climateaction & #climatejustice . They have boundless energy (going since 10:30 in 34°F). And they're being force to grow up really fast. This is already a crime. Heed their voices! @MassGovernor @MassEEA @EEASecretary @SpeakerDeLeo #mapoli — Kannan Thiruvengadam (@KannanBoston) December 6, 2019

Somerville Community Corporation house party

Today, I went to a house party for donors to the Somerville Community Corporation (SCC). SCC is a community development corporation, focusing on affordable housing, displacement and jobs training. There are so many complementarities with climate policy that they invited me to come speak for climate issues and the city’s action plan.

Open Space and Environment Committee

Today, I attended the Somerville City Council’s Open Space and Environment Committee meeting. I didn’t have anything specific that I’m testifying on or tracking, but it was a jam-packed agenda with some interesting items. Three and a half hours, though.

The Wally Shop

Today, I supported the Wally Shop on Kickstarter. The founders have started a retail business to deliver bulk goods — think grains and pastas and sauces — directly to consumers. And it uses all reusable and returnable packaging. There’s a carbon footprint associated with delivery, of course, but reduced packaging is worth looking at.

Small climate actions

Today, I took some time for some climate-related follow-ups. I sent out an update email to the Climate Reality Project Boston metro chapter, in advance of our call in two weeks. And I also sent a reminder email to Somerville City Councilors about the IECC better buildings voting process they’ve committed to.

East Somerville Main Streets

I spent more time in East Somerville this year than in previous years, and East Somerville Main Streets had a lot to do with that. Today, I made a donation to East Somerville Main Streets.