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Archive for the ‘Sustainability Hub’ Category

Credit to Seth Shapiro in the Cornell Daily Sun:

“Cornell is very progressive in its commitment to sustainability,” said Whitney Larsen ’10, the outreach coordinator for the student-run Sustainability Hub.

While the Sustainability Hub and other student groups work to make the Cornell campus as sustainable as possible, the administration is trying to widen the scope on Cornell’s impact on sustainability.

With the creation of the Cornell Center for a Sustainable Future, the administration is trying to bring together Cornell professors and faculty to enact change far beyond the Cornell campus.

“[This is a great] opportunity for this University to be a model for others to follow,” said Dean of University Faculty Charles Walcott Ph.D ’59.

One way the CCSF and Cornell has shown their determination to the nationwide sustainability effort is by bringing in esteemed professors to teach at Cornell and to take on leadership roles in the CCSF.

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sustain_logo.jpgCredit to Carlos Rymer and Mollie Futterman in the Cornell Daily Sun

It is now approximately one year since President Skorton signed the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment, setting Cornell on the path towards climate neutrality. KyotoNOW!’s Beyond Kyoto Campaign showed that there exists widespread support for such a target on campus. Since then, the student group has been looked upon with admiration by the youth climate movement and many organizations on campus. But since then, an entire year has passed. So it is about time that we ask ourselves what we have done in the last year about this commitment and, more broadly, sustainability. Well, let’s think about it.

Shortly after the signing of the Presidents Climate Commitment, an Implementation Committee was formed to draft a comprehensive plan (due in exactly one year) to reach climate neutrality in the Ithaca, N.Y. campus. In addition, an ad-hoc faculty committee was formed voluntarily to begin looking for ideas on what to do to cut carbon dioxide emissions. Lots of ideas have been proposed, including a rapid transit system promoted by the local group Connect Ithaca, wind turbines on nearby hills (Enfield, Town of Caroline and Mt. Pleasant), increased energy efficiency, a big red bikes program, biodiesel production from dining locations,and methane biodigestors. We don’t know yet what the Implementation Committee is doing, but we’re set to find out soon when President Skorton addresses the campus today at 11:30 a.m. in the Duffield Atrium, where the first anniversary of the Presidents Climate Commitment will be celebrated.

In addition to all this administrative work, there has been a great buzz around campus about the Presidents Climate Commitment. In fact, every time a campus publication mentions sustainability, the commitment is brought up as the most aggressive move yet. It is now typical to confuse sustainability with climate neutrality, since global warming has become such a huge threat and people are getting that in their heads. Yet climate neutrality is something to be achieved over one or a few decades; it’s something that, right now, is all about words. In effect, this constant talking about Cornell’s commitment to climate neutrality has masked the obvious about sustainability.

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