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Archive for September, 2007

We don’t know who or what these KIWIs are, but they have included both Ithaca College and Cornell University in their latest Green College Report. We’re keeping some pretty impressive company on this list of “Fifty schools that will help your kids help the planet.” Then again, IMHO, the other 48 schools on the KIWI list are no slouches if they’re comparing themselves to US, either!

Check out the report at:  http://www.kiwimagonline.com
KIWI: Growing families the natural and organic way.

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The Dynamic Post-Presidental Duo

Though this article focuses on the different campaigns of players on a much larger American scale, the duality in their tactics is something we could all learn from. What kind of approach, or rather, what type of collaboration should we expect of our social activists in Ithaca, and how can we more aptly combine the need to push communities and economies with the larger issue of reforming legislature? This is an excerpt taken from The American Prospect online newsource; full text can be found here.

In their careers since leaving the White House, Bill Clinton and Al Gore have chosen opposite paths to brining about social change. Who’s been more successful?

The problem is that criticism of Clinton’s initiative, or even rigorous evaluation, feels churlish. After all, I’ve never convinced Richard Branson to donate $3 billion for renewable energy research. Nobody has ever come to my living room and announced a sustainable housing community in New Orleans. And yet, and yet, and yet, something feels off about the Clinton Global Initiative. The goings-on are virtuous, but the effort occasionally feels misdirected; the sheer amount of good being done can occasionally obscure the fact that what’s necessary is still stalled in Congress, and stalled in part because honored participants at the conference aren’t fighting for it in that arena.

This was most clearly illustrated during Wednesday’s opening plenary, when Clinton chaired a panel featuring Al Gore. In their post-presidential careers, Gore and Clinton have pioneered almost precisely opposite methods of affecting social change. Clinton has made remarkable strides activating and orienting the private sector toward good works. Gore, who has emerged as a cross between an atmospheric scientist and a folk hero, has sought to lead a post-millennial social movement capable of exerting the intense pressure required to move the government toward collective, even coercive, action to stop climate change.

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Looking for an excellent training experience in Ithaca this Sunday? I know I’m itching to get out in that real Fall weather this area has to offer; no more of this 88° business. In a joint effort between CCE/4-H Primitive Pursuits, EcoVillage at Ithaca, Ithaca College Environmental Studies Program, Ithaca College Students for Sustainability, and Earth Arts, this Sunday, September 30th, community members can participant in a workshop entitled “Introduction to Cultural Mentoring” with Mark Morey, founder of the Vermont Wilderness School and the Institute for Natural Learning. Participants can expect to deepen their awareness of nature, learn methods of community building, and take part in art-of-mentoring activities. The goal of the workshop is to go beyond skill-building and stimulate us to find new and creative ways to work together. Mark tells us: prepare to be challenged, encouraged and energized!

Sunday September 30th 10am-4pm @ Frog Common House, EcoVillage at Ithaca
$30-$60 sliding-scale fee (limited scholarships available*)
Registration: Jason Hamilton, jhamilton@ithaca.edu, 274.1439
www.primitivepursuits.net

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Hey, writers and videographers – do your thing and maybe win fame and fortune!!

The National Wildlife Federation’s Campus Ecology program is again sponsoring Chill Out! a contest to encourage student documentation of efforts to combat global warming.

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Written Entry – Submissions Deadline: November 30, 2007

What is your campus doing to help solve the global warming crisis? From clean energy to habitat restoration, describe these solutions to the National Wildlife Federation in 500 words or less by November 30, 2007 and you will be eligible to win prizes including GRANT MONEY for your campus group and a feature in Chill Out Campus Solutions to Global Warming, a multimedia broadcast on April 16, 2008 at 7pm Eastern.
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Video Entry – Video Deadline: November 30, 2007

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I thought, in honor of my very first Blog post EVER – in a forum devoted to sustainability – that I’d “recycle” a piece that first appeared in the August 27-Sept 2 issue of Tompkins Weekly. Dean Koyanagi, Cornell’s sustainability coordinator, and I co-authored this article (with generous editing help from Sharon Tregaskis). Note that at the time, the number of signatories to the Presidents Climate Commitment was 340 – it has since surpassed 400!! MMB (more…)

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From James L. Elder, Director, The Campaign for Environmental Literacy

 

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GREAT NEWS – On Monday, the Higher Education Sustainability Act (HESA) was reintroduced in the House of Representatives by Congressmen Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Vernon Ehlers (R-MI), Rick Boucher (D-PA), and David Wu (D-OR).


I am writing to ask your help with passing this important new higher education bill.


HESA (HR 3637)
  amends the Higher Education Act to authorize a new $50 million grant program at the Department of Education that will annually support between 25 and 200 sustainability projects by individual higher education institutions and higher education consortia/associations. Funds can be used to establish multidisciplinary sustainability education, research, and outreach programs; and to conduct energy management, green building and purchasing, waste and toxics management, transportation, and related sustainability initiatives.


This is the first federal grant-making program specifically for sustainability in higher education; and if fully funded, HESA is strategically designed to provide the needed funds to tip the higher education system towards sustainability.

HESA has a very good chance of passing – if higher education institutions and associations clearly voice their support for the bill to Congress.  The Campaign for Environmental Literacy is coordinating a new campaign to help with this – check our web site for updates on the campaign, or click here to download a full briefing on HESA.

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Adopted from the Cornell Daily Sun: 

The Sustainability Hub, an umbrella organization composed of several student groups, announced recently the formation of the Sustainable Investment Coalition. The Coalition will seek to promote the investment of the University’s endowment, approximately $5 billion, in companies that employ sustainable practices.

The Coalition includes representation from a broad array of student groups, including KyotoNow!, the Environmental Law Society, the Mutual Investment Club of Cornell and Engineers for a Sus­tainable World.

The Sustainable Endow­ments Institute’s College Sus­tainability Report Card, re­leased in January 2007, gave Cornell its lowest grades in the categories of endowment transparency, investment priorities and shareholder engagement. According to Carlos Rymer ’09, president of the Sustainability Hub, these grades will provide the framework for the Coalition’s main goals.

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