Getting to Green

Getting to Green

An administrator pushes, on a shoestring budget, to move his university and the world toward a more sustainable equilibrium.

April 29, 2008 - 7:17pm
I'm currently putting the final numbers together for Greenback's greenhouse gas inventory. As on a lot of campuses, the last piece of the puzzle is commuting emissions, encompassing faculty, staff and students. I won't bore you with the mechanics of the process, but trust me -- it's been a lot of work. Managing emissions is, at its heart, an engineering problem. How much you emit is determined not just by what you do, but also by the technologies you use to do it. The formulae for calculating emissions are well known -- the challenge is having the data to work the formulae.
April 24, 2008 - 9:53pm
OK, so the blog has been on hiatus for a few days. I haven't. Quite the opposite. Since the weekend, I've been hip deep in preparing for, conducting, and recuperating from Earth Day activities. Earth Day at Greenback is getting bigger every year. Not rapidly, but not glacially, either. (And "glacially" isn't what it used to be!) Students do stuff, some faculty do stuff, but if it's going to be coordinated and substantive and successful, it still requires a huge helping of administrative support.
April 20, 2008 - 10:03pm
OK, now! Get your mind out of the gutter. We all get to keep our clothes on and, for some of us (we know who we are), that makes the world an infinitely better place.
April 17, 2008 - 9:54am
I once heard Waylon Jennings -- former guitar player for The Crickets -- describe someone (not, to my knowledge, a musician), as "so dumb, he couldn't even steal a good song." I hope I'm not that dumb.
April 15, 2008 - 2:02pm
One of the biggest causes of increased electrical usage -- and so, increased greenhouse gas emissions -- on campus is the explosion in computing. Desktops, laptops, and the like are so much more convenient and capable than the old mainframe terminal ever thought of being. Power keeps going up, prices keep dropping, the increased number of computers is easy to understand.
April 14, 2008 - 5:29pm
OK, enough of the fancy in springtime schtick.
April 12, 2008 - 7:06am
'Tis Spring, and an old(er) man's fancy turns to thoughts of ... possible policy changes for the coming academic year. Greenback University, like many schools, has effectively created a no-drive zone in the middle of campus. Sure, the occasional physical plant employee needs to drive a truck or a golf cart out onto the quad, but by and large, the center of campus is vehicle-free.
April 10, 2008 - 1:34pm
Tis Spring, and an old(er) man’s fancy turns to thoughts of ... possible policy changes for the coming academic year.
April 9, 2008 - 6:17pm
Tis Spring, and an old(er) man’s fancy turns to thoughts of ... possible policy changes for the coming academic year. Unlike paper, air travel paid for by the University is one of the things Greenback is supposed to include in its GHG inventory under the Presidents Climate Commitment. And we're trying. The difficulty is (as with many engineering problems) that the data simply doesn't exist. At least, not in any directly useful or reliable form.
April 8, 2008 - 5:20pm
‘Tis Spring, and an old(er) man’s fancy turns to thoughts of ... possible policy changes for the coming academic year.

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