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.
A crowd of University of Washington students, many wearing trademark purple-and-gold shirts, on Thursday urged UW regents to divest the university’s investment portfolio of all stocks in Big Oil, Big Coal, and all companies comprising the backbone of the fossil-fuel economy.
Unusual for Seattle, it was a protest lacking in jargon and detailed in argument.
“We believe investment in oil companies is unnecessary, and will expose our endowment to unnecessary risk,” Kyle Murphy, a UW senior and political science major, told the regents.
Light-emitting diodes, or LEDs, are the most efficient and environmentally friendly light bulbs on the market. But they come at a higher up-front price than other bulbs, especially the ones with warmer and more appealing hues.
Researchers at the University of Washington have created a material they say would make LED bulbs cheaper and greener to manufacture, driving down the price. Their silicon-based nanoparticles soften the blue light emitted by LEDs, creating white light that more closely resembles sunlight.
Two processes that turn woody biomass into transportation fuels have the potential to exceed current Environmental Protection Agency requirements for renewable fuels, according to research published in the Forest Products Journal and currently featured on its publications page.
Economists and environmental groups need to become friends fast if climate change is going to be slowed down. They’ve been adversaries for far too long.
Dan Jaffe says he didn’t set out intending to go all rogue with his science.
“What happened is I was getting discouraged,” he says. “I was starting to wonder whether anyone would even be allowed to ask these basic questions. So I went outside the system.”
Jaffe is no anarchist, but an atmospheric chemist at the University of Washington.
For 20-plus years he’s followed the conventional path for doing science in this country, which is to apply for grants from the government or corporate-backed groups.
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.
At the end of a long day, it can be more convenient to order your groceries online while sitting on the living room couch instead of making a late-night run to the store. New research shows it’s also much more environmentally friendly to leave the car parked and opt for groceries delivered to your doorstep.