Tristan hails from the Piedmont region of Virginia where his parents raise lamb, eggs, produce, and poultry. He graduated from Oberlin College in 2007 with a B.A. in English and Sociology; he graduated from Columbia's M.A. Climate and Society program in 2010. His interests range from local food systems to issues space, identity, environmental justice, development and modernity, art and design, and indigenous political critique. Outside of academia and the EI, Tristan works with the Lower East Side Ecology Center, has organized a low-income CSA in the LES, and has previously been involved in labor organizing and community gardening/market projects. In his spare time, Tristan enjoys riding and repairing bicycles, reading, playing folk instruments, local and artisanal foods, brewing beer and pickling, imagining, and voraciously consuming any new musical sound.
Last week: the Obama administration sides with utilities in a case about climate change, a climate change education center is set to be opened in New Orleans, New England trees are under attack by an invasive caterpillar, and under political pressure BP withdraws its application permits for drilling off of the coast of Greenland.
(A link to an MP3 audio recording of this event is located towards the middle of the article.) Last spring, the Columbia Climate Center and the M.A. in Climate and Society program co-hosted a discussion panel on climate change and ethics. Ethics is a field of philosophy that can help to resolve contradictory interests, and… read more
Last week: the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is suing the EPA, massive coral bleaching is recorded off the coast of Indonesia, the range of blue mussels is being limited by rising sea surface temperatures in the Atlantic, and scientists explore the possibility that the Pakistan floods are related to climate change.
As climate change threatens an increasing frequency of heat waves like the ones New York City has been experiencing, we city-dwellers turn to our air conditioners and window fans to keep cool. It’s an act of adaptation: we adapt to the heat by cooling off our homes – but it counters mitigation, as increased electricity… read more
Last Week: Todd Stern says the US bargaining position for Cancun remains unchanged, climate change prolongs interior Alaska growing seasons, China reports improved energy efficiency this quarter, diplomats ponder temporarily extending the Kyoto Protocol, and the biggest ice island for 48 years breaks off of a Greenland Glacier.
In an effort to save fuel, money, and reduce carbon emissions, modern cargo ships are reducing their speeds from near 25 knots to as low as 12 or 13 knots, or about 14 mph. Super-slow steaming, as the practice is known, reduces the speed of cargo boats to less than that of 19th-century clipper ships. Sailing at these speeds can reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and lower fuel consumption, by up to 30%. This is significant, as cargo ships typically burn immense volumes of low-grade diesel fuel. As the Guardian notes, the Emma Maersk, one of the world’s largest shipping vessels, burned roughly as much carbon as the 30 lowest-emitting countries in the world. Environmentalist groups have called to make this practice standard regulation, arguing that when the economy rebounds from the recession there is no guarantee super-slow steaming won’t be disbanded.
Solar-Powered Light Promises Safe, Kerosene-free Lighting for Millions, The Denver Post A Denver-based inventor has taken an idea for a solar-powered light bulb and scaled up to a model designed to make electric light available for millions of people around the world, whose main lighting is produced by kerosene lamp. The bulb is powered by… read more
Solar-Powered Plane Completes 26-hour Journey, CBC News An experimental Swiss aircraft christened the Solar Impulse completed the world’s first 26-hour solar flight on July 8. The 3,500-pound plane has 206-foot wings covered in 12,000 solar cells, and batteries used to store energy for nighttime flight. The project has been hailed as a great success –… read more
If You Can’t Stand the Heat, New Research Suggests Moving Out of the City, The New York Times While the urban heat island effect – the recorded phenomenon of urban areas retaining more heat than rural ones – is well-known, new research from the UK suggests that urban areas will be more sensitive to climate… read more
State of VA Attorney General continues climate science probe, The Charlottesville Daily Progress Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli is fighting UVa’s request to end the fraud case issued against climate scientist Michael Mann. Mann, currently teaching at Penn State University, one of the scientists involved in the “climategate” controversy that erupted last winter, was an… read more