What in the world happened?

February 25, 2010 at 10:44 pm Leave a comment

Environmental issues continued to move forward even while Reed shut down for its Winter Break. Now that we’re back on campus and reading and talking again, you might want to check out some of the news stories that have appeared in the last few weeks.

  • Climate change bills stall in Congress. Copenhagen negotiations go nowhere. Are our leaders unclear about the problem, or are there other forces at work. Check out Jeff Goodell’s article, “As The World Burns” (Rolling Stone, Jan 6, 2010). For more on this story, listen to his 20 minute interview with Terry Gross on Fresh Air (Jan 28, 2010).
  • Coal-fired power plants emit more greenhouse gases per kilowatt-hour generated than any other fossil fuel burning power station. Coal is also loaded any number of toxic elements that, if all goes right, is collected as toxic coal ash — 130 million tons (260,000,000,000 pounds) per year — and disposed of in some kind of reasonably safe impoundment zone. Or so we might hope. The EPA has labeled 44 coal ash sites as presenting a “high hazard” to human life and a map of these sites has been published in the Sierra Club magazine (March/April 2010). You can find the map and more information about the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal and Campuses Beyond Coal campaigns online.
  • Finally, did you know that the friendliest members of the Reed community are big-time polluters? Turns out Bowser and Fluff have an appreciable environmental pawprint and its not getting any smaller. Check out How Green is Your Pet? in the New Scientist (Oct 23, 2009).

Entry filed under: In the News.

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