Eban Goodstein

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Eban S. Goodstein (born 1960) is an economist, author, and sustainability educator known for his work in the clean energy movement, and for his educational campaigns, which have engaged thousands of schools and universities, civic institutions, faith groups, and communities in solutions-driven dialogues about global warming and global climate change. In 1999, he founded the Green House Network which spearheaded both the Race to Stop Global Warming,[1] and Focus the Nation.[2] In 2008, he created the National Teach-In on Global Warming Solutions.[3] Since 2009, he has founded and directs two new graduate programs in sustainability at Bard College,[4] an MS Degree in Climate Science and Policy, and an MBA in Sustainability, as well as the C2C Fellows sustainability leadership program.[5] He is the author of three books and numerous journal articles. He and his wife, Chungin Chung Goodstein, live in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York. They have three daughters.

Early life and education[edit]

Goodstein was born on March 5, 1960, in Sewanee, Tennessee, the son of Anita and Marvin Goodstein. His parents were known for their work in the American civil rights movement of the 1950s and early 1960s, and were affiliated with the Highlander Research and Education Center,[6] a networking and skills-training institute that facilitates grassroots organizing for issues of social and environmental justice throughout Appalachia and the South. Both Anita and Marvin Goodstein were also instrumental in the process of desegregating the local Franklin County public school system in 1962, (one of 17 school districts in Tennessee still under court orders to unify their desegregated student bodies[7]). Goodstein cites his parents' commitment to social issues and activism as major influences on his own moral and philosophical development.

Goodstein received his B.A. from Williams College, in Williamstown, Massachusetts, and his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

Academic career[edit]

Goodstein became a professor of Economics at Skidmore College in 1989, and in 1995 moved to Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon. In 2009 he relocated to Bard College to Direct the Center for Environmental Policy.[8] His research has centered on environmental and natural resource economics, the relationship between jobs and environmental policy, and climate economics. At Bard CEP, Goodstein launched one of the nation’s first MS in Climate Science and Policy degree offerings. In 2012, with the support of Hunter Lovins, Goodstein also founded Bard’s MBA in Sustainability [9]—one of a handful of programs globally that fully integrates sustainability into a core graduate business curriculum.

Through CEP, Goodstein also initiated and directs the C2C Fellows Program [10]—a national network of undergraduates and recent graduates who aspire to sustainability leadership in business and politics. C2C Fellows runs weekend skills training workshops across the country, helping young people develop paths to leadership careers from which they can make a difference in the world, while in their 20’s.

Goodstein was a writer-in-residence at the Mesa Refuge Writers' Retreat,[11] is on the steering committee of Economics for Equity and the Environment Network (E3),[12] and the Editorial Board of Sustainability: The Journal of Record.[13] He also serves on the Board of the Follett Corporation.[14]

Green House Network and the National Teach-Ins[edit]

In 1999, Goodstein founded the Green House Network, an organization dedicated to supporting the clean energy movement through education and action.

From 1999 to 2006, as the volunteer Executive Director of the organization, Goodstein raised funds to support a number of educational initiatives. He led a series of weekend training workshops in grassroots organization and outreach, based in part on the techniques and principles of the Highlander Center, training over 600 volunteer educators. Goodstein also set up a national speakers’ bureau of climate, energy policy, and environmental experts, preceding Vice-President Al Gore's Climate Project speaker-training initiative.

Between 2000 and 2004, Goodstein worked with Matthew Follett, a former student, to produce the Race to Stop Global Warming, a 10K non-competitive footrace that involved thousands of runners and their families in eight cities across the United States. These efforts earned the Green House Network the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)'s "Climate Saver's Award".

In the winter of 2006, a rising sense of personal urgency about the need for action led Goodstein to expand the scale of his work, and launch the first of the national teach-in initiatives, Focus the Nation. Goodstein, with his wife and the project Communications Director, Chungin Chung, spent eighteen months traveling across the country, speaking and organizing on over 150 campuses. In January 2008, over 1900 universities, schools, and civic groups nation-wide participated in what amounted to the largest teach-in in U.S. history, involving over a million people in an event designed to educated and engage Americans in a discussion of global warming solutions.

In the summer of 2008, Goodstein left the Green House Network and with Chung co-founded a new non-profit organization in order to further public education and engagement, Education for Global Warming Solutions.

Goodstein and Chung organized a second teach-in on February 4–5, 2009. The event was designed to coincide with the first 100 days of the Obama administration, and to create grassroots pressure on the federal government to put climate and energy issues on the top of the national agenda. Over 800 educational institutions, civic groups, and faith organizations took part in a discussion of a specific set of action plans, developed by the Presidential Climate Action Project.[15] The teach-in included a downloadable webcast, Solutions for the First 100 Days,[16] and campus-to-congress Climate Dialogues, in which students across the country discussed climate change issues with their regional and federal Congresspeople via live SightSpeed video conferences.


Goodstein's writing has appeared in a number of journals, and his research has been featured in The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Economist, the New York Times, Scientific American, Time, and USA Today. He is the author of a college textbook, Economics and the Environment[17] now in its 6th edition, as well as The Trade-off Myth: Fact and Fiction about Jobs and the Environment.[18] His most recent book is Fighting for Love in the Century of Extinction: How Passion and Politics Can Stop Global Warming,[19] a personal exploration of the issues of anthropogenic climate change and the meaning of life on earth. Goodstein has produced and directed hour-long videos in conjunction with the national teach-in’s: The 2% Solution, and Solutions for the First Hundred Days.


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