posted on August 06, 2010 08:54 :: 608 Views
Tighten the straps on your Birkenstock's before you read this piece in The Missoula Independent, as Erika Fredrickson profiles the building expansion that has taken place at The University of Montana combined with UM's goal of "carbon neutrality" by 2020.
Here's an excerpt of Fredrickson's piece, showing how the Berkeley of Montana has pressed forward on its legacy of empire building:
Constructing more buildings, green or not, increases greenhouse gas emissions. Almost a third of greenhouse gases worldwide can be attributed to the construction and building sectors. UM's climate action plan points out that energy consumption for building-related infrastructure "results in the largest climate impact attributed to the University of Montana." In addition, the university's 2008 Greenhouse Gas Inventory Report found a steady increase in emissions since 2000, and it attributes part of that rise directly to construction of new campus buildings.
President Dennison has received strong criticism for squeezing more buildings onto campus than any other UM president, adding 1.3 million square feet over the last 20 years.
Part of UM's plan to become "carbon neutral," the use of so-called carbon offsets. For that, Fredrickson turns to the globally touted UM Climate Change Professor, Dr. Steve Running:
"When you buy an airline ticket you can pay something like an extra $25 and supposedly buy a carbon offset for your flight," says Running, who did not contribute to the climate action plan. "That's a completely unregulated market and nobody really knows whether it truly offsets the carbon emissions that you bought it for."
Would be interesting to find out which school burns more carbon- the green idol of The University of Montana in the West, or the cow college Montana State University further east? I say all of this as a proud alum of The University of Montana of course. Go Griz...may you burn more carbon than those Bobcats as you hopefully press toward another shot at the national title.