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Divest Williams Wedding

Even if you disagree with the goals of the Divest Williams effort, you have to admire their commitment and moxie.

divest

From the Record last April:

On Friday, Divest Williams staged a mock wedding between the College and the fossil fuels industry to protest the College’s investment in that industry and call for divestment from it.

The wedding, which was attended by roughly 150 students, faculty, and staff members, followed mock weddings staged over the past few years by divestment activists at Whitman College and the Universities of Washington, Montana and Oregon.

Max Harmon ’19 played the part of the bride – the College, wearing a cow costume and veil. Linda Worden ’19, dressed as President Adam Falk, escorted him down the aisle. In front of them, Phacelia Cramer ’19 scattered fake hundred dollar bills like rose petals. Lili Bierer ’19 played the groom, representing the fossil fuels industry by wearing a suit adorned with the logos of large oil and gas companies and a tall hat made of smoke stacks.

Well done! Read the whole thing. However, there was at least one sour note:

wtrThe bridesmaids included Haley Bosse ’20, MaKaila DeSano-Smith ’18 and Suiyi Tang ’19, dressed as Michael Eisenson ’77, O. Andreas Halvorsen ’86 and Martha Williamson ’77 — three members of the Board of Trustees. The Board announced in 2015 that it would not be divesting from fossil fuels. Halvorsen stated at this year’s open forum with the trustees that the matter was a closed issue.

With the ceremony over, the wedding party and many audience members sang, “We’re gonna roll, we’re gonna roll, we’re gonna roll divestment on … If trustees are in the way, we’re gonna roll it over them … If Falk gets in the way, we’re gonna roll it over him. We’re gonna roll divestment on!”

The mock wedding was one of Divest Williams’ more humorous actions, according to Worden. She said it is “important to employ different tactics throughout the year” because “different tactics appeal to different audiences. As a group, it keeps energy going to have a variety of approaches.”

Is Divest Williams really going after Martha Williamson’s ’77 daughters? That is unbelievably rude. If I were Dean of the College, I would have a few choice words for Suiyi Tang ’19 and the rest of Divest Williams. The children of fellow Ephs are off-limits — whatever the depths of your disagreements may be.

Of course, the College should (would?) never punish a student for engaging in free speech, but an education in the costs/benefits of such tactics would be useful. There is no better way to get the trustees to ignore you forevermore than to go after one of them in such a personal way.

Is there some backstory here? Did Williamson, in a previous meeting with Divest Williams, mention the race of her daughters?

Haley Bosse’s ’20 costume was also . . . edgy . . . in a way that she might not have realized or intended . . .

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Eisenson ’77 on Green Finance II

Trustee Board Chair Michael Eisenson ’77 writes in the Record about climate change and green finance. Since Eisenson is speaking on behalf of the trustees and the Administration, we should spend a week deconstructing his article. Today is Day 2.

The divestment movement at the College and at other institutions has inspired many to consider climate change more urgently and fully than ever before. In response, we are endeavoring to invest the College’s endowment in projects, companies and technologies that benefit the environment. As President Falk described in his letter to the campus earlier this month, we have already committed to significant investments in two solar projects that will enable a substantial reduction in fossil fuel use in Williamstown.

The problems with this approach are the same as they have ever been: priorities, accountability and transparency.

First, why is climate change more important than other problems, like police violence, war in the Middle East or income inequality? Climate change might — and even strong believers must allow some uncertainty, I hope — be a bigger threat on a hundred year horizon, but ending police violence (assuming it is possible) would save thousands of more lives over the next decade or two. Why spend dollars on public policy problem X and not on public policy problem Y?

More importantly, why should Williams spend dollars on climate change rather than its fundamental mission of providing a quality education? Every dollar spend on solar power is a dollar not spent on financial aid or more faculty. The easiest way for the Williams community to reach agreement on priorities is for us to focus every dollar of spending and ounce of intellectual energy on our fundamental mission: To be the best college in the world. Everything else is a virtue-signalling distraction.

Second, where is the accountability with regard to past Williams spending? Recall the College’s installation of solar panels almost a decade ago. That project was supposed to pay for itself in 10 to 20 years. Has it? If not, has the Administration learned a lesson? If not, why should anyone think that Williams, as an institution, is competent about spending money to fight climate change?

Don’t forget that the absurd carbon offsets that the College bought almost a decade ago (here and here).

