Archive for August, 2007

From It’s Getting Hot In Here and Watthead:



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Adopted from the Cornell Chronicle, dated August 6, 2007:

With the thin, dark coastlines of Maine and New Hampshire visible in the far distance across a shimmering Gulf of Maine, engineers use a backhoe to fit a 2,000-pound cylinder of galvanized steel onto a huge metal base.

The cylinder is part of the 80-foot-tall wind turbine about to generate electricity on Appledore Island, home of Shoals Marine Laboratory (SML).

Cornell partners with the University of New Hampshire to operate this remote facility, located six miles offshore, where students study such subjects as marine biology, ecology and sustainability every summer.

Powered by this new energy source, an array of instruments on the island will collect air quality and meteorological measurements year-round, instead of having to be shut off in October when SML staff batten down the lab and turn off the diesel-powered generators for the winter. The wind turbine also symbolizes SML’s efforts to make Appledore a case study for innovative sustainable practices.

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Adopted from the Cornell Daily Sun, dated April 23:

As the remnants of last week’s nor’easter melted away, members of the Cornell community came out to Ho Plaza on Friday to celebrate Earth Day and enjoy the spring weather. The day’s festivities concluded Cornell’s First Annual Global Warming Awareness Initiative, a week of events promoting the University’s sustainability efforts that included community service projects, a panel discussion, a film screening, a lecture and a benefit concert.

Friday’s event brought out a broad array of about twenty organizations, from Cornell Students Against War to Tzedek: Jewish Social Justice.

KyotoNow!, a student group for environmental action, had a table at the event, informing attendees of the threat of global warming. Earlier this year, the group proposed the Referendum for Green Energy Purchases at Cornell, which was passed by the Student Assembly, and encouraged President David Skorton to sign the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment agreement.

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Adopted from the Cornell Daily Sun, Dated April 24, 2007:

While the campaign to stop global warming may be an uphill battle, Cornell students proved yesterday that students can have a big impact in the fight. Yesterday the group Kyoto Now! was announced as the winner of thinkMTV’s Break the Addiction Final Exam contest, which challenged campus organizations across the country to submit evidence of educational activities and policy advocacy to reduce their school’s global warming pollution. Kyoto Now! won $10,000 toward an eco-renovation for their student center on campus and was featured on MTV’s Total Request Live yesterday for a special Earth Day episode.

ThinkMTV is a campaign that promotes discussion and action about important issues for young people. This specific contest was part of thinkMTV’s Break the Addiction, a 12-month campaign launched on Earth Day 2006 to “educate and empower young people to make daily choices that improve their life and simultaneously curb the impact of global warming and preserve the environment,” according to an MTV press release.

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Adopted from the Cornell Daily Sun, dated June 9, 2007:

Skorton talked about the importance of sustainability, saying that the world needs economic growth that will not inhibit future generations. Cornell students, he said, have been especially effective on issues of sustainability on and off campus. In February, Skorton signed the student-prepared Kyoto Now! resolution, which calls for a reformed energy policy that will commit to carbon neutrality. Cornell Center for the Environment promotes interdisciplinary studies that focus on sustainability as well.

The President also remarked that many of Cornell’s colleges, including the College of Engineering, the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the Johson Graduate School of Management, list sustainability and the environment as among the most important issues to study.

This affects the student experience on campus, Skorton said. He mentioned two student groups – the Solar Decathlon Team and Engineers for a Sustainable World – that have each worked towards sustainability.

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Adopted from the Cornell Daily Sun, dated May 3, 2007:

A proposal to charge students at the University of Maryland — College Park a small fee to purchase clean energy received overwhelming support from the undergraduate community.

Student leaders at UMD are hoping that the University administration will implement this fee by 2008 or 2009. The proposed fee would start at $4 and increase by $2 every year to reach a maximum price of $12.

According to a UMD Energy press release, if fully implemented, the fee would raise enough money to purchase 137,000 Megawatt hours of clean electricity per year at today’s prices and would be the largest purchase to date by a college or university in the United States.

The vote on the fee declared 91 percent of the UMD undergraduate community in favor of the fee. This came as no small surprise to many, as tuition and fees have been on the rise at UMD in the past several years.

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Adopted from the Cornell Daily Sun, dated April 25, 2007:

The Sun sat down yesterday with Christine Todd Whitman, former administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and former governor of New Jersey to discuss college students’ impact on the environment.

The Sun: What brings you to Cornell, and what have you enjoyed about your experience here?

Christine Whitman: I went to the Ornithology lab yesterday, and that was just fascinating. I’ve been to Cornell before, and it’s just fascinating the work the lab is doing with animals and animal sounds. I’ve met with the head of [the College of] Architecture Art and Planning, and talked about some of the innovative things that are going on. I particularly enjoy spending time with students, because you never know what the questions are going to be and this is a very bright, engaged campus, with some very good, thoughtful people. So it has been fun to be able to spend some more time here than I did the last time I was here.

Sun: You’ve been interested in the environment before it became trendy and politicians and celebrities jumped on the “green” bandwagon. How did you become interested in the environment and involved in environmental causes?

Whitman: I grew up on a farm, so you are outdoors a lot, you understand the changes in nature, and the interrelationship of the eco-systems, you see that on a daily basis on a farm.

And I had parents who were very committed to the outdoors; we spent a lot of time outdoors whenever we could.

And getting more sophisticated about it, you take a state like New Jersey and you watch the farms disappear. You see housing developments where there used to be woods. You get a sense and understanding of the pressure, and it becomes more critical to take some action.

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