Author and Environmental Activist Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. Comes to Cleveland for Town Hall Series
On Monday, Nov. 12, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. will speak at the Ohio Theatre at Playhouse Square at 6 p.m. in downtown Cleveland. Kennedy's reputation as a resolute defender of the environment stems from a litany of successful legal actions. He was named one of Time magazine's “Heroes for the Planet” for leading the fight to restore the Hudson River and Rolling Stone magazine's "100 Agents of Change." He has authored several books, including New York Times’ bestseller Crimes Against Nature (2004) that calls into question environmental policies of the U.S.
Kennedy is a business visionary and environmental champion who will discuss how a green economy solves a myriad of domestic and global challenges. You'll learn how a well-crafted energy policy will help America compete more effectively while reducing our national debt. He will inspire you to protest and preserve our planet for future generations.
Kennedy is chief prosecuting attorney for Hudson Riverkeepers, senior attorney for Natural Resources Defense Council and president-at-large for Waterkeeper Alliance. He is a professor of environmental law at Pace University School of Law and co-director of the school's Environmental Litigation Clinic. Kennedy is a partner in Silicon Valley's VantagePoint Ventures Partners' CleanTech investment team.
Kennedy was featured in the acclaimed environmental documentary The Last Mountain, the Sundance 2011 official selection. The film examines the struggle to save Coal River Mountain in Coal River Valley, West Virginia—the last mountain in the area untouched by the mining practice of mountaintop removal.
As a keynote speaker, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. delivers a passionate defense of the environment and of how its continued neglect affects the future of the planet and the health of future generations. He advocates a direct and aggressive approach against entities whose policies accelerate pollution and maintain the status quo. Kennedy calls upon all people to actively make a difference in their world.
For information or to purchase tickets, call Town Hall at 216-241-1919 or visit www.townhallofcleveland.org. The Ohio Theatre is at 1511 Euclid Ave., Cleveland, Ohio 44115.
Town Hall of Cleveland's mission is to educate and to inform, through an annual series of public lectures, an audience of attentive and active citizenry in northern Ohio, promoting no particular social or political agenda other than to enrich the depth and quality of the public discourse essential to a free society.
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Clear-cutting a forest is relatively easy—just pick a tree and start chopping. But there are benefits to more sophisticated forest management. One technique—which involves repeatedly harvesting smaller trees every 30 or so years but leaving an upper story of larger trees for longer periods (60, 90, or 120 years)—ensures a steady supply of both firewood and construction timber.
A Pattern in the Rings<p>The <a href="https://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/coppice-standards-0" target="_blank">coppice-with-standards</a> management practice produces a two-story forest, said <a href="https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Bernhard_Muigg" target="_blank">Bernhard Muigg</a>, a dendrochronologist at the University of Freiburg in Germany. "You have an upper story of single trees that are allowed to grow for several understory generations."</p><p>That arrangement imprints a characteristic tree ring pattern in a forest's upper story trees (the "standards"): thick rings indicative of heavy growth, which show up at regular intervals as the surrounding smaller trees are cut down. "The trees are growing faster," said Muigg. "You can really see it with your naked eye."</p><p>Muigg and his collaborators characterized that <a href="https://ltrr.arizona.edu/about/treerings" target="_blank">dendrochronological pattern</a> in 161 oak trees growing in central Germany, one of the few remaining sites in Europe with actively managed coppice-with-standards forests. They found up to nine cycles of heavy growth in the trees, the oldest of which was planted in 1761. The researchers then turned to a historical data set — more than 2,000 oak <a href="https://eos.org/articles/podcast-discovering-europes-history-through-its-timbers" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">timbers from buildings and archaeological sites</a> in Germany and France dating from between 300 and 2015 — to look for a similar pattern.</p>
A Gap of 500 Years<p>The team found wood with the characteristic coppice-with-standards tree ring pattern dating to as early as the 6th century. That was a surprise, Muigg and his colleagues concluded, because the first mention of this forest management practice in historical documents occurred only roughly 500 years later, in the 13th century.</p><p>It's probable that forest management practices were not well documented prior to the High Middle Ages (1000–1250), the researchers suggested. "Forests are mainly mentioned in the context of royal hunting interests or donations," said Muigg. Dendrochronological studies are particularly important because they can reveal information not captured by a sparse historical record, he added.</p><p>These results were <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-78933-8" target="_blank">published in December in <em>Scientific Reports</em></a>.</p><p>"It's nice to see the longevity and the history of coppice-with-standards," said <a href="https://www.teagasc.ie/contact/staff-directory/s/ian-short/" target="_blank">Ian Short</a>, a forestry researcher at Teagasc, the Agriculture and Food Development Authority in Ireland, not involved in the research. This technique is valuable because it promotes conservation and habitat biodiversity, Short said. "In the next 10 or 20 years, I think we'll see more coppice-with-standards coming back into production."</p><p>In the future, Muigg and his collaborators hope to analyze a larger sample of historic timbers to trace how the coppice-with-standards practice spread throughout Europe. It will be interesting to understand where this technique originated and how it propagated, said Muigg, and there are plenty of old pieces of wood waiting to be analyzed. "There [are] tons of dendrochronological data."</p><p><em><a href="mailto:email@example.com" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Katherine Kornei</a> is a freelance science journalist covering Earth and space science. Her bylines frequently appear in Eos, Science, and The New York Times. Katherine holds a Ph.D. in astronomy from the University of California, Los Angeles.</em></p><p><em>This story originally appeared in <a href="https://eos.org/articles/tree-rings-reveal-how-ancient-forests-were-managed" target="_blank">Eos</a></em> <em>and is republished here as part of Covering Climate Now, a global journalism collaboration strengthening coverage of the climate story.</em></p>
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