The central point is that the whole carbon offsets business is 95% scam, a scam to which the College has fallen (willing) victim. We wanted to believe that, by writing someone else a check (especially a nice PC someone?), we could reduce the amount of carbon that would have been emitted had we not written the check. But that check just went in to some hustler’s bank account.

Where is the accountability? How much did the College spend? What paperwork did it receive? What follow-up was done? Thousands of dollars and all we seem to have gotten is a few feel-good lines in a graduation press release.

Again, this is not an anti-Boyd or anti-Johns screed. I want Boyd to go from “Acting” to permanent Director of the Zilkha Center for Environmental Initiatives. (The College should do more to hire faculty spouses and promote from within.) I want Johns to work on my special projects, environmental and otherwise, for the College. (The more alumni that work for Williams, the better.) I am just tired of the College’s endless gaze into a green tinted mirror of fantasy.

Amy Johns ’98 is now the (excellent!) Director of the Zilkha Center. I don’t (necessarily) blame her for the embarrassment of the Owl Feather War Bonnet — Not making up this name! I swear! — scandal, but there is no excuse for the College covering up what happened. (Great story for the Record, assuming that they have the cojones to stand up to the Administration.) We need an accounting of what the College has spent on climate change in the past.

Third, if the College is going to spend money on items not directly related to its fundamental mission, it should provide complete transparency about that spending in the future. Are the Trustees committed to providing that transparency? Is the Administration? Please start with all the relevant details — including the budget and revenue projections — for these two solar projects.

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Eisenson ’77 on Green Finance I

Trustee Board Chair Michael Eisenson ’77 writes in the Record about climate change and green finance. Since Eisenson is speaking on behalf of the trustees and the Administration, we should spend a week deconstructing his article. Today is Day 1.

To the many members of the community who have urged the College to lead in the fight against climate change: Thank you. On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I want to express my appreciation for your passion and your conviction that the College must make a serious commitment to address this urgent crisis.

Global warming is many things. An “urgent crisis” is not among them. Consider the latest satellite data:

temp

Is the Earth warmer today than it was five years ago? Definitely! EphBlog believes in data. But temperatures today are not meaningful different than they were in 1997-1998, almost 20 years ago. And “climate change” has been a crisis at Williams since at least the mid-80s. Recall that Professor Ralph Bradburd was hosting discussions about climate change in 1998! If we had told Bradburd, in 1998, that the average temperature in 2016 was going to be the same as it was then, would he still have claimed that there was a crisis? Perhaps. If I could guarantee than the temperature in 2034 would be the same as today, would you still think there is a crisis?

Of course, I realize that these arguments are largely pointless. Trying to convince the Williams faculty/trustees that climate change is not an “urgent crisis” is about as productive as, in 1866, trying to convince the Williams faculty/trustees to doubt the divinity of Christ. So, I will spend the rest of this week arguing that, even if we accept the danger of climate change, Williams is acting sloppily. Contrary opinions welcome!

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Confronting Climate Change Suggestions V: Any Skeptic

Adam Falk is making 2016-2017 the year of Confronting Climate Change at Williams. Let’s try to be helpful for a change and suggest some interesting speakers that he and Professor Ralph Bradburd should invite to speak. Today is Day 5 of five days of suggestions.

Last fall, Adam Falk wrote:

Williams has a long history of inviting controversial speakers to campus and no history of uninviting them, and this is a point of absolute principle. Ours is an institution of higher learning; such learning cannot occur without broad and enthusiastic exposure to a wide range of ideas and perspectives. And certainly the invitation of a speaker to campus isn’t in and of itself an endorsement – by the College or by individuals who invite a speaker – of that person’s views. Whatever our own views may be, we should be active in bringing to campus speakers whose opinions are different from our own.

Emphasis added. Let’s leave aside the Derbyshire controversy for now and focus on climate change. There are millions of people — including groups as divergent as the three university professors we have already recommended and the Republican Party and even a handful of Williams alumni — who are skeptical about climate change. Why isn’t a single one of them being invited to Confronting Climate Change? Even if Derbyshire is a bridge too far for Falk, surely he could not object to authors like, say, Matt Ridley or Bjørn Lomborg.

However, the cynic in me suspects that neither Falk nor Bradburd nor a majority of the Williams faculty actually believe in “bringing to campus speakers whose opinions are different from our own.” At Williams, racial diversity means everything. So, it is extremely important that we have speakers on climate change that look like this:

speakers

Nothing wrong with racial diversity, of course! And, as long as you look from the center to the left, there is some diversity among the speakers that Williams has already invited. But is there a single skeptic? No. Is there a single Republican? No. Is there a single conservative? No.

