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The Climate Crisis: Measuring Boston’s Metabolism CAS researchers track the city’s carbon digestion

In the video above, Lucy Hutyra, a CAS assistant professor, and Nathan Phillips, a CAS professor, discuss how their Boston ULTRA-Ex (Urban Long-Term Research Area Exploratory) project tracks the city’s carbon digestion.

Imagine looking at Boston and its people as one living, breathing organism. The city consumes energy in the form of resources and services, processes them into gross domestic product, and produces waste. Some of that waste, the carbon dioxide spewed from industrial smokestacks, vehicle exhaust systems, buildings, and even people, contributes to global warming.

Now imagine tracing that carbon through space and time. That’s what Lucy Hutyra, Nathan Phillips, and a team of researchers plan to do, in an effort to understand the origin of Boston’s carbon emissions, how carbon is stored, and what the net balance of these activities means for the future of the city—and the planet.

Carbon is “like the life blood that’s flowing through the system,” says Phillips, a College of Arts & Sciences professor of earth and environment. “Understanding cities and their overall carbon emissions is absolutely crucial to understanding the global carbon cycle and global climate change.”

“If we are going to have a prayer of actually reducing greenhouse gas emissions, meeting commitments, and creating these international treaties,” says Hutyra, a CAS assistant professor of earth and environment, “we need to know where carbon dioxide is coming from within cities.”

Hutyra says nearly 70 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions come from cities, which cover only 3 percent of the Earth’s surface but are home to more than half of the world population. That would seem to make cities the obvious place for ecologists to study global warming, but until recently, few scientists were studying urban areas as unique ecosystems.

In 2009, the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Forest Service announced a two-year grant that would support research in what they call an Urban Long-Term Research Area (ULTRA). Hutyra and Phillips applied as co–principal investigators and were among a select group of scientists who landed a $300,000 exploratory grant for Boston. Their project, aptly called the ULTRA-Ex: Metabolism of Boston, has since expanded to include more than 50 scientists from BU, Harvard, MIT, Northeastern, and UMass. Funders now include NSF, NASA, the Environmental Defense Fund, and IBM Smarter Cities.

ULTRA collaborators measure such things as carbon emissions, carbon storage, land cover change, and how growing seasons are extended by urban heat islands—metropolitan areas that are warmer than their surroundings because of human activities—all of which should yield a picture of how the city consumes, digests, and spits out carbon. While conclusions are still far away, the team has already had a variety of aha moments.

One of the first involves Phillips’ measurement of atmospheric carbon. He and other researchers established six observation towers in and around Boston—at BU, the Prudential building, UMass-Boston, Nahant, Worcester, and the Harvard Forest in Petersham, Mass.—and rigged each with a Picarro instrument, which records carbon dioxide levels multiple times a day.

Phillips found that the levels reflect human activity and the seasons, registering higher during rush hour traffic and peak winter heating months and lower during weekends and summer vacation times. Not surprisingly, readings in rural sites like Harvard Forest are consistently lower than those at urban sites like BU. “We’re coupled in this kind of dance with carbon,” he says. “What becomes clear is that you can’t think of the human side of emissions and the natural systems in isolation from each other.”

Atmospheric carbon levels can easily be measured, but their sources are harder to identify. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reports that nearly 30 percent of carbon dioxide emissions come from vehicles. Yet Hutyra says there is no reliable method for accurately pinpointing these emissions over space and time—information that’s crucial if governments hope to monitor and control emissions at the level of cities, states, or nations over confined periods. As noted in a paper written by one of Hutyra’s graduate students, Conor Gately (GRS’14), and published in January in Environmental Science & Technology, accepted models used to estimate emissions vary by up to 30 percent.

“Understanding cities and their overall carbon emissions is absolutely crucial to understanding the global carbon cycle and global climate change.”

Gately wanted a better model. As the project manager of the IBM Smarter Cities challenge in Boston, he worked with IBM engineers and city officials from the Department of Innovation and Technology (DoIT) to funnel the city’s existing traffic and congestion data through a public website, to be unveiled this summer. He hopes the new database will spark innovation, inform public policy, and support research that improves emissions estimates—and soon, given that Boston Mayor Thomas Menino (Hon.’01) has set a goal of reducing the city’s total greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent by 2023.

