Archive for March 12th, 2010

Top 10 Green Universities

12/03/2010

Going Green U, Image: Trendhunter Mag

The Sierra Club has just released its new feature on green colleges, listing what they named the Top Ten Green Universities. It used to be that small, private colleges seemed to be the only ones that cared. Now the supersized universities are realizing that adopting green strategies is a smart move to reduce costs and attract students.

The ten schools that “get it” are (enrollment):
#1 Middlebury College (2350);
#2 University of Colorado-Boulder (29,000);
#3 University of Vermont at Burlington 10,750 students, Burlington, Vermont
#4 Warren Wilson College, 850 students, Swannanoa, North Carolina
#5 Evergreen State, 4400 students, Olympia, WA
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Milestones: Ron Verblauw, 1933-2009

12/03/2010

By D.R. Richards

Good Friend and Mountain Man, Ron Verblauw

Unexpected friends come into one’s life, sometimes for a brief time, but leave an indelible mark. Ron Verblauw was one of those people in my life. He and his wife, Carol, moved to Sunapee, New Hampshire, USA from New Jersey because of Ron’s love of the country and skiing. He had served as a director on the National Ski Patrol’s Eastern Division, ran a trucking company in New Jersey for 40 years, served in the U.S. Air Force in the Korean conflict and was a district governor of Rotary International.

I must admit, I was prepared not to be fond of Ron at first, because of his pro-development stance regarding our local Mt. Sunapee Ski Area and his “proactive aire” about getting things done in, what used to be, our little sleepy community, which can often rub the locals the wrong way. I later saw this as a wonderful attribute, and I quickly realized Ron was an amazing person for many reasons. (more…)

Ghost Towns, Above and Below Water

12/03/2010

Newfoundlanders Abandon Villages, Cod Fisheries Gone

Child with Cod, circa 1895, from Greenpeace

After more than 400 years as the foundation of one of Earth’s great fisheries, cod are not coming back to Canada. The costs are more than environmental.

In the mid-20th century, cod supported more than 40,000 eastern Canadian fishermen. That’s when industrial catch techniques nearly tripled annual harvests. By the early 1970s, cod numbers plummeted.

Fishing stopped for a while. Cod came back. Fishing started again. Cod disappeared. In the early 1990s, the government halted fishing again, expecting the fish to return, just like before — but this time, they didn’t. They’ll likely vanish before mid-century.

Scientists can’t say for sure what’s going on under those cold gray waters, but they can speculate.

Newfoundland communities abandoned since 1960

There were likely too few cod to revive a population: individuals simply couldn’t find each other to reproduce. Some other species might have taken their spot in the web of life. The web itself has changed shape, and may no longer have room for them.

“You see this very rapid, drastic collapse of large predatory fishes that used to dominate, particularly cod,” said Boris Worm, a marine biologist at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia. “You see a rapid collapse of those, and a shift of the ecosystem towards invertebrates and small pelagic fishes.”

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