OLLI Special Projects Presents… 
Torn from the Headlines March Topic!!
This monthly series goes behind the headlines with a two-part program each month. Hear first from an expert on the topic with an opportunity for an extended Q and A. On the day following the session, join a continued facilitated discussion in the Commons. Registration now open--$10 per topic which includes both Monday and Tuesday sessions. Future topics and speakers to be announced based on current happenings.

Please join us Monday, March 8th and Tuesday, March 9th for a look at GM’s “Aspiration” for Zero Emission Vehicles by 2035: How will this impact the Industry? and a lively discussion about how this recent announcement is raising both business and political issues.

GM announced that it “aspires” to have all of its global light-duty vehicles, including full-size pickups and SUVs, to be zero emissions by 2035. The Environmental Defense Fund calls GM's move an "extraordinary step forward.”  Should electric cars be the focus, or is the optimum approach to combine them with fuel efficiency efforts?  Should we consider GM CEO Mary Barra as a leader on this issue or has she been inconsistent?  How does the timing of this decision relate to the election of and transition to the Biden Administration, and what role will it play?  What can we expect from the competing auto companies, both in the U.S. and globally?
Monday, March 8, 2021 4-5 pm—One hour Q & A with John M. DeCicco, Research Professor emeritus, University of Michigan Energy Institute. Facilitated discussion with Karen Bantel, Ph.D., OLLI member and instructor; former U-M Professor of Entrepreneurship and Business Strategy

Tuesday, March 9, 2021 2-3 pm—Facilitated discussion with participants. Moderated by Karen Bantel.   

 John DeCicco                                    Karen Bantel
John M. DeCicco is a research professor emeritus retired from the University of Michigan Energy Institute. His work addresses global energy and environmental challenges through an interdisciplinary approach anchored in physical science while drawing insights from economics, other social sciences and public policy.

As a nationally recognized leader on energy issues, Professor DeCicco’s research has focused on transportation sector energy use and CO2 emissions, including vehicle efficiency, petroleum use, biofuels, electrification and consumer issues as well as the role of atmospheric CO2 removal in offsetting the CO2 released from the combustion of liquid fuels. His past studies were influential in the development of automotive fuel economy and GHG emissions standards and his recent work addresses methodological challenges related to biofuels and atmospheric CO2 levels.
He remains active in research and also teaches the “Mobility and the Environment” module for the Foundations of Mobility online credential offered by the University of Michigan. His Cars and Climate website includes brief summaries of his work and perspectives on the issue.

Over the years he has analyzed many other energy and environmental topics, including energy use in buildings, energy-related consumer behavior and the impacts of electricity generation. He directed the University of Michigan Energy Survey from Fall 2013 through Winter 2019; co-chaired the university’s conference on Transportation, Economics, Energy and the Environment (TE3) from 2014 through 2019; and serves as a lecturer and speaker for both academic and general audiences.

Before returning to academia in 2009, he spent over twenty years working on energy and environmental policy at nonprofit organizations, including positions as a senior fellow at the Environmental Defense Fund, transportation director for the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy and staff scientist at the National Audubon Society. He has testified numerous times before Congress and has more than 200 published papers, articles, reports and formal public policy submissions to his credit. He holds a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Princeton University.


There’s One Big Problem With Electric Cars - by Farhad Manjoo, The New York Times, 18 Feb 2021 

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