Hutyra’s contribution to ULTRA overlaps with her study, funded by an NSF CAREER Award, of how differently plants behave in urban and rural environments. Boston is a relatively green city, with about 28 percent canopy cover, she says. That’s important in terms of global warming because trees remove carbon dioxide from the air through photosynthesis and provide shade, which reduces the urban heat island effect and air conditioning’s energy demand.

Since 2010, Hutyra, postdoctoral associate Steve Raciti, and graduate assistants have gone into the urban forest (which could mean two elms along the side of a building) to measure tree circumferences and take soil samples to determine their chemical composition. They published their findings last year in the journal Ecological Applications, writing that carbon concentrations in urban vegetation and soil were higher in a city’s forested regions than in residential and other developed land areas. Hutyra thinks urban trees are adapting—and possibly growing faster—in this carbon dioxide–rich environment.

Soil covered by pavement or concrete doesn’t fare as well. Raciti, Hutyra, and Adrien Finzi, a CAS professor of biology, wrote last year in Environmental Pollution that soil under impervious surfaces in New York City contained 66 percent less carbon and 95 percent less nitrogen than that found in exposed soil. Perhaps most disturbing, says Hutyra, is that “we don’t know where it went. The soil was also for many purposes dead. There was no microbial activity remaining.”

Knowing how much carbon is stored in trees and the soil will help determine the amount released into the atmosphere through land development or deforestation. That’s where remote sensing, the science of obtaining information about objects or areas from a distance, typically from aircraft or satellites, comes in handy. ULTRA collaborators Mark Friedl, a CAS professor of earth and environment, and Curtis Woodcock, a CAS professor and chair of earth and environment, are using satellite imagery to reconstruct how land cover has changed around Boston since the 1980s. Development alters the Earth’s surface so that pavement, sidewalks, and buildings replace existing vegetation. Satellite imagery reflects such changes, and once stitched together, can provide a time-lapse map of Boston and the metropolitan area.

Deforestation results in “a net release of carbon to the atmosphere,” Friedl says. “Depending on the age and size of trees in a forest, it could be substantial.” The reverse is true as forests flourish in previously developed spaces.

Friedl also uses remote sensing to track seasonal change. As spring arrives earlier and fall later, plants have a longer growing season and absorb more carbon dioxide. This change is visible through satellite imagery, which Friedl double-checks through a system of cameras that take daily pictures of places like Storrow Drive and Boston Common. In 2010, he was stunned to see how big an effect the urban heat island, and resulting longer growing season, had on city trees. Those in Boston Common leafed out nearly three weeks before those in Harvard Forest—just 70 miles west.

BU’s ULTRA research is complex and diverse, but “if you put this all together, you can start to get the metabolism” of Boston, says Hutyra.

“This would be an ivory tower exercise,” Phillips says, “if it didn’t have an applied goal. And that applied goal is to increase sustainability in Boston and in other cities as well.”

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The Climate Crisis: Breaking The Fossil Fuel Habit

The Climate Crisis: Breaking the Fossil Fuel Habit The promise, and challenge, of shifting to alternative energy

Think of it as worldwide addiction. At least 80 percent of the energy people use to drive, heat their homes, and power gadgets comes from fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and natural gas, and the consumption of all of the above contributes to global warming.

Cleveland’s convictions come not only from his own research, but also from a series of eight seminars that brought environmental experts from universities in the United States and Europe to BU throughout the 2010–2011 academic year. The John E. Sawyer Seminars on Energy and Society were sponsored by the Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future and supported by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

“We will have to engineer the transition,” says Cleveland. “And we’ve never really done that in the history of humanity.”

Some countries, however, have done better than others. In 2011, China invested $51 billion in alternative energy technologies and led the world in renewable power capacity with 70 total gigawatts, according to the international nonprofit Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century. That same year, the United States put $48 billion in such technologies and achieved total generation of 68 gigawatts. Germany, the third greatest investor in alternatives, spent $31 billion and reached total capacity of 61 gigawatts. Most other countries lagged far behind. No country has sworn off fossil fuels.

