Discussion over fossil fuel divestment heats up

July 2, 2013

As the effort to get universities to stop investing in the top 200 oil, gas, and coal companies continues, a group of undergraduate and graduate students are spearheading the movement at the UW.

Divest UW joined a movement that has spread to more than 300 colleges and universities in the United States, urging educational institutions to freeze any new investment in fossil fuel companies and to divest from current holdings.

Currently, the UW has an endowment of about $2.2 billion, of which about 2 percent,  goes into the fossil fuel industry.

UW Students Seek End of Fossil Fuel Investments

May 20, 2013

Students at the University of Washington want the school to dump its investments in major fossil fuel companies like Exxon and BP as part of a nationwide campaign to combat climate change through public institutions.

The University of Washington prides itself on being a green campus, but Kyle Murphy thinks they should have a green portfolio too. Murphy is one of the founders of UW Divest, the student group proposing a change to the way the UW Endowment Fund invests its money.

Seattle plan would make city carbon neutral by 2050

The king tides that swamped Alki last winter might be a harbinger of the effects of climate change on Seattle. Diminished snowpack in the Cascades could mean less drinking water and less cheap hydroelectricity. A 3-meter rise in sea level could swamp the Duwamish Waterway, the working port, Sodo and its industrial lands.

While steps Seattle takes to reduce emissions would have little effect on the global climate and those potential threats, they could demonstrate what one city can do to dramatically reduce its own sources of greenhouse gases, said City Councilmember Mike O’Brien.

Recent Antarctic climate, glacier changes at the ‘upper bound’ of normal

In the last few decades, glaciers at the edge of the icy continent of Antarctica have been thinning, and research has shown the rate of thinning has accelerated and contributed significantly to sea level rise.

New ice core research suggests that, while the changes are dramatic, they cannot be attributed with confidence to human-caused global warming, said Eric Steig, a University of Washington professor of Earth and space sciences.

UW group part of national report, meeting on adaptation to climate change

A string of record-breaking summers and a massive storm in New York City have brought new attention to the effects of climate change and prompted discussions about how to safeguard cities and crops. A University of Washington group that has focused on this question for almost two decades is part of a new report and first-ever national meeting on adapting to the effects of a changing climate.