Yoram Bauman

Yoram Bauman

Yoram Bauman, “the world’s first and only stand-up economist,” performs regularly at colleges and corporate events, sharing the stage with everyone from Robin Williams to Paul Krugman. He has appeared in TIME Magazine and on PBS and NPR, and is the co-author of the Carton Introduction to Climate Change and the two-volume Cartoon Introduction to Economics, which is now available in Chinese, German, Italian, etc. He is also the organizer of the humor session at the annual meeting of the American Economic Association.
Yoram lives in Seattle, where he founded Non-Profit Comedy, a series of benefit shows that has raised almost $100,000 for local non-profits. He has a BA in mathematics from Reed Colleague and a PhD in economics from the University of Washington. He is a fellow at Sightline Institute in Seattle, and in 2011 he spent five months in Beijing as a visiting scholar at the University of International Business and Economics. His website is www.standupeconomist.com.

Island Press

Offsetting the Environmental Impacts of Trump

Island Press authors share their creative ideas for offsetting the damaging environmental impacts of the Trump administration.

This summer, three environmentalists banded together to counter Trump’s inaction on climate by planting trees. So far, the crowd-sourced forest is at 840,000 trees pledged and growing.

We asked Island Press authors to reflect on the idea of Trump Forest and offer their own suggestions for offsetting the damaging effects of the Trump administration. Their ideas—from Twitter-based fundraising to more walkable neighborhoods—are below. Have your own creative idea? Share it in the comments.

How about the Trump Military-Industrial Parks Funding Bill: for every dollar that the Trump administration's EPA saves for corporate polluters, a dollar is transferred from the budget for Defense Department and applied to funding for National Parks. 
—Emily Monosson, Natural Defense

Badlands National Park in South Dakota, via Wikimedia Commons

Planting trees for—or, more accurately, against—Trump and his policies is a great idea. We know that it’s not going to solve the problem of climate change, although every tree helps a little, and if we plant enough trees they will have a significant effect. But, perhaps just as important in the short term, every little gesture against the awful Donald contributes to the tide of protest by millions of people saying  “we will not accept the attitudes of this president and we will not go along with his agenda."

Continue reading the full post here.
Joe Landsberg and Richard Waring, Forests in Our Changing World

I suggest creating an online platform where everyone who voted for Hillary (all 68 million of them) can sign up and pledge to give 1 cent—which would be automatically deducted from their bank accounts (if they have one)—every time Trump tweets. This money would then go to combating climate change denial organizations/agendas, which are (demonstrably) incredibly well-funded.

If even half of everyone who voted for Hillary did this, we could generate $3.4 million in one day alone. (34 million votes equals 34 million cents multiplied by 10—the amount of times he tweets daily, on average.) The environmental cause he donates to could change every day. Even changing the monetary amount to half or a quarter of a cent for every tweet would still generate a lot of money.” 
—Michael Carolan, No One Eats Alone

The best way to offset the environmental impacts of the Trump administration is to advance smart policy at the state level and be prepared to do the same at the federal level once Trump leaves office… or if he changes his mind while in office! I am very worried that the GOP’s “Obamacare repeal” moment will be repeated in climate policy in a few years, and I speak from experience: 2016’s pioneering I-732 carbon tax ballot measure campaign in Washington State (which I founded and co-chaired) lost in part because of opposition from the “environmental left,” including the Sierra Club and Washington Conservation Voters. The same dynamic played out in California earlier this year, with the Sierra Club and 350.org opposing the extension of California’s cap-and-trade system.

And you can watch it happening again in Washington State as the groups that splintered with the grassroots I-732 campaign are now splintering with each other about a 2018 ballot measure. So: If you’re on the right side of the political spectrum then there’s lots of work to do getting conservatives to pay attention to the risks of climate change (Bob Inglis and his compatriots at RepublicEn are one great resource), and if you’re on the left, well, as the Washington Post editorial board put it, “The left’s opposition to a carbon tax shows there’s something deeply wrong with the left.” Fix it. 
—Yoram Bauman, Cartoon Introduction to Climate Change

Upper State4.jpg
Restaurants on East Rock's main commercial strip in New Haven, CT, via Wikimedia Commons

A good place to plant many of those trees is along the streets of America’s cities, towns, and villages. It’s been shown again and again that a canopy of street trees can significantly lower the air temperature of a block or a neighborhood or a larger area during the height of summer. That makes for more comfortable living. It reduces the need for air conditioning. It encourages people to walk or bike to nearby destinations rather than drive a car. Moreover, street trees make a place more beautiful. They persuade people—at least some people—that living in a somewhat dense neighborhood is not a sacrifice—it’s an advantage. 

Along with planting trees, we should put more emphasis on making the street network safer for pedestrians. Especially important is what happens at intersections, the most dangerous parts of the street network. Some intersections need to be narrowed, to get motorists to slow down and to reduce the distance that pedestrians have to cross. On long or especially busy blocks, segments of the planter strips could be extended into the street, causing vehicles to move at a more reasonable speed and helping people to cross the street safely. 

