Climate Change Symposium via Zoom - Wednesday 5/27 noon - 1:30 PM EDT

"There is no Planet B: What we can do about the climate crisis"

A classmate panel discussion, to be followed by a brief presentation by current Harvard students and a general question and answer session.  Opportunities to continue dialog and action will be made available.

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Session video recording is available herenew window Jump to 5:10 for beginning!

Symposium slide deck: Change Panel Master Slides.pdf new window

Initial Resources Page (more to come): for climate crisis panel May 27.docx new window

Bios and Presentation Topics - in program order

JUDY NORSIGIAN, HR70 - Moderator


Mike Barrett is State Senator for nine communities in Massachusetts.  He is Senate Chair of the Legislature’s Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy, which deals with issues such as climate change, clean energy policy, electric power, utility reform, and carbon pricing. A longer bio is herenew window

Mike will present an overview of the challenges posed by greenhouse gas emissions and discuss the types of legislative remedies state governments are undertaking.



Claire Broome has spent the past 10 years accelerating adoption of renewable energy in California, including participation as a party in regulatory proceedings at the California Public Utility Commission and working with advocacy organizations like Sierra Club and 350 Bay Area. She spent 28 years working at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), starting as an epidemiologist responsible for prevention of bacterial meningitis and pneumonia, serving as CDC’s Deputy Director from 1994-1999, and from 2000-2006 leading the development of a web based transformation of CDC’s national disease monitoring systems.

Claire will explore how we (as individuals and members of our "communities") can address the climate crisis with the urgency needed. Legislation and high-level policy goals like 100% renewable energy by 2045 are helpful but not sufficient.  Tools are available to help our actions
1)   be measurable and strategic,
2)   build alliances with (even unlikely) partners, and
3)   hold organizations accountable for moving forward.

 Specific examples of how this can work in “Blue” Berkeley and “Red” states like Georgia will be discussed.



Mickey has an extensive background in energy and technology. He led the team that won the ASHRAE Global First Place Tech Award for Ed buildings by reducing energy use in a University Lab by 54%. He also co-wrote the patent used by the US Army Corp. of Engineers to apply Artificial Intelligence to the management of geothermal energy on military bases. He co-developed the process for successfully lifting orphan families out of poverty long term - for a cost of less than $2,000/family over two years.  (  new window).

Mickey will touch upon ways we can conserve energy in our own homes, with special attention to preserving health and well-being. Reduction in energy use accompanied by a swifter transition to renewable sources of energy will be key in addressing our climate crisis.

Downloadable guide: HVAC Energy Handout V 3.0 May 2020 ML.pdf new window



Bruce practices energy law in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  His practice includes negotiating electric power sales agreements, representing independent power producers in state electric rate cases, developing municipal electric tariffs, and energy project permitting. For years, he published a newsletter and blog focused on alternative energy developments in Michigan. Most recently he has been involved in various alternative energy projects, including wind, biofuel and solar projects. He has been named a "Thought Leader in the Law" for his work with his energy clients and has also been named to Michigan's Energy Innovator Hall of Fame by Michigan’s Energy Innovation Business Council. A longer bio is here:  new window

Bruce will address how and why the investor owned utility companies across the nation have been slow to implement electric energy efficiencies and to incorporate renewable energy generation into their generation mix. As a result, this industry continues to be a major contributor to the carbon emissions that are feeding climate change.  They need to act more quickly, and state regulators, state legislatures, and electric ratepayers have a role to play in making that happen.

Additional resources:
Advanced Energy Economy: new window
Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council: new window
Energy Foundation: new window


MARA PRENTISS, PhD, Harvard Physics Professor

Mara Prentiss received her PhD in Physics from MIT in 1986 and has been a professor at Harvard University since 1991.  She has co-authored papers with four Nobel Prize winners, and her work has been cited more than 17,000 times.  She won the Phi Beta Kappa teaching prize and supervised the undergraduate thesis that won the Apker Prize from  the American Physical Society (this prize recognizes the best undergraduate thesis in the United States). She is also the author of Energy Revolution: The Physics and the Promise  of Efficient Technology and a recent article in American Prospect ( new window).

"There is more than enough renewable energy" Belmont Public Library talk (30 mins): new window

Slide presentation: Prentiss slides for Climate resource page May 2020.pdf new window

Additional resource: new window



Isaac Ortega is a physics major and rising senior at Harvard College.  Joseph Winters is an earth and planetary sciences major in the Harvard College Class of 2020.  Both have worked with Fossil Fuel Divest Harvard (FFDH) and will speak about their organizing work with this group, including alliances being built between students and alumni.

Isaac Ortega email:
Joseph Winters email:

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