Daily Archives: November 26, 2012

The Minimalists


E120, e145,

Better Fracking | On Point with Tom Ashbrook


November 26, 2012 at 10:00 AM
Better Fracking
Fracking for natural gas booms on. But it uses and pollutes a lot of water. We’ll look at the push to reduce, reuse, and recycle “frack water.”
Big talk lately about the United States emerging as an energy superpower.  Bigger than Saudi Arabia!  But at the heart of that is fracking, and fracking has issues.  A big one is water.  Hydraulic fracturing – “fracking” – take lots and lots of fresh water.  Billions of gallons.
And makes it dangerous and unusable for drinking, for farming – for anything really but more fracking.  This at a time of drought.  A time when the Missouri and Mississippi rivers are fighting for water.  Could we recycle this problem away?
This hour, On Point:  getting real on our fresh water and fracking.

Russell Gold, energy reporter for the Wall Street Journal.
Eli Gruber, founder, chairman and CEO of Ecologix Environmental Systems, a wastewater treatment company specializing in hydraulic fracturing, municipal wastewater treatment and industrial wastewater.
Rob Jackson, professor of environmental sciences and biology at Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment.
Anthony Ingraffea, professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Cornell University.

Global Climate Change   http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre130
Environmental Justice   http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre145

Environment Ethics   http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre120

Deep emissions cuts urged at climate summit



Global Climate Change   http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre130
Environmental Justice   http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre145

Environment Ethics   http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre120

University ‘Not Considering’ Divestment


[Connecting the Dots: Local News in a Global Context:
Under a banner ad headline for dietary supplements that urged their readers to “Be Your Healthy Best” The Harvard Crimson reported in a somewhat smaller headline that the “University [is] ‘Not Considering’ Divestment.”  Apparently unaware or unconcerned about the irony of trying to stay healthy on a planet made “sick” by the excessive consumption of fossil fuels, Harvard University’s actions now speak loudly to the world as a whole.  Despite an impressive public affirmation from its President in October about the importance of pursuing goals of sustainability, Melody Y. Guan reported in The Harvard Crimson on Sunday, 25 November,  that Kevin Galvin, Harvard’s Director of News and Media Relations, wrote in an e-mail to The Crimson that “Harvard is not considering divesting from companies related to fossil fuels…” This decision comes at a time when students have demonstrated overwhelming support for Harvard to join other colleges and universities nation-wide to divest their endowment from holdings profiting from fossil fuel consumption. 

Since the detailed holdings of the Harvard Management Company which oversees Harvard’s endowment investments are not made public, it is not known whether Harvard holds investments in companies involved in hydraulic fracturing — or “fracking.”  The practices in this highly profitable and rapidly growing fossil fuel industry are receiving increased public scrutiny as outrage mounts over the impact of fracking on public health and the safety of dwindling drinking water supplies where it has been practiced across the country.

On a global level the announcement of the Harvard decision about its investments has come at the outset of negotiations in Doha, Qatar where the world community has been urged to make deep cuts in their emissions from burning fossil fuels. ]

University ‘Not Considering’ Divestment
By Melody Y. Guan, Contributing Writer
Published: Sunday, November 25, 2012

A week after about 2,600 undergraduates voted in support of a referendum calling for Harvard to divest its $30.7 billion endowment from the fossil fuel industry, a Harvard spokesperson said on Wednesday that the University has no plans to adjust its investment portfolio in response to the student plebiscite.

“Harvard is not considering divesting from companies related to fossil fuels,” Harvard Director of News and Media Relations Kevin Galvin wrote in an email to The Crimson.

The divestment referendum, which was approved along with two other student-initiated ballot questions in this month’s Undergraduate Council presidential election, earned 72 percent of the student vote.

Although the three successful referenda will now be adopted as the official position of the UC, they have no power to directly influence University policy. And with the divestment question in particular, administrators have given little indication that they are looking to change course.

In May, Jane L. Mendillo—president and CEO of the Harvard Management Company, which oversees University investments—said in a statement that Harvard already has a system in place to ensure that its investments are financially and socially sound…….(click here to read the full Harvard Crimson article).

[No reference was made in the article to the system that the Harvard Management Company deploys to ensure that its investments are environmentally sound or whether, in fact, there is any mechanism for making decisions about sustainability in its investment choices.   In the business world questions of sustainability are increasingly considered as part of standard performance reporting.   Robert Eccles, Professor of Management Practice at Harvard Business School, has pointed out in an extended interview with Toby Webb, the CEO of Ethical Corporation that integrated sustainability reporting is “.. an idea whose time had come.”  It remains to be seen whether the Harvard Management Company will adopt sustainability criteria in its future investment decisions.]

Global Climate Change http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre130
Environmental Justice http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre145
Environment Ethics http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre120
Harvard Crimson