Showing posts from October, 2020

Boston Building Resources Center

A few years ago, I donated some excess building materials to the Boston Building Resources (BBR) and its Reuse Center, which makes reused building materials available to low-income homeowners who are renovating their properties. BBR is building a new Reuse Center, with ambitions to make it a net zero building. Today, I made a donation to the Next Gen Reuse Center campaign .

Interest in sustainability from Somervillens

Today, I had a chat with a fellow Somerville resident who is interested in getting more involved with sustainability and possibly the Climate Coalition of Somerville. Actually, it was the second conversation I’ve had this week with someone who has been activated and motivated to take action.

Mystic River Watershed Association

I’ve been volunteering for the Mystic River Watershed Association for a few years now, counting herring coming up the fish ladder at the Mystics Lakes dam. Today, I made a donation to MyRWA. Its annual meeting was today, which I missed. The least I could do was make a donation.

How to Beat an Election-Related Coup

We have an election next week and signs point toward…chaos. With record levels of mail-in voting, it’s possible or even likely that we won’t know the results of the election next Tuesday. And the president has hinted that we might not go quietly should the election go against him. Today, I attended a webinar called, “How to Beat an Election-Related Coup,” held by Choose Democracy . Interesting learning on the difference between a typical protest movement and an anti-coup protest. I also signed the Choose Democracy pledge: We will vote. We will refuse to accept election results until all the votes are counted. We will nonviolently take to the streets if a coup is attempted. If we need to, we will shut down this country to protect the integrity of the democratic process.

CRWA Governance Committee

Today, I attended a meeting for the Charles River Watershed Association Governance Committee.

CNote account

Two years ago, I invested some savings in CNote , an intermediary that channels investment to community development financial institutions (CDFIs). I increasingly believe that such place-based investments can have a real impact. Today, I channeled more savings into my CNote account.

Climate Coalition of Somerville connections

Today, I caught up on a number of Climate Coalition of Somerville tasks, including reaching out to several folks who would like to get involved and thinking through how they might get involved. I also caught up on some Commission on Energy Use and Climate Change work.

Community Leadership Academy

Today, I purchased some holiday decorations to benefit the Community Leadership Academy, in Florida, where my niece goes to school. The funds will be used for new playground equipment.

Quick catch-ups on climate

Today, I had two quick conversations on climate initiatives. First, with an Oxfam America contact on our Least Developed Countries Fund, and second, with a Sustainable Arlington contact on a research initiative that she’s working on.

Climate webinars and CRWA strategic planning

Today, I joined a call with the Charles River Watershed Association board to discuss strategic planning. Today, I also joined two webinars about buildings sector. First, was a Greater Boston Association of Realtors roundtable that covered a number of different new green loan options that are now available, and the increasing push toward marketing and valuing climate friendly home options. Second, was another meeting of the Rocky Mountain Institute Building Electrification Accelerator program.

Better Buildings call

Today, I joined an MCAN call as part of its Better Buildings program. The City of Boston presented on how its further extending its Building Energy Reporting and Disclosure program to push more building owners to retrofit their buildings.

Shovel Ready Steering Committee

Today, I joined a call with the Shovel Ready Steering Committee, as part of the Somerville Climate-Labor summit. Hoping to keep this initiative moving and come up with some parameters for shovel-ready projects to bring to the city.

Green economic stimulus, blue jobs

Today, I joined a webinar called Greening Economic Stimulus, held the Harvard Project on Climate Negotiations. Professor Joseph Aldy presented on the sustainability elements of the stimulus following the 2009 recession, and lessons learned for the Covid-19 crisis. Today, I also joined a webinar held by the Charles River Watershed Association on Green Jobs in Blue Fields, to learn about training programs in water treatment fields.

Green flip

Last year, I went to an “open walls” open house that a developer held, in partnership with a real estate agent, a green mortgage financer and a building energy rater. It was interesting to see how the developer was going about the “green flip,” as he called it. Today, I went to a real open house for the property, and got see the fruits of their labor and catch up with the realtor. Today, I also dropped off my ballot for the November 3 election at City Hall.


