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Campus Earth Summit: Sustainability Focus or Farce?
by ~Bradley (bradley [at]
Monday Feb 4th, 2008 12:37 AM
The 7th annual Campus Earth Summit was held on January 31st at the College 9/10 Multipurpose Room at UC Santa Cruz. The well-attended event was organized by the Student Environmental Center and the Sustainability Office at UCSC and featured local speakers, a 'low carbon' lunch sourced from local organic farms, workshops on reducing 'carbon footprints' and conversations about environmental sustainability at UCSC. The summit was held in conjunction with Focus the Nation, a nationwide climate change teach-in happening simultaneously at over 1,000 colleges and universities across the USA.

There was so much excitement and talk about the future, but actions of the past were hardly discussed at all. None of the keynote speakers mentioned that on December 21st, 1991, the Coalition to Move Colleges Nine and Ten issued a press release about the destruction of "Elfland" through the logging of approximately 100 redwood trees where the College 9/10 Multipurpose Room stands today. The press release stated, "Elfland, as the area is called, is unique to the UCSC campus. Huge ferns grow in the valleys next to giant trees; tiny highland meadows support deer and endangered native grasses. It is a wildlife corridor and biologically diverse area on campus. Giant sinkholes pock the area, which overlies limestone caverns and has an important and poorly understood connection to the campus underground hydrology."
One guest speaker educated the audience on the popularity of 'going green' and explained that many of the world's most influential corporations are catching on to the new wave of 'green investment.' Indeed, the cooptation of the environmental movement can be both profitable for a corporation and priceless for their public relations! UCSC administrators are on the cutting-edge of this cooptation and were therefore pleased that Chancellor George Blumenthal was invited to be a keynote speaker at the Campus Earth Summit.

Asking Blumenthal to be a keynote speaker on sustainability at a Campus Earth Summit organized by the Student Environmental Center is like asking the UC Regents if the Student Environmental Center can be used as a rubber stamp for gaining approval of UCSC's highly controversial 2005 Long Range Development Plan.

Bicicleta Bandito has written a critique of the Campus Earth Summit that includes an account of Blumenthal's speech which was disrupted by a barrage of boos and hisses from the crowd and the blaring alarm of an emergency exit. The critique can be found at the following link:

UCSC Earth Summit - A Crack in the Facade

A lot of great people and organizations put their time, energy and skills into the Campus Earth Summit, and their dedication should be recognized and appreciated.
§You've Been Greenwashed
by ~Bradley Monday Feb 4th, 2008 12:37 AM
Greenwash is a term that is used to describe the act of misleading consumers regarding the environmental practices of a company or the environmental benefits of a product or service.
§UC Sustainability Farce: Stumps Don't Lie!!
by ~Bradley Monday Feb 4th, 2008 12:37 AM
§Elfland in the year 2008...
by ~Bradley Monday Feb 4th, 2008 12:37 AM
§The UCSC Arboretum
by ~Bradley Monday Feb 4th, 2008 12:37 AM
Situated on what is now the campus of the University of California at Santa Cruz and what was originally part of the vast land holdings of pioneer settler Henry Cowell, the Arboretum occupies one of the most propitious horticultural sites in the world. The climatic and topographic diversity is such as to allow experimentation with almost every species that might be grown along the coast between San Diego and Crescent City, and the diversity of the soils--the underlying rock includes granite, schist, limestone, and several types of sandstone--can scarcely be matched anywhere.
by ~Bradley Monday Feb 4th, 2008 12:37 AM
The Agriculture and Land-Based Training Association (ALBA) provides educational and business opportunities for farm workers and aspiring farmers to grow and sell crops grown on two organic farms in Monterey County, California.
§Sierra Institute
by ~Bradley Monday Feb 4th, 2008 12:37 AM
For more than 30 years, the Sierra Institute has been offering interdisciplinary environmental studies field programs to undergraduates from around the country.
by ~Bradley Monday Feb 4th, 2008 12:37 AM
Description taken from

Guayakí Yerba Mate began as a college senior project in 1996. It was at Cal Poly University, in San Luis Obispo, California, that the founders of Guayaki first met. Alex Pryor, from Argentina and David Karr, from California, quickly became friends as they sipped mate.

The energy of the mate captivated them both and a vision crystallized: to create a new restorative business model. Rainforest mate would be the new currency fueling reforestation projects and providing income for the indigenous people. The vision became a passion which grew into a business.

The business would bring the legendary mate to the world at a time when people were thirsty for a health energy beverage. This business would inspire the hearts of people worldwide to believe that business can go beyond profits, that it can drive positive social and environmental change.
by ~Bradley Monday Feb 4th, 2008 12:37 AM
§Community Agroecology Network
by ~Bradley Monday Feb 4th, 2008 12:37 AM
CAN is a U.S. based non-profit organization. The mission of CAN is to develop a network of rural communities and U.S. consumers to support self-sufficiency and sustainable farming practices. Farmers and consumers working together CAN make a difference.
§Zero Waste
by ~Bradley Monday Feb 4th, 2008 12:37 AM
Zero waste is a philosophy that aims to guide people in the redesign of their resource-use system with the aim of reducing waste to zero. Put simply, zero waste is an idea to extend the current ideas of recycling to form a circular system where as much waste as possible is reused, similar to the way it is in nature.
§Locally Sourced Ingredients
by ~Bradley Monday Feb 4th, 2008 12:37 AM
Local food or the local food movement is a "collaborative effort to build more locally based, self-reliant food economies - one in which sustainable food production, processing, distribution and consumption is integrated to enhance the economic, environmental and social health of a particular place" and is considered to be a part of the broader sustainability movement. It is part of the concept of local purchasing and local economies, a preference to buy locally produced goods and services. Those who prefer to eat locally grown/produced food sometimes call themselves "localvores" or locavores.
by ~Bradley Monday Feb 4th, 2008 12:37 AM
The Center for Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems is a research, education, and public service program at the University of California, Santa Cruz, dedicated to increasing ecological sustainability and social justice in the food and agriculture system.
by ~Bradley Monday Feb 4th, 2008 12:37 AM
As concern about landfill space increases, worldwide interest in recycling by means of composting is growing, since composting is a widely accepted process for converting decomposable wastes of natural origin into stable, sanitized products useful for horticulture.
§Energy "Saving" Light Bulbs
by ~Bradley Monday Feb 4th, 2008 12:37 AM
By consuming energy... you are "saving" energy!

** The Story of Stuff is a 20-minute, fast-paced, fact-filled look at the underside of our production and consumption patterns.
§Ecology Action
by ~Bradley Monday Feb 4th, 2008 12:37 AM
Ecology Action is a nonprofit environmental consultancy delivering cutting edge education services, technical assistance, and program implementation for initiatives that assist individuals, business and government to maximize environmental quality and community well being.
§Baked Apples
by ~Bradley Monday Feb 4th, 2008 12:37 AM
Apples baked with sage, honey and cream were quite tasty.
by ~Bradley Monday Feb 4th, 2008 12:37 AM
A 'low carbon' lunch sourced from local organic farms.

A carbon footprint is a "measure of the impact human activities have on the environment in terms of the amount of green house gases produced, measured in units of carbon dioxide."
Listed below are the latest comments about this post.
These comments are submitted anonymously by website visitors.
Check yer facts boy - LANL and LLNL not campusesRedwood CowboyWednesday Feb 20th, 2008 8:52 AM
"Green campuses"denukeSaturday Feb 16th, 2008 12:09 AM
Of course it was a sham.Ike S.Thursday Feb 7th, 2008 9:44 AM
Another step-Monday Feb 4th, 2008 1:26 AM

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