June 2008   



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Career Opportunities

The Pacific Institute is seeking a part-time research assistant who can conduct research and writing for the West Contra Costa County Neighborhood Indicators Project (WCIP)–a community-driven action research process focused on environmental, economic, and community health issues. For more information, click here.


  Pacific Institute, U.N. Team Up On Water Mandate

Aim Is Responsible Corporate Water-use Strategy




CEO Water Mandate LogoThe Pacific Institute has signed on to work with the United Nations on The CEO Water
Mandate–a voluntary commitment by companies to pursue a comprehensive water management
strategy addressing humanitarian, social, environmental, and economic issues.

The Mandate, already represented by almost 30 of the world’s largest companies,
is both a call to action and a strategic framework for business to work toward water
sustainability in their operations and supply chains.
“As significant users of water both directly and indirectly, the private sector
has an enormous stake–and responsibility–in helping to solve the global water
crisis,” said Jason Morrison, Pacific Institute program director.

“With more than
a billion people lacking clean water and 2.6 billion without access to adequate
sanitation, this is a vital challenge that the U.N. and world business leaders are
stepping up to innovatively and collectively address.”
Serving as the primary contact for the U.N.’s Global Compact Office, Morrison will
be supporting the initiative with applied research, event coordination, and other
services for this strategic collaboration.






 June Marks Anti-Idling Day of Action

Idling Illegal, Bad For Health


Anti-Idling DayDiesel truck and bus idling causes health problems like asthma, lung cancer, and  heart disease; wastes money; and is bad for the environment. The Ditching Dirty Diesel Collaborative spotlights this message with the Anti-Idling Day of Action on Tuesday, June 24.

Residents and community organizations in Oakland, Richmond, San Leandro, and Bayview/Hunters
Point will be taking to their neighborhood streets to hand-deliver information to
community members and truck and bus drivers. They are driving home the message that
diesel engine idling for over
five minutes is illegal, wasteful, and bad for everyone’s health,
especially children and the elderly.

“Over 150 premature deaths could be prevented by 2014 if all truck drivers in California
complied with the five-minute idling law,” said Swati Prakash, director of the Pacific
Institute’s Community Strategies for Sustainability and Justice program.

Anyone can report an idling diesel vehicle to the California Air Resources Board at 1-800-END-SMOG. For more information on the Anti-Idling Day of Action, contact Anny Chang.

Read more.



 Bioenergy Helps Reduce Greenhouse-gas Emissions

New Report Available Online


Biomass PictureBranches, stalks, and manure are waste no longer; bioenergy is part of the solution to reducing greenhouse-gas emissions.

A new study by the Green Power Institute, the Pacific Institute’s renewable energy program, reports that converting forest residues, agricultural and urban biomass waste, and gases from manure and landfills into energy helps reduce our greenhouse-gas emissions and replace a portion of fossil-fuel use.

Gregory Morris, Ph.D., author of the Bioenergy and Greenhouse Gases report, contends that the reduced greenhouse-gas emissions of biofuels should be expressed in the official tracking systems in such a way that is usable in a greenhouse-gas compliance program, because the reductions in biogenic greenhouse gases can be calculated as fossil-carbon emissions offsets.

“Biofuels are carbon-neutral, so their use in energy production displaces the emissions we’d have from producing the same energy using fossil fuels,” Morris said. “Creating energy from biomass not only creates carbon-neutral energy sources; it does so while producing less greenhouse gas emissions than traditional disposal methods.”




   New Group Connects Sea-level Rise Researchers

Join the Conversation


The Pacific Institute and the Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC) have teamed up to create an informal consortium of researchers interested in the impacts of sea-level rise on California and the Bay Area.

Comprised of individuals from state, federal and local government, academia, and the nonprofit sector, the consortium held its first meeting in Oakland, California.

If you are interested in connecting with planners, policymakers, scientists, and others concerned with sea-level rise in the San Francisco Bay Area, join the public email group.


In Brief

Pacific Institute Welcomes New Faces
This May, the Pacific Institute’s Water Program welcomed the addition of Senior Research Associate Dr. Juliet Christian-Smith. Her interests include agricultural water uses, comparative analyses of water governance structures, watershed restoration, and climate change. Prior to coming to the Pacific Institute, Dr. Christian-Smith was in Portugal on a Fulbright Fellowship studying the implementation of the European Union Water Framework Directive and examining agricultural water usage in the Alentejo region. She holds a Ph.D. in Environmental Science, Policy and Management from UC Berkeley and a B.A. in Biology from Smith College.

We also welcome the addition of two new summer interns: Peter Schulte and Lucy Allen have joined the Institute to bolster the work of the Water Program.

Bringing Clean Water to West Africa Knows No Age
Ms. Saldo-Burke’s third grade class at J. Stanley Sullivan Elementary School in North Adams, Massachusetts raised $700 for the Water in West Africa Campaign. Through their Service-Learning Project, the class created an art exhibit featuring water and sold the paintings in order to raise money for the campaign. To join Ms. Saldo-Burke’s class in supporting the effort to bring safe, clean drinking water to West Africans, click here.

Morrison Participates in National Environmental Summit
During the National Environmental Partnership Summit in Baltimore, Maryland, Jason Morrison joined representatives of government, academia, and civil society groups in a panel discussion that addressed issues such as the appropriate role and balance for voluntary programs as a supplement to traditional regulatory approaches. Morrison also served as a panelist on a session on how environmental leadership programs can be better defined, measured, and communicated.

ISO Consumer Policy Committee Holds Plenary Meeting
As a member of the four-person U.S. delegation, Jason Morrison attended the 30th plenary meeting of the International Organization for Standardization’s (ISO) Consumer Policy Committee (COPOLCO) on May 26 in Seoul, Korea. The meeting addressed the consumers’ role in a sustainable energy future, a proposal to develop a new ISO standard on Consumer and Public Interest Involvement in Decision-making and Consultative Processes, and whether COPOLCO should expand its scope to include other public interest NGOs.

Community Leaders Meet To Discuss Using Research For Neighborhood Change
On June 2, community leaders from Richmond, North Richmond, and San Pablo met to discuss how to use community-driven research to strengthen their strategies for neighborhood change. Members of seven organizations involved in the West County Neighborhood Indicators Project presented their research, which provided information on the availability of youth programs, local revenue from major industry, refinery-related air contamination, freight transport health impacts, access to shoreline open space, and healthy lead-free homes. For more information, contact Eli Moore.

Gleick To Attend Water Symposium, World’s Fair
Pacific Institute President Peter Gleick has been invited to deliver the Closing Symposium Summary at the Rosenberg Water Symposium in Zaragoza, Spain, June 23-27. The Symposium coincides with Zaragoza’s hosting of the 2008 World’s Fair, which is focused on water and sustainable development this year.

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