Today, I filled out my ballot for the election on November 3. I’ll be voting by mail, or actually dropping it off at City Hall when I can get down there.

Climate Xchange

Climate Xchange has a a few great programs, including the Climate Action Business Association and the State Climate Policy Network, which coordinates state efforts to set carbon pricing and other major climate legislation. Today, I supported Climate Xchange by buying a raffle ticket in its annual Carbon Raffle .

Charles River Watershed Association Gala

Today, I attended a gala for the Charles River Watershed Association. This was my first virtual gala, indeed, a virtual gala is a first for most people I’m guessing. And it came off really well, if perhaps too short. (Though the appetite for being on Zoom over an hour is limited.) The highlight was the keynote speaker, Dr. Atiya Martin .

CRWA gala silent auction

The Charles River Watershed Association gala is tomorrow evening. Today, I took some time to go through their silent auction items, bidding on a few, to help support the organization.

Jobs Linkage Public Forum

Today, I attended a public meeting of Somerville’s Job Creation and Retention Trust board. This is a relatively new body that invests developers’ linkage fees into job retention and retraining efforts across the city. Very interesting to hear how the board’s first year investment have gone and to provide some input on next year’s investment priorities.

Climate Coalition of Somerville

Today, I joined the Climate Coalition of Somerville for our monthly meeting. We’ve been meeting with our state legislators (and candidates) over the past five meetings and we were able to round that out with our state senator tonight.

24 Hours of Reality, second half

24 Hours of Reality started yesterday and ran through this afternoon. Today, I joined two more climate leaders giving their first Climate Reality presentations.

24 Hours of Reality

This year, the Climate Reality Project’s 24 Hours of Reality event was moved up to coincide with the TED’s Countdown . Today, I watched part of the Countdown event and then I helped out two first-time presenters give their Climate Reality presentations over Zoom. It’s always helpful to have a second person on the call to help out with the technology and I was glad to help.'s The People's Pitch

Today, I attended a pitch session for the participants in the most recent cohort of’s cooperative incubator program . Six really interesting companies and some opportunities for investors large and small.

Least Developed Countries fund

Today, I met with the coalition team for the Least Developed Countries Fund. We’re organizing for the next legislative session, which starts in January, so we’ll be off to a running start.

Somerville Commission on Energy Use and Climate Change

Today, I attended the monthly meeting of the Somerville Commission on Energy Use and Climate Change. We’re mobilizing to produce a brief annual report for the Mayor.

A Burning Question: Are Oil & Gas Companies Really Evolving?

Today, I attended a Boston Area Sustainability Group meeting with a panel that discussed whether oil and gas companies are changing their strategies because of climate change. European oil majors have made some recent announcements about carbon neutrality goals , though of course the US majors have not followed suit. And it turns out the European ambitions are not as impressive as they sound.

Climate Reality support and MCAN chapter leads

Today, I helped two Climate Reality leaders as they prepared for their 24 Hours of Reality presentations next weekend. I also joined an MCAN meeting for chapter leads so we could share more info.

Climate Reality support and chapter chairs

Today, I helped out a Climate Reality leader as he prepares for next weekends 24 Hours of Reality. Today, I also joined the chapter chairs call for Climate Reality chapter chairs.

Climate support group and catch-ups

Today, I joined my monthly climate support group, an incredibly valuable team to help keep us sane. Today, I also had catch-up calls with Climate Reality Project Boston leadership team member and a Climate Coalition of Somerville leader.

Climate Reality Boston leadership call

Today, I attended our regularly scheduled Climate Reality Leadership team call.

Poll worker training

Elections are run by community members, giving up their day to help keep the wheels of democracy spinning. It’s often retirees who work the polls. But this year, the pandemic has made it dangerous for older citizens to work on the frontline with the public. Today, I attended a training session for poll workers in Revere, where I’ll be volunteering. (Actually, it’s paid, but I won’t accept the money.) Revere was hard hit by the pandemic so it’d be best for older workers to stay home.