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  February 2016

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Spring Registration

Susan Hoffman profiled by Road Scholar

Speaker Series

Faculty Profile: Dan Kammen

Faculty News

Travel Study: Italy

Upcoming Events

Lunch Bunch

Member Benefits

Susan Hoffman

Business and Operations Manager
Lisa Hardy

Classroom and Facilities Coordinator
Eric Anthony

Communications Coordinator
Jennifer Monahan

Research Program Associate
Cheryl Brewster

Classroom Coordinator, Lafayette
Jason Gant

Spring Registration Opens Monday, February 8

Registration opens Monday morning for our Spring term, which runs March 28 through May 6.

We have a great lineup of instructors, including Dan Kammen, Linda Rugg, Mick Chantler, Pete Elman, Russell Merritt, Marshall Krause, and many other favorites.
You can view the catalogue in pdf format; course listings will be published on the website on Monday.

We will send an email -- including instructions for signing up for your courses online -- when registration opens.

 We will also take registrations by phone at 510.642.9934 starting at 9:00 a.m. Monday.

Director Susan Hoffman profiled by Road Scholar

OLLI Director Susan Hoffman was profiled in the January issue of Road Scholar's LLI Resource Network newsletter.

Winter Speaker Series 

Our Winter Speaker Series focuses on UC Berkeley's new efforts around art and design. All lectures are held from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. at the Freight and Salvage Coffeehouse, 2020 Addison Street in downtown Berkeley. 

Wednesday, February 10
Berkeley RADICAL: A New Approach to the Performing Arts
Matías Tarnopolsky,  Executive and Artistic Director of Cal Performances 

Wednesday, February 17
Architecture of Life
Lawrence Rinder, Director of the UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive
More Information

Wednesday, February 24
Creativity is a Public Good
Shannon Jackson , Associate Vice Chancellor for the Arts and Design at UC Berkeley

Admission is $10 for the general public, free for current OLLI @Berkeley members as well as Cal students, faculty and staff.

OLLI Speaker Series in Oakland in March

As part of our ongoing outreach efforts, we're expanding our Speaker Series to include two talks in downtown Oakland this March, in between Winter and Spring terms.

Wednesday, March 16
"Middle-Class Populism: What's Driving Voters to Extremes?"
David Peritz, Professor of Politics, Sarah Lawrence College

Wednesday, March 23
"Fred Ross and Grassroots Organizing"
Gabriel Thompson, author of America's Social Arsonist: Fred Ross and Grassroots Organizing in the Twentieth Century

Both events will take place at the Downtown Oakland Senior Center in the Veterans' Memorial Building at 200 Grand Avenue, near Lake Merritt and just steps away from St. Paul's Towers. They are free for all attendees (not just current OLLI members), so tell your friends!
Faculty Profile: Daniel Kammen
by Jennifer Monahan, OLLI Staff, and Isaac Turiel, OLLI volunteer

Professor Dan Kammen, the Class of 1935 Distinguished Professor of Energy at UC Berkeley and a climate adviser to the Obama administration, will be teaching a course for us this Spring on Climate Change: Science, Politics, and Policy. We caught up with him just after his return from the Paris climate summit.

Dan Kammen What do you think the role of scientists such as yourself should be regarding informing the public about policy issues such as climate change and their possible solutions? Will taking a position provide an opportunity to claim a lack of objectivity? Is advocacy appropriate?
I of course think that scientists should run the whole show. But Winston Churchill said the opposite: that experts should be on tap, not on top. These things go back and forth: climate change was not considered a partisan issue when it was first brought up in the seventies, and now it's only a partisan issue. I think that science is now poised again to take a much bigger role in the process, and I don't believe that any amount of political bickering back and forth is going to bring up the climate deniers' perspective to the same profile. I think that history has moved on. It's not just because we got an accord signed in Paris -- an accord signed in Paris means nothing in DC -- but because we are at a point where Republicans, Democrats, mayors, governors, representatives, etc. are seeing impacts in ways that are kind of undeniable, early signs of brutal climate change from Typhoon Haiyan to Sandy to all these events. The arrow has shifted, and the real debate now is who pays, who deals with it, etc. It will be difficult to undo the philosophy of the Paris Accords, which is that each country develops its own goals and brings them to the table.