And while the federal government has not established benchmarks for wind and solar production, many states have. Here in Massachusetts, the legislature passed the Green Communities Act in 2008, requiring that 15 percent of the commonwealth’s electricity come from renewable energy by 2023. Massachusetts plans to generate 2,000 megawatts of wind energy within the next seven years and 250 megawatts of solar power by 2023. While far from reaching its wind energy goal, the commonwealth reports that it’s 90 percent of the way to accomplishing its solar goal. The commitments have helped Massachusetts tie with Texas for fifth place nationally in a 2012 Ernst & Young report on promising renewable energy markets.

Nuclear power, another low-carbon energy source, currently provides 3 percent of the world’s energy, Cleveland says, but its hazardous waste disposal and safety risks make it less desirable than wind and solar. “Nuclear energy has a higher life-cycle cost than wind and fossil fuel, because it’s very capital-intensive,” he says. “A routinely operated nuclear plant is benign, compared to a coal plant, but it does have this small possibility of going Fukushima on you.”

The United States has 65 operating nuclear power plants, most of them concentrated along the East Coast and in the Midwest and all of them built more than 30 years ago. Cleveland says that makes planning a new one relatively unknown territory, because there are no current price comparisons. It’s also politically risky, as most communities don’t want one in their backyard and are hesitant to adopt a technology that produces radioactive waste with a half-life of thousands of years.

Biomass—such as switchgrass, corn, or sugar cane converted to biofuel—is another alternative source of energy, but Cleveland is discouraged by the carbon exchange of the biomass process. “It involves removing vegetation from the Earth’s surface,” he says, “and humanity has a very poor track record of causing lots of other environmental problems when you start monkeying with changing land cover.” As a source, he prefers energy-rich sugar cane to corn-based ethanol, because corn is grown industrially with large inputs of oil, which increases carbon emissions.

“When you compare the energy in the ethanol and all the energy it took” to plant, cultivate, transport, and process it, “it’s only a very modest win,” he says. “It’s certainly way less than the energy gain you get from just producing oil directly from crude.”

What does Cleveland’s research tell him about the best way to break the fossil fuel habit? The first step, he says, should be using fossil fuels to build a sustainable energy infrastructure. “You need to shift away from coal and oil to natural gas in the short run, and probably leave a lot of coal in the Earth’s crust,” he says. “And you need to use fossil fuel to radically ramp up renewables and/or nuclear.”

That means “sticks and carrots, a lot of them,” he says. “If you want the transition to happen faster than it otherwise would, you’re going to have to alter incentives. And you’re going to have to change the price of carbon.”

Gas tax hikes, like the one Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick recently proposed, or divestment from fossil fuels are moves in the right direction. Cleveland thinks federal legislation taxing carbon or an international cap-and-trade system would put a bigger dent in emissions.

Finally, he says, politicians have to address the “third rail of U.S. energy policy”—demand. People need to know that their choices can have a negative impact on the environment. “Working 30 miles from home and driving a Hummer to work alone in the morning is probably one of the most absurd, extravagant behaviors,” he says. “We’ll look back and say, ‘Oh my God!’ The excesses of the Romans will look like Romper Room.” Commuters can do that only because “energy is dirt cheap. People are going to in the long run live closer to where they work and play.”

And perhaps more people should start thinking like Howard T. Odum, Cleveland says. The ecologist and author of A Prosperous Way Down argues that to survive, the human species must learn how to decline prosperously.

“No one wants to think that way, because we connect happiness and well-being with increases in the physical consumption of goods and services,” Cleveland says. “It’s a conversation that should be had, but good luck getting elected on that platform.”

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The Us Ban On Hydrofluorocarbons Is A Climate Game

A lot of climate change-fighting strategies focus on removing air pollutants, or preventing them from reaching the atmosphere at all. While pretty much everybody these days can recognize carbon dioxide and methane as two of them, the US just joined around 130 other nations to take a big step in knocking out a third: hydrofluorocarbons, also known as HFCs. 

Some experts are marking the move “the most significant environmental treaty that the United States has joined in at least a decade.” Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer called it, alongside passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, as the “strongest one-two punch against climate change any Congress has ever taken.” But the push to get rid of the extremely potent group of greenhouse gases has a history decades in the making. 

