Blue Skies: Brainstorming for Sustainability Project

Feb. 10, 2012

Posted by Amabella Lambinicio under @ MHC
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The Blue Skies brainstorming for sustainability project is an initiative that encompasses all the campuses in the Five Colleges. It is a project that garners the wisdom, experience, and academic power found in all the campuses. For the Mount Holyoke community students, faculty, and staff alike this is their chance to give voice to those lingering ideas on how to make their campus more sustainable. The project emphasizes the role administrations of all the five colleges for an urgent movement for sustainability. In March of this year the presidents of the five colleges will gather together to review the proposals. We can already expect that President Lynn Pasquerella will be very enthusiastic about the ideas that everyone has contributed or will contribute during the brainstorming sessions.Everyone received an encouraging email from the president on Tuesday, February 7 inviting them to participate in one or all of the three sessions. Two brainstorming sessions took place on Wednesday, February 8 in Dwight 101, but for those who missed it you have the chance to come to the session on Tuesday, February 14 from 12:15pm - 1:00pm in Dwight 201. Professor Tim Farnham, the director of the Center for the Environment, is also accepting proposals through e-mail at or you can directly submit your proposals to Five Colleges here.

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Watch Frances Moore Lappe's Speech @ MHC on C-SPAN!

Dec. 20, 2011

Posted by Yiting Wang under @ MHC
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Missed the actual talk two months ago? Now you can enjoy it over the holiday on C-SPAN!! 

Frances Moore Lappe, author of "Diet for a Small Planet," argues in her latest book that people should not be pessimistic about solving the ecological problems facing the planet. She says that it is important to get people to think differently about their connection to the natural world and the possibilities for changing course. This event,hosted by the Odyssey Bookshop, was held at the Mount Holyoke College Art Museum in South Hadley, Massachusetts. Ms. Moore responded to questions from members of the audience.

Someone left great comments on our Facebook page about how he was impressed by the MHC students' comments:

The link to the video:

A New American Environmentalism and the New Economy

Oct. 19, 2011

Posted by Yiting Wang under @ MHC
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A speech by Gus Speth at the 10th Annual John H. Chafee Memorial Lecture National, January 21, 2010

To begin, I would like to invite you to join me in a journey of the imagination. I want you to join me in visiting a world very different from the one we have today.

As the new decade begins in this world, the President, early in his first term, stands before Congress to deliver his State of the Union address. He says the following:

In the next ten years we shall increase our wealth by fifty percent. The profound question is—does this mean that we will be fifty percent richer in a real sense, fifty percent better off, fifty percent happier?...

The great question… is, shall we make our peace with nature and begin to make reparations for the damage we have done to our air, our land and our water?

Restoring nature to its natural state is a cause beyond party and beyond factions. … It is a cause of particular concern to young Americans – because they more than we will reap the grim consequences of our failure to act on programs which are needed now if we are to prevent disaster later….

The program I shall propose to Congress will be the most comprehensive and costly program in this field ever in the nation’s history.

The argument is increasingly heard that a fundamental contradiction has arisen between economic growth and the quality of life, so that to have one we must forsake the other. The answer is not to abandon growth, but to redirect it…

I propose, that before these problems become insoluble, the nation develop a national growth policy. Our purpose will be to find those means by which Federal, state and local government can influence the course of … growth so as positively to affect the quality of American life.

And Congress acts. To address these challenges, it responds with the toughest environmental legislation in history. And it does so not with partisan rancor and threats of filibusters but by large bipartisan majorities.

In this world that we are imagining, the public is aroused; the media are attentive; the courts are supportive. Citizens are alarmed by the crisis they face. They organize a movement and issue this powerful declaration: “We, therefore, resolve to act. We propose a revolution in conduct toward an environment that is rising in revolt against us. Granted that ideas and institutions long established are not easily changed; yet today is the first day of the rest of our life on this planet. We will begin anew.”

Meanwhile, the nation’s leading environmental scholars and practitioners, and even some economists, are asking whether measures such as those in the Congress will be enough, and whether deeper changes are not needed. GDP and the national income accounts are challenged for their failure to tell us things that really matter, including whether our society is equitable and fair and whether we are gaining or losing environmental quality. A sense of planetary limits is palpable. The country’s growth fetish comes under attack as analysts see the fundamental incompatibility between limitless growth and an increasingly small and limited planet. Advocacy emerges for moving to an economy that would be “nongrowing in terms of the size of the human population, the quantity of physical resources in use, and [the] impact on the biological environment.” Joined with this is a call from many sources for us to break from our consumerist and materialistic ways—to seek simpler lives in harmony with nature and each other. These advocates recognize that, with growth no longer available as a palliative, “one problem that must be faced squarely is the redistribution of wealth within and between nations.” They also recognize the need to create needed employment opportunities by stimulating employment in areas long underserved by the economy and even by moving to shorter workweeks. And none of this seems likely, these writers realize, without a dramatic revitalization of democratic life.

Click here for the full speech. Gus Speth is coming to MHC on Nov. 10, Thursday, 7:30 PM Gamble Auditorium. Check out the facebook event page.

MHC Student Garden just Celebrated its 5th Annuel Student Garden Harvest!!!

