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Posts tagged with “Higher Education” (All posts)
- May 27, 2011 at 11:15 am
Check out the new Carletonian article on LDC's transition to trayless dining here.
According to measurements done by Bon Appetit during fall…
- October 18, 2010 at 11:35 am“Now I know the only one who cares about the environment out of 1.3 billion people who don’t,” said an American friend of mine after he was approached by a…
Carleton Students Show a Disappointing Lack of Commitment to a Sustainable Carleton Compared to the Faculty and StaffNovember 11, 2008 at 11:23 am
While I was a student at Carleton I was often frustrated with the Administration for what I felt was occasional feet-dragging on environmental and sustainability issues at our college. I felt that a lack of commitment to environmental sustainability was a poor reflection of the values of the student body. As a staff member then, one of my biggest suprises has been the much more serious attitude toward environmentalism from the staff and faculty as compared to the student body.
- October 16, 2008 at 5:02 pm
Katie Blanchard recaps a speech given by Micahel Braungart, author of the book Cradle to Cradle. Braungart emphasized his belief that the degradation of the topsoil is the world's greatest environmental problem, but also discussed how in general the approaches that are taken to changing environmentally harmful behaviors are not very fun or productive and can be seriously improved.
- February 28, 2008 at 10:28 am
For my Buddhism and Ecology class at Carleton, I recently went on a field trip to see the Rice County Solid Waste Facility. The facility, which consists of a landfill, recycling center, and hazardous waste center, is where Carleton ships all of its leftovers once compost and recyclables are removed. In the spirit of understanding the consequences of our actions, we headed out in vans to see for ourselves where our trash is kept. The facility sits on 320-340 acres of land located next to the Cannon Valley Wilderness Area near Faribault, MN. The large mounds of uncapped trash attract lots of wildlife including eagles, turkey buzzards, deer, coyotes, and hawks. Because decomposition in a landfill is so slow, there are always items of food for animals to pick over at the site. To give us a sense of the timescale for decomposition, an employee showed us newspaper clippings from the 1970s which had been pulled out of one of the trash cells. Despite having been in the landfill for almost 40 years, the newspaper was in mint condition, only slightly yellow in color. Newspapers are a good indicator of how fast trash items are breaking down because they decompose more rapidly than most trash items, especially plastics.
As we sat and watched large bulldozers crush the trash to reduce air space, we discussed the challenges they encounter at the facility in processing Carleton’s trash. I was surprised to hear the response.
- February 25, 2008 at 3:10 pm
The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed the Higher Education Sustainability Act (HR 3637 for you Congress junkies out there), a bill that would provide federal support for sustainability projects on college and university campuses. The bill, known as HESA, must now survive negotiations between the Senate and House, who will consider HESA as one program in an omnibus education bill. Senators Murray, Kennedy, Dodd, Bingaman, and Kerry have sponsored the Senate version of the bill (S 2444).
HESA would provide $50 million in grants for campuses to design and implement sustainability practices in the areas of “energy management, green building, waste management, purchasing, transportation, toxics management, and other aspects of sustainability that integrate campus operations with multidisciplinary academic programs and are applicable to the private and government sectors.” Funding could also be awarded for educational efforts regarding best practices, external stakeholder outreach, or professional development for faculty, staff, and administrators.
If passed, HESA would also require the Department of Education to organize a Summit on Sustainability, which would bring together higher education sustainability experts, government representatives, and business leaders to honor outstanding projects and research. For more information on HESA, and to track its progress in Congress, visit the Campaign for Environmental Literacy.
- October 31, 2007 at 11:02 am
Last week, several vans of Carleton students journeyed up to Minneapolis to participate in the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy's conference, Lessons from NAFTA: Building a New Fair Trade Agenda. Citizens of Mexico, the United States and Canada gathered to reflect on the tragedies that NAFTA hath wrought and share hope for change in the future.
According to the USDA's website, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) began to remove barriers to trade and investment among Canada, the United States and Mexico with the strike of the clock on January 1, 1994. Many tariffs were removed immediately, while others were phased out in a process that ends in 2008. The goals of NAFTA include reducing barriers to trade, increasing cooperation and working conditions throughout North America, creating jobs, creating a safe tri-national market and mutually advantageous trade rules and stimulating investment. Many argue though that NAFTA has had intensely negative impacts on small family farmers and consumers, while reversing many previously high standards for labor, the environment and food safety and sovereignty as the investment-stimulating aspect of NAFTA has been taken advantage of by multinational corporations.