Thinning (and fixing) the ozone layer

HFCs first came onto the scene in the 1980s and 1990s to replace chlorofluorocarbons, or CFCs, in refrigerators and air conditioners. Those earlier substances were invented in the 1920s to make cooling and foaming agents. They had uniquely non-flammable, tasteless, and odorless properties, as well as a low boiling point close to zero degrees Celsius.

But CFCs were also a nightmare for the environment. The synthetic, which was also found in aerosolized products like hair spray, depleted the ozone layer by releasing chlorine into the atmosphere. Not to mention, the compounds produce a super-powered greenhouse gas that can warm the planet up to 10,000 times as much as carbon dioxide (though it doesn’t persist as long in the air).

[Related: 5 famous environmental disasters where humans and nature healed together]

By 1974, researchers has figured out how bad CFCs—but the action didn’t really kick in until the signing of the Montreal Protocol in 1987. This agreement phased out the super powerful ozone killer and climate warmer, with goals for developed and developing countries to fully phase them out by 2023 and 2030, respectively.

But just as society will have to replace fossil fuels with renewable energy, something has to come in to substitute for CFCs. Enter HFCs, a slightly less toxic, ozone-safe option. Or so it seemed.

HFCs turn out to be a powerful greenhouse gas

The difference between HFCs and their predecessors was the fact that they lacked chlorine, the main ingredient in ozone depletion. But the newer chemicals came with their own environmental baggage. As far back as the 1990s, atmospheric scientists were also aware of the global warming impact that the compounds could have. “The US Environmental Protection Agency is concerned that rapid expansion of the use of some HFCs could contribute to global warming,” National Research Council (US) Subcommittee to Review Toxicity of Alternatives to Chlorofluorocarbons wrote in a report in 1996. “Nonetheless, use of HFCs offers lower overall risk than use of CFCs, as well as a reduction in the time needed to eliminate CFC use.”

Nevertheless, HFC use grew. The ones that replaced CFCs now represent about 1 percent of total greenhouse gas warming, and can potentially warm the planet hundreds of thousands times more than than carbon dioxide, based on mass, according to the Climate and Clean Air Coalition. According to the UN, HFC emissions are growing at a rate of around 8 percent every year, and annual emissions are projected to rise to 7 to 19 percent of global CO2 emissions equivalent by 2050. 

Since 1990, the Montreal parties have phased out 98 percent of ozone-depleting substances, allowing the Earth’s protective layer to recover.

Since 2009, however, members of the Montreal Protocol have been negotiating the phaseout of these global warming menaces, resulting in the 2024 signing of the Kigali Amendment. Countries from the Montreal Protocol, including big players like India, the European Union, and China, agreed to add HFCs to controlled substance lists and approve timelines to knock down usage 80 to 85 percent by 2040. Developed nations started their reductions in 2023, with developing nations to follow a few years behind. 

But notably, not the US. Donald Trump refused to sign it in 2024, even though it had bipartisan support and the backing of industry groups. Research from the Alliance for Responsible Atmospheric Policy and the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute even found that signing it would increase exports of goods with HFC alternatives by $5 billion by 2027—and net thousands of US manufacturing jobs. 

Another major step for US climate policy

Thankfully, a lot has changed in the past two years with climate policy. On September 21, 2023, the Senate quietly voted 69-27 to finally ratify Kigali and bring the US back on board with the the modern version of the Montreal Protocol. US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry called it “a profound victory ​for the climate and the American economy.” 

[Related: Scientists think we can get 90 percent clean energy by 2035]

If the Kigali Amendment follows in the footsteps of its CFC-focused predecessor, the impact could be major. Since 1990, the Montreal parties have phased out 98 percent of ozone-depleting substances, allowing the Earth’s protective layer to recover. (It’s estimated to be fully sealed up again by the 2050 or 2060s.) In the US alone, that means preventing 443 million cases of skin cancer, 2.3 million skin cancer deaths, and 63 million cases of cataracts by 2100. 

Assuming the US government fully follows through on Kigali, it could be the single largest contribution by people to keeping the planet below two degrees Celsius of warming—the threshold associated with keeping the planet livable for humans and other species. Wiping out HFC use under this agreement can help prevent more than 100 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions, which means avoiding up to 0.5 degree Celsius of global temperature rise by 2100. 