Follow examples from cities like Portland, Oregon, where centers of many neighborhood intersections have been planted, moderating the speeds on residential streets. In front of some neighborhood shops, encourage merchants to create patios where people can come together, eat and drink, and get to know one another. On Orange Street in the East Rock section of New Haven, Connecticut, where small stores are interspersed among houses and apartment buildings, patios of this sort have been created, giving the neighborhood a more congenial atmosphere than previously existed. 

Making a greener, more beautiful, more sociable environment benefits people in many different ways.
—Phil Langdon, Within Walking Distance

There's no lack necessary actions we can take. But where to start? Or perhaps better asked: How can I channel my outrage into something that's constructive but also as satisfying as ripping out part of my sink? (After all, outrage is an itch best scratched soon lest you turn into a humorless crank.)

Seed-bombing Trump golf courses with wildflowers and edibles immediately comes to mind, though admittedly that ranks high on "satisfying" and not much else. Punching literal Nazis on the street is constructive, in a way, though it's not a skill I currently possess. Keeping up with my curated Twitter roster of political and environmental experts is more important than it sometimes feels (especially when the underrated Sarah Kendzior has a new post) but it's also far from satisfying.

Of course, anything that makes a whit of difference is generally going to be neither easy nor quick. Meaningful changes take time, time spent in setting intention, executing action, and curating results. I think this holds true whether you're raising a garden, starting an activist organization, or making a footprint-reducing lifestyle change.

Continue reading the full post here.
—Daniel Lerch, Community Resilience Reader

Photo credit: Supreme Court Pediment by Flickr.com user Kevin Harber

Island Press Takes Action on Climate Change

On Monday January 30th I had the privilege of accompanying the Island Press team on a quest to affect political change.

On Monday January 30th I had the privilege of accompanying the Island Press team on a quest to affect political change. Thanks to a group of generous donors we were able to assemble together 60 copies of The Cartoon Introduction to Climate Change by Yoram Bauman and Grady Klein. We travelled all over Capitol Hill visiting the offices of freshmen House and Senate members to bestow upon them a copy of the book. Though I didn’t manage to spot any lawmakers I still had a lot of fun. It was somewhat nerve-wracking to walk into a Congressperson or Senator's office unannounced but I eventually got used to it. It felt good to be doing something about climate change. I hope at least some of the Representatives and Senators we visited will take the time to read the book.

Copies of the book ready to be delivered.


The Team before setting off. From left to right: Jason Leppig, myself, Isabella Austin and Katharine Sucher



Isabella Austin at Rep. Gottheimer's office | Island Press
Isabella Austin about to deliver some science to Rep. Gottheimer (D, NJ).


Isabella Austin says, "delivering the Cartoon Introduction to Climate Change to the freshman members of Congress was a rewarding experience because not many people are able to take advantage of having easily accessible government representatives. Capitol Hill can be intimidating, but seeing just how easy and encouraged it is to simply walk into the offices of our Senators and Representatives, even if you may not be able to talk them directly, can reassure anyone who wants to reach out that their voices, ideas, and opinions will be heard and passed along." 


Eric Bertsch at Rep. Panetta's office | Island Press
Eric Bertsch at Rep. Panetta's (D, CA) office.


Katharine Sucher at Rep. Rutherford's office | Island Press
Katharine Sucher about to bring some climate change knowledge to Rep. Rutherford's (R, FL) office.


Jason Leppig at Rep. Suozzi's office | Island Press
Jason Leppig arming Rep. Suozzi (D, NY) with some science facts.


Here we are, meaning business. Watch as Katharine makes a science-delivery to Rep. Brown's (D, MD) office.

It might take some time before some Representatives read the book, digest the information, and base policy decisions on what they've learned.


This effort was made possible by the generous support of readers like you. Help Island Press continue to demand action guided by sound science. Make a gift today to take a stand for the environment.

Help us educate the new Congress!

Help Us Teach Congress the Basics on Climate Change!

As the new administration fills its leadership positions with climate deniers and energy lobbyists, many environmentalists like you find themselves discouraged.


As the new administration fills its leadership positions with climate deniers and energy lobbyists, many environmentalists like you find themselves discouraged.

Help us educate all new members of Congress on the science behind climate change and its implications for our economy.

Now more than ever, this is a time to promote policy approaches informed by science.

With your help, we will deliver a copy of The Cartoon Introduction to Climate Change by Yoram Bauman and Grady Klein to every new member of Congress. That's 7 new Senators and 53 Representatives whose work will affect our future.

This cartoon introduction is based on the latest report from the authoritative Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and integrates Bauman’s expertise on economics and policy.

Click HERE to do your part to help us make sure that the members of the 115th Congress understand that climate change is real. The time to act is now.