Tag archives: climate crisis

Climate Geoengineering Free Riders?
By Robert Bernstein   |   January 23, 2024

Geoengineering is the controversial idea of altering the earth in some way to offset human harms to the climate. Some fear it could make us complacent about the real solution: Reducing fossil fuel use. “Can $500 Million Save This Glacier” was the title of a recent New York Times article. British glaciologist John Moore attended […]

Returning with Climate Conference Lessons
By Scott Craig   |   December 26, 2023

Westmont junior Analee Josselyn (’25), a history and economics and business double major, and Conrad Morgan (’23), who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies, are attending the U.N. Climate Conference (COP28) in Dubai.  Josselyn and Morgan are there with Christian Climate Observers, a non-denominational Christian presence advocating for God’s creation while training the […]

Risk vs. Prediction?
By Robert Bernstein   |   December 5, 2023

My last article was about the need for direct government investment in solving the Climate Crisis. That getting rid of bad subsidies and incentives is helpful, but not enough. This point was made by Simon Sharpe, who worked on counterterrorism for the UK Foreign Office. But Sharpe made another vital point: A lot of climate […]

Climate Repair ‘Five Times Faster’?
By Robert Bernstein   |   November 21, 2023

I have written before about bad subsidies and incentives that have gotten us into the Climate Crisis. But there is another way to view the problem. “Nobody thinks we made the transition from horses to cars by taxing horseshit. Nobody thinks that we created the internet by taxing letter writing. Why would it be any […]

Back to Normal?
By Robert Bernstein   |   September 26, 2023

Three and a half years ago (April 2020), I wrote an article “What is Normal?” It was the start of the COVID pandemic and people were asking for a return to “normal.” I asked: “Is that what we really want?” Is it “normal” that tens of millions of Americans have no access to health care? […]

Can Legal Action Save Us From the Climate Crisis?
By Robert Bernstein   |   September 19, 2023

“The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.” This line from William Shakespeare’s Henry VI, Part 2 is a widely spread meme on t-shirts and more. Those spreading the meme see lawyers as the enemy. But the original meaning was probably the opposite. The line is stated by “Dick the Butcher” who is […]

Community Environmental Council
By Steven Libowitz   |   June 6, 2023

Santa Barbara nonprofit Community Environmental Council has long been on the forefront of the environmental movement ever since its founding more than 50 years ago. Among its groundbreaking accomplishments in those early decades, CEC founded one of the nation’s first ecology centers, as well as the first learning and research community gardens. CEC was instrumental […]

Some Local Problems Are Global?
By Robert Bernstein   |   March 28, 2023

Communities all over California are struggling to meet a mandate to build more housing. This dates back to a 1969 “Housing Element” law, now in its sixth round. The current mandate is for 3.5 million new units by the year 2025. The state is far short of meeting that goal and local governments face penalties […]

Conference Examines Liberal Arts, Climate Change
By Scott Craig   |   March 7, 2023

The 21st annual Conversation on the Liberal Arts explores how a liberal arts education can prepare us for the future, March 2-4 at the Global Leadership Center. “Educating for the Unknown: Liberal Arts in the Age of Climate Change,” sponsored by the Gaede Institute, attracts teachers, administrators, and students from around the country.  “We’ll spend […]

Making a Claim to Reclaim
By Richard Mineards   |   February 7, 2023

It’s a marriage made on Earth! Michael Smith, entrepreneurial son of Montecito philanthropist Anne Towbes, has partnered with Oscar superstar Leonardo DiCaprio in Regeneration.VC, an early-stage venture capital fund supercharging consumer-powered climate innovation driven by circular and regenerative principles, which he co-founded. The fund’s vision, according to its literature, is “to empower all consumers in […]

Effective Altruism?
By Robert Bernstein   |   January 10, 2023

I am writing this during the end of year “Season of Giving.” Most of us will ask the same question: What is the most effective giving? How do you decide? There is a difference between feeling good and actually doing good. There is a new movement of “Effective Altruism” led by philosophers including Peter Singer, Toby […]

Workshop Inspires Christians to Climate Action
By Scott Craig   |   November 29, 2022

Westmont is equipping evangelical students from across the nation who care deeply about the environment to lead their communities in answering God’s call to steward creation wisely. The college will be hosting “Faith. Climate. Action: A Workshop on Christian Climate Advocacy,” attracting about 40 students and faculty from the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities […]

What is Freedom?
By Robert Bernstein   |   November 15, 2022

President Franklin Roosevelt (FDR) delivered his famous “Four Freedoms” speech 11 months before Pearl Harbor took us into WWII. These four freedoms?  Freedom of speech; Freedom of worship;Freedom from want;Freedom from fear. This mural of the Four Freedoms (pictured) used to be on the County Human Resources Department. Note that the first two are negative […]

World Business Academy
By Steven Libowitz   |   November 1, 2022

To get a clear picture of what the World Business Academy does, it’s a good idea to zoom out far above the Santa Barbara nonprofit’s home base – maybe to around 30,000 feet, suggests founder and president Rinaldo Brutoco.  “With the exception of Direct Relief International, which is a massive charity that’s based here, we […]

Independent Commissions to Solve Climate Crisis and More?
By Robert Bernstein   |   July 26, 2022

Our system of government was deliberately set up to make change and action very difficult. Unfortunately, reality does not care about our inability to govern. Notably, the Climate Crisis marches on, with action urgently needed to avert unprecedented disaster on a global scale. The President, House of Representatives, and Senate are rarely in alignment. And, […]

Plastic Pollution Coalition
By Steven Libowitz   |   June 14, 2022

In one of the funnier moments in the famous 1967 film The Graduate, a friend of Ben’s parents takes him aside to deliver some advice about his future: “I just have one word for you: Plastics.” Back then, of course, plastics was becoming a burgeoning field, as the material seemed to be an incredible scientific […]

Metamorphosis for the Environment
By Laura Capps   |   May 24, 2022

It would be nearly impossible to list the many unique features of Santa Barbara County that differentiate us from other places across the country. In contrast to all the incredible positive attributes, I recently learned of one startling distinction that may surprise you: our county is one of the fastest-warming places in the nation. According […]

More Sunlight for Santa Barbara County Board of Education
By Montecito Journal   |   May 24, 2022

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis introduced the phrase “Sunlight is the Best Disinfectant,” in the early 20th century. He also penned the term in his book, “Other People’s Money.” The Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) regulates campaign financing, conflicts of interest, lobbying, and government ethics. Form 700 – Statement of Economic Interest, is one […]

Economic Failures Created the Climate Crisis, but Economic Policy Can Fix It
By Robert Taylor   |   May 10, 2022

As a new resident of Montecito, I’m learning about issues and concerns in our community through reading the weekly Montecito Journal. Since the climate crisis is my major concern, I particularly appreciate articles by columnists Rinaldo Brutoco, Tom Farr, and Robert Bernstein, as well as frequent reports of news and opinions from local environmental groups. […]

Giving Thanks
By Montecito Journal   |   November 30, 2021

This past year has been really tough (COVID-19, inflation, supply chain problems, etc.). However, when things get tough, it is exactly when we need to give thanks. Our Founding Fathers and great leaders understood that giving thanks and expressing gratitude matters in the face of adversity. It gives us hope, emotionally. Giving thanks for what […]