About John Slifko
John Slifko, Ph.D, is the Founder and Co-Director of The Roosevelt Center for the Study of Civil Society and Freemasonry. He has an array of topics for which he is an advocate. John Slifko has dedicated his work to improving the education of young women, positively affecting climate change, working within a democracy, and studying Western Esotericism, democratic civil society, and Freemasonry. John’s ties with UCLA, as he is formerly the Director of Elections, has carried his work deeper into his passions. Slifko has worked for the Los Angeles City Council and was a part of the legislative staff and acted as a Field Representative in the United States Congress. During his tenure, he engaged in environmental issues and technology policy. He is a founding member and on the Board of Advisers at the Hannah Mather Crocker Society, Notre Dame University, and the Board of Directors at C3 Advisory Group. John Slifko is also a Co-Founder and Board Member of Project AWE.
Civil Society is referred to as the “third sector” of America, next to government and business. It comprises all individuals, groups, and non-governmental organizations that are not part of governments or business. The word, “civil,” implies diverse and pluralistic societies. They focus heavily on the rights of individuals and groups to meet in harmony at their own free will. Without civil society, the world would be in trouble and lacking balance. Civil societies keep the political field in check and strive to better businesses. Civil societies are necessary for a well-rounded and diverse population to survive, all while tolerating one another’s views and supporting one another’s ideas.
John Slifko’s interest in this area of democratic studies developed during the rise of the Solidarity Union in Poland, the rise of the Velvet Revolutions in Central Europe, and with the ultimate downfall of the authoritarian blocs. Slifko wishes to tackle questions like, “How could that occur?” “How could civil associations, the church, individual workers, a labor union, and intellectuals bring down the authoritarian states so swiftly?” “What is civil society?” “What are the historical, cultural, social, economic, and geographical origins of civil society in modernity in the 17th and 18th centuries?” “How is open-ended and probing communication in diverse processes and technique essential in always struggling civil society whether it be the printed word and attempts at polite speech in coffee houses of the 17th and 18th century; word of mouth, television, radio and print in the rise of the Solidarity Union in the 20th century; or digital social media of the 21st century as in Egypt or potentially emerging struggles in contemporary Cuba?” and, “Is there anti-democratic civil society in the power relations visible and often invisible in communication, networks and community?”
In each period and place that Slifko engages in the study of democratic struggle, and praxis, he is essentially focused on the colloquy of deliberative democracy including the moral imagination of an informed citizenry, related educational institutions, and individual and group experimentation in institution building. For example, in the period of the American War of Independence the moral ideal of an “informed citizenry”, and not rhetoric alone, was deemed essential in the midst of war and in the building of the young republic and efforts at democracy after the chaos of the war. At the exact same time egalitarian opportunities in education and institutional and personal experimentation were considered essential in the fledgling republic. This was a rich cultural inheritance of the American War of Independence. There were ideal efforts held together in moral imagination and colloquy but also retrenchments. There may be lessons here.
“How can all of us best help in an often ambiguous, tough and unjust world? And how do we take and give comfort and nurturing on this wondrous blue orb?” Slifko tackles these types of questions and more in his blogs and shared content.
About the Hydrogen Economy
John Slifko has a deep passion for the ways in which the hydrogen economy will affect the world for the better. He believes that using hydrogen as a form of sustainable energy can not only save us all money, but also save the environment from natural resource depletion and decay. John’s explosive passion on this topic is not only matched by millions around the world, but it is exceeded by those in powerful and wealthy standing.
For Example: Tom Seyer
By way of example, take billionaire Tom Seyer. According to Nick Stockton of WIRED Magazine, “Steyer parted ways with the leadership of his company and his oil and gas investments, began to fight the Keystone XL pipeline, and then reinvented himself as a one-man superfund for climate causes. His organization, NextGen Climate, has spent $170 million over the past four years advocating for policies and politicians that help the environment and advance renewable energy.”
Seyer is a strong activist against President Donald Trump’s intentions and actions towards non-sustainable energy and resource usage. John Slifko hopes to follow in his footsteps and make a deep impact on America by way of reaching out to and influencing elected officials and publishing useful and influential content and resources for his followers. If you are interested in following Tom Steyer, join him and thousands of others on April 22, 2017 in the March for Science at the Washington Mall in Washington, D.C.
California Fuel Cell Partnership
John Slifko also thoroughly supports the California Fuel Cell Partnership. “They’re here: Fuel cell electric vehicles and hydrogen fuel,” the website states. This has left John absolutely elated and hopeful for the future of America, even under the powerful Trump administration. Read John’s blog here on, “How to Positively Impact Climate Change Under the Trump Administration,” for more information on how he suggests taking action now.
The two companies, the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator and the California Clean Energy Fund, announced the beginning of the California Climate Cup. The Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator is a private non-profit organization that is responsible for creating a green economy by unlocking innovation, transforming markets, and enhancing communities. The California Clean Energy Fund connects capital to catalytic clean energy investments and ideas.
They created this competition to seek the next generation of technologies, business models, and platforms that will aid big cities reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve air quality, and combat climate change at an accelerated pace. Startups and entrepreneurs can showcase their solutions and technologies for climate change.
