18 Items

A destroyed church in Samar, Philippines, in the months following Typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan.

Benjamin Franta


Climate Disasters in the Philippines

| November 2016

The impacts of climate change are beginning to be felt around the world.  Case studies that identify the immediate causes of disasters as well as their root drivers provide the empirical basis for strategies to increase resilience to climate impacts.  Here we present a case study of the city of Cagayan de Oro, Mindanao in the Philippines and its experience with Tropical Storm Sendong (international name Washi) in 2011.  We use local key informant interviews from 2014 and secondary sources to identify both the local, immediate causes as well as the more widespread root drivers of the disaster.  We focus on two root drivers in particular: informal settlements in hazardous areas and political dynamics based on patronage, which can present risks both pre- and post-disaster.  Addressing these root drivers will be important for increasing climate resilience in the Philippines and other countries.

Analysis & Opinions - Moyers & company

Why I Got Arrested For Earth Day

| April 21, 2016

"When Harvard lauds the agreement in Paris while investing in the activities that undermine it, the agreement is betrayed; the youth of the world are betrayed; the old who care for posterity are betrayed. And the cities of Boston and Cambridge, home to Harvard, its students and employees, which may be destroyed by rising seas, are betrayed as well. The world should know of this, and Harvard’s administrators should know that students will not be deterred from calling this betrayal by its proper name, protesting it even when doing so means arrest."

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Analysis & Opinions - Boston Review

Get Carbon Off Campus

| March 3, 2016

"The immediate purpose of divestment is to force hard, accountable moral analyses to take place and to put an end to equivocation and dissembling on climate change by demanding action involving real money. Doing so helps to shift institutional and social norms and to democratize the climate debate."

Analysis & Opinions - Harvard Crimson

On Divestment, Adopt the Toronto Principle

| February 7, 2016

"In practice, adopting the Toronto Principle would likely mean moving investments away from coal companies and coal-fired power plants, companies seeking non-conventional or aggressive fossil fuel development (such as oil from the Arctic or tar sands), and possibly also companies that distort public policies or deceive the public on climate."

Flooding from Typhoon Ondoy (Ketsana), Philippines, September 27, 2009.

Creative Commons

Analysis & Opinions - Philippine Daily Inquirer

PH and Climate Change: Some Areas for Progress

| October 24, 2015

The authors found three important areas for Philippine cities to work on to help build their resilience to climate-related disasters: managing upstream watersheds to prevent floods; improving land rights, livelihoods and relocation programs for informal settlers; and tackling issues of political turfing and the padrino system in disaster planning and response.

Students at Tufts University "marched forth on March 4th" coinciding with dozens of student-led rallies around the United States. The marches had the objective of pressuring universities to reduce and eventually eliminate investments in fossil-fuel relate

Creative Commons

Analysis & Opinions - The Huffington Post

To Stop Climate Change, We Must Grow Movements of Moral Force

| September 15, 2015

"International negotiations have produced little of tangible value. Half of the American government denies climate change's existence. And many of our great institutions of learning (such as my alma mater, Harvard) still insist that it's their God-given right to profit from the most damaging of fossil fuels."

Smokestacks at the Cumberland Power Plant, a coal-powered Tennessee Valley Authority power plant in Cumberland City, Tennessee, 21 February 2004.

Creative Commons

Analysis & Opinions - Harvard Crimson

Three Years Later, Harvard Still Must Divest

| September 10, 2015

"Today, we understand the dangerous effects of fossil fuel development. Yet institutional norms still say that to invest in and profit from such development—while making others deal with the consequences—is a completely acceptable behavior. That norm has to change, and this is precisely how Harvard can make a difference with divestment."