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Colleges have ‘special’ role in fighting climate change

first_imgBEIJING — In an address to faculty and students at Tsinghua University today, Harvard President Drew Faust argued forcefully that universities have a unique and critical role to play in combating climate change.She opened her remarks by recalling her last visit to Tsinghua in 2008. “There is a proverb that the best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago — and the second-best time is now,” Faust told the audience of about 250 Chinese students, faculty, and journalists.“When I first visited Tsinghua seven years ago … I planted a tree with [former Tsinghua] President Gu [Binglin] in the Friendship Garden … I am glad the Tsinghua-Harvard tree stands as a symbol of the many relationships across our two universities, relationships which continue to grow and thrive,” she said. “More than ever, it is as a testament to the possibilities that, by working together, we offer the world. That is why I want to spend a few minutes today talking about the special role universities like ours play in addressing climate change.”Faust’s speech marked the culmination of a series of events in Beijing at which climate change was a central topic. At a gathering of alumni, faculty, and friends on Sunday, she looked on as Ali Malkawi, professor of architectural technology at the Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD) and founding director of the Harvard Center for Green Buildings and Cities, explained his efforts to reduce the carbon footprint of large human-made structures and systems, from individual buildings to whole cities.On Monday, Faust and Chinese President Xi Jinping, meeting at the Great Hall of the People, discussed governmental and academic efforts to address the threat of climate change. Faust used the opportunity to highlight the important work being undertaken by faculty and students at Harvard and at institutions across the globe such as Tsinghua to develop substantive technological and policy solutions to this global challenge and to urge continued faculty collaborations.“Last November, President Xi and President Obama made a joint announcement on climate change, pledging to limit the greenhouse gas emissions of China and the United States over the next several decades,” Faust said. “It is a landmark accord, setting ambitious goals for the world’s two largest carbon-emitting countries and establishing a marker that presidents Xi and Obama hope will inspire other countries to do the same.“We could not have predicted such a shared commitment seven [years] or even one year ago between these two leaders — both, in fact, our alumni — one a Tsinghua graduate in chemical engineering and the humanities and the other a graduate of Harvard Law School,” she continued. “And yet our two institutions had already sown the seeds of this agreement decades ago by educating leaders who can turn months of discussion into an international milestone, and by collaborating for more than 20 years on the climate analyses that made the agreement possible. In other words, by doing the things universities are uniquely designed to do.”Calling the recent agreement a “defining moment … worthy of celebration,” and giving China credit for building the world’s largest wind-power capacity as well as the second-largest capacity in solar energy, Faust nonetheless said that these efforts represent “only a beginning” of what needs to be done.“Industry, education, agriculture, business, finance, individual citizens — all are necessary participants in what must become an energy and environmental revolution, a new paradigm that will improve public health, care for the planet, and put both of our nations on the path toward a prosperous, low-carbon economy,” she argued.“Universities are especially good at ‘thinking different,’ ” Faust said in her prepared text, quoting an expression often used by Apple founder Steve Jobs. “To every generation falls a daunting task. This is our task: to ‘think different’ about how we inhabit the Earth. Where better to meet this challenge than in Boston and Beijing? How better to meet it than by unlocking and harnessing new knowledge, building political and cultural understanding, promoting dialogue, and sharing solutions? Who better to meet it than you, the most extraordinary students — imaginative, curious, daring. The challenge we face demands three great necessities.”Faust made the case that the three great necessities of creating partnerships, undertaking research, and training students to ask and answer the big questions ultimately will yield substantive solutions to this global challenge.“The first necessity is partnership,” she said in her prepared text. “Global problems require global partners. Climate change is a perfect example. We breathe the same air. We drink the same water. We share the planet. We cannot live in a cocoon. The stakes are too high.”Partnerships have defined Harvard’s relations with China for more than a century. John King Fairbank’s experiences at Tsinghua in 1933 ultimately led to creation of the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies. Zhu Kezhen, who received his Ph.D. from Harvard after passing a scholarship exam at the school that would become Tsinghua, became the father of Chinese meteorology and a pre-eminent leader of scientific research in that nation.The foundation in 1993 of the Harvard China Project bolstered research into China’s atmospheric environment, energy system, and economy, as well as the role of the environment in U.S.-China relations. Those historic partnerships are embodied by two current Tsinghua faculty members, Cao Jing and Wang Yuxuan, who both studied at Harvard and are collaborating to study Chinese carbon emissions.“Harvard partnerships with Tsinghua and other Chinese institutions span nearly every department across all of Harvard’s 13 Schools, involving some 200 faculty members and hundreds of students, and now including the Harvard Center Shanghai, online courses through edX, and three new research centers on campus,” Faust said. “These partnerships are bearing fruit: from last year’s Harvard-Tsinghua conference on market mechanisms for a low-carbon future, to open-access education reaching millions worldwide, to advances in human health and health care policy that will improve and extend lives.”Turning to the second necessity, research, Faust repeated the Chinese aphorism that “learning has no boundaries.” Research without boundaries, she said, means exploring across disciplines to find different ways of approaching problems, taking the long view instead of focusing on momentary or ephemeral gains, and keeping an open stance, in which every question is legitimate and any path might yield an answer.“Universities must be places where any and every topic can be broached, where any and every question can be asked,” she argued. “Universities must nurture such debate because discovery comes from the intellectual freedom to explore that rests at the heart of how we define our fundamental identity and values.“A third necessity is training students who will ask and answer the big questions,” Faust said. “Perhaps the most important mission of universities is the education of the world’s young people. We attract and train the best students. Each year I tell the incoming Harvard College classes that they have ability that is not always measured by high test scores and top grades — that they are chosen not for the magnitude of their achievements but for their capacity to invent, not for what they know but for what they can imagine.”Harvard exposes students to diverse points of view and trains students across many disciplines. It also enables students to work with senior faculty, a type of relationship through which “each learns from the other: the deepest knowledge joins with the freshest point of view.”As an example, Faust recounted the experience of Ethan Addicott, a recent graduate of the College who concentrated in the new field of environmental science and public policy. Quoting him, the president recalled that the program gave him a broad education of the natural world and “a deep understanding of how to analyze and solve problems surrounding our complex interactions with it.”“Ethan did not need to wait until graduate school to have access to senior faculty,” Faust explained. “He studied the Chinese energy economy with Professor Michael McElroy, head of Harvard’s China Project. Why this opportunity? Because the world needs Ethan. It needs the students in Tsinghua’s science and technology studies program, where engineering and preprofessional students work alongside future sociologists and historians, philosophers and anthropologists, who can put research and policy decisions into a broad social and historical context.”Concluding her remarks, Faust returned to the Chinese adage she had cited at the outset. “Universities have the unique capacity and a special responsibility to fulfill the promise of that dream,” she said. “Let us not waste a moment. It is already the second-best time to plant a tree.”To read the full text of President Faust’s speech, visit her website.last_img read more

