Higher Education Webinars
An administrator pushes, on a shoestring budget, to move his university and the world toward a more sustainable equilibrium.
January 26, 2009 - 8:46am
Michael Pollan pretty famously wrote The Omnivore's Dilemma; A Natural History of Four Meals. If you haven't read it, you probably should. Unless you're really hung up on your current eating patterns.One of Pollan's points, of course, is that the way North Americans eat takes no account whatever of the lifespan greenhouse gas emissions created by the food we choose to eat. It's a legitimate point, and a significant one, and my family has changed -- to an extent -- the way we eat, as a result.
January 22, 2009 - 6:56pm
As any good student, the more I study this sustainability thing, the less I think I know. There's so much pragmatic certainty to the problem, yet so much technical uncertainty about the specific mechanisms, measurements and models. And the social/political/economic dimensions are Gordian.The good news is that, at least in the early stages, we know what we have to do.
January 21, 2009 - 2:41pm
I'm as over-inaugurated as anybody. For fully understandable reasons, the nation is partying hearty. Wall Street fell a full 4% yesterday, and nobody cares. We're all drunk (for good reason), and the hangover's gonna be a real monster.So be it.
January 20, 2009 - 10:12am
If you believe that the truly educated never graduate, then I'm still a student. Certainly, I read a lot. And my interests are sufficiently eclectic (and my patience sufficiently short) that even the library at Greenback won't fill my needs.Still, a lot of the books I'm interested in are (or have been) used as teaching texts. And if I'm reading for my own purposes, I don't need the latest edition. So, I buy used. And cheap. Which usually means online.
January 15, 2009 - 7:13pm
(I thought about titling this "Lies, damn lies, and assumptions", or even "Making an ASS of U and ME". So many decisions, so little time. Sigh...)
January 13, 2009 - 2:00pm
Warren Buffett has seen the future of personal transportation, and it isn't spelled "GM". The Oracle of Omaha (or, more specifically, Buffett-controlled Berkshire Hathaway) has taken a ten percent stake in a Chinese firm called BYD Company Ltd. A subsidiary, BYD Auto, has announced that they will enter the US market in 2011, bringing us the world's first mass-produced plug-in hybrid and a five-passenger electric-only crossover vehicle which gets 250 miles between charges. (It also does 0-to-60 in about 10 seconds.)
January 11, 2009 - 6:28pm
When I'm not on campus, I farm.As a result, for the last 25+ years, I've lived a ways from pretty much everything. I believe in that time I've lived within 8 miles of precisely one small store, not counting the occasional crafter selling out of her house. For my family and me, shopping isn't a pass-time, it's a pain in the neck. And my commute to Greenback is over 20 miles, each way. My family probably drives 40,000 vehicle/miles per year, or more.
January 9, 2009 - 3:58pm
Not too long ago, I posted about how it's easier to defeat information-based change than to achieve it, particularly if the resister is well positioned.
January 8, 2009 - 3:42pm
I was in the dentist's office, waiting to get my teeth cleaned. The remarkable thing about this situation was that most of the magazines in the waiting room were actually current issues. I picked up the copy of Time, since it had a cover story on energy efficiency. (I didn't get a chance to finish the story, so I still don't know how it comes out.)
January 6, 2009 - 1:21pm
As a change agent with an audience consisting largely of young adults, I understand the value of tchotchkes. You know, those inexpensive items, emblazened with a logo or a slogan which you can afford to give away for free. If it's cute, people will take it. If it's also useful, they might keep it around for a while and see (perhaps even think about) your message every time they use the thing.
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