Maybe I'm a heretic, but I think a sustainable society/economy/environment can be nicer than the one we've got now. (And I even thought that 2+ weeks ago!) So when I use the word "gospel", I'm not being sardonic. Which is a good thing, because sardonicism doesn't win you a lot of converts, and winning converts is a big part of my job.
Most Recent Articles
October 10, 2008
October 8, 2008
Probably the most commonly recognized task that campus sustainability staff perform is the undertaking of a Greenhouse Gas Inventory. (BTW, when I say "commonly," figure maybe 35-40% recognition.) The term "inventory" is something of a misnomer. If any store inventoried its retail stock as haphazardly as Greenback U inventoried its greenhouse gas emissions, it would likely go out of business. And we did a more complete job than many, many other campuses.
October 6, 2008
Sustainability work is a continuum. Some efforts are very physical, others are hands-on in an entirely different way.
October 3, 2008
Thanks to Stephen for offering The Natural Step's definition of sustainability. It's a good tool for focusing your (my) thinking, if a bit complex for the classic 10-second constraint. (You know -- someone asks you in an elevator or a check-out line what sustainability is, and you've got 10 seconds before losing their attention.)
October 1, 2008
One of the joys of doing sustainability work on campus is interacting with students. Now, I've been teaching part-time for a number of years, and I'll be the first to admit that this particular joy enlights my classrooms on only a sporadic basis. In the classroom, the student seems often to be there to get a grade, fulfill a requirement, all the while trying not to actually learn anything. But, in sustainability work, the only students I interact with are the ones who want to be there -- who want to get involved, and learn something, and do something, and change something.
September 28, 2008
It you live in the USA or Canada, there's an election going on in your life. I'm not going to tell you what color (oops, I mean "party") to vote for, but I do have an opportunity for you to knock some of the rust off your perhaps disused voting skills before the big day arrives. Also a chance to watch some pretty good environmental videos -- no extra charge.
September 26, 2008
Yesterday, the N.Y. Mercantile started auctioning mandatory carbon allowances under the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. They're mandatory, that is, if you're an electric power producer, located in any of ten northeastern US states, whose generation process burns fossil fuels. (So if you're a chemical plant, or have business operations only in Alabama, or you're strictly into wind- or hydro-powered generation, your don't really care.)
September 25, 2008
Like everybody else, I'm following what's happening in Washington with regard to the possible bailout of financial markets. What strikes most me is the paucity of actual thought involved -- in the proposed solution (spend lots of taxpayer money to buy assets which the market currently considers worthless), in the sales pitch (if you don't do this right now, America turns into a third-world country -- trust us both to understand the problem and to administer the solution without oversight), and in the lack of substantive press coverage (will Democrats? won't Republicans?
September 23, 2008
An article by Elizabeth Redden in yesterday's IHE noted that more than half of the charter signatories to the ACUPCC were late in filing their greenhouse gas inventory results.
September 17, 2008
Sometimes, life hands you a metaphor which is just absolutely perfect. I think that's the case with the current meltdown in the financial markets -- it's a wonderful metaphor for the ecological sustainability mess we've gotten ourselves into. Or it would be, if the average American stopped to think how we came to the brink of a (the?) new Great Depression.