Local and global environmental issues.
Tasty Waste: Dining Services to host lecture series on food waste
Daily Campus, Sept. 2016
"Individual behavior is key because the majority of food waste occurs on the consumer end, Faustman said, and it’s not just a bruised apple or a stale piece of bread that gets thrown away - it’s all of the water, land use, transportation and labor that went into putting it on your plate. Up to 40 percent of food goes uneaten in the U.S., resulting in a loss of $1,365 to $2,275 per family or $165 billion nationally per year, according to the National Resource Defense Council.
Ugly fruit, raw meat and food nearing its expiration date are all on the table, but one thing philanthropic foodies aren’t allowed to pass on is precooked food, said Jillian Ives, an academic advisor for CAHNR. While things like pre-made sandwiches are generally considered safe, food that has been sitting in a salad bar or serving tray can be a health risk.
“You do have to pay attention to what kind of pathogens it can carry, and Dining Services is pretty good at knowing what they can donate to soup kitchens and pantries versus what they have to throw away,” Ives said.
Dining Services has implemented numerous initiatives to reduce food waste, including tracking consumption on a daily basis to better predict demand, reusing frozen leftovers in future recipes, donating excess food to soup kitchens and composting scraps that are no longer fit for consumption."
Natural gas expansion offers low prices, climate risk
Daily Campus, Sept. 2015
"Expansion of the Algonquin Pipeline, supplying natural gas to the Mansfield area, will seriously hinder the nation’s effort to cut greenhouse gas emissions contributing to climate change, said Gary Bent, head of Eastern Connecticut Green Action.
“There’s this whole big propaganda campaign around natural gas,” Bent, a former atmospheric physics professor at the University of Connecticut, said. “It really is dirty energy because its a greenhouse gas by itself.”
Despite having been billed as a clean alternative to oil and coal burning power plants, natural gas is 97 percent methane, which the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change estimates will trap 34 times more heat than CO2 over 100 years.
According to the House of Representatives Natural Resources Staff, 69 billion cubic feet of natural gas, enough to power the state of Maine for a year, were leaked into the atmosphere in 2011 because of low quality piping in the United States."
Part 1 - UConn students, staff travel to Paris for climate change conference
Part 2 - UConn students, staff return from COP21 climate conference
Daily Campus, April. 2016
"Though the Nov. 13 attacks on Paris have resulted in noticeable security increases at COP21, the United Nation’s 21st conference on global climate change policy, 18 students and staff members from the University of Connecticut embraced the opportunity to participate in the international event, director of the office of environmental Policy Richard Miller said.
“After the attacks, each student was offered the opportunity to back out – no questions asked – but each student confirmed that they still wanted to participate,” Miller said in an email interview from Paris, France. “We can all be proud of the talented students chosen to represent UConn at this prestigious and potentially historic, international policy event.”
COP21 is the 21st Conference of the Parties, a meeting of experts from over 190 countries that have adopted the United Nations Framework on Climate Change (UNFCC) since the 1992 Rio Earth Summit and will run from Nov. 30 to Dec. 11 in Paris, France. This year’s talks will focus on the UN’s 2009 commitment to raise $100 billion to help developing countries cope with climate change, as well as on negotiating international measures to prevent global temperatures from increasing by more than two degrees Celsius, or 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit, the UNFCC’s standard of acceptable warming."
Protest disrupts Algonquin Pipeline construction Monday morning
Daily Campus, Nov. 2015
"In one of several local protests against Spectra Energy’s expansion of the Algonquin Pipeline, Bernardo McLaughlin, a member of Capitalism vs. The Climate, locked himself to a piece of construction equipment in Chaplin, Connecticut, disrupting work on the site for three hours.
The expansion is part of Spectra Energy’s $3 billion Access Northeast project, which will enable the Algonquin Pipeline to deliver one billion cubic feet of natural gas per day from fracking in Pennsylvania throughout the East Coast and to export terminals proposed in Canada.
McLaughlin is the 67th protester to be arrested for disrupting work on the 1,129 mile long pipeline, which runs through New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut. He has been charged with criminal mischief, criminal trespassing and interfering with an officer for chaining his arms around Spectra Energy equipment using a “black bear” consisting of PVC piping, chicken wire, tar and rocks that can only be released from the inside.
A statement by Capitalism vs. The Climate said the protest was part of #FLOODtheSYSTEM, a national movement to resist racism, colonialism, capitalism and patriarchy through grassroots efforts.
"I placed my body here because we're out of options,” McLaughlin said in the statement. “The political class has decided they can survive climate catastrophe and written the rest of us off as acceptable losses. Nobody is coming to save us. Our only hope is organized grassroots power and direct action."