Shown above are Abdullah Bin Hamad Al-Attiyah (Left) and King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.  The former; once the director of the office of the Minister of Finance and Petroleum, once the director of the Office of the Minister of Interior and the Acting Minister of Finance and Petroleum, once the Minister of Energy and Industry, and curently director of the Gulf Helicopters Corporation, member of the Directors Board of Gulf Airways Corporation and current director of Qatar Petroleum, is a very down to earth guy with concerns for global climate issues.  Enough so that this once OPEC president has become president again of the COP 18 theater show.  Although the Qataris have only attended two COPs…

Life as a joint JD/MEM student

From Sarah:

Last fall, I took my favorite law school class. Karl Coplan, an expert in environmental law and the co-director of Pace Law School’s esteemed Environmental Litigation Clinic, taught a course on the Clean Water Act. He ran the course as a simulation: a quarter of the class represented industry, a quarter environmental activists, a quarter government lawyers or scientists, and the last group was administrative law judges. As the class’s EPA General Counsel, I wrote an internal review on a proposed National Pollution Discharge Elimination System permit. I felt good about handing that paper in, but I was marked down for allowing chlorine discharge to continue and for limiting too strictly aluminum and manganese discharges.

At Yale this fall, I am taking Physical Sciences for Environmental…

Old and New Doha

I was one of many surprised when Qatar was chosen to host this year’s Conference of the Parties (COP).  Qatar is the world’s largest liquefied natural gas producer and home to the world’s third largest natural gas reserves. The country’s pro tennis tournament is the Qatar ExxonMobil Open. An OPEC member chairing a United Nations climate change conference? Simply put, carbon has made modern Qatar what it is today. Sixty percent of the nation’s GDP comes from oil and natural gas. Due to high prices and increased output, the country is booming. While some were disillusioned with the selection, Qatar is actually the perfect place to host a COP. Ignoring fossil fuel production and consumption isn’t going to achieve much and OPEC nations have a role to play. Bill…

An egg card

"Mosquitos" can bite humans to lay an egg card or humans can seek "medics" to clean out mosquito egg cards

Doha, Qatar: “mosquitos” (willing participants at UNFCCC) are flying and “breeding grounds” (Red Cross Climate Change Centre team members and myself) are waiting for “mosquitos” to return to lay an egg [card]. Once the “mosquitos” return to the “breeding ground” with an egg [card] they then seek out more humans to bite in order to lay another egg [card].

On the other front “medics” (other team members) are waiting to give out cure/clear out [cards] to humans bitten by “mosquitos.” Once those previously bitten have…

Lessons Learned from Tweets

Though my personal Twitter account languishes from disuse, this semester I have started tweeting actively under the FES handle. In Doha, I’ve gotten to put this skill to serious work. Through the International Organizations and Conferences class, David Emmerman, Bunyod Holmatov and I partnered with homo ecos, a Latvian NGO whose primary focus is generating environmental awareness and social movements in Latvia. Our role was to help in climate policy research and capacity building for the larger Latvian NGO community. To do this, we produced a policy paper about key issues for Latvia at COP18 (Short primer: http://homoecos.lv/uploads/files/COP18_Short_Primer(1).pdf). The paper was intended for NGOs and ministries and distributed to the Latvian delegation. We also agreed to facilitate a social media campaign for…

Featured Alum: Dan Berkman and Disaster Relief

Hey Everyone! Hope your Thanksgivings (for U.S. students) were most excellent—filled with good food and good company!

I’m back with the latest from FES, continuing with more Featured Alumni. This time, I’ve got Dan Berkman, MEM ’12, taking some time to talk about his experience at FES, and the work he is now doing on disaster preparedness in Washington, DC (a very, very popular destination for FES alumni).

Dan Berkman was one of my good friends at FES, and he very quickly acquired the name Disaster Dan around campus. Contrary to what you might think, Disaster Dan was so named because of his ability to FIX disasters, not to cause them (usually). While he was at FES, he exemplified the kind of entrepreneurial attitude that does so well at…