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St Kitts prepares for world’s largest cruise ship

first_img Share Share Sharing is caring! 19 Views   no discussions Sharecenter_img NewsRegional St Kitts prepares for world’s largest cruise ship by: – December 23, 2011 Tweet Allure of the SeasBASSETERRE, St Kitts (CUOPM) – St Kitts is expected to pull out all the stops to ensure a festive welcome for the inaugural call of the world’s largest cruise ship – the Allure of the Seas.The Royal Caribbean International’s newest and largest Oasis-class cruise ship, with 16 decks, and 2,700 staterooms is schedule to berth at Port Zante on Friday, 30 December 2011 at 8 a.m.It carries 5,400 guests and 3,000 crew members. Most of whom are expected to disembark and go on island-wide sight-seeing tours via the St Kitts Scenic Railway and taxis, snorkeling, hiking, sea and sun bathing, bicycling, gambling, sailing and shopping.St Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister Dr Denzil Douglas and Minister of Tourism and International transport, Sen. Richard “Ricky” Skerritt are expected to join local officials and industry leaders for a cocktail reception during a plaque and keys exchange ceremony on board followed by lunch.Industry officials are of the view that the Allure’s inaugural visit is a strong indicator of the continuing appeal of St Kitts as a vibrant, authentic Caribbean cruise destination and testament to the versatility of the Port Zante cruise pier for accommodating all ship sizes.Organisers plan to capitalise on the annual national carnival celebrations by introducing Allure passengers to ‘Folklore Avenue’, a cultural concept started a few years ago by the Department of Culture, when key streets leading from ship side, through Port Zante and Historic Basseterre, are closed to vehicular traffic so that the music, dancing and traditional costuming of local folkloric groups are displayed. This event will be in addition to the several popular local adventure and scenic tours which are normally available to cruise passengers.Skerritt, said that the economic impact of just one visit of the Allure to St Kitts makes it imperative that all local people cherish the visit, and make sure that the Royal Caribbean decision-makers see St Kitts as a worthwhile future scheduled port of call for the Allure. “We are proud of the fact that St Kitts has been making great strides forward in the cruise industry,” said Skerritt.“Our arrival numbers have increased steadily over the past four years and I am especially pleased that both our passenger satisfaction levels have also been on the increase. The upcoming visit to St Kitts by the newest and largest ship in the world, Allure of the Seas, will be a very special event for our destination,” he added.Royal Caribbean-owned ships are currently scheduled to make a total of 42 port calls to St Kitts in the 2011-2012 season, up from 20 calls in the 2010-2011 season. Royal Caribbean ships visiting St Kitts are the 3,114-passenger Adventure of Seas; the 3,840-passenger Explorer of the Seas; the 2,500-passenger Jewel of the Seas; the 3,840-passenger Navigator of the Seas and the 2,540-passenger Serenade of the Seas.Caribbean News Nowlast_img read more

