Tag Archives: ecology

VSU President’s Committee votes to divest from fossil fuels

Students, staff, faculty, and administration all say divest from fossil fuels. What will the VSU Foundation do now? One year after the committee was appointed 10 April 2014, it made a decision 8 April 2015:

S.A.V.E. applauds the decision by the President’s Special Committee on Campus Sustainability to support fossil fuel divestment. Leadership and stewardship are part and parcel to Valdosta State’s role as an institution of higher education and we call on VSU to honor these ethos by divesting from fossil fuels, ending its profiteering from ecological harm, environmental destruction, and human suffering.

Benjamin Vieth, the representative of Students Against Violating the Environment (S.A.V.E.) on that Committee, sent the above announcement after approval by S.A.V.E. Among other organizations included on that committee, Continue reading

University at Buffalo installs solar array at entrance

Meanwhile, about a thousand miles north of us, a 750 kilowatt solar array opens in Buffalo, New York.

According to PR of yesterday from the University at Buffalo, UB’s 3,200-Panel ‘Solar Strand’ to be Dedicated at Opening Ceremony: Will provide enough electricity to power hundreds of student apartments on campus,

In celebration of Earth Day and to promote clean, renewable energy development, the University at Buffalo and New York Power Authority (NYPA) will dedicate the UB Solar Strand, the 3,200-panel photovoltaic array, at an opening ceremony on Monday, April 23.

Those panels seem inclined quite a bit more than ones around here. That’s because UB is at 43 degrees north latitude, way north of our 31 degrees. And there’s a lot less sun up there, too. Yet they just installed a solar array more than twice as big as the 350 KW array in Valdosta.

UB is a university, and it uses the project for more than a single practical purpose:

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Ecological value of Georgia Forests –Georgia Farm Monitor

Georgia Farm Monitor posts its TV episodes on YouTube, including this one, Forestry Adds Huge Amount To Georgia’s Economy, starring Wesley Langdale of The Langdale Company and Chuck Leavell of the Rolling Stones (both tree farmers) announcing $37 billion economic value of Georgia forest ecology: Continue reading

Biomass or carbon trading or something else?

To get an idea of why big timber growers might find biomass attractive, here’s an article by Terry Dickson in the Florida Times-Union from 20 June 2005, State’s forestry industry in an ‘alarming decline’
People have long debated whether there is a sound if a tree falls in a forest but nobody is there to hear it.

The fall of revenue from Georgia’s forestry industry, however, has attracted a lot of attention — but $10 billion is hard to ignore.

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Green Exercise for Mental Health

Quantifying something we can all feel:
ScienceDaily (May 1, 2010) — How much “green exercise” produces the greatest improvement in mood and sense of personal well-being? A new study in the American Chemical Society’s semi-monthly journal Environmental Science & Technology has a surprising answer.

The answer is likely to please people in a society with much to do but little time to do it: Just five minutes of exercise in a park, working in a backyard garden, on a nature trail, or other green space will benefit mental health.

All natural environments were beneficial including parks in urban settings. Green areas with water added something extra. A blue and green environment seems even better for health, Pretty noted.
Here’s a link to a news blurb in the journal:
Pretty says that his goal with this study is not to provide just another recommendation for individuals but to provide data that can be used in policy discussions. Those data “could translate into what the landscape guidelines are for schools or for public housing,” says Nancy Wells, associate professor of community ecology at Cornell University.
Here is a link to the actual article.

Economic benefits of protecting natural ecosystems

A longleaf pine on Quarterman Road. Protecting forests is not just the right thing to do, it’s good business, says Mike De Souza, Canwest News Service, November 14, 2009, about a recent UN report:
Protecting natural ecosystems and biodiversity is worth trillions of dollars in annual economic benefits around the planet, says a new report released on Friday by the United Nations.
The actual report is TEEB for Policy Makers Report released 13 Nov 2009. The article continues, quoting one of the lead authors of the report:
“The technology of planting trees or replanting forests is thankfully free, and it has no side-effects,” said Sukhdev, who also leads the UN Environment Program’s Green Economy Initiative. “It’s powerful, it’s effective and it’s time tested. We just have to get people’s mindsets changed to start using these natural technologies that are available.”
Or just don’t cut down trees when paving roads.