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What is sustainability? What does it mean for a University?

September 24, 2008 • Categories: Journal Series

By James M. Mazurek

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Sustainability is commonly defined as the ability to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. It relates to the continuity of economic, social, institutional, and environmental aspects of human society, as well as the non-human environment.

Beyond some sufficient level of continuous functioning, however, sustainability at a university represents more than just the mere ability to survive and get by. It also represents the shaping of new generations of leaders, as well as the institutional trade-offs that are made daily between equity, economics, aesthetics, and the environment.

Incorporating sustainable energy practices into your daily life

September 23, 2008 • Categories: Journal Series

By Brandon Sparks

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Large corporations will play a large role in charting a sustainable energy future, but individuals can also impact the future.

The greatest role an individual can play is in saving energy. Not only does this action often lead to monetary benefit, but it also affects and pressures industries in a way that will lead to a sustainable energy future.

The Center for Building Communities: Saving energy locally and collaboratively

September 22, 2008 • Categories: Journal Series

By Sallie Hood and Ron Sakal

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In the film “An Inconvenient Truth,” Al Gore urged Americans to drive less, but he failed to mention how the places we live in are designed to keep us behind the wheel. Outside of campus, most of us have to drive in order to do much of anything, no matter how high gas prices go.

We need to recognize and change these patterns so we can live better while using less energy.

A student perspective on energy in the developing world

September 21, 2008 • Categories: Journal Series

The topic of sustainable energy is one that touches the lives of each of us. CEOs are seeking a “green” image for their company, current presidential candidates are preaching their solutions to the climate crisis, and local families are making financial decisions in response to rising energy costs.

Energy policy: an MBA student’s perspective

September 20, 2008 • Categories: Journal Series

By Joe Kindt

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A nation’s economic development is tethered to its ability to produce energy. From the English industrial revolution, triggered by coal-fired steam engines, to today’s Chinese economic boom, backed by the construction of one coal-fired power plant per week, economies have long been concerned with harnessing greater production power. A nation with a sound energy policy that promotes sustainability will foster a healthy business economy.

Research at Notre Dame: designing next-generation solar cells

September 19, 2008 • Categories: Journal Series

By Prashant V. Kamat

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During the last century the worldwide population quadrupled and the energy demand increased by sixteen times. The exponential growth in the energy demand is exhausting our fossil fuel supply at an alarming rate.

Energy, the environment, and Catholic social teaching

September 18, 2008 • Categories: Journal Series

By Margaret Pfeil

From the perspective of the Catholic social tradition, care for the environment flows from grateful appreciation of the interdependence of all of God’s creation. As Pope Benedict XVI wrote in his 2008 World Day of Peace Message, “…[I]t is essential to ‘sense’ that the earth is ‘our common home’ …”

ND Food Services: energy, food and campus lifestyle

September 17, 2008 • Categories: Journal Series

By Jim Yarbrough

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Several years ago, Notre Dame Food Services formed a Social Responsibility Committee that focuses on local purchases, fair-trade products, animal welfare, and environmental issues. The work of the committee filters down to the cooks that prepare your food, the staff that serves your food, and those responsible for maintaining our facilities.

A student intern returns: Energy policy, the Beltway, and the ND way

September 16, 2008 • Categories: Journal Series

By Colleen Kelly

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I am the stereotypical idealistic student. I strongly believe that creativity and ingenuity can solve any seemingly insurmountable problem. In particular, the energy crisis is one of those solvable problems. The complex and multi-faceted energy concerns including dwindling supply, increasing demand, environmental degradation, geopolitical unrest, and infrastructure problems can all be resolved.

However, my idealism was shaken when I went to Washington, D.C.

Challenges and interdisciplinary approaches

September 15, 2008 • Categories: Journal Series

By Frank Incropera

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What kind of energy future would we like to see? Few would argue with continued access to abundant, low-cost energy supplies or elimination of energy as a barrier to economic development. We would probably also agree that supplies should be adequate to meet the basic needs of all humankind and accessible without geopolitical tensions or having to turn a blind eye to energy-rich but autocratic governments given to the abuse of human rights. And, finally, we would want energy to be used in an environmentally benign and sustainable manner. Regrettably, these conditions do not exist today, nor are they likely to be achieved any time soon.

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