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OurLeader Does The Green Thing

Or Bob Bites the Green Bullet

A friend has called Mr. B's attention to the following:

Recent Signatories:

University of Minnesota
Robert H. Bruininks, President

What OurLeader has signed is the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment.

Regular readers will recall that OurLeader was at first reluctant to embrace the green monster.

See for example: "It's Not Easy Being Green Or, Why Robert Doesn't Want To Rap."

But he has apparently decided to do the right thing and sign on to the fight against global warming. I wonder how he got around the little problem(s) raised by Professor Swackhamer?

Deborah L. Swackhamer, interim director of the university's Institute on the Environment, says she is not sure the university could achieve climate neutrality. More than 70 percent of the university's power comes from coal, she says.

The commitment also asks colleges to make climate neutrality part of the curriculum, which is not something the president can do. "The president has absolutely no control over the curriculum," which is set by faculty members, Ms. Swackhamer says. "So some of these things he would be promising to do, he can't promise."

We are now officially committed to climate neutrality and Professor Swackhamer is correct, this is going to cost money, money that we don't have. Given our CO2 producing power plant, achieving climate neutrality without modifying operations or replacing the plant is going to be just about impossible. So difficult choices are going to have to be made. Is this yet another example of talking the walk rather than actually doing what we say we are going to do? Maybe the state legislature will help us go green? Going green seems to be a more reasonable goal than being one of the top three public research universities in the world. But in order to achieve it, OurLeader will finally have to 'fess up to the disconnect between ambitious aspirations and available resources. The clock is ticking.

Welcome back, everyone, to spring semester at BigU. There are very interesting times ahead of us. I hope that an honest dialog ensues about where we are going at BigU and not just a continuation of the top down operation we have seen so far.

Mr. Bonzo

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