Sustainability Labs Listener Advice, Jeffrey James’ CC Virtual Panel, Midwest US EV Battery Boom!

by | Oct 31, 2022 | Podcasts, The Climate Daily

Sustainability Labs Listener Advice, plus Jeffrey James’ Climate Change Virtual Panel, and Midwest US EV Battery Boom!



Last week we REPORTED ON two stories talking about Dr. Michael Ben-Eil’s Sustainability Laboratory and its Five Core Principles of Sustainability. Well at least one of our listeners took us to task for being so long-winded in explaining the Five Core Principles of Sustainability. Helen Stern—thank you for listening—pointed out a better way. When you all give us good intel, we share it. Here’s what she suggested:

  1. Material Domain: Accepting the fact the Earth has unlimited resources and live within our means
  2. Economic Domain: Don’t waste resources, and pick up after yourself
  3. Domain of Life: Live by the Golden Rule: Treat the Earth the way you wish to be treated, and treat others the same way, too.
  4. Social Domain: Live and let live.
  5. Spiritual Domain: We are all connected–to each other and to the Earth. Without a healthy Earth, there is no us. Act like it’s true, because it is.

Did I mention Helen’s an editor? 

DEEPER DIVE: Sustainability Lab


Back on October 20th, Jeffrey hosted a virtual climate change panel for the Harvard Club of Washington, DC, called “Climate Change: It’s Already Here — It’s Just Unevenly Distributed.”

It featured dialogue with Imani Cheers, who is an associate professor of digital storytelling at the George Washington University, and the Interim Senior Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education. She is also the Director of Academic Adventures for Planet Forward. An award-winning digital storyteller, director, producer, and filmmaker, Dr. Cheers’s scholarly focus is on the intersection of women/girls, technology, health, conflict, agriculture, and the effects of climate change in sub-Saharan Africa. 

Also on the panel, A.R. Siders — co-director of the University of Delaware’s Mangone Climate Change Science & Policy Hub and an assistant professor in the Disaster Research Center. Dr. Siders’s research focuses on how communities and governments make decisions about when, where, and how to adapt to the effects of climate change and how those decisions affect risk reduction and equity, and the concept of “managed retreat,” relocating people and assets away from risk.

AND JARed DeWeece, Deputy Director for Communications:: Climate and Energy at Third Way. Now thanks to the magic of the internet, the rest of us who didn’t go to Harvard and aren’t Harvard Club of DC members can enjoy the wit and wisdom of this lively, one-hour conversation. Click on the link in the Deeper Dive section of this story at to stream, “Climate Change: It’s Already Here — It’s Just Unevenly Distributed.”

 DEEPER DIVE: Jeffrey’s CC Panel, A.R. Siders, Imani Cheers, Planet Forward, ThirdWay



Last week, Michigan gov. Gretchen Whitmer held a ceremonial ribbon-cutting at the headquarters of our next energy, a battery manufacturing startup in Novi, a Detroit suburb. This is an increasingly common scene as demand for electric vehicles is leading to an expansion of U.S. battery manufacturing on a scale so large that it’s almost difficult to comprehend. This is an increasingly common scene as demand for electric vehicles is leading to an expansion of U.S. Battery manufacturing on a scale so large that it’s almost difficult to comprehend.

Our Next Energy, or ONE, plans to spend $1.6 billion on a new plant in Novi that would employ more than 2,000 people. The company, co-founded by a former Ford engineer, is providing batteries to BMW, among others. With announcements of more than two dozen plants in the so-called “battery belt” of the U.S., the industry is growing at a breakneck pace.

But that’s not even the biggest battery-related announcement in Michigan this month. If all the announced plants get built—currently numbering close to a dozen– that would be enough battery capacity for more than 13 million EVs per year, based on the typical size range of today’s batteries. That’s only 2-4 million fewer than the typical number of gas-powered cars and trucks are sold annually in the US.