Ultimately, Adam Falk and Ralph Bradburd’s commitment to “speakers whose opinions are different” is an empirical question. If they are truly committed, they will invite at least two skeptics. I bet that they won’t.

What do you predict they will do?

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Confronting Climate Change Suggestions IV: Richard McNider

Adam Falk is making 2016-2017 the year of Confronting Climate Change at Williams. Let’s try to be helpful for a change and suggest some interesting speakers that he and Professor Ralph Bradburd should invite to speak. Today is Day 4 of five days of suggestions.

How about Richard McNider, professor at the University of Alabama, and author of articles like these:

McNider, R.T., Handyside, C., Doty, K., Ellenburg, W.L., Cruise, J.F., Christy, J.R., Moss, D., Sharda, V., Hoogenboom, G. and Caldwell, P., 2015. An integrated crop and hydrologic modeling system to estimate hydrologic impacts of crop irrigation demands. Environmental Modelling & Software, 72, pp.341-355.

McNider, R. T., G. J. Steeneveld, A. A. M. Holtslag, R. A. Pielke Sr., S. Mackaro, A. Pour-Biazar, J. Walters, U. Nair,and J. Christy (2012), Response and sensitivity of the nocturnal boundary layer over land to added longwave radiative forcing, J. Geophys. Res., 117, D14106, doi:10.1029/2012JD017578.

Seems pretty qualified to me! Alas, he has a very different view on climate change than, say, Ralph Bradburd.

Most of us who are skeptical about the dangers of climate change actually embrace many of the facts that people like Bill Nye, the ubiquitous TV “science guy,” say we ignore. The two fundamental facts are that carbon-dioxide levels in the atmosphere have increased due to the burning of fossil fuels, and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is a greenhouse gas, trapping heat before it can escape into space.

What is not a known fact is by how much the Earth’s atmosphere will warm in response to this added carbon dioxide. The warming numbers most commonly advanced are created by climate computer models built almost entirely by scientists who believe in catastrophic global warming. The rate of warming forecast by these models depends on many assumptions and engineering to replicate a complex world in tractable terms, such as how water vapor and clouds will react to the direct heat added by carbon dioxide or the rate of heat uptake, or absorption, by the oceans.

We might forgive these modelers if their forecasts had not been so consistently and spectacularly wrong. From the beginning of climate modeling in the 1980s, these forecasts have, on average, always overstated the degree to which the Earth is warming compared with what we see in the real climate.

Interesting stuff! If Williams College is actually going to “confront” climate change than it should “confront” at least some of the people — or at least some of the research university professors — who claim that climate change is not a serious problem.

Are four scientists enough? Does Williams need more suggestions? Start with the authors of Climate Change: The Facts. Look at all the scientists quoted in “A Disgrace to the Profession”. There are many scientists skeptical of most of the rhetoric surrounding climate change. A serious college would invite at least a few of them to speak. Is Williams a serious college? Time will tell.

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Confronting Climate Change Suggestions III: Ross McKitrick

Adam Falk is making 2016-2017 the year of Confronting Climate Change at Williams. Let’s try to be helpful for a change and suggest some interesting speakers that he and Professor Ralph Bradburd should invite to speak. Today is Day 3 of five days of suggestions.

Ross McKitrick is:

a Canadian economist specializing in environmental economics and policy analysis. He is a professor of economics at the University of Guelph, and a senior fellow of the Fraser Institute. He is a member of the academic advisory boards of the John Deutsch Institute, the Global Warming Policy Foundation, and the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation.

Seems qualified to me! My first two suggestions, Judith Curry and Roy Spencer, are tenured university professors who come to the topic of climate change from a hard science perspective. But let’s not slight economists, like Ralph Bradburd himself, who have much to contribute to this debate. McKitrick is probably most famous for “Hockey sticks, principal components, and spurious significance,” (pdf) the article which kicked off the hockey stick wars. Since it was published in the (well-regarded and peer-reviewed) GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS, Williams can hardly claim that McKitrick is less qualified to talk about climate change than the, say,

Van Jones – Author, lawyer, activist, and commentator, he is the President of Dream Corps and a regular CNN contributor. He served as President Obama’s Special Advisor on Green Jobs and is the author of The Green Collar Economy.

