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.
Air pollution poses a serious threat to public health. According to a recent study conducted by the Royal College of Physicians (RCP), 44 out of 51 U.K. cities and towns, including London, have unsafe levels of airborne particulate matter. Unfortunately, exposure to this heavily polluted air contributes to a myriad of diseases and illnesses.
Respiratory illness is often attributed to air pollution. As explained by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), exposure to airborne particulate matter — soot, smoke, car emissions, etc. — triggers an inflammatory response in the respiratory system. And when a person’s airways become inflamed, it can cause coughing, shortness of breath, wheezing and asthma.
Children are particularly susceptible to harmful effects if air pollution because their lungs and other organs are still developing. As particulate matter makes its way into a child’s lungs, it restricts the growth of new tissue while subsequently making the child vulnerable to chronic respiratory conditions like asthma.
Medical experts also believe that individuals who are exposed to air pollution have a higher risk of lung cancer than their counterparts who are exposed to clear air. In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) officially listed air pollution as a carcinogen in 2013. WHO researchers further warned that rates of bladder and lung cancer will continue to rise unless the world responds to the growing problems of air pollution.
The health concerns of air pollution don’t end there. Because of its inflammatory and oxidative effects, medical experts say exposure to air pollution places individuals at risk for heart disease. On its website, WHO says 27 percent of all heart disease deaths are attributed to this invisible killer. Being that coronary heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United Kingdom, this shouldn’t be taken lightly.
What the Public Can Do
While the statistics mentioned above are alarming to say the least, everyone has the power to turn these numbers around and create a cleaner environment. Carpooling or cycling to work, for instance, will reduce emissions. Even turning off the lights and other electronic devices can reduce air pollution caused by coal-burning power plants. The bottom line is that everyone should do their part to create a cleaner environment.
Volvo’s announcement on July 5, 2017, which all its vehicles will be hybrid or electric by the early date of 2019, made it the first auto manufacturer to talk of ending the reliance on combustion engines.
However, that raised questions about how they can accomplish this promise to populations throughout the globe whose transportation traverses many hundreds of miles. What are several current happenings in battery technology that could make believers out of those drivers who are on the cusp of electric vehicle (EV) conversion? What will aid in removing the daunting barriers of distance and cost that presently keep many potential buyers skeptical?
For example, in China, with its conservation mindset, taxis are powered by electricity, electric scooters outnumber gas ones, and buildings and towers are topped with solar panels.
So why isn’t there a United States-based conversion to battery-powered modes of transportation? Mostly convenience and not having the patience to wait nor stop after a short haul. The average American driver who may be planning a vacation doesn’t want to face the possibility of running out of power and air-conditioning.
Because of an abundance of hydropower, the Pacific Northwest is the nation’s largest producer of carbon-free and renewable energy. Coupled with residents who are conservation-minded, it becomes an ideal location for a wholesale conversion to electric vehicles.
John Goodenough, now age 94, joined colleagues in inventing the rechargeable lithium-ion battery in 1980. Now he has improved on his design and created the first all-solid-state battery cell, which means that the batteries, being rechargeable, will last longer and be noncombustible, which would be a real boon to mobile handheld devices and electric cars.
Because the energy density in a battery determines an EV’s driving range, and those battery cells have three times the density of lithium-ion batteries, drivers will eventually be able to drive farther and longer.
With no timeline for when the above will be on the market, we need to look toward other advances that are closer to becoming accessible, like Israel startup StoreDot’s FlashBattery technology which is said to charge a car in just five minutes. Its technology leverages nanotechnology to create uber-fast charges and hopes to debut the five-minute smartphone charger next year.
Although in its infancy, another possibility is a dynamic electric vehicle charging (DEVC) system being developed by French automaker Renault along with Vedecom and Qualcomm Technologies. In May, outside of Paris, two electric vehicles drove on a test track of 100 meters with buried coils emitting an electromagnetic field that converted into the cars’ electricity systems. Electric vehicles that are driven by DEVC even 25 percent of the time would not need to stop to be recharged.
From Purdue University, their instantly rechargeable “flow” membrane-free IFBattery extends the battery life and is more cost-effective. Drivers would just pull up to a fueling station that dispenses fluid electrolytes in water and methanol or ethanol solution. Spent battery fluids would be safe enough for residential storage and could later be recharged at an energy-efficient wind, solar, or hydroelectric facility.
Since transportation accounts for 14 percent of global greenhouse gasses, it is becoming critical to expand electric car driving and wean drivers away from gas guzzlers.
Battery electric vehicles, also known as BEVs, run on a chemical energy that’s stored in a battery pack. These battery packs are rechargeable. In BEVs, there is no use for an internal combustion engine (ICE), a fuel cell, or even a fuel tank, because they use electric motors and motor controllers for propulsion. BEVs aren’t just in the form of cars; they’re also trucks, buses, construction vehicles, watercrafts, bicycles, motorcycles, and many other forms as well.
For the past few years, Nissan’s Leaf model has been the world’s top selling highway-capable BEV with a 100-mile range from one single charge. Nevertheless, Bloomberg is reporting that the Leaf is set to be overthrown by a different automaker. Tesla Inc is the brand to watch for this upcoming year. The co-founder and CEO of Tesla, Elon Musk, has been known for creating vehicles that go from zero to sixty in less than three seconds, giving you an adrenaline rush similar to riding the world’s fastest roller coaster. However, in the past year, Tesla has been focusing their efforts on creating a BEV that’s more suited for the everyday commuter.
The Model 3, which appeared on the market in late summer, is the BEV we’ve all be waiting for. While the vehicle won’t go from zero to sixty in under three seconds, it will do it in under six. The vehicle looks sharp, seats comfortably, and has a 220-mile range from a single charge on its standard battery. Starting at an MSRP of $35,000, the Model 3 is much more affordable than the previous models which start at just under $100,000.
Tesla is the only automaker to have broken the 300-mile range, and they’ve now done it with two of their models: Model S and the long-range battery for Model 3. Along with this amazing feat, Tesla is also known for their vehicle safety, which isn’t always common with BEVs or Hybrids. Tesla tweeted a video in late July showing the comparison of an impact test between the Model 3 and Volvo’s S60, what is thought to be one of the safest cars on the road today. The Model 3 withstood the side-pole impact much better than the S60.
The future is battery electric vehicles, and Tesla is paving the way. It will be interesting to see what the Elon Musk will come up with next.