Tag Archives: University Daily Kansan

Chancellor has no ‘huge disappointments or regrets’

Hemenway

Hemenwayjump

Featured on the front page of the University Daily Kansan (PDF). Click here for web version.

Who is the greenest presidential candidate?

snowman
image from Breitbart

Next week, Kansas Democrats and Republicans will rock out with their caucuses out to choose a candidate for the presidential election.

Unfortunately, little has been brought up at either side’s debates about the environment, excluding a snowman that apparently posted video questions on YouTube for one of the first Democratic debates this season.

Here is a quick look at how green each of the remaining candidates are.

Democrats

Hillary Clinton
hillary-walmart

image from AverageBro

Policy Pro: Clinton has spent her Senate years as a member of the Environment and Public Works committee, so she understands the need for change.

Controversial Con: She was on Wal-Mart’s board of directors from 1986-1992 and may still be bogged down by “big business.” She probably won’t find global warming solutions in Aisle 5.

Barack Obama
obama
image from Earthfirst

Policy Pro: Obama received endorsements from the Sierra Club and The League of Conservation Voters for his position in the Senate. He has fewer ties to polluting industries and should be able to choose better advisers.

Controversial Con: He supports the now-typical cap-and-trade program to reduce emissions by 80 percent by 2050, a lofty (and easily avoidable) goal.

John Edwards
edwards_convention_5
image from The Washington Note

Policy Pro: First candidate to make his campaign carbon-neutral and the first to propose many touted talking points, such as the 80 percent reduction in greenhouse gases by 2050.

Controversial Con: Support of ethanol as an alternative fuel source, even though its efficiency and cost-effectiveness have been called into question.

Mike Gravel
mike_gravel_offical_photo
image from Greenhome

Policy Pro: Work with other countries to reduce emissions, outlaw coal as an energy source.

Controversial Con: Is anyone sure he’s still running for president? I think he just likes seeing himself on YouTube.

Republicans

Rudy Giuliani
75041934RR252_Pepsi_400_
image from USLiberals

Policy Pro: Um, turn the lights off when you leave the room?

Controversial Con: Supports an increased reliance on coal and domestic oil. At least the haze from unregulated greenhouse gases should avert potential terrorists.

Mike Huckabee
GYI0000628879.jpg
image from Gregqualls

Policy Pro: Draws in the much-needed Evangelical conservatives with the 11th Commandment: Father God created Mother Earth.

Controversial Con: What would Jesus do? I suppose He would support coal pollution and be vague about setting goals.

Mitt Romney
mitt-romney
image from TheBrownSpectator

Policy Pro: Supports plans for energy independence and cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

Controversial Con: After claiming that people don’t want change in the White House and being tied to a global warming denier group, he’s not too interested.

Ron Paul
ron-paul
image from GreenDaily

Policy Pro: Would end subsidies to the oil industry and believes that war is a contributor to pollution problems.

Controversial Con: Paul’s campaign is determined by the free market.

John McCain
mccain
image from The Guardian

Policy Pro: First Republican to talk seriously on the issue and to understand the connection between global warming and national security.

Controversial Con: Ironically, the driver of the Straight Talk Express hasn’t mentioned any specific targets to combat climate change.

Candidate information from Grist.

originally published in Jayplay magazine on Jan. 31, 2008 (PDF). Click here for its original online home.

How To Bring the Environmental Message to Conservatives

bush
image from National Post

Finally, something may exist that both environmentalists and George W. Bush can agree on: the ineffectiveness of fear mongering.

Because of the fake severity of their message, “doomsday” environmentalists who claim that the world will end in a few years if mankind doesn’t act quickly have turned many people off to caring about the world around them.

You don’t necessarily have to care about polar bears, how quickly Greenland is melting or how fast the ozone is depleting. But you should realize how your actions tie into environmental changes we see locally and globally.

Conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh started the countdown on a doomsday clock after the release of An Inconvenient Truth because he claims that the documentary warned that global warming will kill us all in 10 years. I would tell you the time we have left to live on this earth, according to Limbaugh’s clock, but unfortunately I cannot access it on his Web site because I’m not a Rush 24/7 Member. Damn.

Do you care about the world around you? Well, let’s just say that you don’t.

And you don’t necessarily have to.

To live green, your motivations can be entirely selfish. You only need to care about yourself, your wallet and your species’ ultimate survival.

Although green living and the belief in global warming usually go hand in hand, you don’t have to get married to the idea. You don’t necessarily have to care about polar bears, how quickly Greenland is melting or how fast the ozone is depleting. But you should realize how your actions tie into environmental changes we see locally and globally.

Yes, you’re right. I will probably pimp Al Gore at the drop of an Arctic ice sheet because I think he has done a wonderful job of bringing visibility to a previously downplayed issue.

However, this is a problem that transcends political boundaries, and I want to bring as many viewpoints to the table as possible.

What many people have a problem with is the confusing wording used by the scientific community when describing the problem.

Isn’t global warming only a theory?

Exactly.

In science, everything is theoretical, and nothing can ever be completely proved or disproved. A mere hypothesis can only move into the upper echelons of being a theory after numerous tests, experiments and other hypotheses have failed to falsify the evidence.

Check out any 100-level chemistry or biology course.

Everyone seems to be content with many other theories that we deal with daily, such as the theory of gravity. Maybe when Americans can see climate change in their everyday lives will we finally commit to living a greener lifestyle.

Even if you still think that global warming is caused by a bunch of liberals blowing hot air, that’s fine.

Whatever your political viewpoints, your background, your socio-economic standing or your Facebook status, you can all be green with me.

originally published in Jayplay magazine on Jan. 24, 2008 (PDF). Click here for its original online home.

4 Things You Need to Solve Global Warming

global-warming
image from recon2020

Today I would like to say a few words about global warming.

And now that I’ve lost half my readers, let’s get down to business.

Concerns about global warming have fueled the need for fundamental changes in daily life. The green movement is emerging everywhere, and businesses are finally picking up on the trend.

As college students, we know the value of a dollar, especially because we usually don’t have one. A common misconception about switching to a more environmentally friendly lifestyle is that it will be outrageously expensive and too time-consuming to fit your busy schedule.

Not true.

Whether being green is something you’ve been practicing for awhile, something that you set as a New Year’s resolution or something that you think is a huge crock spun by Al Gore, there is one facet of it that college students in particular will love: Going green means saving green.

The first and best thing you can do is to admit the problem. This does not necessarily mean that you have to believe in global warming (so I will spare you a lecture on receding glaciers and the changing chemical composition of our atmosphere), but it means that you must realize the excess and mindlessness that is plaguing modern American culture. Behind all the science and terminology of global climate change is stuff you care about, such as saving money and being able to breathe.

Here are a few items to pick up when you’re ready to start your journey into the green beyond:

Your brain. Always helpful when stepping out of the status quo.

“An Inconvenient Truth.” This documentary has become one of the most visible elements of the modern environmental movement, thanks in large part to its speaker, former vice president Al Gore (ctrl-alt-del the “inventing the internet” jokes). Gore bridges the gap between scientists and the common people by translating the heavy, technical language of science into something the public can easily understand.

A recycling bin. An excellent first step to reducing waste.

A good pair of walking shoes. The absolute best way to avoid high gas prices and to not contribute to them.

originally published in Jayplay magazine on Jan. 17, 2008 (PDF). Click here for its original online home.