Of course, if Ralph Bradburd (and Adam Falk? . . . and the Williams faculty? . . . and the trustees?) only want to invite people who agree with them about climate change, they certainly shouldn’t invite Ross McKitrick.

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Confronting Climate Change Suggestions II: Roy Spencer

Adam Falk is making 2016-2017 the year of Confronting Climate Change at Williams. Let’s try to be helpful for a change and suggest some interesting speakers that he and Professor Ralph Bradburd should invite to speak. Today is Day 2 of five days of suggestions.


Roy Spencer
is:

a meteorologist, Principal Research Scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, and the U.S. Science Team leader for the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer (AMSR-E) on NASA’s Aqua satellite. He has served as Senior Scientist for Climate Studies at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center.

Seems pretty qualified to me. Roy Spencer certainly knows much more about the science of climate change than many of the speakers that Williams is already inviting.

Spencer blogs here. He is most famous for his work on global temperature estimates using satellites. If you care about data and science, it is fascinating stuff! Here is the latest data:

UAH_LT_1979_thru_June_2016_v6

So, the temperature now is about the same as it was around 1998 to 1999. Doesn’t seem like much of a crisis to me!

However, I bet that Professor Ralph Bradburd won’t invite him because he disagrees (pdf) with the consensus view of climate change. Prove me wrong!

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Confronting Climate Change Suggestions I: Judith Curry

Adam Falk is making 2016-2017 the year of Confronting Climate Change at Williams. Let’s try to be helpful for a change and suggest some interesting speakers that he and Professor Ralph Bradburd should invite to speak. Today is Day 1 of five days of suggestions.


Judith Curry
is:

an American climatologist and former chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Her research interests include hurricanes, remote sensing, atmospheric modeling, polar climates, air-sea interactions, and the use of unmanned aerial vehicles for atmospheric research. She is a member of the National Research Council’s Climate Research Committee.

Seems pretty qualified to me. Judith Curry certainly knows much more about the science of climate change than many of the speakers that Williams is already inviting. In fact, she probably knows more about climate science than all of the current speakers put together! (With luck, some hard scientists will soon be added to the current list of activists, writers and ethicists.)

Curry blogs here and has a homepage here.

However, I bet that Professor Ralph Bradburd won’t invite her because she disagrees (pdf) with the consensus view of climate change. Prove me wrong!

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Offset My War Bonnet

Remember my insensitive suspicions about last year’s green preening at graduation? Short version: The College bought thousands of dollars of “carbon offsets,” some from the “Owl Feather War Bonnet Wind Farm, a 30 megawatt wind farm being developed by the Rosebud Sioux Tribe in South Dakota.” I speculated that this was probably a scam, that the College was wasting money, that no carbon would actually be offset.

And I was (so far) right. Details below. How much money will the College (special shout outs to Amy Johns ’98 and Stephanie Boyd) waste this year? The press release should be available soon . . .

Below are portions of two e-mails from Ken Haukaas, Business Manager at the Rosebud Sioux Tribe Forestry Department.

Not sure whether this will get to anyone, but anyway.

I queried OFWB on the net and some interesting things came up and one was your blog on this subject and Carbon Offsets. If anyone would like to clarify any thing concerning this proposed development on the Rosebud Reservation, please contact me if you wish, as I am very intimate with the particulars of this Project. I have administrated this project at the tribal level since Oct of 2003.

I see that people are purchasing carbon offsets from a project that has yet to be in the ground, but efforts are there to get this done by Dec. 2008.

Native Energy has OFFERED to the project a purchase of the lifetime of 10Mw of the green tags. This project will use the money offered to buy down on the project debt. Lower the debt. Their contribution is significant but not that large, considering the price tag to construct the project is at 54,000,000.00 and their offer is about 3.2 million although it definitely helps.

I cannot tell you what Williams College has paid to Native Energy, as this is not in my realm. Like I said in my previous email, Native Energy has offered this project an upfront offer to purchase 10Mw of the green tags and although the transaction has not truly transpired, we expect to use this money on the debt side to lower the cost of the debt. What sort of deal Native Energy is making with whomever is not in my capacity to comment on except in this manner.

In 2003, the Rosebud Sioux Tribe applied for and received a Department of Energy Grant of $441,000.00 with in kind from the tribe and Distributed Generation Inc. from Lakewood, Colorado, totaling about $550,000.00 to do all of the pre-construction studies and activities to develop this wind farm.

