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Abel Collins's blog

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(a very different version of this piece first appeared in the Providence Phoenix here)


By ABEL COLLINS/ 8.7.2013 - I walk into the Coffee Depot on Main St. in Warren at 7:30am on Sunday to meet up with Sherrie’Anne Andre and Nick Katkevich, members of the grassroots movement Fossil Free RI. With a little caffeine for courage we’ll soon be driving to a park and ride lot in nearby Somerset to rendezvous with more than a hundred other activists and be herded onto school buses that will take us where we’ll protest to shut down the Brayton Point power plant. First though Sherrie has to run to the bank to withdraw money to pay for her bail. She is going to get arrested today.

Divest: Permission to Freak and Act Out

(this first appeared in the Providence Phoenix)


By ABEL COLLINS/ 7.3.2013 - In 1988 when I was ten, I presented my Matunuck Elementary School fifth grade science fair project on carbon dioxide and the greenhouse effect. That year the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was formed at the UN to assess the impacts of climate change and develope strategies to mitigate and adapt to it. It was also the year the world surpassed 350 parts per million of CO2 in the atmosphere, the level that scientists have determined is the highest concentration possible for a climate conducive to human civilization.


Fast forward 25 years, and we are collectively dumping 50% more carbon into the air per year. In May, we breached 400ppm and rather than steering toward the maximum global temperature increase of 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit (2 Centigrade) that was agreed upon in the Copenhagen Accord of 2009, we are on course for 10.8 degrees of heating by the end of the century. Think apocalypse and picture much of Rhode Island under water.

The Ecology Economy: R.I. Can Play the Hero

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail” ~ Ben Franklin


By ABEL COLLINS/ 5.16.2013 - Fourth Economy Consulting, a firm out of Pennsylvania hired as part of the federally funded “Sustainable RI” grant, recently submitted its preliminary report of the strengths and weaknesses of Rhode Island’s economy. The first recommendation in the report’s initial guidance section is to “Create One Voice--Set a Clear Course.” This idea is not new. In fact it’s been a common refrain in the state since before I started paying close attention to economic development policy. We need an identity that we can market to the world in order to draw and retain talented people to our workforce.


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