Of course, there is still much to be done on climate change policy at home and abroad—but the ratification is a massive victory to climate-minded policymakers and activists. “This action will encourage other countries to join the agreement,” Dan Lashof, the US director of the World Resources Institute said in a release. “[It will] send a strong signal to the rest of the world that the nation is serious about addressing the climate crisis and investing in a cleaner, more sustainable economy.”

Bu’s Ongoing Commitment To “The Kids From Boston”

BU’s Ongoing Commitment to “the Kids from Boston”

“I consider myself to be from Boston,” says Peiling Li (CAS’24), who is attending BU on a Community Service Awards scholarship. Photo by Cydney Scott

University News

BU’s Ongoing Commitment to “the Kids from Boston” Menino Scholars, Community Service programs provide scholarships to public school students

“I consider myself to be from Boston,” says Peiling Li, who came to the city from China with her family when she was 10 and attended Boston Public Schools, graduating from the John D. O’Bryant School of Mathematics and Science in Roxbury last spring.

When it came time to choose a college, Li says, “I applied to a lot of schools, but I got the most financial aid from BU. It made a huge difference for me. If I didn’t have that, I would probably have gone to a community college and tried to transfer.”

Li (CAS’24) is one of 31 Boston Public Schools (BPS) 2023 graduates receiving a Boston University Community Service Awards scholarship this year. Through this scholarship program, Boston University meets the recipients’ full calculated financial need without loans. An additional 27 new transfer students have also received Community Service scholarships. And this year the University is providing 33 graduates of Boston high schools with full-tuition merit scholarships based on their academic record through its Thomas M. Menino Scholarship program. Menino Scholars are also eligible for need-based aid for the cost of room and board. 

That’s 91 Boston Public Schools graduates starting classes at BU this year on scholarships that will total $18 million over four years. And those are just this year’s arrivals. A total of 347 BPS graduates are attending Boston University through the Menino and Community Service programs during the 2023-2024 academic year. All told, more than 2,400 students have received one of the two scholarships since the programs began.

“They are doing this because they want to support the kids from Boston,” Li says. 

“BU is deeply committed to the Boston Public Schools, and this is one manifestation of that,” says Michael Dennehy (CAS’92), executive director of College Access and Student Success at BU’s Wheelock College of Education & Human Development. “It’s part of the BU ecosystem.”

Menino Scholar Angelee Verdieu (Sargent’21, SPH’22) was chosen as the student speaker at the welcome ceremony for students in the program held virtually last month. Photo courtesy of Angelee Verdieu

“We are never swayed from our commitment to Boston,” President Robert A. Brown said in a Zoom ceremony in September welcoming all the scholars to BU. “The Menino and Community Service programs are a key component to our service to the city.”

Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh knows the value of the programs. “Ever since I was elected mayor, I have called on local colleges and universities to play a bigger role in providing opportunity to Boston’s public school students,” Walsh told the scholars. “Young people like you deserve access to the world-class education available right here in your own city. BU continues to rise to the challenge. This scholarship program is a perfect example of that.”

The Menino Scholars program has existed under other names since 1974, but in 2013 was named for the late Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino (Hon.’01), who was a founding director of BU’s Initiative on Cities. Each year’s Menino Scholars meet regularly with Dennehy, who serves as their mentor. “Student meetings are my favorite part of my job,” says the Brighton native. 

The Community Service program welcomed its first scholars to campus in 2009. They are each assigned a faculty or staff mentor they meet with at least a couple of times each semester throughout their BU career. Mentors assist them with such issues as establishing strong study skills and finding tutoring to help them figure out their post-BU plans and serving as a sounding board throughout their years here.

Current Menino Scholar Angelee Verdieu (Sargent’21, SPH’22), the daughter of Haitian immigrants and the student speaker at this fall’s welcome ceremony, says the programs are life-changing.  

“At the time I was applying to college, only one of my parents was working, so we were definitely a little bit worried about how sustainable any type of financial aid would be over the course of the four years,” says Verdieu. “The scholarship was extremely helpful—a godsend one might say—in terms of consistency over the next four years, which is what we were looking for. I am very grateful.”

