Green, and Green, on Campus

by Jane S. Shaw

David French at Phi Beta Cons and Charlotte Allen at Minding the Campus have been discussing the sustainability movement, which has taken over colleges around the country.  Apparently colleges are worried that the Republican Congress will hold back on “sustainability” funds that were just beginning to trickle out under the 2008 Higher Education Sustainability Act. Allen points to one example–$628,000 went to Michigan State University for a project titled “Competency Assessment of Liberal Learning Goals through Institutional Experiential Education for Global Sustainability.” Got that?

David French adds:

The irony is that these sustainability programs plow forward even as public concern about global warming wanes. On the university campus, that ship has sailed. Without much real debate and without any substantive response to the myriad concerns raised about the science of climate change, the green party rules, unchallenged.


  1. The poll results you link to do not suggest that public concern about global warming is waning. It merely shows that the public’s perception of the media’s coverage of global warming has changed. The public’s concern about global warming, as reflected in polls, has remained relatively constant over more than a decade.

  2. Eric: You may interpret the poll as you wish, but Fox News did find an increase in the number of people who “believe the seriousness of global warming is generally exaggerated.”

  3. Stacey Kennealy says:

    Hi PERConians,

    Oh how I love to disagree with y’all.

    The belief in global warming as it pertains to college campus sustainability efforts is neither here nor there and is just being used as a scapegoat for inaction in this blog post. The fact of the matter is that college sustainability has been going on for nearly 2 decades before it was even called ‘green’ or ‘sustainability’, and the results are clear–millions of dollars in savings, many fantastic hands-on student projects (including ones I did myself! I never would have done this field otherwise), and embracing common-sense ways of operating buildings and running such a large business. Anyone who counters otherwise simply doesn’t understand the value (include huge monetary value) that these efforts do and can bring. Look to Harvard University’s green efforts as a good example–Lieth Sharp has not only improved their budget, but has created a revolving loan to fund sustainability efforts well into the future without needing government support or support from the University as a whole. How’s that for business sense?