John Sterman, Professor of Management and Director of MIT Sloan Sustainability Initiative at MIT Sloan School of Management
From Global GoalsCast
Is the zeitgeist shifting toward action to curb global warming and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals? Veteran Financial Times journalist Gillian Tett joins Edie Lush and Claudia Romo Edelman to consider that question in the aftermath of the United Nation’s climate summit and General Assembly. While the actions of governments were disappointing, they see a new attitude among many businesses, who were far more engaged in UN activity this year. “The balance of risks in the eyes of many business executives have shifted,” says Tett. Many executives now think it is “riskier to stand on the sidelines and do nothing than to actually be involved in some of these social and climate change movements,” Tett reports. The challenge now is not whether to act but how. Edie completes her visit with Professor John Sterman at MIT, whose En-Roads computer model of the climate lets Edie identify policy actions that will hold contain heating of the atmosphere. “The conclusion here is it is, technically, still possible to limit expected warming to 1.5” degrees Celsius, Sterman concludes..
Listen to the full podcast at Global GoalsCast.
John D. Sterman is the Jay W. Forrester Professor of Management at the MIT Sloan School of Management and a Professor in the MIT Institute for Data, Systems, and Society. He is also the Director of the MIT System Dynamics Group and the MIT Sloan Sustainability Initiative.
Maxwell T. Boykoff is an Associate Professor in the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences Center for Science and Technology Policy Research at the University of Colorado, Boulder.
Bradley Tusk is a venture capitalist and CEO and founder of Tusk Ventures.
Laura is a global expert on corporate sustainability, with two decades of experience in strategy consulting.
Gillian Tett is chair of the editorial board and editor-at-large, US of the Financial Times.
Henry D. Jacoby, Professor Emeritus, MIT Sloan School of Management
Gary Yohe, Huffington Foundation Professor of Economics and Environmental Studies, Wesleyan University
Richard Richels, directed climate change research at the Electric Power Research Institute.
From The Hill
The Paris Agreement, with its goal of halting global warming short of 2 degree Celsius, conjures up an image of a temperature threshold which we dare not exceed, akin to Thelma and Louise knowingly and recklessly driving over a cliff to their ruin.
For that hapless couple, there may have been a sudden abyss that they chose to breach. But in the case of global warming, a better metaphor might be that of the can that gets kicked down a road that becomes increasingly treacherous with every mile travelled. Due to our past reluctance to apply the brakes, the can is now farther down the road, and it is going faster than we realize.
The science is clear. When we include the pent-up momentum of the climate system, we have already committed to warming of at least 1.5 degree C. Moreover, with the additional heating that will occur as we reduce emissions to zero, a 2-degree limit is also in doubt.
Have no illusions. The case for coordinated action both nationally and internationally is compelling, even if the articulated temperature targets turn out to be only aspirational. The intensity of the wildfires in the West, the unrelenting flooding in the midsection of the country and the fury of hurricanes striking our coastlines are but a preview of what’s to come—just like the recognition of increases in the frequency of heatwaves and the severity of droughts.
It doesn’t take a genius to see the absurdity of inaction in the face of these risks. Continuing to kick the can down the road will place an intolerable burden on future generations.
But all the news is not bad. Recent polls suggest that we may be entering a new era of public concern over climate change. The number of Americans witnessing the growing destruction has risen. Many see it out of their kitchen windows; all observe it on the evening news.
MIT Sloan Senior Lecturer Mohammad M. Fazel-Zarandi
From Daily News
How many undocumented (illegal) immigrants are there in the United States? Previous estimates put the number at around 11-12 million.
These estimates are too low. That’s because they are based on surveys that ask individuals where they were born. This approach doesn’t work well for undocumented immigrants. They are hard to track down. They don’t want to be found. And if they are found and asked this question — where are you from? — they have every reason to refuse to answer or answer untruthfully.
In a new study, we estimate the number of undocumented immigrants using a different approach that doesn’t rely on surveys. And we get a very different answer. We estimate that there are at least 16.7 million and most likely more than 20 million.
Our approach is to estimate the inflows of undocumented immigrants (how many are entering the United States each year) and the outflows (how many are leaving). Inflows include border crossings and visa overstays. Outflows include deportations, conversions to legal status, deaths and voluntary emigration.
Adding up the inflows each year and subtracting the outflows gives an estimate of how many undocumented immigrants remain in the country at the end of the year compared to how many there were at the beginning of the year. We use operational data, especially from the Department of Homeland Security, as well as data and analysis of the movements of undocumented immigrants across borders. We estimate inflows and outflows every year from 1990 to 2016.