We are at the point now build this wind farm. In 2003, the price of construction to build this 30Mw was at $37,000,000.00, it is now at $54,000,000.00.

I presented a power point in November ’07 in Denver for DOE, and for other tribes to view along with other govt. officials. You can find this power point at this link.

The name Owl Feather War Bonnet represents an incident that took place prior to reservation existence when a group of Lakota went down on foot south into Nebraska to hunt and raid and and so happened onto a Pawnee Camp and stole all the horses from these Pawnees. Horses were still somewhat rare and sought after tremendously. It seems they stole the horses but there was not enough for everyone to ride back on and so some had to walk back. The Pawnees are now running to catch up and take revenge and so that left a group of lakota, that did not have the horses, under potential attack. It was reasoned that the lakota that had horses should go ahead and get some help. Those that went ahead found a Lakota medicine man with the Owl as his medicine. They brought the medicine man back with them and found the Lakota raiding party and had the group form around him and he summoned his medicine, the Owl,… and Owls from all over came, flew over this group and loosened feathers that had fallen all around. The medicine man told the group to grab a feather and put it in their head dress and walk in a deep ravine and the Pawnees will not be able to notice you. This medicine worked and the Pawnees could not find the Lakotas and they eventually went home to Nebraska. The incident is said to have happened around this area, hence the name.

Any other questions, go ahead and ask, if I can answer I will.

Thanks to Haukaas for writing. The central point, for those still reading, is that the whole carbon offsets business is 95% scam, a scam to which the College has fallen (willing) victim. We wanted to believe that, by writing someone else a check (especially a nice PC someone?), we could reduce the amount of carbon that would have been emitted had we not written the check. But that check just went in to some hustler’s bank account.

Now, to be fair, the hustler is is still hard at work. But where is the accountability? How much did the College spend? What paperwork did it receive? What follow up was done? Thousands of dollars and all we seem to have gotten is a few feel-good lines in a graduation press release.

Again, this is not an anti-Boyd or anti-Johns screed. I want Boyd to go from “Acting” to permanent Director of the Zilkha Center for Environmental Initiatives. (The College should do more to hire faculty spouses and promote from within.) I want Johns to work on my special projects, environmental and otherwise, for the College. (The more alumni that work for Williams, the better.) I am just tired of the College’s endless gaze into a green tinted mirror of fantasy.

UPDATE: More background from the Los Angeles Times.

A budding industry sells ‘offsets’ of carbon emissions, investing in environmental projects. But there are doubts about whether it works.

The Oscar-winning film “An Inconvenient Truth” touted itself as the world’s first carbon-neutral documentary.

The producers said that every ounce of carbon emitted during production — from jet travel, electricity for filming and gasoline for cars and trucks — was counterbalanced by reducing emissions somewhere else in the world. It only made sense that a film about the perils of global warming wouldn’t contribute to the problem.

Co-producer Lesley Chilcott used an online calculator to estimate that shooting the film used 41.4 tons of carbon dioxide and paid a middleman, a company called Native Energy, $12 a ton, or $496.80, to broker a deal to cut greenhouse gases elsewhere. The film’s distributors later made a similar payment to neutralize carbon dioxide from the marketing of the movie.

It was a ridiculously good deal with one problem: So far, it has not led to any additional emissions reductions.

Beneath the feel-good simplicity of buying your way to carbon neutrality is a growing concern that the idea is more hype than solution.

Indeed. Read the whole thing. It even mentions Owl Feather War Bonnet Wind Farm!

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Slippery Slope

Well-written article on global warming and the threat to regional winter activities.

Steve Sheppard, an economics professor at Williams College, said ski areas wouldn’t be the only casualties of a weakened winter-recreation season. Also compromised would be hotels, bed-and-breakfasts, restaurants and stores.

“It (would) have a significant impact on hospitality,” Sheppard said. (All) visitors spend a surprising amount of money in local shops.”

The scientists’ report also surmises that ski resorts in the northern part of the Northeast, which might initially gain business as southern competitors are forced to close, would eventually struggle under the burdens of a shortened season and higher costs.

Winter athletes contacted for this story said they’d done substantial reading on the subject.

But that’s all they agreed on.

Some, like the Dethier family in Williamstown, have rearranged their lives to help combat climate change.