You recently returned from COP21  and we would like to learn what you're thinking about the agreement reached in Paris. Some commentators say it's a wonderful thing and then there are others --  Hansen and McKibben, for instance -- who are more critical.
I think we should be very happy and what I consider cautiously optimistic. Anything less than this would have felt like treading water; the Paris accords set up the groundwork to do a whole number of things. The Breakthrough Energy Coalition - of which the University of California is the only university signatory - will get a billion dollars invested (hopefully wisely) by 27 billionaires. That's 27 people putting in a quarter of what the federal government's putting in. That's a big deal; you cannot be negative about that.
Of course, no global accord makes everybody happy. The human rights aspect of it did not come through in a strong individual way, but most treaties don't solve problem A and solve problem B and solve problem C. We have tons of work ahead of us, much more than we thought before, but there is now a reasonable framework. The Paris Accords have switched the whole conversation from waiting for a top-down initiative -- which anyone has a chance to veto -- to something where you opt in. To use a wartime term, it's a Coalition of the Willing, and Coalitions of the Willing are much easier to keep together then coalitions that are blockable.
One of the biggest wins is that treaties that have a single objective at the end are too easy to game. The Clean Air Act is designed around the exact same principle: that we're going to make the air cleaner, year after year, subject to the best available technology and best available risk assessment. It doesn't say there's an end point. And the Clean Air Act has been the most successful environmental law in history. The Paris Accord is set up to have a similar feature: this is not a race that you win; it's a path that you get on. And I think that's the bigger transformation. That's why those who say the accords don't go far enough are right to be concerned, but wrong to be badmouthing it. I mean, we're all going to badmouth elements of it, but it was a success. And if we hadn't got it signed, we would really be bellyaching.

What are the most important future steps for ensuring that the individual countries' plans for reducing their greenhouse gas emissions will be implemented? What can be the role of the public and NGOs be in the years ahead?
One word: Financing. The $100 billion Global Green Fund has to be filled up and refilled. There has to be money for low-income people around the world, including the United States. This can't be Teslas and solar panels for rich white people; it has to be much broader. Financing is a useful tool for verification, because we're much better at tracking actual money spent than actual words said. Without a real treaty we didn't really have the framework to think about real dollars, but now [we need to focus on] financing.

Did this meeting focus more on adaptation than previous ones? Should we be moving in that direction at this point? [Note: Adaptation is an action to lessen the impact of climate change that will or has already occurred as opposed to mitigation which is an attempt to lessen climate change.]
Yes, the meeting absolutely focused on adaptation. And we have to, because we're already subjecting ourselves to a lot of climate change and it's going to get worse, especially for the poorest, and so we're going to have to find a way very quickly to ramp up [current adaptations]. But I would say that the treaty already has a big part in that, because land use is the least-cost way to start abating carbon. Regrowing forests, sustainable crops: all those things, if done right, can all be really good ways to invest back into poor people and the land. If done wrong, it's just kind of a land grab for redevelopers so it's going to require a lot of management.

Your work has consistently pointed out that climate change impacts the world's poorest disproportionately. What are some of the key challenges and opportunities for climate justice as well as some of the most promising policy approaches and technologies along those lines?
Also really simple: distributed energy. You can reach the poor much more quickly -- forget about the climate change angle -- by doing distributed rooftop solar and biomass and wind and micro-hydro than by waiting for big dams and big coal-fired power plants. I think that the imperative for distributed green is so much stronger than the imperative for centralized dirty. That will be a big game-changer as things go forward.

