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5: End Green Spending

If the College can insulate building X at a cost of $100,000 and, thereby, save $50,000 per year in heating costs, then, by all means, spend that money. Any investment that pays off after two years is worth doing.

But the College spends a lot (around a million a year) on goo-goo green sustainability type projects, things that don’t save money but do reduce carbon emissions and the like. Wisely, the College decided to skip much/most of that spending this year because of the crisis. (Morty and Greg Avis ’80 discussed the topic a bit at the Boston alumni meeting.) We should cancel all such spending for the foreseeable future. The College is too poor to worry about the global environment.

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#1 Comment By Loweeel On March 27, 2009 @ 12:10 pm

David, to strengthen your argument, could you please point to specific instances of spending that they should cancel?

I’m on board with jettisoning “wasted” green spending, but merely saying “goo-goo green sustainability type projects” doesn’t cut it. We don’t have any idea how much it is and what the projects are. It may not be your fault, but specifics here would be very helpful.

#2 Comment By Ronit On March 27, 2009 @ 12:29 pm


#3 Comment By JeffZ On March 27, 2009 @ 12:30 pm

Quetion: if Williams is “too poor” to worry about the global environment, what entity, anywhere in the world, is not? I’d say Williams is a heck of a lot better off than 95 percent of businesses, charities, government bodies in the U.S., let alone the rest of the world … if we say Williams (with a one billion dollar endowment for 2000 students) doesn’t need to consider the environmental impact of its activties, how can we credibly ask anyway, anywhere else in the world to do so, even in relatively flush times?

Which is not to say the college shouldn’t closely scrutinize the costs and benefits of any green initiative … ultimately if it costs a tremendous amount of resources to save a little bit of energy (which is what I assume your definition of “goo goo green” is), that doesn’t make sense — but that wouldn’t make sense in ANY economic climate.

#4 Comment By JeffZ On March 27, 2009 @ 12:31 pm

Ronit, I’m clearly missing something …

#5 Comment By Ronit On March 27, 2009 @ 12:43 pm

Jeff – that cat looks bored, doesn’t it?

#6 Comment By JeffZ On March 27, 2009 @ 2:04 pm

Ahhh, gotcha. Might want to keep that image handy …

#7 Comment By Parent ’12 On March 27, 2009 @ 2:40 pm

Ronit- Glad I skipped the OP & went directly to the comments… much more amusing.

That’s quite a fat cat!

Maybe he (or she?) could be the face of finance.

#8 Comment By frank uible On March 27, 2009 @ 3:02 pm

Youse yokels snap up the Kane bait every time!

#9 Comment By nuts On March 27, 2009 @ 9:32 pm

I’ll see your cat and raise you one . . . ?

#10 Comment By Ken Thomas ’93 On March 27, 2009 @ 10:05 pm

You may see a cat. I see a Sony VAIO SR series, poorly framed and annoyingly out of focus. Is that a -17K?

#11 Comment By PTC On March 28, 2009 @ 6:57 am

But wait- I thought the problem before was that the college was so rich that it needed to develope to keep pace with others?

Before, the college was too rich to care about the global environment… now it is too poor. Man, I am one confused townie!

Nice cat!

#12 Comment By PTC On March 28, 2009 @ 7:18 am

How big is that cat ronit?