Paying to cut and burn forests: is this really what we want for renewable energy?
Tuesday, June 9th at 7:00 p.m. EST
Mary S. Booth, Ph.D., Founder and Director of the Partnership for Policy Integrity, directs PFPI’s science and advocacy work on greenhouse gases, air pollution, and forest impacts of biomass energy Biomass energy is growing rapidly worldwide due to its inclusion in renewable energy programs that make it eligible for financial incentives, including in Massachusetts. However, despite being treated as “green” and carbon neutral, burning forest wood for energy actually emits more climate and air pollution per unit energy than most fossil fuels. And harvesting for biomass creates negative impacts on our forests.
Forests and Brain Health: Emerging Research
Tuesday, June 16 at 7:00 p.m. EST
Susan A. Masino, Ph.D. is the Vernon Roosa Professor of Applied Science at Trinity College and a recent Bullard Fellow in Forest Research at Harvard University. Her research focuses on links among metabolism, brain activity and behavior and she is dedicated to educational, environmental and public policy issues affecting brain health.
The link between forests and brain health is a public policy imperative: we face increasing costs for disorders ranging from Alzheimer’s disease to addiction, and forests offer exercise, mindfulness and stress reduction. We are still discovering new species, and forests are a former and a likely future source of new medicines. Research on cardiovascular, immune and neurological systems is expanding worldwide. In people of all ages a forest can increase kindness, altruism, and generosity by provoking awe – the sense of wonder you feel in the presence of something beyond your understanding. For these and many other reasons, natural forests should be protected and accessible to citizens across the state.