SUSTAINABLE SCOTS NEWSLETTER
Sponsored by the Macalester Sustainability Office
February 21st, 2014
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This month's theme is...
The Sustainability Office will continue to focus on all things energy this month. Macalester is currently participating in Campus Conservation Nationals, the largest electricity and water reduction competition for colleges and universities in the world! Stay tuned for more energy themed events. Also be sure to check out all of the sustainability related events featured in this newsletter for February.
Hope you're all doing well -- stay warm!
Climate Change is Back in the News: 5 Reasons Why
"Climate change can now be considered another weapon of mass destruction, perhaps the world's most fearsome weapon of mass destruction"
-Secretary of State
John Kerry this week
A convergence of events and factors -- blizzards in the East and drought out West, an administration acting on oft-stated intentions, the pending Keystone pipeline decision -- have renewed debate on a topic that alternately captures attention or numbs the public. CNN written Tom Cohen gives us 5 reasons why climate change is being discussed everywhere. Read his full article here.
1. Obama walks the talk
Faced with relentless Republican opposition to his agenda in a divided Congress, Obama promised to take more executive action in 2014 to get around what Democrats call an obstructionist GOP strategy. He also brought on stronger voices for combating climate change, including Kerry, who became secretary of state last year, and John Podesta, a former chief of staff to President Bill Clinton who headed the liberal Center for American Progress think tank.
2. Extreme Weather
Frigid temperatures and heavy snow up North, ice storms down South and drought out West instigated a new round of the now familiar debate over whether climate change causes such extreme weather.
3. Kerry's trip to climate change hotbeds
On an extended trip to Asia, the longtime advocate for firm action to reduce carbon emissions went to two countries at the center of the debate -- China and Indonesia. On Sunday, he delivered one of the strongest speeches on climate change by any American official while visiting Indonesia. His speech evoked a protest from Newt Gingrich, the former House Speaker and GOP presidential candidate.
4. Keystone Decision Pending
The issue has loomed for years, prompting supporters of the project to accuse the Obama administration of stalling to appease his liberal base. It pits the oil industry and its Republican backers against environmentalists and liberal Democrats who complain the project bolsters the especially dirty fossil fuel production from the tar sands of northern Alberta.
5. It's an election year
Election-year politics always harden positions, and the bitter partisan divide in Washington means little chance for progress on any major initiatives such as immigration reform or deficit reduction. In that political environment, climate change becomes an easy issue for either side to use to attack the other.
Keystone XL: An update
"This pipeline is essential," Landrieu said, adding that the United States already boasts 2.6 million miles of pipeline. "The time for study is over."
"Tar sands crude means a dirtier, more dangerous future for our children all so that the oil industry can reach the higher prices of overseas markets. This dirty energy project is all risk and no reward for the American people."
President Obama has waffled on the issue of Keystone pipeline building for over five years, and environmentalists have mounted increasing pressure for the White
House to shut the door on the project. Dan Weiss, the director of Climate Strategy at the Center for American Progress, meanwhile, said it's not likely Mr. Obama will announce a decision any time soon. "Any decision is a long way off," he said, in The Hill. "Those who think they know what the president is going to do - it's wishful thinking. I don't believe even the president knows what he's going to do on this subject." In the meantime, Mr. Obama has called on Congress to free $1 billion for a special climate resiliency fund - which Sen. John Hoeven, North Dakota Republican, said in The Hill is "not going to happen."
10 reasons to oppose the Keystone XL Pipeline
Recyclablemania and Campus Conservation Nationals
February 3rd - March 28th
1 Competition. 8 Weeks. 8 Themes. 6 Events
Stay tuned for weekly events!
Week 1 Light Conservation
Week 2 Energy Conservation
Week 3 Textile Waste
Week 4 Food Waste
Week 5 E-Waste
Week 6 Traditional Recycling
Week 7 Water Conservation
Week 8 Traditional Recycling
To find out more contact Diana Chao - email@example.com
Second Annual Clothing Swap
Saturday, Feb. 22nd from 12pm to 2pm
Campus Center Basement
In light of textile waste awareness for Recyclemania, the Sustainability Office will be sponsoring our second annual clothing swap!
Come join us in the basement of the Campus Center on Saturday, Feb. 22nd from 12 pm to 2 pm! Feel free to bring your old clothes, happy personas, and smiling faces!
