Tag Archive for carbon emissions

US Jesuit universities continue commitment to climate change action

2017_05_31_N&E_Photo1Presidents of US Jesuit universities signed on to We Are Still In, an open letter to the international community and parties to the Paris Agreement from 1,200 mayors, governors, college and university leaders, businesses, and investors in the US who are joining forces for the first time and declaring their continuing support to climate action to meet the Paris Agreement.

Tensions Rise In Debate Over Divestment

IMG_7936-onlineAccording to a Sept. 2013 New York Times report, it would take a global temperature increase of two degrees Celsius to cause drastic and irreparable climate changes. Around 2040, the report estimated the trillionth ton of fossil fuels will be burned, at which point companies will need to figure out a way to capture and store their carbon emissions to avoid going over the two-degree threshold.

Climate Justice at Boston College (CJBC), an unregistered student organization, has been attempting to convince the University’s administration to divest from fossil fuels. Currently, it is hoping to attract the support of other students and alumni who are unhappy with the University’s endowment’s being partially invested in fossil fuel companies. When describing its efforts, CJBC posits a positive correlation between fossil fuel consumption and rising temperatures.

Lights off

LOGOBIG_400_174Kathleen Smythe
Department of History

To help put all this in perspective, the average American generates about 41 pounds of CO2 a day. Sustainability estimates put the world’s ability to continuously absorb carbon emissions at about 9 pounds/person/day. By keeping lights off in my office and classroom (most of the time), I can reduce that “average” number by about 1.8 pounds a day, a 4.3-percent decrease from the average of 41 pounds/day.

Calls for fossil fuel divestment continue to burn

ncr_logoThat was the consensus Sunday from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The third paper from the panel’s fifth assessment report outlined the mitigation scenarios necessary to avoid climate change’s most catastrophic outcomes. Among their conclusions, the 235 scientists authoring the 33-page report stated that to reach the substantial reductions in carbon emissions — by 2050, slashing emissions by 40 to 70 percent of 2010 levels, and to near zero by century’s end — necessary to keep temperature change below 2 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels would require a dramatic change in investment patterns.

Campus Recreation Project

completeforwebsiteCampus Recreation began a campaign to bring awareness to behavior changes that can contribute to reducing carbon emissions. After calculating the total club sports emissions for competition travel for the 2012-2013 academic year, the total emissions equated 263 tons of carbon dioxide being emitted.

Close up

close-upThe trees scattered across Boston College’s landscape do not appear on the school’s balance sheet, but the University would be poorer without them. Literally. The 4,615 specimens counted and measured on the Chestnut Hill and Brighton campuses by student researchers during the summers of 2008 and 2009 reduce air-conditioning costs with their shade and lower heating costs by buffering winds, remove airborne pollutants, and prevent erosion.