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Saturday, November 13, 2010

Harvard: Are Biofuels the Answer? Science and Economics of Alternative Energy

Are Biofuels the Answer? The Science and Economics of Alternative Energy

Are Biofuels the Answer?

Thursday,
November 18, 2010

6:00-8:00 pm.

Harvard Business School,
Aldrich Hall, Room 112

Boston, MA

Given the risks and costs of oil production,
the environmental impact of greenhouse gases,
and the need for energy security,
are biofuels the answer?
Join the Harvard Alumni Association (HAA)
for a discussion on the impact of biofuels
featuring prominent scholars in the field.

Panelists include:

Mitchell Dong '75, Executive Director,
Mohave Sun Power LLC

Forest Reinhardt John D. Black Professor of Business Administration and Faculty Chair, European Research Initiative, Harvard Business School.
Recent articles.

Noel Michele Holbrook,
Professor of Biology and
Charles Bullard Professor of Forestry,
Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University.
Recent articles

Alumni and friends of the Harvard community: $10
Undergraduate Students: complimentary (free)

Register here


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The value of graciousness


I think this headline hurts the cause. The issue is how one leader's personality works against the growth and gradual development in the general public's minds - on their own terms - of pro-vegan (and animal-friendly) personal and social values.

Attacking someone who isn't quite 'there' yet (even when he tries heroically) is IMHO not in the interest of the goals we're trying to seek, nor even in the spirit of the argument that is made here.

Gary is not a fascist; he is a law school professor who may not really listen very well. He instinctively wants the bully pulpit all the time, but he's a good-hearted man with a curious sense of humor (that I oddly enjoy in a Homer-Simpson-like way).

Let me share a Francionism:

GaryFrancione:
"Folks often ask me, and surely they ask all of you, too, 'What do you eat as a vegan?'. For me it's very simple. Black coffee and cigarettes."

Now, I think that's all pretty awful and it perpetuates the socially endogenous image of the animal rights advocate as someone doing potentially wise things poorly in order to 'do it for the animals' in a self-sacrificing (and thus self-destructive') way that is both unwise and unhealthful.

But I think that our community is larger than our problems. I've watched Prof. Francione mature amazingly well during this past decade, and I cheer him on.

Newcomers are tempted to make cult figures out of any of us who are 'out there' in a public, effective, productive, diligent way. As Patrick Battuello argues, the 'movement' (which once was not a movement, but now is, I would argue) is not any one person, group, or perspective, but the deeper, broader theme, so that any of us can defer or back away from any of the tangential, side issues that are often co-packaged with vegan advocacy (and there ARE a multitude of confusing side 'social issues' which COULD be fundamental to any one vegan's personal veganism, multiplied by however millions of other vegans feel that way, but which may not always be inherent in every OTHER individual's 'personal veganism' (and thus, not inherent in 'veganism' itself.

I've been attending Friday evening contemplative evenings with vegan buffets and meditative talks long enough to appreciate the value of graciousness in the lives of vegans and vegetarians. Let us cultivate a spirit of generosity.

As Gary Francione himself has been noted saying of late:

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

IRAC and 'fact patterns'

In my graduate Contracts class, I was assigned to criticize a contract, basing all my arguments on the IRAC writing method.

Some claim that the IRAC method is based on answering questions based on identifiable fact patterns.

While others have criticized the IRAC writing method online, I found this site online, also.

http://www.leews.com/

It has a nice but short analysis, yet the LEEWS (method/program website) is offering us a sales pitch for the LEEWS method (and training in the LEEWS method). I won't cry COI, but note that legal analysis BEGINS with FACTS - a list of facts (observed or acknowledged facts), from which the ISSUE is discerned.

How would medical, scientific, or business reasoning proceed?

So 'fact patterns' are the observations from which one discerns relevant facts - facts relevant to the conversation or controversy.

However, we would hardly enjoy the ambiguity of discussing IRAC/Iraq in the 21st century if we terms this the FIRAC system, would we?

Ambiguity might be as fundamental as death and food and sexuality - for mentally active persons way up there on Maslow's hierarchy of needs.

http://www.DoNotEatUs.org

A wonderful 2-minute video spot can be downloaded and shared from http://www.DoNotEatUs.org website.

Hope you all enjoy it as much as I did!