There are three categories in which startups can participate in:
- Mobility and goods movement
- Energy and transportation nexus
- Sustainable cities
Out of each of these areas, three finalists will be selected to present their startup and solution ideas at Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator’s La Kretz Innovation Campus. From there, category winners will receive cash prizes. They will also have the opportunity to pitch their startup on the stage of Governor Brown’s Global Climate Action Summit, in San Francisco, September 12-14. This is an opportunity to present their ideas in front of delegates, key climate policy decision-makers, and local, state, and world leaders. The grand prize winner will be announced during the Summit and rewarded $25,000 USD, followed by the two other category winners receiving a prize of at least $5,000 USD. The applications are due August 6, 2018. You can enter the California Climate Cup here.
If you do not want to apply, there are still ways to be involved in the Global Climate Action Summit. There are events taking place during the week of September 10-14th, in the San Francisco Bay Area. There will be climate action panels, workshops, tours, exhibits and other special events. From September 12-14th, the Summit will be streaming live on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter. The Global Climate Action Summit is a chance to bring leaders together to recognize achievements regarding climate actions by states, regions, cities, companies, investors, and citizens. Learn more about the Global Climate Action Summit and stay tuned for updates on the Summit.
On November 30th, 2015, representatives from 196 state parties negotiated terms on emissions, mitigation, adaptation and finance, and then through consensus adopted the Paris Agreement less than two weeks later. The goal of the agreement is to restrict the global average temperature from increasing, which would significantly reduce the risks and impacts of climate change.
On September 3rd, 2016, President Barack Obama officially joined the Paris Agreement stating, “We are here together because we believe that for all the challenges that we face, the growing threat of climate change could define the contours of this century more dramatically than any other challenge.”
Although 175 parties had signed the agreement and more than 20 countries had expressed their intent to join as soon as possible, Donald Trump began his candidacy for President with the pledge to withdraw from the agreement claiming that “The Paris accord will undermine the [U.S.] economy,” and “puts [the U.S.] at a permanent disadvantage.”
On June 1st, 2017, President Trump announced his intention to withdraw from the accord, although due to articles within the agreement, the exit process cannot happen until four years after entering the contract. Until the withdrawal takes effect, the U.S. is obligated to maintain the agreed upon commitment.
On the same day of the announcement, California Governor Jerry Brown aided in the launch of a movement [U.S. Climate Alliance] of states, cities, and businesses committed to carrying on the agreement, despite the federal withdrawal. Since that June announcement, Gov. Brown has worked to make this the main issue and to keep the media focused on the conflict of Trump versus Paris and Trump versus climate change in hopes of using a catalytic force to increase the intensity of the issue and encourage climate action. Governor Brown continually argues that “the whole world” needs to “realize what’s at stake” because the perils of global warming have put “human civilization on the chopping block.”
Since urging American citizens, businesses, and local government to join him in his crusade against climate control, 16 states and Puerto Rico have joined the alliance in efforts to continue the advancement of Paris Agreement objectives despite the federal withdrawal.
As Governor Brown’s time in office comes to an end, pundits, reporters, and citizens across the country have wondered whether to expect the historically informed, yet cautious politician to run for President in 2020. While Brown works to fill the void in America’s charge against climate change and leadership, the American public can’t help but wonder who will step into Governor Brown’s role as the leading push for climate action in the U.S.
On November 30, 2015, the 21st Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC began drafting the Paris Climate Agreement. Written by representatives of 196 countries, the agreement was adopted by consensus on December 12, 2015. Within provisions of the Paris Agreement, each country plans and reports on its contribution to climate control. The long-term goal of the agreement aims to keep the global average temperature from surpassing two degrees above pre-industrial levels. The results are expected to reduce risks and the impact of climate change.
In early 2015, the Benenson Strategy Group conducted 1000 interviews with likely 2016 voters nationwide in advance of the U.N. Climate Change Conference later that year. The voters were asked, “Do you strongly support, somewhat support, somewhat oppose, or strongly oppose President Obama signing an international agreement committing all countries to address climate change by reducing their carbon emissions?” Overall, the results showed that 72% support it and 24% oppose.
In June 2017, U.S. President Donald Trump announced that the U.S. would cease all participation in the climate agreement. He stated that the deal would “undermine the U.S. economy,” and “puts the U.S. at a permanent disadvantage.” Per provisions of the agreement, the earliest withdrawal date can’t be before November 2020. A Reuters/Ipsos poll released shortly after this announcement found that 68% of Americans want the U.S. to lead global efforts in climate control and 72% agree that the U.S. should take aggressive action to slow climate change. What’s more, 57% polled support actions taken by majors and governors to honor the goals of the Paris Agreement despite the President’s withdrawal; 55% think their state and local government should do more, and a third believe its best to follow federal direction.
While the U.S. withdrawal of this agreement isn’t the beginning of voters demanding climate control, it proved to incite more interest and involvement from voters and activists alike. On March 29, 2018, a report was published by Gallup asking the same question it has polled about since 1992. The study’s results found that there has been a resurgence of interest in the government doing more for climate control, most likely reflecting the end of the recession and the new administration’s lack of concern with environmental protection.
Whether President Trump will ultimately decide to go through with the agreement withdrawal or if voters succeed in changing actions, climate change is in fact happening. There will be a global fight to reduce emissions and control global temperatures. The question is will the United States be a part of it? And if not, how much of an economic disadvantage might that cause?