What would you like OLLI students to come away with from this course?
I would like OLLI students looking at the really exciting opportunities to get involved in what I would call the "solutions science." We're only beginning to scratch the surface of what we can do with behavior. The last two lectures of my series will be solutions-focused, in terms of what individuals and groups can do and what kinds of tools they can use. The will be a Twitter component to the course for those who want to reach out to children, grandchildren, etc. and help dispel these myths that people have. For instance, most people still think that solar is more expensive than coal, whereas in fact solar is actually cheaper than coal.
The fact that this group of billionaires is investing highlights the fact that anyone can make investments. I'd like to see something that looks like war bonds, where individuals who are interested can find either philanthropic or commercial ways to invest. We now have a huge amount of data from universities etc., and basically every significant business that has divested has gotten better returns from their clean portfolio than from their dirty portfolio.
I plan to do a book based on the course. It'll be short; each lecture will be a chapter, and the tentative title is "The Optimist's Guide to Climate Change."

You have worked with any number of high-profile organizations: the Vatican, the Obama Administration, the World Bank, the United Nations. What are one or two highlights from those collaborations?
At COP I hugged Jane Goodall onstage, and when I went to the Vatican for the last meeting before the encyclical I hugged the Pope. Those are pretty high on my list!

Faculty News

Joe Lurie will speak at a Commonwealth Club event in Palo Alto on March 30. The title of his talk is "Perceptions and Misperceptions in a Globalized Polarized World." Enter coupon code OSHER for an $8.00 discount when purchasing tickets. View event page.

Travel Study
" Portrait of Italy" May 14 - 30, 2016
A literary, historical, and cultural tour of Italy led by OLLI instructor Beverly Allen. From the breathtaking Amalfi Coast to eternal Rome, through the gentle Umbrian and Tuscan countryside to timeless Venice, this leisurely tour showcases ancient sites, contemporary life, priceless art, and beautiful natural scenery. You'll appreciate the small size of your group as you stay in unique accommodations in the Tuscan countryside and a medieval village.

For more information,
 go to olli.berkeley.edu/travel  or contact Cal Discoveries at 888-225-2586 or  caldiscoveries@alumni.berkeley.edu

Upcoming Community Events

The Berkeley Center for Jewish Studies is hosting a lecture series. Upcoming events include:

Wednesday, February 10
Ari Y. Kelman, " Festival Jewishness: Learning about Jews at Cultural Events"
The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life, 2121 Allston Way, Berkeley
6:00 p.m. reception; 6:30 p.m. lecture  

Thursday, February 18 
Michal Lemberger, "Women of the Bible: After Abel and Other Stories"
The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life, 2121 Allston Way, Berkeley
6:00 p.m. reception; 6:30 p.m. lecture

Lunch Bunch


2200 Oxford Street (at Allston Way)

Think of this restaurant, close to the OLLI classrooms, when you are looking for
something that is a bit upscale, with delicious and healthy locally sourced food, and a nice atmosphere. There are lots of vegetarian as well as gluten-free choices, but you are not limited to a meatless meal. The lunch menu features terrific salads, sandwiches and especially creative pizzas to share. Prices are on the high side but worth it. When the weather warms up, there's a great patio for outdoor eating too.

Lucille Poskanzer
February 2016

Member Benefits

Members of OLLI @Berkeley have access to the full range of OLLI programming and receive a Student ID card that is honored for discounts at a variety of campus and community locations. See offer details on OLLI's website and be sure to show your OLLI student ID.  

OLLI members receive a $10 discount on a $50 Senior Citizen annual membership at CAA.

OLLI members can join the UC Botanical Garden as Cal Affiliates and save $15 on a $55 annual membership.

Berkeley Arts and Letters offers OLLI members a student discount on tickets purchased through their website.
Read more
Show your OLLI student card and get 10% off at:

2087 Addison St.

Five Restaurant & Bar
2086 Allston Way

Turkish Kitchen
1986 Shattuck Ave.

Le Petit Cochon
1801C Shattuck Ave.

Phil's Sliders
2024 Shattuck Ave.
Read more