Olin Rice 250 at noon, light lunch provided
February 27th, 2014
"Building Sustainable, Healthy and Resilient Cities Globally: Translating Research to
Speaker: Dr. Anu Ramaswami, Humphrey Institute at the University of MN
Cities would not function without infrastructures that provide water, energy, food, shelter, waste management and mobility services to more than half the world's people living in them today.How do people, infrastructures and the natural system interact with each other across spatial scale to shape multiple sustainability outcomes for cities - including environmental, economic, risk/resiliency and public health outcomes? How can we better design our urban infrastructure systems to achieve these multiple sustainability outcomes? Who governs the design and diffusion of these more sustainable infrastructure systems in society - and what motivates them to do so (or not)?
These important questions will be explored using a novel social-ecological- infrastructural systems (SEIS) framework for developing sustainable, healthy and climate-resilient cities. The framework will be applied to describe recent efforts to measure and mitigate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with cities, using a portfolio of interventions including: infrastructure design/technology interventions, as well as behavior change and policy interventions.
March 6th, 2014
Speakers: EcoHouse Residents
What is the EcoHouse? Find out about our own Eco-Living/Learning Laboratory. EcoHouse students will talk about the house and their projects. This is an excellent opportunity for EcoHouse applicants to learn more about living in the house from current residents.
March 13th, 2014
"The Indigenous Roots of Sustainable Forestry in the United States and an Environmental History of the Menominee Tribe of Wisconsin"
Speaker: Mike Dockry, Research Natural Resource Specialist, USDA Forest Service
For many indigenous communities, forests have powerful cultural, historical, and economic meanings. In this talk, Mike explores the meanings of forest management (harvesting trees for timber) on the Menominee Reservation inWisconsin. He addresses three fundamental questions: How have Menominee people and non-Menominee people understood their relationship with forests and forest management through time? How and why has the Menominee forest changed through time? How does history and culture shape definitions, practices, and understandings of sustainability?
For the most up-to-date descriptions of the presenters and their topics, check out the Enviro-Thursday webpage: HERE
Sounds and Visions of Cedar Creek
Thu, February 27, 5:30pm - 7:00pm
Atrium of the Learning and Environmental Sciences, Buford Avenue, Saint Paul, MN
"Sounds and Visions of Cedar Creek" is an artistic expression of the Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve, an ecological research site of the University of Minnesota. The performance piece is a collaborative project of the U of M School of Music and Art Department faculty and students, and will feature sound installations, improvised music and portable cinemas.
This event is free and open to the general public.
Sustainability Meets Social Justice
Here in the Sustainability Office we have been thinking a lot about how social justice intersects with sustainability. For each newsletter a sustainability student worker will write a passage about how social justice is incorporated into their work. This newsletter we hear from senior environmental studies major Sabrina Upadhyay:
How does working at the sustainability office relate to environmental social justice?
For the past two years, my most consistent task has been to collect and calculate Macalester's greenhouse gas emissions every fiscal year. Retrieving this data enables us to plan and implement strategies toward reaching carbon neutrality by 2025. It is important for Macalester to reduce its carbon emission in order to ameliorate the effects on climate change. Climate change is a global problem that requires everyone to solve. It is threatening the existence of islands like the Maldives, reducing fishermen income in the Philippines, and diminishing fresh water resources in Nepal. It is not fair for countries who do not emit as much carbon dioxide to face the consequences of the world's carbon emissions. Working on Macalester's greenhouse gas emissions inventory enables Macalester to reduce its emissions thus ameliorating the effects of climate change.
Did you know?
Bon Appetit will now be offering compostable paper products and silverware for catering events that require non-china at no additional charge.
Way to go Bon Appetit!
Northeast Minnesota is a local, regional and national wilderness treasure. The St. Louis River is a precious and unique part of Minnesota's natural heritage. The St. Louis River watershed is also the headwaters of the Great Lakes. But right now, mining companies like PolyMet want to build new and toxic sulfide mines in th
e St. Louis River watershed that would create extreme water pollution that could last for the next 500 years and leave billions of dollars of cleanup costs for Minnesota taxpayers.
That's why Audubon Minnesota is working to prevent new mines that could pollute the St. Louis River watershed and destroy the homes of vibrant bird populations. Northeast Minnesota is a natural heritage treasure and one of the most beloved areas in our state, so if we can reach out to and rally enough public support, we can make sure these mines aren't approved and that the area's pristine waters are protected.
