New, sustainable ways to manage pests?

CFAES scientists are in the middle of a multi-year project to develop sustainable, ecological ways to manage pests, and not just on farms and in gardens but in lawns, homes, schools, and other places. Entomologist Joe Kovach: “We want to find new and improved ways to help people manage their pests in a more environmentally sound manner. … We’re trying to benefit as many people as possible, from farmers to consumers to business people.” Read more …

… and what of a world without any ice?

Paolo Gabrielli closed his Wooster Campus Scarlet, Gray and Green Fair keynote with a quote by Henry Pollack from his 2009 book A World Without Ice. Read one of many reviews of it here. The quote has been mentioned a lot, it seems, and for good reason, including prominently on the book’s website, and is repeated here yet again: “Ice asks no questions, presents no arguments, reads no newspapers, listens to no debates. It is not burdened by ideology and carries no political baggage as it changes from solid to liquid. It just melts.” Related to that, this not-so-fun fact from yesterday’s talk: By about 2030, Glacier National Park won’t have any glaciers anymore (video, 1:31).

Some really THICK ice …

Especially cool: In his talk at yesterday’s Wooster Campus Scarlet, Gray and Green Fair, Paolo Gabrielli showed a video of his team at work: drilling thousands of feet down for ice cores at a station in the Antarctic, gathering “thousands of years of climatic history” in a single, translucent, four-foot-long ice core, all with the temperature outside at a less-than-balmy 67 below zero. A story from The Antarctic Sun about some of his work here.

A world of ice …

An interesting albeit sobering keynote talk yesterday at the Wooster Campus Scarlet, Gray and Green Fair by Paolo Gabrielli, a research scientist with Ohio State’s Byrd Polar Research Center. He called ice cores, his area of expertise, “a beautiful recorder of what is happening in the atmosphere and what has happened in the past”; said ice cores, for example, reveal air pollution from Asia in the Himalayas and from North America in Greenland; also said, based on such findings, “There are no pristine environments on Earth anymore”; and said ice cores indicate global temperature increases “that are unprecedented in the past 2,000 years.” He’s part of the Byrd center’s Ice Core Paleoclimatology Group.

Watch: ‘This is the time to get things right’

Here’s David Orr talking (video, 6:19) about the Adam Lewis Center, the green campus movement, and sustainable community design in a 2009 interview done for Bioneers. “The interest by students is huge. … They sense to the bone that this is the time to get things right.” He speaks this Wednesday at Ohio State in Columbus.

A conversation with David Orr

David Orr of Oberlin College speaks April 18 at Ohio State. He’s the author of Earth in Mind, The Nature of Design, and Down to the Wire: Confronting Climate Collapse, among others, and led the creation of Oberlin’s groundbreaking solar-powered, zero-discharge Adam Lewis Center for Environmental Studies. The three-part program, called “Beyond Business as Usual: Achieving and Teaching Sustainability,” features a lunchtime conversation, a forum on sustainable design and communities, and Ohio State’s second annual Sustainability Summit, where he’ll be the keynote speaker.

Greening the RPAC

The Recreation and Physical Activity Center (RPAC) at The Ohio State University uses an extremely large amount of energy. As an icon of the university and an example to other organizations, we propose the start of a movement towards sustainability at the RPAC.  Simple steps that can be taken immediately include new lighting practices that harness natural light and reduce unused light, and adapting cardio equipment to produce energy that can be used by RPAC.

These changes will serve multiple benefits. The RPAC will receive support from an emerging client base that are concerned about their impact on the environment and live a less impactful lifestyle. The RPAC will enjoy a lower energy bill, allowing more money to be invested into continuing the efforts to make the RPAC sustainable. Gaining a start through use of these steps will open the doors to new sustainability practices in the future and keep OSU a leader of universities everywhere.

RPAC facility at Ohio State (image courtesy of Ohio State Recreational Sports)