Environment America’s “Save The Bees” Campaign, Duke University’s Nicholas Institute And Duke Energy Initiative Merge, Climate Change Champ, Xerces Society

by | Sep 14, 2021 | Podcasts, The Climate Daily

Environment America’s “Save The Bees” Campaign, plus the Nicholas Institute and Duke Energy Initiative @ Duke University merge. And meet climate change champ, Xerces Society!



 One of our listeners—and a classmate of mine from college—hipped us to the good things Duke University is doing to address climate change at the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions. It was founded in 2005 for the purpose of

improving environmental policymaking worldwide through objective, fact-based research to confront the climate crisis, clarifying the economics of limiting carbon pollution, harnessing emerging environmental markets, putting the value of nature’s benefits on the balance sheet, developing adaptive water management approaches, and identify other strategies to attain community resilience.

As part of that effort, the Nicholas Institute is hosting, Sustainable Infrastructure: Putting Principle into Practice monthly interactive webinar series. It’s supposed to be only for members of the sustainable infrastructure community, but, in a way aren’t we all part of the sustainable infrastructure community?

Among other things, each webinar delves into technical and case study presentations that focus on one of ten principles from UNEP’s International Good Practice Principles for Sustainable Infrastructure.

The first of the webinars streamed on May 12th, and four have occurred since then. Not to worry. Each was recorded and available for viewing. Dip on over to theclimate.org/episodes and click on the link in the Deeper Dive section at the end of the transcript for this story to view the recordings.

The next live event is scheduled for Wednesday, October 13th from noon to 1:15ish GMT. As a point of reference, that means 8AM on the US East Coast.

Why do these webinars matter to the less policy-inclined? Just check out any video of the buckling and melting roads in Portland, Oregon during its 2021 Heat Dome experience, or any videos of the US mid-atlantic region right after the remnants of Hurricane Ida roared through, or the Dallas Deep Freeze of 2021…

By the by, while Duke has made further steps toward sustainability over the past year, it has not moved further toward divestment from fossil fuels. If you’re a Blue Devil, or know one, there is a Fossil Free Campaign petition available to sign. Just click on the link in the Deeper Dive section of this story at theclimate.org/episodes to find out more.

DEEPER DIVE: Nicholas Institute, Nicholas Institute Webinars, UNEP, FossilFreeDuke



Staying on the Duke University campus for just a moment, it was recently announced that beginning July 1, 2021, the Nicholas Institute and the Duke University Energy Initiative began the process of merging. The resulting institute will play a key role in Duke University’s heightened efforts to address climate change and its impacts.

Founded in 2005, the Nicholas Institute has been a bridge between Duke’s scholarly research and POLICYmakers to create timely, effective and economically practical solutions to critical environmental and energy challenges. The Nicholas Institute’s core team of policy experts, economists, scientists and attorneys develops non-partisan research and analysis, as well as convenes federal, state and global officials for dialogue around environmental issues.

The Energy Initiative, founded in 2011, has been Duke’s hub for education and research around accessible, affordable, reliable, and clean energy systems. The Energy Initiative offers undergraduate and graduate courses, seminars and networking opportunities for students and faculty. It also connects with Duke alumni, potential employers, industry partners and policymakers.

Why did the two merge and why does this merger matter to the rest of us non-Dukies?

Duke University Provost Dr. Sally Kornbluth said in announcing the merger, “Our climate research, education and policy engagement endeavors will build on Duke experts’ track record of substantial contributions to the understanding of energy and environmental challenges. As Duke University heightens its commitment to climate solutions and sustainability, combining the strengths of the Nicholas Institute and Energy Initiative will accelerate the university’s ambitious vision.”

“Duke is creating an ambitious strategy for accelerating sustainable, equitable solutions to the climate crisis,” added Duke University President Dr. Vincent E. Price. 

DEEPER DIVE: Duke Today, Nicholas Institute, Duke Energy Initiative, Vincent Price Thriller Intro



Tell Amazon: Stop selling bee-killing neonic pesticides. Environment America’s mission is to transform the power of our imaginations and our ideas into change that makes our world a greener and healthier place for all. 

Our bee populations are in rapid decline, and neonicotinoids — a dangerous class of bee-killing pesticides — aren’t helping. Yet you can still find these pesticides for sale on the world’s No. 1 online marketplace: Amazon.

Right now, Amazon has a chance to make a major difference in protecting our best pollinators by removing bee-killing pesticides from its site. Tell incoming Amazon CEO Andy Jassy to help save our bees by ending the sale of products that contain neonicotinoids.

Join the campaign. Buzz on over to theclimate.org/episodes and click on the link in the Deeper Dive section of this story to sign the petition.

Environment America has a team of more than 170 researchers, advocates, attorneys and communications experts, working together with 29 state affiliates, all part of The Public Interest Network. The Public Interest Network operates and supports organizations committed to a shared vision of a better world and a strategic approach to social change.

And if you don’t understand why Environment America’s Save the Bees campaign matters to us, well…there’s really no helping you, is there? Psych! Yes there is. Click on “How Neonicotinoids Kill Bees” in the Deeper Dive section of this story at theclimate.org/episodes.

Join the campaign. Buzz on over to theclimate.org/episodes and click on the link in the Deeper Dive section of this story to sign the petition.

DEEPER DIVE: Save the Bees, Environment America, How Neonicotinoids Kill Bees



The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation is an international nonprofit organization that protects the natural world through the conservation of invertebrates and their habitats. This science-based organization conducts research and relies upon the most up-to-date information to guide its conservation work. It focuses on three program areas: pollinator conservation, endangered species conservation, and reducing pesticide use and impacts.

Yes, and so are butterflies, freshwater mussels and fireflies…just to name a few. According to the website, Invertebrates form the foundation of many of our terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Destruction of habitat, pesticides, disease, and climate change are all factors leading to the decline of invertebrate species, and all of that is due to human intervention, and underappreciation for the importance of biodiversity.

Not to worry, folks the Xerces Society has a plan: Its conservation program engages in education, research, citizen science (sometimes called “community science,” or “participatory science”), conservation planning, and advocacy to protect at-risk species and their habitats. It also collaborates with scientists and land managers to raise awareness about the plight of invertebrates and to gain protection for the most vulnerable species before they decline to a level at which recovery is impossible.

One of its most recent wins involves the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service listing the Franklin’s Bumble Bee (Bombus franklini) as an endangered species under the Endangered Species Act.

“The Franklin’s bumble bee is confined to a very small historic range in the Klamath and Siskiyou mountains at the California–Oregon border,” said Leif Richardson, Conservation Biologist for the Xerces Society, and project lead for the California Bumble Bee Atlas. “The Fish and Wildlife Service decision to list the bee as endangered will help us locate, monitor and conserve remaining populations.

(Just goes to show you, there’s more than one species of bumble bee on the planet.)

True statement! According to LiveScience, there are over 255 species of bumblebees.

DEEPER DIVE: Xerces Society, Franklin’s Bumble Bee, Endangered Species Act, LiveScience