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applegrove Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-19-06 12:56 PM
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'Sustainability' gains status on US campuses - CSM
from the December 19, 2006 edition

'Sustainability' gains status on US campuses
Arizona State University will launch the nation's first School of Sustainability next month.
By Ron Scherer | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor

Page 1 of 2

TEMPE, ARIZ. Somewhere in the curriculum, most colleges and universities include Henry David Thoreau. Now, many of them are trying to emulate him.
Yes, sweeping the academic world is Walden Pond 101: the art of living in a sustainable manner. Think environmental and social responsibility.


STUDENT: Thad Miller is a PhD candidate at Arizona State's Sustainability program.
TOM STORY/ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY


In the Monitor
Tuesday, 12/19/06
'Sustainability' gains status on US campuses


"One of the best examples of the ivory tower's effort to tread lightly on the land is at Arizona State University. Next month, ASU will inaugurate the nation's first School of Sustainability - whose classes will look at everything from water scarcity to urban air quality problems.

It is one of many universities putting its intellect and talents to use in the name of ecology. These institutions are devoting more research to solving global climate problems, and they're redesigning their own campuses to be examples of better ways to use and protect Earth's resources. For some schools, the financial commitment to these issues has started to run into the millions of dollars, as they foot salaries for new specialists and pay the costs of creating green buildings. At the very least, many universities are creating new courses in response to student interest.

"We have always looked to academia to think creatively about the larger problems of our day," says Carter Roberts, president of the World Wildlife Fund in Washington. "There is not a more complicated problem than how to survive and flourish with a growing population and finite resources."

................SNIP"

http://www.csmonitor.com/2006/1219/p01s03-ussc.html
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nam78_two Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-19-06 01:02 PM
Response to Original message
1. kr.nt
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hippiechick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-19-06 01:04 PM
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2. ... may I just say ...
... that my alma mater, U of Wisconsin-Green Bay, has had a course on, and at least one faculty member heavily involved with Sustainable Development since the campus opened its doors in the early 70's.

Damn hippies.

Ahem. O8)
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applegrove Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-19-06 01:05 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. This is where the venture capitalists are today too. It is where the $$$
will be in the future. If only there were as many degrees on this than MBAs.
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hippiechick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-19-06 01:10 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. If only they would have paid attention to it 15 or 20 years ago ...
:eyes:
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Lisa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-19-06 02:48 PM
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5. my school phased out the 2nd-year sustainability course I taught ...
The explanation was that after a decade and a half, the concepts are now so widely taught on campus -- not just in the geography and environmental studies departments -- that it's now redundant. (I hope this is indeed the case ... I did hear that one of the economics courses has now been altered to cover many of the same topics, and the geologists are doing an intro "global warming for dummies" class.) I'm trying to think of this as a positive step, since some of the material (e.g. impact of international environmental treaties, and whether it's possible to "decouple" the economy from CO2 emissions) is now being shifted into new 3rd-year courses, not merely eliminated.

And we're getting a new building next year -- supposed to be one of those "smart green" designs with greywater recycling and passive solar.

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applegrove Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-19-06 04:52 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. I hope it is being taught in economics. So many people take the basic
econ 101 course that it is important to put it there or some place like it. The more the merrier. Sorry you lost your class.
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ixion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-19-06 04:13 PM
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6. Sustainability is key to making it through to the next phase
of our development, among other things. Certainly, though, finding sustainable energy resources that don't pollute would be a fine place to start.

Kicked and recommended.
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thingfisher Donating Member (445 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-19-06 05:37 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. It will be interesting to see how sustainability
plays out in an economy that is based on continuous growth. Don't get me wrong, I am all for the idea of creating an economy and a society that recognizes that there are limits to what the environment will tolerate, It's just that I don't see a brioadbased corporate mind set to go in that direction.

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eallen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-19-06 06:02 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. Economic growth isn't measured in tonnes or ergs.
Which takes more energy, material, and labor: an old-fashioned surgery with the patient fully cut open? Or a laparascopic one? Which provides more value? Ask the same questions about an old Eniac and a modern computer, or even an a 1970s car, Detroit heavy iron, compared to a modern car.

Every new business process or technology that provides more value with less cost contributes to economic growth. That wouldn't be the case if economic growth were measured in tons or ergs. But it isn't. Unless you think we're about to reach the end of that kind of improvement, there's no reason to think economic growth will soon run into a wall. This is where a lot of people fundamentally misunderstand economics.

:hippie:

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applegrove Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-19-06 07:21 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. Let us hope sustainability being taught in the first few years of school
inspires thousands of thousands of kids to study all its varying specialties.
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thingfisher Donating Member (445 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-20-06 07:41 PM
Response to Reply #9
11. You make a valid point.
Economic growth seems to be measured today solely by the amount of profit that is made. It was revolutionary when Ford paid workers on the line $5 a day, which made it possible for them to actually afford the cars they were building. This is the kind of logic that seems to be missing in our nation today, as companies seek only greater profitability regardless of the consequences to its workforce.

Sustainability should reflect a concern for the "general welfare" of society. People with good paying jobs able to afford the products and services that they provide will prove to be a great asset to stability and profitability over the long run. Exploitation of third world labor will enhance the bottom line short term but why deprive them of a living wage and the ability to become part of the market instead of just the slave labor. With so much need in the world and so much untapped and wasted labor available to do truly worthwhile sustainable and beneficial work, that could lead to even larger markets for goods, we continue to exploit and tolerate misery for the sake of short term benefits for the wealthy few.
It just isn't right.
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