We are currently seeking interns interested in making a difference right here in the Twin Cities! This position begins immediately and will typically require 10-15
hours per week. Flexible scheduling is allowed. Positions are available as a Coalition Coordinator, Grassroots Coordinator, and a Media Coordinator.
Requirements: Positive, outgoing attitude. Strong interest in environmental issues and a commitment to protect Minnesota's clean water and natural heritage. Desire to learn and develop campaign organizing skills.
If interested, fill out this form online:
Or, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org (Subject line: Protect Our Waters Internship). Please indicate which of the positions above you are most interested in.
Become an Environment America Fellow
Fight for a green future. Learn what it takes to win.
I'm Samantha Chadwick -- the Advocate at Environment Minnesota. We're a statewide citizen based environmental advocacy group. We're about clean energy, clean air, clean water, and protecting open spaces - right now our top priority is protecting the Boundary Waters from toxic mining. And, we're hiring!
To learn more and apply, visit jobs.environmentamerica.org. Our early application deadline is Sunday, February 23rd.
Environment Minnesota is part of the Environment America federation, a federation of 29 state-based groups with nearly 100 professional staff and more than 1 million members, activists and allies across the country.
Each year, we hire graduating seniors with the passion, the commitment and the talent it takes to stand up to polluting industries, fight for a green future and do what it takes to win.
Our Fellowship Program is a two-year crash course in the nuts and bolts of environmental activism, organizing, advocacy and the type of institution-building that can sustain long-term battles.
As a fellow, you're not just learning how to make an impact; you're making one. If you want to hear more straight from our current fellows, we put together a short video for you. You'll find it on our website here.
After two years as a fellow, you'll have learned the ropes, gained invaluable hands-on experience and you'll have made a real difference for the environment. Hear from two former fellows about the work they're doing now to fight frackinghere.
And if you're not graduating this year, I encourage you to apply to be an Environment Minnesota intern - you'll learn how to make an impact on critical environmental issues, and there's no better way to get the experience to launch your career.
2014 Internships at Women's Environmental Institute
The Women's Environmental Institute is now officially accepting applications for temporary, part-time farm intern positions for the 2014 season.
Internship Terms available:
Early Summer (June 1 - July 15) (3 Interns)
Late Summer (July 15 - August 31) (3 Interns)
Autumn (Sept 1 - Oct 31) (3 Interns)
Full-time farm internship includes a supporting intern stipend, week-day housing, and an educational program on organic farming. On-site residency is required during the week. Applicants who have a strong commitment to organic farming and to the environmental and agricultural justice mission of WEI are preferred. Some experience working on an organic farm or a strong ambition and dedication to learning how to farm are also preferred. Review of applications will start in January and continue until all positions are filled.
Please send to the following:
· Application (available online at www.w-e-i.org or by request at email@example.com)
· Your letter of inquiry indicating why you would like to do the internship and your qualifications
· Your résumé
· Names and contact information for three references
We will contact you for an interview if you are under consideration. Send your application electronically to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail to:
Women's Environmental Institute
P.O. Box 128
North Branch, MN 55056
In general the daily intern schedule when the farm is in full production would be something like this:
Tues - Fri a.m. (required): Work on farm (24 hours/week) - dedicated to field work and on-site learning in the field (this is hard physical work)
Saturday to Monday: Time off generally away from WEI farm campus or volunteer work time on the farm.
Dedicated time to your internship includes your hours of direct farm labor (billable hours), a minimum of six to eight hours per week on your individual project related to WEI farm programming, and participation at one farmers market event.
Get involved with Twin Cities' Environmental Organizations
Interested in pursuing a career in the environmental field? Ever wonder how the environment could be encompassed into the work you do? Consider doing an internship with a local environmental organization and learn a bit about what it's like to do work in this field. Check out the list of environmentally-focused internships provided by the Internship Office:
Contact the Sustainability Office!
We are located on the first floor of Kagin Commons, on the right-hand side as you enter the main area. The student-worker desk is located underneath the Sustainability Office sign, and Suzanne's office (our lovely Sustainability Manager) is located nearby in room 124.
Send one of your student workers to the Sustainability Student Worker Network!
Assign one of your students to work on sustainability issues for your department and send the Sustainability Office their contact information. We will assist with project planning and connect them with a twice-a-month sustainability network meeting.
To submit something or make a correction to the Sustainable Scots
Newsletter please contact:
This newsletter is sponsored by the Macalester Sustainability Office.