Getting to Green
An administrator pushes, on a shoestring budget, to move his university and the world toward a more sustainable equilibrium.
October 25, 2011 - 7:19pm
With a modicum of success, I've started explaining the need for investment in renewable energy (primarily solar and wind) to undergraduate students as a matter of eliminating waste.
October 23, 2011 - 10:00pm
Every year or two, I need to restore what passes for my sanity. When that need arises, I read. More specifically, I re-read. And one of the writers it does me the most good to re-read is Wendell Berry.
October 19, 2011 - 8:35pm
I recently participated in an event on Greenback's campus where food was served to students. Food wasn't the main focus of the event, but "if you feed them, they will come," as most of us on campus learned a long time ago. The refreshments were products of industrial agriculture, and the event was supposed to be sustainability-themed, so I placed some info near the food table relating to the inherent unsustainability (calories in far greater than useful calories out) of our national food system.
October 14, 2011 - 3:01pm
"Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."
October 9, 2011 - 7:45pm
Today's editorial in the New York Times, nominally about the "Occupy Wall Street" movement, is well worth reading.
October 6, 2011 - 3:00pm
As I said earlier, I recently finished reading James H. Kunstler's World Made By Hand. Without taking its depiction of life in the northeastern USA after society collapses as anything approaching gospel, I found it an interesting basis for thought experiment. And the most relevant question, in terms of my work at Greenback U, is "so what should we in higher ed be doing to better prepare our students for such a future?"
October 4, 2011 - 3:15pm
I just finished James H. Kunstler's novel, World Made by Hand. It's the tale of a small community near the New York - Vermont state line, during a summer some years after civilization (as we know it) has fallen apart. Kunstler doesn't take the Hollywood blockbuster track -- no clear single causes, no huge digital effects (nor the literary equivalents thereof).
September 30, 2011 - 3:01pm
Earlier this week, I saw part of the premiere of the new program, Terra Nova. It started on a world that reminded me of Blade Runner (but without the rain, and the sheep) but soon shifted to a kind of Jurassic Park in reverse (the dinosaurs are on the outside of the fence). I thought it might be worth watching on the basis that two of the producers are Rene Echevarria and Brannon Braga (Star Trek TNG, The 4400), but I notice that they're only two out of a whole lot of producers. Could be good, could easily be too many cooks. We'll see.
September 28, 2011 - 8:45pm
Greenback U, this academic year, has experienced an influx of bicyclists. We've always had a small number, but this semester we've experienced an order of magnitude increase. I attribute it largely to the installation of lots of bike racks around campus. And the creation of well-marked bike lanes. And, perhaps, the efforts of the sustainability staff. But mostly, racks and lanes.