Acclaimed liberal writer John Nichols of The Nation gave the keynote address of the conference, beginning with a sweeping criticism of North American media and the danger of general American (or perhaps Unitedstatsian) ignorance about the world beyond their borders. Moving into the topic at hand, Nichols stated, "The missing factor in debates about trade policy is people rather than elites." He stated that trade should be "based on humans and human values" before diving into a critique of each Democratic Presidential candidate's stance on the issue, essentially concluding that no candidate but the "fringe" candidates are willing to be critical of Free Trade. He highlighted the core problems with trade as a campaign issue, noting first that campaigns are financed by "Wall Street, not Main Street." Additionally Nichols noted that political parties don't like trade issues because they don't bring in contributions and they vary significantly by region across the country.
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- October 31, 2007 at 8:39 am
This weekend, seven Carleton students representing all four classes will travel to College Park, Maryland for what is shaping up to be the largest youth conference on climate change ever--Power Shift 2007. There are currently over 5,000 students attending from all 50 states and the list of speakers and events is lengthy and still growing. On Saturday and Sunday, students will attend panels and workshops where they will learn about the current status of the climate crisis as well as how to make a difference on a local (specifically on their campuses), national and international level. Then, on Monday, the entire conference will rally at DC and spend a full day lobbying senators and representatives. Examples of available workshops are: Make Your Campus Climate Neutral, Sustainable Design on Campus, and a discussion of case studies on universities from around the country. The panels will include talks on the environmental priorities of the 2008 presidential candidates, briefings on the status of climate change legislation and much more.
The seven Carleton students were able to obtain funding from the CSA, the ENTS deparment as well as the office of the president and will depart on Friday (11/2) and return on Monday night (11/5). "It was no easy task to raise this money" says one of the organizers, Elizabeth Webb'09 , "but we can guarantee that Carleton's presence at this conference will be a strong one and all attendees will return with invaluable skills and information about the climate crisis and what to do about it." Plans for bringing some of the information back onto campus after the conference include a "chili night" that will take place in the winter with the support of the ENTS department to discuss some of the environmental options available to Carleton.
- October 8, 2007 at 10:04 am
An initiative in California to bring inner city kids from Oakland and LA to the Yosemite backcountry illuminates a growing concern within the environmental movement: lack of racial diversity. 92.7% of visitors to national parks in 2004 were white, according to the U.S. Forest Service. Shifting demographic trends indicate that, if this disparity continues, future generations of voters may not care about protecting open spaces.
Why are visitors to national parks so disproportionately white? It's a complex question with a long history. In a survey by the National Park Service in 2003, African-Americans were much more likely to say they received poor service from park employees and felt uncomfortable visiting parks. Latinos were more concerned than other groups about making reservations far in advance and personal safety.
That's a problem.
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- September 26, 2007 at 3:28 pm
This week members of Congress introduced a bipartisan bill in the House of Representatives that would provide support to colleges and universities that promote sustainability education through multidisciplinary research. On Monday, Representatives Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Vernon J. Ehlers (R-MI) introduced the Higher Education Sustainability Act of 2007 (HESA), which would secure $50 million in competitive federal grants for colleges and universities to use to teach students about sustainability. The bill would also allow the Department of Education to award grants for campuses that wish to shift to more sustainable operations.
Of the legislation, Rep. Blumenauer argued that the bill supports the American economy: “By providing grants to universities and institutions to develop sustainability programs, we not only protect the planet, but we also help maintain America’s economic competitiveness. 90 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs want sustainable development to become part of their mission, and the Higher Education Sustainability Act is an opportunity to meet this need, protect our planet, and ensure that the American economy is well-equipped for the 21st Century.”
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- September 24, 2007 at 5:16 pm
Carleton students and faculty members packed the Boliou lecture hall last Wednesday to hear geochemist Wally Broecker deliver a lecture entitled “How to Terminate a Glacial Period.” Dr. Broecker, the Newberry Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Columbia University, described new research that gives insight into the Younger Dryas period, a time of cold climate conditions eleven to twelve thousand years ago. In the ongoing research of global warming, this era serves as a particularly interesting example of a time of rapid climate change, when the thermohaline conveyer of ocean currents suddenly shut down, possibly as a result of the flooding of ancient Lake Agassiz (present day Great Lakes) into the Atlantic Ocean. Dr. Broecker has written that the Younger Dryas “holds the key to understanding abrupt climate change” and thus, merits extensive research given our current situation with global warming.Continue by clicking the "read more" link below