Sep. 22, 2011

Posted by Yiting Wang under @ MHC
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Since the establishment of the student garden in 2006, the annuel harvest festival celebrated the spirit of local food in the valley and will include food, music, pumpkin carving, and of course, harvesting. Music was provided by MHC’s very own, Tim Farnham, Director of the Miller Worley Center, and Professor of Asian Studies, Jonathan Lipman.

The Harvest Festival is also the prelude to the annual Fall Harvest Gracious Dinner which takes place the following day in all Dining Halls. The dinner, also known as the “local gracious dinner” among students usually coincides with the Massachusetts Farm to College Week. All the food served on the menu is locally grown, and will include vegetables harvested from the Student Garden.

It’s through initiatives like the garden project the Miller Worley Center for the Environment fulfills its mission of “Connecting People, Community, and the Earth.”





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 You have your own photos to share with us? Upload them on to the Facebook event page!

Photos from Hans Carlson's talk "where is the spirit of Odeyak?"

Apr. 16, 2011

Posted by Yiting Wang under @ MHC
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"Where is the Spirit of Odeyak?" Political Ecology, Native Sovereignty, and Environmental Justice, in the Canadian Sub-Arctic

By Hans Carlson, PhD. Mon., Apr. 11, 2011

Since the summer of 1970, the lands of the James Bay Cree have been the focus of ever-increasing development, resulting in great environmental and cultural disruption for the Cree. The story of the last four decades in James Bay has been one of political negotiation to mitigate these impacts, and one of continuing and adapting traditional culture. This has meant the development of a Cree definition of sovereignty over their traditional lands, but also new ways of practicing traditions to keep them meaningful in the twenty-first century.

Miller Worley Center Sponsors Clean Water Drive

Mar. 03, 2011

Posted by Yiting Wang under @ MHC
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According to the organization charity: water, nearly one billion of the world’s people don’t have access to clean, safe drinking water--and unsafe water and a lack of basic sanitation cause diseases that kill more people every year than all forms of violence. 

Now the Miller Worley Center for the Environment is working with MHC students to raise money for charity: water, a nonprofit organization that brings clean, safe drinking water to people in developing nations. To support the students who are trying to make a difference, the Miller Worley Center is sponsoring a campuswide bottle and can drive, with all proceeds going to charity: water. Now through May 14, the Mount Holyoke community can donate to the charity: water campaign by collecting bottles and cans in residence halls and offices and dropping them into specially marked collection bins or at the Miller Worley Center in Dwight Hall. 


The effort is being led by Melissa White ’13 and Emily Lindauer ’13. White is a politics and chemistry major from Tallahassee, Florida; Lindauer is an architecture major from Philadelphia. Both students have been raising money for charity: water since last spring.

"I fell in love with charity: water because it does a fantastic job of taking something I am passionate about--safe and clean access to water resources--and making it easy to be a part of the solution," says White. "As a global community, Mount Holyoke is the perfect place to push this idea of providing drinking water to those in developing nations.” 

"The bottle and can collection is a great way to take a resource that we already have and turn it into something that will essentially bring clean water to people across the globe. Access to safe drinking water means more than quenching a population’s thirst. It means better access to education, disease prevention, and safer communities," adds Lindauer.

In Africa alone, people spend 40 billion hours every year walking to obtain water, according to charity: water. Women and children usually bear the burden of water collection, walking miles to the nearest source. Establishing a clean water project nearby provides both safe drinking water and time and freedom to women and children in these developing nations.

In four years, charity: water has raised more than $20 million and funded 3,196 water projects. The organization funds a range of water solutions, including hand-dug wells, drilled wells, rehabilitations, spring protections, rainwater catchments, and BioSand filters. It is the goal of charity: water to not only provide clean and safe water to those in need, but to do so through sustainable projects.

The donations generated from bottles and cans collected will go directly to the organization, and participants will be able to track the MHC campaign’s progress. Participants are asked to make certain donated bottles are redeemable in Massachusetts. Collection bins will be available throughout campus near recycling bins and in other locations. The center and students are currently planning awareness events, art displays, and other campaign efforts that will be scheduled throughout the semester.

For more information, contact the Miller Worley Center for the Environment at 413-538-3091 or visit the center's website.

Mount Holyoke College Announces the Naming of the Miller Worley Center for the Environment

Mar. 23, 2010

Posted by Ruby Maddox under @ MHC
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Leslie Anne Miller '73 (right) and her husband Richard Worley have made a five-million-dollar endowed gift to support environmental education and programming at Mount Holyoke College and to inspire other leadership gifts for this purpose.

In recognition of this generous gift, the school's Center for the Environment, established in 1998, will be named the Leslie Miller and Richard Worley Center for the Environment.

The gift will be used to strengthen the Center for the Environment, environmental education, green campus initiatives, and scholarships and internships for students in environmental science or closely related fields at the leading liberal arts college. Specifically, the gift will be allocated for a new interdisciplinary professorship in environmental policy; for an endowment to support the center’s public programs and curricular and cocurricular efforts; and for an endowed fund to support student internships and faculty-advised research experiences involving environmental issues.

"This is an exceptional occasion for Mount Holyoke College," said President Joanne V. Creighton. “Leslie and Richard's gift recognizes Mount Holyoke's commitment to taking the lead in environmental science and environmental progress both on campus and within the Five Colleges, and around the world. And it demonstrates the level of support alumnae and friends of the College have for this institution and its work on the most critical matters of our time."
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