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Sheldon Whitehouse featured at America’s Climate Change Future mini conference at Brown University



A one day mini-conference was held at Brown University Friday organized around climate change and the investigation of network of climate denialists funded by entrenched fossil fuel interests.

Organizers write:

“The Rhodes Center for International Economics, the Institute at Brown for Environment and Society, and the Office of the President are pleased to announce a one day conference on the economic and political consequences of climate change. The conference focuses on three key areas.
“First, the economics of rising sea levels for real coastal estate markets, which comprise a large portion of US housing market growth and hence personal wealth.
“[Second, t]he economics of ‘stranded carbon assets.’ That is, the raw materials and financial assets tied up in carbon release that have a high current value but whose values could decline precipitously in the future, especially if ambitious action is undertaken as scientific consensus suggests is needed.
“The third is the organized politics of climate denial: who are the agents and institutions behind scientific disinformation and how can such a politics best be countered? A lunchtime keynote speech will be given by Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse. Lunch will be provided for participants.”

Below is all the video from the conference:


Mark Blythe is a political economist at Brown University, and an organizer of the conference.

Brown University President Christina Paxson:

Timmons Roberts is a sociology professor at Brown University and an organizer of the conference.

United States Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (Democrat, Rhode Island) attended the entire conference, and delivered the keynote address (see below).

Coastal properties and climate change

Curt Spalding is the past Regional Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 1 New England, and formerly served eighteen years as Save The Bay Executive Director. He introduced the presenters in this session.

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Lint Barrage, Assistant Professor of Economics and Environmental Studies at Brown University, delivered a presentation entitled “Flood risks and coastal property values: going under water?”

Matthew Gibson, Assistant Professor of Economics at Williams College, delivered a presentation entitled “Climate change and flood risk: Evidence from New York real estate.”

Stephie Fried is an assistant professor of economics at Arizona State University and an affiliate of the CESifo research network. She delivered a presentation entitled “Seawalls and Stilts: A Quantitative Macro Study of Climate Adaptation.”

The presenters take questions from the attendees.

Carbon bubbles and climate futures

Deborah Gordon is the Former Director, Energy and Climate Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and is a Senior Fellow in International and Public Affairs at Brown University. She introduced the presenters in this session.

Joe Aldy is an Associate Professor of Public Policy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He delivered a presentation entitled “Focal Carbon Prices.”

Marcelo Ochoa is an economist at the Federal Reserve System (Fed). He was careful to say he was not speaking for the Fed during his presentation entitled, “Price of Long-Run Temperature Shifts in Capital Markets.”

Armon Rezai is a professor at the Institute for Ecological Economics, Vienna. He delivered a presentation entitled “Stranded assets in fossil fuel industries and the capitalization of climate risks.”

The presenters take questions from the attendees.

Keynote address from Sheldon Whitehouse

Institutional dynamics of climate action and inaction

Timmons Roberts introduced the presenters in this session.

Robert Bruelle, is a visiting professor at Brown University. He delivered a presentation entitled “Promoting Fosil Fuels.”

Loredana Loy is a graduate student at Cornell University‘s Department of Sociology. She delivered a presentation entitled “Channeling the Brand: the Tea Party Movement and Climate Change Policy.”

Justin Farrell is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. He delivered a presentation entitled “Climate Change Countermovement Organizations and Media Attention in the U.S.”

Kerry Ard is an Assistant Professor of Environmental and Natural Resource Sociology at Ohio State University. She delivered a presentation entitled “Public opinion on climate change and Congressional voting.”

The presenters take questions from the attendees.

Pushing against climate denial and defending science

Timmons Roberts and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse are joined by Kert Davies, the founder and director of Climate Investigations discuss a paper written by Justin Farrell, Robert Bruelle and Kathryn McConnell entitled “Evidence-based Solutions to Combat Scientific Misinformation.”

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About the Author

Steve Ahlquist is Uprise RI's co-founder and lead reporter. He has covered human rights, social justice, progressive politics and environmental news for nearly a decade.