The Boston Latin School graduate is pursuing a bachelor of science degree in human physiology and a master of public health under a special five-year dual-degree program. She will still have a year of classes at the School of Public Health after the scholarship ends, and she then hopes to go on to medical school, a dream since middle school.

“Around the time I was thinking medicine might be something I was interested in was when the earthquake occurred in Haiti, and just being in communication with family over there and hearing about the living situation and seeing pictures really kind of shook me,” she recalls. “At that age I wasn’t thinking how fortunate I was, and that’s when I started thinking about things on a global scale.”

“Receiving this scholarship is a call to action to find ways to be a leader as you go about your time as a member of this community,” she said at the welcoming ceremony, “and to me being a leader means finding a way to help your group of people if you know that there’s a way that you can.”

“BU is one of the top-10 colleges and universities chosen by BPS graduates, and that’s a pretty cool thing,” says Clare Fitzgerald, program manager for BU’s College Access and Student Success, who oversees the Community Service program. “It adds a richness to life on campus, and it’s a cool thing for Boston students to come to BU and share their knowledge of the city with their friends.”

Starting with their second semester at BU, the Community Service scholars must complete 25 hours of volunteer work each semester. If they meet this requirement through the fall of their senior year, they get their final semester waived. The Class of 2023 scholars contributed 6,798 volunteer hours to the Boston community and beyond during their time at BU.

BPS graduates who start at another school—often a community college or other non-four-year institution—are eligible for a Community Service scholarship if they transfer to BU. One who did just that is Shanice Bryan (CAS’22), a native of Jamaica who transferred this year after graduating from Charlestown High School and studying at Bunker Hill Community College for a year and a half. But she’s had her eye on BU since her high school held its graduation ceremony here. She got lost that day and ended up with a bit of an informal self-guided campus tour.

“BU has always been number one on my list,” says Bryan, who is studying political science and has her eye on law school. “I wanted to go there, but I didn’t think I would be able to afford it. So I went to Bunker Hill and did a really good job, and then I heard about the scholarship. I wrote an essay talking about what the scholarship means to me.

“And now that I’ve got it, I just thought that I have to do really well, because not a lot of people get this opportunity,” she says. “I am humbled and grateful.”

Ultimately, the importance of the scholarships is not what they do for the students, but what the students do for the world.

“I challenge you to broaden yourselves and prepare for life as a citizen of this great country and as a leader in our society,” Brown told the students on Zoom. “We need you. We are counting on you to succeed.”

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7 Steps Of Crisis Pr Management

1. Create your crisis PR plan:

Be prepared. If you have the luxury of time, the most effective way to approach this is to conduct scenario planning within your leadership team before any crisis occurs; alternatively, you will need to execute the following at pace: Brainstorm the worst crises you might have to deal with; sketch out the best and worst-case for each scenario and preferred outcomes; develop a working timeline of how events might develop and then prepare your holding statements for each given scenario. This should be a statement of fact – what has happened and your planned response over the next 24 hours.

2. Designate your crisis team: 

Allocate responsibilities for each scenario, and make sure that those responsible have authority, subject matter expertise and is media savvy. They need authority because the more senior, the more credible you will appear and ideally your spokesperson should have established media relationships.  In addition to the CEO, the team must include relevant experts including a crisis PR chief – all of whom must have appropriate Media skills – it is essential that all members of the team are articulate, credible, and empathetic.

3. Crisis notification: 

Your team needs to be kept abreast of events as they occur – this is key in effective PR crisis management.  A secure system of sharing information is essential e.g. a WhatsApp group is an ideal way of keeping people informed.  Remember to keep the channel exclusive and focussed on crisis comms only – no jokes or pictures of kittens and it must always be on – a crisis is no respecter of time.  Someone always needs to be on duty; make sure it’s the same person or group of people.

4. Crisis intelligence:

Facts and fiction can quickly gain traction in the media.  Unfortunately, the more sensational interpretation can spread the fastest.  Stories which are not managed can grow their own tentacles and be highly damaging causing panic and ridicule, adding unnecessary distress while harming your reputation.  Consider who will be responsible for capturing live intelligence and from what sources; who will be responsible for sharing the information and how the intelligence will be prioritised – a traffic light system could work in this situation.  Using the incoming information you need to constantly reassess and update your comms so that you adapt your messaging and responses accordingly.

