Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Grist's Eco-villian of 2008

Don Blankenship, CEO of (really evil coal company) Massey Energy has been nominated for Grist's Eco-villian of 2008 and you should totally vote for him.


Here is what Grist has to say about him:

In addition to his customary pursuits -- violating mine safety laws, bullying politicians and regulators, bribing state Supreme Court judges, blowing the tops off mountains -- this spring the CEO of coal giant Massey Energy was caught on tape threatening to shoot a reporter (like, with a gun). Perhaps to distract attention from that savvy PR move, he was caught on tape in November saying climate change isn't real, "greeniacs" are "crazies," mass transit will destroy capitalism, and his media critics are "communists" and "atheists." Gives mustaches a bad name.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

As if we didn't have enough bad news

This sucks. There is no other way to put it.


The Needle and the Damage Done
Images of oil addiction in Canada's tar sands

Pop quiz: After Saudi Arabia, which country has the most proven oil reserves? Wrong. Not only wrong, but wrong part of the world. Unless you guessed Canada -- in which case, congratulations! Big old Canada is screwing up the planet big time with a big drilling operation. Forest Ethics head Todd Paglia describes a recent visit, and explains how to fight back.

[ discuss | email | + digg | + del.icio.us ]

new in Grist: The Needle and the Damage Done


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Coal grows in the ground or something...

This is probably the best video I've ever seen about coal.

Please share it with as many people as possible. Here is the Youtube link:

Friday, December 12, 2008

Clean Coal Carolers!

"The Clean Coal Carolers are the holiday season’s hottest singing sensations! In fact, coal is the stocking stuffer of choice this year. It’s abundant, affordable and cleaner than ever. The Clean Coal Carolers have recorded six carols for your listening pleasure."

This left me at a loss for words. Essentially, I laughed, I cried, I got sick to my stomach.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

From Andrew Wingfield: short video: Obama addresses governors' climate summit

Obama didn't attend last month's climate summit (convened by Gov. S. in CA), but he recorded this video for the meeting. It's only about four minutes long. Take a look!


Food article from Andrew Wingfield: Real Food Challenge connects over 300 schools, engages students


Real Food Challenge connects over 300 schools, engages students

Xarissa Holdaway

November 25, 2008

"Uniting students for just and sustainable food" is the motto of the Real Food Challenge, a network of students and activists working to bring ethically-produced, environmentally-sustainable food to campuses. This fall, a national campaign engaged students at more than 300 schools.

With an Advisory Committee made up of such heavyweights as Michael Pollan, Vandana Shiva, and Anna Lappé, and Steering Committee members from UC-Santa Cruz, Iowa State, and Brown University, it's a distinguished group that advocates "beyond the supermarket labels" of organic, green, or local.

Garden WorkshopFall08 037.jpgAccording to Marissa Grossman, National Programs Coordinator, the term "Real Food" encompasses every stage of food, from the farm to the plate. She says, "We're talking about our entire food system, from the biodiversity of the land where we grow, to the social justice aspect of who is getting healthy food and who isn't."

While talk of local, sustainable agriculture is nothing new, this is the first concerted effort to make it a priority on college campuses, and use students as the drivers. The RFC's first major campaign, Real Food Now, ran from mid-September to mid-October of 2008, and encouraged students to host events, start projects and report back, with RFC providing advice, networking capabilities and a collection of publications and resources. Students responded by hosting more than 200 events all over the country.

Most projects focused on raising awareness on the campus, such as ISU's Real Food picnic, which used local apples and musicians to draw people to the event, where they could learn about food systems and local agriculture. The program dovetailed with Iowa State's Student Agriculture Farm and food purchasing policies that favor local and organic choices.

Other groups highlighted the connection between food systems and climate change, like Radishes and Rubbish, a two-student team from NYU that takes students on "field trips" to local food producers and waste management facilities to describe where specific items come from, how they are processed, how food gets wasted, and the impact that food has on climate and people.

And of course, the social justice element played a large role at many schools. Berea College, which hosted an "Eat-In," invited representatives from Oxfam and Bereans for Appalachia to table and speak to students about fair trade, local economics and global equality issues.

Grossman says, "It's quite extraordinary. Thousands of students are working very hard to make sure that their schools commit to a real food economy. And if that means they have to get their hands dirty--I mean literally in the dirt--that's what they're going to do."


Campus Ecology...It takes a big step to make a smaller footprint.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Native Plant and Landscaping Update

There are a bunch of efforts on campus to 1) make the physical campus more ecologically sound and 2) to use the physical campus as a teaching/learning lab about ecology and the value of native plant habitat. A chair of this working group, I am trying to gather information about all these efforts. I hope Andrew and others will chime in!

Here are a couple of efforts I am dealing with:
1) Make GMU a "Tree Campus USA," a designation granted by the Arbor Day Foundation. The point of the designation is to encourage a comprehensive management plan for trees that is ecologically sound (which GMU does not have) and to formalize a committment to environmental education regarding trees/native habitat. The site is very cool: http://www.arborday.org/programs/treecampususa/ Virginia Tech is already has this designation.

2) Writing a memorandum to the University regarding the value of native habitat and trees on campus for teaching, ecosystem services, and reducing the costs of facilities management. Have concerned faculty sign it.

3) The University is getting a new greenhouse behind SUB II in the next few months! I'd like to develop teaching garden, with an emphasis on plant-insect interactions, around the walkways leading to this building. The plant-insect garden by the US Natural History Museum is my ideal.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Some interesting info - and potentially useful displays.
And careful, it could take up a bunch of your time. Especially if you go here - http://www.worldmapper.org/atozindex.html

Monday, November 17, 2008

This article gave me mixed feelings

'Save The Environment'??? Puh-leeze: Let's Get Real


Green goes underground

Hey! is this where we can flagrantly promote our own social and political agendas without fear of overloading someone's email inbox?

A agree with Andrew wholeheartedly about the list. I find it very informative...and as far as getting the list in other forms, I have a few lists that i get via daily digest, which is a nice option.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Welcome to Mason Goes Green!

Welcome to Mason Goes Green!

Sustainability is challenging, at all levels: personally, communally, and globally. The Sustainability Office at George Mason University hopes to create an active forum for discussion among not only our students, faculty, and staff, but also welcomes the extended Mason community to participate in discussing issues of sustainability as they relate to our campuses.

Feel free to actively debate, discuss, and disagree - but please be civil and respectful. If you do not feel you can abide by this simple rule, you will be prevented from posting in the future.

And finally, here is the legal disclaimer: the content of this Blog does not represent the views or opinions of the George Mason Administration, as we are a state agency and are required to be non-partisan. While members of the staff and faculty will be participating in this Blog, their opinions are solely their own, not the opinions of the Administration.

Thanks so much, and blog on!
Lenna Storm
Sustainability Coordinator
George Mason University