Climate Change Poet: Maya C. Popa, Brown University Sheds 90% Of Its Fossil Fuel Holdings, Last to Do It–Algeria Finally Runs Out of Leaded Gas! It’s One Percent For The Planet, Yo!

by | Sep 16, 2021 | Podcasts, The Climate Daily

Climate change poet, Maya C. Popa, plus Brown University sheds 90% of its fossil fuel holdings. Last nation on planet to do so–Algeria finally runs out of leaded gasI And it’s One Percent For The Planet, yo!



You know what we did yesterday? We went an entire show without showcasing a university on its way to full on fossil fuel divestment.

The horror.

The good news is, in highlighting today’s climate change champion university, we stay in Rhode Island.

Wait, wait, are we talkin’ ‘bout RISD?!!

We are not talking about the Rhode Island School of Design. We’re talking about Brown University.

So this is recent?

Yeah, no actually. According to the Brown Daily Herald, during the period from October 2017 through March 2020, Brown sold 90% of all its direct investments in, and managed funds that focused on fossil fuels. Now, only nine-tenths of one percent of Brown’s $4.7 billion dollar endowment fund contains any fossil fuel equities.

Vice President and Chief Investment Officer Jane Dietze indicated the move away from fossil fuels was as much economic as environmental. She said it’s due in part to the “accelerating decline in the cost of alternative energy sources” and “escalating uncertainty” in the economic future of fossil fuels that the Investment Office made the decision to sell these investments.

Brown President Christina Paxson added, “People know that this sector is dying, … and it’s just not a good long-term investment. It carries too much risk for the endowment.” Brown’s divestment is part of a university-wide climate plan to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 75 percent by 2025 and achieve net zero emissions no later than 2040.

DEEPER DIVE: Brown Daily Herald, Fossil Free, Inside Higher Ed, Brown University



 In 2002, Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia, and Craig Mathews, founder of Blue Ribbon Flies, realizing their mutual love of the outdoors, and their responsibility to protect our planet, decided to give 1% of their sales back to the environment—whether or not they were profitable. And lo, 1% for the Planet was born.

1% for the Planet is dedicated to tackling the most pressing environmental issues of our time. It relies on its approved nonprofit partners’ expertise to implement locally-based solutions. The organization creates partnerships and supports nonprofit partners to drive on-the-ground change within six core issue areas: climate, food, land, pollution, water and wildlife.

At (all spelled out in words) you can search within the six core issue areas for approved non-profits combating climate change in those specific areas. That part of the website is still in Beta test mode, so really the only way to find a non-profit in your area is to know what city, state or region you wish to search. But that’s a minor snafu. 1% for the Planet is doing great work.

According to its website, since its inception, 1% for the Planet has distributed more than $275 million dollars to support approved environmental non-profits. How? They bring dollars and doers together to accelerate smart environmental giving.

For example, in Cusco, Peru, –Amazonas Explorer, a tour operator leading treks, has planted over 1 million trees in partnership with environmental nonprofit members Ecoan and Green Our PlanetFind out more by zipping over to and click on the Deeper Dive section of this story.




In the “better late than never” department, Algeria recently became the last country in the world to stop selling leaded gasoline. The news marks a major step in improving the environment, and shows that the world’s countries can work together to solve environmental problems.

The United Nations Environment Program reports that Algeria has used up all its leaded gas. And since the polluting fuel is no longer sold anywhere in the world, there’s no more of it for Algeria to buy.

The United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) has been working for nearly 20 years to end the sale of gasoline with lead in it. Lead is a soft metal that’s toxic to humans. Bits of lead can enter the body through breathing, eating, or drinking. Lead that enters the body has a hard time leaving. Instead, it often builds up in important areas of the body. 

Lead poisoning can cause serious problems like brain damage, heart disease, and many other illnesses. The effects of lead poisoning are especially damaging to children, whose bodies are still growing and developing.

Why does the end of leaded gasoline in Algeria matter to us?  

Getting rid of leaded gasoline shows that the world’s countries can, in some cases, work together to solve serious environmental problems. That’s important because the climate crisis now requires the combined efforts of all the countries in the world.

DEEPER DIVE: News For Kids, TOTF, Tampa Bay Times, Mercury News, The Guardian



According to Amy Brady of the Chicago Review of Books, Maya C. Popa’s poem, “Letter to Noah’s Wife,” is a searching poem, expressing in beautiful and haunting imagery feelings of helplessness and uncertainty:

In answering the question of why “Letter to Noah’s Wife, Popa said, “I grew fascinated by Noah’s wife, a woman unnamed in the Bible, and her role during the flood. I chose to write to her as a way to think about my own role and potential inaction in the current crisis.”

Maya C. Popa is the Winner of the 2020 North American Book Prize for her book of poetry, American Faith, published by Sarabande Books in November 2019. She is the Poetry Reviews Editor at Publishers Weekly, and an English teacher and Director of the Creative Writing Program at the Nightingale-Bamford School in New York City.

DEEPER DIVE:, Sound Cloud, Maya C. Popa