Higher Education Webinars

Getting to Green

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

September 26, 2008 - 1:30pm
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 - 3:04pm
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 - 11:00am
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 - 7:27pm
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.
September 15, 2008 - 2:37pm
I got an email recently from a PR person, including a link to a report her client is currently pushing. The client is a major supplier to information technology departments, both on campus and off. The report focuses on energy efficiency (hence the tie-in to sustainability) within IT operations.
September 14, 2008 - 2:08pm
One of the decisions each campus has to make, early in the process of doing a greenhouse gas inventory, is where to set the borders, or boundaries, to be analyzed. What geographic locations will be included? What vehicles? What activities? Defining scope is probably the most important task, at the outset.
September 11, 2008 - 3:02pm
Much of my life, this week, is focused on finalizing Greenback U's greenhouse gas inventory as it's going to be reported under the terms of the Presidents Climate Commitment. Not the numbers themselves -- those were pretty much set in stone (barring late discovery of outright error) back in the spring. Rather, I'm finalizing the "narrative" which will get submitted along with the numbers -- what's important, how it was calculated, what it means.
September 9, 2008 - 2:21pm
Another campus sustainability competition is underway, and this one has a video feed.
September 7, 2008 - 2:47pm
A bunch of academics, supported by an editorial staff based at Boston U, have put together the Encyclopedia of Earth. The site describes itself as "everything earth, articles by experts, ever expanding" and, based on an admittedly cursory investigation, that description seems apt. Rather than staking out anything that could be characterized as a position on either extreme, EoE provides well-reasoned, well-sourced data and analysis on a wide range of topics relating to the only planet we've got.
September 5, 2008 - 4:02pm
So, I'm in the process of submitting Greenback's baseline greenhouse gas inventory, as called for under the ACUPCC. AASHE has supplied an online tool to use in filing the reports for academic years 2001 through 2007, and it's pretty straight forward. Even if your school hasn't (yet) signed the PCC, you can use the same link to see the publicly available reports filed by the schools which have.

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