Tuesday’s item about the LA Community College District and their sustainability projects is well worth reading. A number of colleges and universities, large and small, like LACCD are working to pilot the Clinton Climate Initiative. And the general approach of contracting with an energy service company ("esco") to do the work, then paying for the work out of the savings generated, is fundamentally sound and can make projects viable which otherwise couldn’t get funded.
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March 4, 2008
March 3, 2008
There has been a spate of questions on the Green School listserv (GRNSCH-L@listserv.brown.edu) about offsetting greenhouse gas emissions locally and actively, as opposed to remotely by writing a check. The nutshell conclusion is that local action is always the best ("Think globally, ..."), and offsetting GHG emissions presents a clear case why.
February 29, 2008
Well, it appears that yesterday's article on an open access journal published by the library at Indiana University has generated quite a level of response — some from professors, some from university press personnel, the last one (at this writing) from a librarian. Lots of folks listing lots of reasons why traditional, peer-reviewed print journals are better than open access (free) journals, even if the OA journals are reviewed by exactly the same peers. If you haven’t looked it over, you probably should.
February 27, 2008
Two news items crossed my desk on Monday, and they’re somewhat related. First, Babson College is going to install a wind turbine generator. Their objective is for the windmill to provide about 60% of the energy needs of one building — the exhibit hall at their entrepreneurship center.
February 24, 2008
According to the Harvard Crimson, the University of Iowa is trying to get students into Friday classes. Iowa is apparently doing it in an effort to curb “Thirsty Thursday” drinking.
February 22, 2008
Apparently, an electric utility has offered Kansas State $2.5 million on the condition that the state government reconsider and approve two new coal-fired power plants. The utility — Sunflower Electric Power Corp. — says that the money is for energy research, and will be paid over a 10-year period. They say it’s not a bribe, but that funds simply won’t be available if the new plants aren’t approved. Right.
February 20, 2008
A couple of posts ago, I threatened to explain more about some of the reasons it’s hard to get people to save energy on campuses. Let’s use Greenback U as an example.
February 18, 2008
It’s funny, how sometimes the best way to understand big issues in big, complex, institutional contexts is to solve little problems in little, simple, personal contexts. A case in point ... Last Friday, a terrible thing happened in my house. I put coffee in the filter, put the filter in the basket, added water, hit the button and nothing happened! (If you want to take a moment to recover from the sheer horror of that situation, it’s OK. I’ll wait for you. Just say when.)
February 16, 2008
Sustainability’s a huge topic. And higher education is an industrial sector not renowned for the agility of its participants. So where do you start greening a campus, and how? To the extent that there’s an orthodoxy in this emerging field, it goes like this:
February 13, 2008
A column by a British (sometime-) academic may point the way toward research opportunities for American universities.