On 14 January 2016 members of the Ecoscholars network attended a lecture called "Disruptive Oil Futures" by author, physicist and founder/director of the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI), Amory Lovins. Lovins is a world-renowned expert on energy transitions and is considered by many to be one of the key early thinkers behind Germany's Energiewende.
What can we expect to come from the much anticipated COP21 in Paris, convening in just a couple weeks time? While it will not be the panacea many hope for, do we have reason to be optimistic? Will it usher in a new era of truly global climate action?
Together with Dr. Bontoux Ecoscholars explored the challenges and options towards achieving a sustainable future through the innovative participatory approach called serious gaming.
On Saturday, June 6 Ecoscholars organized a field trip to Brodowin Farm, an organic and "biodynamic" farm located roughly an hour northeast of Berlin, for their annual Hoffest. The Hoffest is an annual festival with music, crafts, tours of the farm and of course delicious and locally growth food. The festival celebrates the mission of Brodowin Ökodorf and attracts thousands of visitors each year.
During a captivating tour through his beehives, Nils Simon, a Berlin native, explained and demonstrated the art of beekeeping to a group of more than 20 Ecoscholars! He also spoke about the environmental issues related to commercial beekeeping and honey production, specifically the different diseases that wreak havoc on bee populations. After the tour the group sat down with Nils for a question and answer session in a nearby restaurant.
Solar geoengineering is a proposal for reducing some of the risks of climate change by deliberately reflecting away a small amount of inbound sunlight. Geoengineering (solar or otherwise) is a controversial and hotly debated issue in climate policy. Should we use it? Would it be foolish not to? This month Ecoscholars hosts Andy Parker from the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) in Potsdam, Germany for a presentation and discussion on the science and socio-political implications of solar geoengineering.
On April 7, 2015, Ecoscholars hosted Craig Morris (@PPchef), editor of Renewables International and lead author of energytransition.de, for a lecture on the purpose and necessity of energy and climate targets. Originally from the United States, Craig Morris is an award winning journalist and energy expert.
Stefanie Schmidt, Ecologic Insitute, will give an overview of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) from its origin until today, focusing specifically on governance structures for decision-making, scientific advice, and stakeholder involvement. In short, the CFP is a set of regulations designed to govern the use and halt the misuse of a common resource, Europe's fishing grounds. More information can be found on the European Commission website here.
There are many differences between European and American food regulations. Take, for instance, the case of how eggs are handled. In the states, eggs must be thoroughly cleaned on the outside before packaging, a rule that does not exist in the EU. (To find out more please click here.)
In her book, Merchants of Doubt, science historian, Naomi Oreskes, confronts the history of science denial and environmental skepticism in the United States. She explains the negative impact environmental skepticism has had on policy making, especially in regards to the political inertia surrounding climate change legislation.