5. Business champions:

In addition to your crisis comms team comprising senior management, it’s wise to identify influential individuals inside and outside the organisation whose support you will need to secure your SMART goals. Your staff, customers and supply chain.  Make sure these people get accurate information and don’t forget that people under pressure won’t always get subtleties, but what ever happens you must keep all your champions abreast of any developments in the crisis PR plan.

6. Statements & Formats:

Your holding statements for each stage of the crisis will need to be updated daily to remain factually current and in tune with prevailing temperament amongst your target audiences.  Remember a briefing routine is invaluable and every statement needs to be adaptable to all media channels.

7. Analysis & Learning: 

In many ways we are back to point #1 above and planning for the next one.  Once you have returned to a post-crisis ‘new normal’, you need to sit down with your senior leaders and consider: What went well & why? What went badly & why? What will you do differently & how? When will you institute these changes?

10 Of The Best Coffeehouses In And Around Boston

10 of the Best Coffeehouses in and around Boston Don’t miss these places for National Coffee Day

Americans have a love affair with coffee. We consume an estimated 400 million cups a day, 146 billion cups a year, making the United States the world’s leading consumer of coffee. In homage to our favorite beverage, we’ve put together a list of 10 great coffee spots in and around Boston. Check it out.

665 Washington St., Boston

This trendy coffeehouse and wine bar at the corner of Downtown Crossing and Chinatown boasts a state-of-the-art Loring Kestrel roaster. Sit back and enjoy a delicious cappuccino or espresso in one of the luxurious leather chairs. The menu has an international selection of beverages, ranging from a Spanish latte to a Boozy Bubble Tea. As its name implies, Jaho also offers craft beers, wines, and spirits at night, some of them made with coffee, like the award-winning Scarlet Espresso martini. Quick-bite breakfast fare, lunch sandwiches, and baked goods are available.

Must try: The Red Velvet Frosticcino, a delicious concoction of espresso, red velvet powder, milk, and ice

186 Tremont St., Boston

This French-Californian fusion cafe and restaurant serves only La Colombe coffee, known for its full-bodied, chocolatey dark roasts, sweet and nutty medium roasts, and citrusy light roasts. The free Wi-Fi and inviting interior (long rectangular tables adorned with brass lamps) make this the place to bring your laptop.

Must try: The iced coffee—enjoy it while the weather is still warm

85 Newbury St., Boston

Must try: The delicious, artistically presented cappuccino is worthy of any Instagram feed

338 Newbury St., Boston

Must try: The Viennese Espresso—espresso and coffee topped with whipped cream and cocoa

1003 Beacon St., Brookline

With nearly a dozen locations in Boston, Cambridge, and Brookline, Tatte has become one of the area’s most popular places for sipping a coffee and enjoying a pastry. You can order an espresso, cortado, macchiato, mocha, or house or season latte. It has a popular weekend brunch too (Friday through Sunday).

Must try: The Mocha—it’s Tatte’s best seller: take a sip and find out why

736 Commonwealth Ave., Boston

Must try: Vanilla Latte

278 Harvard St., Brookline

It’s easy to miss this tiny café in the heart of Coolidge Corner: it’s hardly wider than a hallway. Best known for savory and sweet crepes, Paris Creperie is also popular for its Nutella lattes, which can be topped with whipped cream and marshmallows to create the ultimate sweet coffee drink.

Must try: Strawberry Nutella Latte

1350 Beacon St., Brookline

This Coolidge Corner cafe has a more laid-back vibe than many of the city’s other bustling coffeehouses. There is plenty of space to unwind, the lighting is dim, and slow, soulful music plays in the background. The coffee selection is basic, but for an extra 50 cents, you can choose from an array of flavored shots to add some extra zing. Try the pumpkin spice or the lavender.

Must try: Macchiato

1047 Commonwealth Ave., Boston

Must try: The Flat White, a rich, intense ristretto-based drink made with whole milk

1092 Commonwealth Ave., Boston

Must try: Coconut Latte

Do you have a recommendation for a favorite coffeehouse that’s not on our list? Add it to the Comment section below.

Harry Jones (COM’19) can be reached at [email protected].

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