Jonathan J. Halperin
Jonathan J. Halperin
Designing Research, Communications
and Strategies for Sustainability

Ecosystem and Economics

For how long do we think we can continue the mental shell game of building economic success today based on externalizing the costs of critical natural inputs (water, air, carbon sequestration and so forth)?

Friday, December 18, 2009
Word from inside the plenary this windy and cold Friday morning in Denmark is that things are tense and unprecedented. This mirrors Achim’s Steiner’s characterization Wednesday that the talks were “in crisis.” And in conversation with a range of people in the last 24 hours there is a broad sense that the groundwork has not been laid for a binding treaty. Even as most fundamental of disagreements remain unresolved, operational details of implementation have begun to unwind as well.
Friday, December 18, 2009
While the demonstrators stole the show earlier this week in Copenhagen — determined that alternative and contrary voices be heard — they also seem to have provided the organizers with a seemingly sound reason to close the Bella Center entirely to non-governmental organizations. Thus a call for greater participation ends with almost total exclusion.
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Neither Al Gore nor Yves de Boer were looking very happy when they walked by a few minutes ago. And as is widely reported, there is concern within the sprawling Bella Center that despite pledges made in the ramp-up to COP15 little progress is being made here. And certainly the climate here has changed as full-fledged negotiations are now underway; non-governmental observers, fully accredited and registered, were largely closed out this morning as snow began to swirl around an increasingly frigid Copenhagen.
Monday, December 14, 2009
We screened “Hope in a Changing Climate” yesterday during an event dedicated to agriculture and rural development and then participated in a distinct event entitled “Forest Day 3.” During various sessions at “Agriculture Day, much was made of the fact that forests are ahead both in terms of scientific understanding and their full inclusion in the COP 15 negotiations.
Friday, December 11, 2009
How we remember, what we see in our mind’s eye, is of course intimately connected with words and language. And while endless pieces far more clever than I aim to be have been written about the alphabet soup of acronyms that are spawned whenever governments and multilateral organizations convene, there is a more deeply serious aspect to language that matters very much.
Friday, December 11, 2009
I try to pay attention to what I remember as well as what I forget. Of course, what we readily recall is often the mundane while we often forget the painful or profound. As the political theatre and deeply held convictions of thousands of people envelops the Danish capital, like the cold mist and rain here again in Copenhagen, the normalcy of the Danes stands out — a bit awkwardly.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Airport terminals always remind me a bit of terrariums -- enclosed spaces nonetheless bustling with life. En route to COP15, the fifteenth conference of parties struggling across a multilateral minefield to manage an increasingly our climate that has become increasingly unstable due to human-made emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Listening just now to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack speak in Copenhagen at Agriculture and Rural Development Day, I was reminded of how important meetings are to generating hard deadlines. According to Vilsack, the USDA will issue “The Effects of Climate Change on US Ecosystems” before President Obama travels here this coming week. While we cannot be sure, the report appears to be a serious effort, drawing in high-powered academic researchers, to examine the fundamental relationship between climate and ecosystems.
Friday, February 24, 1989
Op-Ed, The Los Angeles Times, September 24, 1989

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When I began to unhook from SustainAbility in 2008, after 20+ years, to co-found Volans, Jonathan was working with the US end of SustainAbility — and sent the London end of the Volans team a large cardboard box of multi-colored felt rocks, which initially I couldn't make head nor tail of. I thought he was mad, or overly American.

But I have to say that, over time, those felt rocks have become a central feature of the Volans culture, thrown by team members at other team members (or guests) on the slightest provocation. That aside, he's a consummate professional, creative collaborator, skilled communicator, and keen intellect—and I am delighted both to have had Jonathan as a colleague and to now count him as a friend.

more testimonials >

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Feb 4

 Jonathan J. Halperin Retweeted Civil Eats
Jonathan J. Halperin added,
Pay attention. Pay very close attention. This is just the beginning.
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USDA removes animal welfare reports from its website
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