#UprootTheSystem, Pritzker Enviro Genius Award Finalists, Meet Climate Champ–Chook Chook Hillman, Save the Bees with this HIIVE!

by | Oct 21, 2021 | Podcasts, The Climate Daily

#UprootTheSystem, plus Pritzker Emerging Environmental Genius Award finalists announced. Meet Indigenous Climate Champion, Chook Chook Hillman, and save the honey bees with this Dyson Design Award Finalist, HIIVE!



This October 22nd, it’s time for another Global Climate Strike to continue the pressure on world leaders and demand concrete plans and actions to combat the climate crisis. 

This time, people are demanding that the US and global north take responsibility for the damage they are causing to the rest of the world and pay their climate debt to the places that are currently experiencing the worst effects of their greed and exploitation. Folks must ensure that climate plans and actions leave no one behind, especially the most marginalized peoples.  

On Friday, October 22nd, youth from DC, NYC, and surrounding areas will march and rally at the US Capitol building to demand urgent action from the US government to immediately address the climate crisis. They’re demanding that President Biden declare a climate emergency and stop the Line 3 pipeline, and that the US Congress pass the comprehensive $3.5 trillion climate and welfare expansion bill with a Civilian Climate Corps through the budget reconciliation process in the Senate, and stop compromising with climate deniers.

So that’s October 22, at here in Washington DC. For more information click on the LinkedIn the deeper dive section of this show at the climate dot o r g slash episodes

DEEPER DIVE: Global Climate Strike, The Action Network



I thought I’d found an award which we’d qualify for. It’s called the Pritzker Emerging Environmental Genius Award.

The UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability sponsors the Pritzker Emerging Environmental Genius Award, as chosen by a committee of 12 faculty members. It comes with a $100,000 cash prize, and it’s the first major environmental award to recognize individuals 40 and younger who have shown exceptional promise as champions for the environment.

BUT, Turns out we missed it by THAT much. Pritzker finalists were nominated by individuals who already made their mark in the environmental arena. One of The 2021 finalists is Farwiza Farhan, whom The Climate Daily spotlighted earlier this month. Farhan founded HAkA, in the Aceh region to protect the Leuser ecosystem on the Indonesian island of Sumatra. 

 The second finalist is Chook-Chook Hillman, of the Karuk tribe. The Karuk Tribe is a federally recognized Indian tribe of Karuk people. They are an indigenous people of California, located in the northwestern corner of the state, in Humboldt and Siskiyou counties. It’s one of the largest Indian tribes in California.

Hillman educates youth, and partners with other tribes, universities, nonprofit organizations and government agencies to exchange cultural and environmental knowledge.

The third finalist is David Diaz. Diaz is executive director of ActiveSGV, a non-profit whose mission is to support a more sustainable, equitable and livable San Gabriel Valley in southern California. Diaz has spent nearly a decade there working to advance equity, public health and environmental justice.

The winner of the Pritzker Emerging Environmental Genius Award will be announced during a virtual ceremony in November.

DEEPER DIVE: Pritzker Prize, ActiveSGV, Karuk Tribe, HAkA



So who is Chook Chook Hillman, Pritzker Genius prize finalist, anyway? And why does he matter to us? Let’s start with the last question first. Because, forest fires. Now hold that thought.

Hillman is a member of the Karuk tribe.  Hillman is an expert on Karuk ecological knowledge of their lands in Northern California and Oregon. The Karuk used to be known as the ‘incendiary Indians,’ because of their deep tribal knowledge of and use of controlled burning practices.

Karuk tribal territory is some of the largest in North America, more than 1 million acres, which spanning Northern California, Southern Oregon, through four counties and two national forests. That region now faces dire threats of water scarcity and worsening wildfires. In fact, many of the most recent major NoCal and Oregon fires have occurred on Karuk land.

Hillman advocates a holistic approach to environmental problems, with approaches such as taking care of upland forest to conserve water supply. And, according to Karuk tradition, that also means taking better care of people.

Here’s the second reason why Chook Chook Hillman matters to us. He says, “We view ourselves as a naturally occurring element of the Earth. If the people can’t be okay, the forest can’t be okay. We all have to be okay to do our part.”

Chook Chook Hillman was recently featured in a film short called, “Making It Better for Our People,” about the complexities that Karuk youth and Tribal people face when confronting the ideas of education, learning, and success. Find a link to the film in the deeper dive section of this story at theclimate.org/episodes.

DEEPER DIVE: High Country News, “Making It Better for Our People”, Pritzker Prize



The James Dyson Award is an international student design award that challenges young people to, “design something that solves a problem”. 20 finalists have been chosen for the 2021 awards. On November 17th, James Dyson will hand-pick the winner, the sustainability winner and two runners-up.

We’ve spotlighted several here previously on The Climate Daily. Another finalist of note is a device called a HIIVE—with two eyes. It was designed by Philip Potthast and Fabian Wischmann from the Startup Centre of the University of Applied Sciences in Berlin. 

The original goal was to design a more ergonomic beehive, but…in their field research, Potthast and Wischmann discovered that fighting parasitic mites in beehives also meant harming the honey bees themselves. That experience made them realize the problems of traditional boxy beehives ran deeper than ergonomics. It was about microclimates.

You see, in nature, honey bees build hives that look like rugby footballs. They don’t build them like boxes. When HUMANs make beehives, they make them with gaps of air between the vertical honeycomb slats. Easy for the beekeeper to handle the honeycombs, but harsh on the bees.

In the winter, those gaps let cold air in, making it harder for honey bees to maintain a consistent, warm temperature throughout the hive. Imagine trying to keep your home warm in the winter with all your windows stuck full open. That puts a lot of stress on them.

The more globular shape of Potthast’s and Wischmann’s HIIVEs help control heat and humidity in a way the 150-year old boxy design can’t. In fact, their HIIVEs replicates the microclimate of a natural beehive. Research has shown that honey bees in natural, rounder hives live healthier. HIIVE also helps honey bees deal with parasites in a natural way.

Why does HIIVE matter to us? Two reasons:the design reduces the tremendous stress honey bees are under as a species right now; and two, we need bees, not beekeepers. HIIVE is specifically designed as a “set it and forget it” home for honey bees, not a honey-making factory. You can help save pollinators in your own backyard without having to buy the bee outfits, and the smoke generators. And you certainly don’t have to harvest the honey.

DEEPER DIVE: HIIVE, Dyson Awards, Apis Mellifera, Varroa Mites,