Archive for November, 2007

By Kate Duch in the Cornell Daily Sun:

Last month, the Board of Trustees’ Committee on Governmental Relations welcomed the Executive Director of the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York to present on “Green Campuses in New York State.” The director discussed how campuses across the state can become more environmentally-friendly and how his organization assists universities in this goal. Fortunately, Cornell is already a leader in the movement to create more sustainable campuses by reducing current energy use, creating renewable energy sources and reducing the emission of greenhouse gasses.

Cornell has implemented an Energy Conservation Initiative (ECI) to reduce current energy use by 20 percent of year-2000 levels by 2012. The initiative is a multi-phase 10-year plan focusing on maintenance projects and continuing improvements in energy conservation. The total estimated project cost is $25 to $30 million, yet the initiative is projected to save Cornell $7 to $8 million annually in energy costs, offsetting the costs of implementing the initiative within five to seven years. Cornell has already completed studies of 31 buildings and conservation projects in 36 buildings. By 2012, the initiative is projected to have reduced energy use in 105 buildings across campus.

As part of the ECI, Cornell has released data on energy use for all campus buildings and published five years of data on the Internet with “base” averages from 1998 to 2000 for comparison. A new feature also displays data on the CO2 emissions for each building. The data allows the University to compare energy usage in buildings across campus, identify those buildings that consume the most energy and track our progress in energy conservation.



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Credited to Aaron Munzer from the Ithaca Journal:

ITHACA — It’s an unavoidable fact of life that old furnaces in old farmhouses will eventually need replacing. But when Ulysses town board member Lucia Tyler’s tired furnace is finally put to rest, she won’t just be replacing it: she’s hoping to turn it into an opportunity to purchase a renewable geothermal heat pump system. 

“We’ll have to replace our furnace, so we thought, why not also look to the future?” she said.

On Saturday, Tyler and about 200 other residents attended the Community Forum on Energy at Ithaca College, where business people, pioneering homeowners and experts met to discuss and explain the specifics of environmental retrofitting, including solar, wind, bio-fuel, geothermal, hydro and combined heat and power technologies.The Tompkins Renewable Energy Education Alliance put on the event to present available technologies along with insights and specifics for installing these systems. In addition, 20 local businesses that specialize in efficiency installation and retrofitting were there to answer questions and offer their services.


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nycs-07-023.jpgFrom November 16-18, students from across the state of New York gathered at Cornell to launch the NY Student Sustainability Coalition (NYSSC, pronounced NISC). The New York Climate Summit ended with a structured coalition of campus student groups that will work from now on with the goal of getting climate legislation passed in Albany in 2008 that will require the state to reduce its emissions 80% by 2050.

The Summit included students from Cornell University, Fredonia College, Ithaca College, New Explorations High School, NYU, Plattsburgh University, St. Lawrence University, University of Rochester, Wells College, and Westchester Community College. It also included members of the Central NY Climate Change Action Group, Sustainable Tompkins, and Energy Independent Caroline.

Our strategic plan includes a push for New York to be a leader on global warming at the upcoming Presidential Debate on Global Warming in New Hampshire, a coordinated Focus The Nation event where we invite legislators and demand them to state their position on global warming and a bill to reduce emissions 80% by 2050 in the state, and a Lobby Day during St. Valentine’s Day (Date Your Elected Officials, Show Love For Warming Action).

Our website will soon be up at www.nyssc.org, but in the meantime people (especially NY students) can visit our google group.

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Credited to the Cornell Daily Sun

As Cornell decides whether or not to renew its contract with Starbucks, the Cornell Organization for Labor Action is putting student pressure on the administration to find an alternative coffee supplier, due to the accusations of Starbucks’s questionable labor practices.

In many cafés on campus, Cornell students drink Seattle’s Best Coffee, which is owned by Starbucks. While this may seem like a harmless activity, to some students, Cornell may actually be endorsing unfair labor practices.

Fil Eden ’10, member of COLA, believes there are dangerous unintended consequences of supporting Starbucks.

“The National Labor Relations Board is a government agency that investigates potential labor violations only if the accuser has a good case,” Eden said. “The NLRB has accused Starbucks of 38 labor violations. Some of the violation accusations include forbidding workers to talk about unionizing on the job or firing workers trying to start a union. Cornell should not renew the contract with Starbucks if they are being accused of potential labor violations.”


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Credited to Tim Ashmore from the Ithaca JournalITHACA — After two days of discussion and planning, Carlos Rymer and a group of Cornell students created a coalition of students from throughout the state that hope to push New York into becoming a leader on climate change.

The Student Sustainability Coalition drew students from the University of Rochester, Skidmore College, Clarkson University, the University at Buffalo and others to Cornell to meet and develop a coalition that will focus on pressuring lawmakers in Albany to pass legislation that restricts state carbon emissions.


Rymer is part of the Sierra Student Coalition — a group focused on national climate change — and used resources from the group to reach out to like-minded students in New York. Roughly 70 students showed up.

“Lots of people were surprised we organized a coalition in two days that feels really cohesive,” Rymer said.The Student Sustainability Coalition’s short-term goal is to lobby in favor of legislation currently in the state Assembly and Senate that would cut greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2050. Lowering carbon emissions so drastically would bring emissions to levels comparable to 1990.


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