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:

Ban the Bottle

I remember back about 15 years ago, I thought, “who in the world would actually pay for bottled water when you can get it for free from the tap?” Then, a decade later, I would buy cases of bottled water without thinking about it. Now, I won’t buy bottled water because we are up to our eye balls in plastic bottles, not to mention that they are petroleum products. Well, I thought I’d pass along this article, Washington University Ban on Water Bottles, that talks about the growing movement to ban bottled water on college campuses. More and more people are standing up and saying that the leftover bottles are really a problem, and the easiest way to solve this problem is to get rid of the bottles.

Investor says that Green Energy needs Govt Funding

I wanted to pass along this NPR story, Investor: Renewable Energy Needs Federal Funding. You can listen to this story online. Here’s a quote from the story: 

One of the big ticket items in President Obama’s economic stimulus plan is a Clean Energy Financing Initiative. It reportedly would provide loan guarantees and other measures to encourage the private sector to invest billions of dollars in green energy — even as such investments have shriveled.


Funding for hundreds of projects has dried up because of the global financial slowdown, says Ray Lane, a managing partner with the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caulfield and Byers in Menlo Park, Calif.

He says plans to harness wind and solar energy and to boost transportation efficiency will be abandoned if they don’t receive capital.

Carbon Market Podcast

The library was happy to welcome Dr. Gregory Sierra, professor of accounting and former bank regulator at the Federal Reserve Board. Dr. Sierra spoke about the use of markets to regulate carbon emissions as part of the library’s One Book, One College program. You can listen to all of our library’s public events at our Library Event Podcast page. You can listen to Dr. Sierra’s lecture here:

Dr. Gregory Sierra discussing CO2 as a pollutant.

Students volunteered to create their own mini-carbon trading market.

New Green Team Web site!

The Green Team has an new Web site:’s some good information here including:

  •  a welcome from the college president
  • news about activities on campus
  • information about “green” classes
  • links to outside resources
  • informaiton about campus events.

I hope you’ll take come time to visit this new site .