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SGA Talks About Sustainability

This week SGA met with Sustainability Director Sandra Goldmark to discuss sustainability efforts across campus.

Before the discussion, the meeting began with a few announcements

  • There are a number of surveys going around – please fill them out. They include:
    • Arts Accessibility Survey
    • Public Safety Feedback Form
  • Events:
    • Basketball Mania Oct. 26 from 8-9pm – come for lots of free stuff!
    • Senior Council Committee meetings are Tuesdays 6-7 in the SLC
    • Major Fair Nov. 20th – come represent your major!
    • Oktoberfest Nov. 26th – come for German food and beer (with valid ID!)

After some technical issues, Prof. Sandra Goldmark introduced herself to the room. Goldmark is a Theatre professor at Barnard, and the Barnard Sustainability Director. She outlined her “360 Degree” approach to combating climate change, making a point to note the fact that women and other marginalized groups must have a seat at the table during climate action discussions. She discussed three aspects of climate action on campus: academics, finance & governance, and campus operations & culture.

Goldmark then described what has already been done on campus, including: transitioning to 100% wind subsidized energy (meaning although our power isn’t all wind, all our money goes towards subsidizing wind farms), the Give and Go Green campaign at Barnard, 100% organic lawn care, full-time staff positions to work on sustainability, curating sustainability-focused classes, and a new office space in Milbank.

She then continued with some next steps for campus, including: reducing overall emissions, sustainable purchasing and reuse, organic landscaping, expanding Beyond Barnard, the Athena Design Competition, and Rebear, developing and curating courses on sustainability (and advocating for its inclusion as a Foundation), and finally the Student Climate Action Grant. This is a new grant meant to provide students with the resources they need to create or continue sustainability projects on campus. Goldmark ended with a request that students stay involved in climate action – from recycling to protesting to applying for the Student Climate Action Grant.

The floor was then opened for questions. The committee covered a range of topics, beginning with the necessity of including Native/Indigenous voices in climate conversations. Goldmark commented that she is currently working with a local Indigenous community organizer to host an event sometime during the semester. The SGA then brought up issues with safety for the Housekeeping team on campus – claiming that harsh chemicals and broken glass pose threats to Housekeeping staff. Goldmark pointed out that Barnard uses eco-friendly cleaning materials, and that awareness about proper recycling techniques is still a work in progress. SGA members added that sorting your trash, properly disposing of glass, and draining liquids from containers is incredibly important.

The committee then discussed the volume of trash produced on campus – especially during move-in and move-out. SGA discussed how students (especially FGLI students) need better and easier access to used goods on campus, and a clearer process for repairing broken products. Goldmark stressed how we need to shift away from buying all of our products new and stray more towards second-hand products.

The meeting finished with a short discussion on Give and Go Green, and how it is not as efficient as it could possibly be. Goldmark noted that there is a lot of improvement to be made, and processing used goods is an inherently labor-intensive task, so it is a lot to ask of student volunteers.

SGA meeting image via me

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4 Comments

  • richard burcik says:

    @richard burcik Subject: Anthropogenic climate change has been falsified
    Recently, on June 28, 2019, a scholarly journal that is maintained by the top-ranked journal Nature published a scientific research paper, titled “Intensified East Asian Winter Monsoon During the Last Geomagnetic Reversal Transition” by a group of Japanese scientists which found according to its lead investigator that “The umbrella effect caused by galactic cosmic rays is important when thinking about current global warming, as well as, the warm period of the medieval era.”  When the journal Nature is willing to print such a contradictory piece of research it is clear that the science is in a state of flux. This remarkable finding confirmed the result found by Profs. Kauppinen & Malmi, both from Finland, in a paper titled “No Experimental Evidence For Significant Anthropogenic Climate Change” (June 29, 2019) that “… the (IPCC) models fail to derive the influence of low cloud cover fraction on global temperature. A too-small natural component results in a too-large portion for the contribution of greenhouse gases like CO2. The IPCC represents the climate sensitivity more than one order of magnitude larger than our sensitivity 0.24 degrees C. Because the anthropogenic portion in the increased CO2 is less than 10%, we have practically no anthropogenic climate change. The low clouds control mainly the global temperature.” The South China Morning Post on Aug. 11, 2019, next reported that “A new study has found winters in Northern China have been warming since 4000 BC — regardless of human activity — “. This research was published in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres and concluded that human activity “… appears to have little to due with increased greenhouse gases.” The “driving forces include the Sun, the atmosphere, and its interaction with the ocean” but “We have detected no evidence of human influence.” This study’s findings confirm an earlier study that was published in Scientific Reports in 2014. Most importantly, the lead investigator for the Kobe University research paper insisted that “… she is now more worried about cooling than warming.” Compellingly, on Sept. 23, 2019, over 500 climate experts delivered a letter to UN secretary-general, Antonio Guterres, which states (in bold) that “THERE IS NO CLIMATE EMERGENCY” and that “The general-circulation models of climate on which international policy is at present founded are unfit for their purpose.” Amazingly, no mainstream news organization has reported any of these facts.

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    1. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous I’d wager that the people who “downvoted” this haven’t taken a hard science class since High School. In fact, it’s very unlikely that any of them have taken a math class beyond calc 1.

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      1. Anonymous says:

        @Anonymous go ahead and feel my seas nuts on your chin

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        1. Anonymous says:

          @Anonymous >t. env engineer or bme brainlet

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