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5 things we learned about the Premier League this weekend

first_img Here, Press Association Sport’s Jim van Wijk takes a look at what was learned over the weekend in the Barclays Premier League. 1. It ain’t over until it is over…. As the saying goes, play to the whistle. Perhaps there was a tad more than the ‘minimum’ of the allocated seven minutes played when John Terry flicked in an offside equaliser for Chelsea. But whether you want to blame Everton for over-egging their celebrations following what should have been a winner in the last of the regulation 90, credit to the Blues for battling on until the referee says time is finally up. 2. It is easy to see referees, and their assistants, need a little bit of help For some, video technology cannot come soon enough. Certainly referee Mike Jones and assistant Peter Kirkup could have done with a quick glance at an instant replay, beamed instantaneously straight to their smart watch, when Terry tucked the ball away despite having sneaked a couple of yards ahead of the last Everton defender. If the Premier League is to hold itself as the greatest sports entertainment on the globe, then it has to get these game-changing moments right. Embracing such vital new technology sooner rather than later must be the way forwards, just as the goal decision system has proven. 3. The Premier League is a whole new ball game for Jan “Hopefully he’ll learn quickly” was the blunt assessment of Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce as Belgian defender Jan Kirchhoff endured a Premier League debut to forget when coming on at Tottenham. After being dragged all over White Hart Lane chasing Harry Kane before tripping Danny Rose, the former Bayern Munich man will probably have been glad when the full-time whistle went. A tough first 31 minutes in English football it might have been, but one which will make Kirchhoff stronger for the battles ahead to help keep the Black Cats up. 4. Manchester United against Liverpool isn’t really a big game any more Despite Wayne Rooney wheeling away after scoring the goal which secured United a 1-0 smash-and-grab raid at Anfield, the one-time clash of the Premier League titans was hardly vintage stuff. Forget the pre-match rhetoric of rival bosses Jurgen Klopp and Louis van Gaal, the truth is both these teams are a long way from mounting a sustained challenge on the title. Battling for a place in the top six or, at a push, the top four is a more realistic goal – and one which shows just how far down the pecking order these two great clubs now find themselves. 5. Someone needs to get a grip at the top of the table The longer the campaign goes on, the less we appear to learn about where the final destination of the Premier League trophy will be come May. Leicester came away from bottom club Aston Villa with a point, but will feel it should have been three after missing a penalty. Arsenal also failed to pick up an away victory, but will probably be just about happy enough with a draw at Stoke, where they have so often come unstuck in the past. The big winners of the weekend were Manchester City, who demolished a fading Crystal Palace side 4-0 at the Ethiad Stadium. Expect the lead to change hands again, before maybe in February when one side will actually lay down a marker for the run-in. Leicester went top of the table on Saturday night, only to be edged out by Arsenal 24 hours later, while Manchester United nicked a 1-0 win at Liverpool on Sunday and Chelsea snatched a dramatic 3-3 draw deep into stoppage time against Everton at Stamford Bridge. center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

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PBC Elections Supervisor Announces Reelection Bid

first_imgPalm Beach County’s Supervisor of Elections announced Thursday that she is running for reelection, despite claiming earlier in the year that she had no intentions of doing so.According to records, Wendy Sartory Link has filed to run as a Democrat next year.Sartory Link, a commercial real estate attorney, was appointed to the position last January by Governor Ron DeSantis, after he suspended then-Supervisor of Elections Susan Bucher for issues stemming from the November 2018 midterm election.Bucher’s office did not meet a deadline in the contested Governor and U.S. Senate races, in addition to the race for Agriculture Commissioner.Governor DeSantis said at the time that Bucher had violated Florida law by missing the recount deadline, and by failing to submit improperly completed ballots to a state canvasing board, as well as for her handling of voter intent determinations and voters who submitted duplicate ballots.Under Sartory Link’s leadership, the county has purchased $15 million in new voting equipment in order to expedite the tabulation process and to handle a larger volume of ballots.The elections office has also purchased a secure server that is monitored by the Department of Homeland Security in order to protect sensitive voter information.According to records, Sartory Link will be running against Democrats Paulette Armstead, Deandre Poole, and Michelle Sylvester. The Republican candidate is Thomas Caprio.last_img read more

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