Others, like Pittsfield ice fisherman Jim Lambert, base their views on cynicism and cyclisim.

Lambert is my kind of New England Yankee.

The Dethier family operates on the opposite end of the spectrum.

Evan Dethier, now a freshman cross-country skier at Williams College, did a documentary probing global warming and the difficulties it created for the ski team during his senior year at Mount Greylock Regional High School. The team held practices on roller-skis, cross-trained, and ran for much of the year. Races often were held at ski resorts because the traditional courses did not have snow.

The Nordic ski community relies mostly on natural snow, meaning both snowfall and avoiding significant melting play a role in the success of the season.

“The line is so close here,” Dethier said. “A lot of times it’s snowing at 29 or 30 degrees. In the relatively near future, it’ll be harder and harder to find places to cross-country ski in North America, particularly in the Northeast.”

Evan’s father, David, is a geosciences professor at Williams College. The family bought a Prius Hybrid five years ago in an effort to be environmentally conscious and has replaced its refrigerator with a more efficient version.

Replacing a refrigerator is nice, but did Dethier do anything to try and stop the College from emitting untold tons of carbon during all its recent construction? I doubt it. Even worse, no one has even bothered to report to the College community an accouting of the carbon emissions. No worries though! The North and South Academic Buildings are beautiful and all Dethier friends in Div I and II will soon have beautiful new, larger, air-conditioned offices.

Not that there is anything wrong with that, of course.

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Skeptical

Think that global warming is a major problem and that, therefore, the College’s Climate Action initiative is a good idea? Read this (pdf) for a contrary view.

My complaint is not so much that the science of global warming is oversold or that the College has as much (or as little) responsibility toward climate change as it does to other issues (say, malaria). The issue is the rampant hypocrisy which pervades the Williams community. If the College were really concerned about carbon emissions, the faculty offices in the new Stetson would not be huge (300 square feet). Previous discussion here.

Also, stuff like this is absurd.

Amy Johns, environmental analyst at the Center for Environmental Studies, has been crunching the numbers to determine the environmental impact of travel by families and friends to attend Commencement ceremonies.

“A rough estimate of CO2 associated with running the campus for Commencement is 118 tons,” Johns said. “The estimated impact of family and guests’ air travel is about 650 tons and car travel about 50 tons.”

“One way for the college to promote sustainability is through the purchase of carbon offsets for the energy expended in running the campus during, and for family and guests’ travel to, Commencement,” said Boyd.

The college will purchase approximately $8,600 worth of offsets from Owl Feather War Bonnet Wind Farm, a 30 megawatt wind farm being developed by the Rosebud Sioux Tribe in South Dakota and from the Wanner Family Dairy Farm Methane Project in Narvon, PA. The anaerobic methane digester on the dairy farm is estimated to produce approximately 2,000 kWh of electricity a day.

Alas, time constraints prevent me from investigating these offsets (see the original article for links) but 95% of this stuff is bunk. At least, that is what my smart left-wing sources tell me.

Carbon offsets are the modern day indulgences, sold to an increasingly carbon conscious public to absolve their climate sins. Scratch the surface, however, and a disturbing picture emerges, where creative accountancy and elaborate shell games cover up the impossibility of verifying genuine climate change benefits, and where communities in the South often have little choice as offset projects are inflicted on them.

This report argues that offsets place disproportionate emphasis on individual lifestyles and carbon footprints, distracting attention from the wider, systemic changes and collective political action that needs to be taken to tackle climate change. Promoting more effective and empowering approaches involves moving away from the marketing gimmicks, celebrity endorsements, technological quick fixes, and the North/South exploitation that the carbon offsets industry embodies.

Think that sending money Owl Feather War Bonnet Wind Farm — I swear, I am not making that name up! — helps the environment? Educate yourself. Read the report. Anyone know anything about the two projects that the College just sent your alumni donations to? Interested readers would like to know.

If the College were serious about this topic, it wouldn’t have 1/3 of the meetings of the Executive Committee of the Society of Alumni in locations like Portland. Think of the carbon that this sort of air-travel generates! Two years ago, everyone went on a fun junket to London. Cry for Mother Gaiea!

Now, my position is that global warming is neither certain nor necessarily harmful, but I have been having that fight with fellow Ephs for two decades. Maybe my opponents will be right someday! Stopped calendars and whatnot. In the meantime, the College should not involve itself in partisan disputes outside of its core mission.

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