Monthly Archives: February 2009

National Geographic Energy Saving Issue

Just today, I received in the mail the most current issue of National Geographic. The front cover says “Saving Energy It Starts At Home”. The article starts out saying that we all could easily reduce our energy needs by 25%. I am ready to keep reading. Also, I was inspired by our new President’s hopeful words on energy issues. I may be naive, but I believe we are heading into some exciting times with a cleaner energy future on the horizon.

Lake Land College Self-Sustaining

I wanted to share this article, Self-Sustaining College Campus, about Lake Land College in Mattoon, IL.  Here’s a clip from the article,

Lake Land College in Mattoon, IL, is one step closer to becoming Illinois’ first self-sustaining college campus, thanks to turnkey engineering and construction services by Control Technology & Solutions (CTS) of St. Louis. CTS recently completed Phase 1 of a four-phase, $20-million plan that taps the earth, wind and sun to achieve the college’s carbon-reduction vision. At completion in 2012, CTS’ work is projected to save about 850,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity – for a carbon reduction of 556 metric tons annually – and save nearly 70,000 therms of natural gas each year…read entire article here

American History and the Environment

I think that there is a commonly-held feeling that environmental issues did not exist in the US until Rachel Carson’s battles in the early part of the 20th Century.  We almost have this idyllic view of an agrarian past where we didn’t have the technological means (industry, coal/nuclear power, mass farming, etc) to really damage the environment.  Chris J. Magoc, of Mercyhurst College, would have us rethink this myth.  His book, Environmental Issues in American History discusses key environmental battles from the founding of our country to the present day.  Importantly, this book includes primary documents, so that the reader can “hear” from the people who are locked in these battles.  Just to get a taste of the scope of this book, I have typed out the tabel of contents, chapter by chapter.  This is a nice preview of the issues that are included.  This book is available in the Moraine Valley Library.

  • Nature as a Commodity: Native Americans, White Settlers, and the Land Ordinance of 1785
  • Controlling Water in the Early Industrialization of New England
  • Scientific Forestry and the Emergence of Conservation
  • Property Rights, Technology, and Environmental Protection: Hydraulic Gold Miners v. Farmers in California
  • Wildlife Conservation: Slaughter and Salvation of the Bison
  • “Reclaiming” the Arid West
  • Preservation vs. Conservation: The Epic Fight over Yosemite’s Hetch-Hetchy Valley
  • Progressive Women and “Municipal Housekeeping”: Caroline Bartlett Crane’s Fight for Improved Meat Inspection
  • Getting the Lead Out: Public Health and the Debate over Tetraethly Leaded  Gasoline
  • Causes and Consequences of the Dust Bowl
  • The Donora Disaster and the Problem of Air Pollution
  • Rachel Carson, Cesar Chavez, and the Pesticide Debate
  • Love Canal and the Grassroots Movement Against Toxic Waste
  • The Endangered Species Act: the Rights of Nature?
  • Three Mile Island and the Search for a National Energy Policy

Greening Business

 As I was perusing the latest issue of Library Journal, a fine, fine, publication, I came across a section on green business resources.  This included a number of books, which we have put on order, and it also included the following Web sites: