Established 1874.

The Oberlin Review

Harvey, Irma Highlight Need to Address Climate Change

Nathan Carpenter, Opinions Editor

September 15, 2017

Filed under Columns, OPINIONS

Over the past weeks, evidence has mounted that the future of the world with respect to climate change is bleak. In the United States alone, Houston and Florida have been leveled at the hands of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, respectively. Other tropical storms have veered off at the last moment, barely missing land. While avoiding these additional disasters has doubtlessly saved lives, there is still little cause for hope. The reality is that the state of the environment is declining sharply and rapidly, and the consequences of that deterioration are severe. If effective action is going to be taken on climate change, it must be taken now — assuming that our window has not already closed. It was terrifying, then, wh...

CCL Promotes Bipartisan Climate Action

Izzy Esler, Member of the Citizen’s Climate Lobby, Oberlin chapter

April 28, 2017

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS

To the Editors: More than likely, few people in Oberlin need to be convinced of the gravity of climate change. What’s more difficult is moving from recognition of the problem to determining the solutions, especially in a political climate where the highest levels of our government seem hostile or indifferent to even the science of climate change. The good news is that the market is moving toward renewable energy. Just this week, The New York Times reported that the solar industry created more American jobs than coal and that Britain went a full day without burning coal for electricity for the first time since the 1800s. But the shift is not moving fast enough, at least not if we want to avert the worst impacts ...

Environmentalists Must Rally Behind Clinton

Kelly McCarthy, Contributing Writer

October 7, 2016

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS, Recent Stories

No good thing comes without a cost. More than a century of rapid technological advancement has sent global temperatures skyrocketing at a rate 10 times faster than precedented by natural history. We’re also seeing increasingly unpredictable weather patterns, rising sea levels and pollution of our air, our water and our communities. We must mitigate the consequences of climate change and secure sustainable principles in development moving forward. This is no small task. The struggles we face demand a united front and a shared commitment to sustainability. If Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump becomes the next president of the United States, we will have neither. Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton is our onl...

Candidates Neglect Climate Change Dialogue

Amanda Tennant, Contributing Writer

October 7, 2016

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS, Recent Stories

With only a few weeks left until the general election, the candidates have debated a variety of domestic and foreign topics. Yet climate change and the United States’ role in combating it has barely been addressed by the two leading political party candidates; this lack of attention to one of the most important topics facing the world today is deeply troubling. The Scripps Institution of Oceanography announced Sept. 23 that carbon dioxide levels have reached an overwhelming milestone at 400 parts per million — a juncture gravely anticipated by climatologists as the planet’s tipping point. While scientists assert that this level of carbon emissions is not immediately fatal, it presents serious consequences for b...

Climate Conference Draws Leading Activists

Climate Conference Draws Leading Activists

September 30, 2016

Some of the biggest names in environmentalism will come to town for The Hotel at Oberlin's first major event this week. In response to growing national awareness and urgency about climate change, the College will host “After Fossil Fuels: The Next Economy,” a conference Oct. 6–8 on transitioning to a clean-energy economy. According to David Orr, the event’s organizer and special assistant to the College president on sustainability and the environment, the conference will address ways...

Blame Monsanto, not GMO Technology

Chloe Vassot, Contributing Writer

May 6, 2016

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

By now, it’s commonplace to hear diehard Oberlin food justice activists, and even mainstream Americans, talk about the agricultural company Monsanto with anger and hatred. Its name has become synonymous with “genetically modified organisms,” and the term GMO has come to signify “harmful” in the minds of many because the produce is believed to be nutritionally inferior or even dangerous to organic varieties. Unfortunately, Monsanto’s corporate malevolence has tainted a form of technology that is not inherently harmful — like anything else, it’s how you use it that matters. Genetically modified foods have the potential to be grown sustainably and to vastly improve people’s lives, but not if they ar...

Off the Cuff: Elizabeth Kolbert, Journalist, Author, Activist

Off the Cuff: Elizabeth Kolbert, Journalist, Author, Activist

February 26, 2016

Elizabeth Kolbert began working for The New York Times as a stringer in 1983 and has written for The New Yorker for 15 years. For her work on global warming and climate change, she traveled to Alaska and Greenland to better understand the debate over global warming. Field Notes from a Catastrophe: Man, Nature, and Climate Change, which grew out of a three part series in The New Yorker, won the 2006 National Magazine Award in the Public Interest category. The Review sat down with Kolbert...

Environmentalists Can Learn from ISIS Occupation

Machmud Makhmudov, Columnist

September 18, 2015

Filed under Columns, OPINIONS

In an election season defined thus far by a rogue email server, a neurosurgeon once played by Cuba Gooding Jr. in a made-for-TV film and cries to “make America great again,” it should come as no surprise that one of the most serious and consequential foreign policy arguments made by a presidential candidate thus far was largely dismissed on the spot. Though he lags in national polls for the Democratic nomination, former Governor of Maryland Martin O’Malley demonstrated clarity of vision and a nuanced understanding of scientific and social history when he tied the rise of the Islamic State — otherwise known as ISIS — with the accumulated effects of climate change. Unsurprisingly, Republicans responded derisivel...

Students Lobby Trustees for Fossil Fuel Divestment

Students Lobby Trustees for Fossil Fuel Divestment

May 8, 2015

A group of five students — College sophomore Ellie Lezak, double-degree sophomore Hayden Arp, College sophomore Jasper Clarkberg, College first-year Naomi Roswell and College senior Stephen Lezak — is pushing the Board of Trustees to approve its proposal to divest the College’s endowment from fossil fuels. The Board is currently in the process of deciding how to proceed and may begin discussing the issue at its next meeting in June. Last June, the Board of Trustees released a divestment resoluti...

Industrialization Affects Global Community, Weather Patterns

Sophia Ottoni-Wilhelm, Contributing Writer

April 10, 2015

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

2014 was the hottest year in recorded history, and scientists are scrambling over one another to attribute the temperature hike to something, or someone in particular. “Over the past 30 years or so, man-made emission centers have shifted from traditional industrialized countries to fast-developing countries in Asia,” NASA physicist Jonathan Jiang said in an interview on NPR last week. China, one of the most populous countries in the world, is predicted to be contributing enough coal waste to affect the severity of winters in the United States. The National Academy of Sciences published a report on the effects of coal-fueled production on the atmosphere. Satellite imagery collected over the course of the past decade...

Temperature Rise Over 50 Years More Dangerous Than It Sounds, Increase in Coral Bleaching Triggered by Heat

Sophia Ottoni-Wilhelm, Contributing Writer

March 13, 2015

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

Climate data for 2014 reveal it was the warmest year in recorded history, with 1998 coming in at a close second. While it may not seem particularly consequential in the midst of a never-ending Oberlin winter, changes in global temperature are incredibly impactful to our planet. Geologists predict a 2 degrees Celsius increase in the Earth’s climate over the next 50 to 100 years, while environmentalists contend that this jump may occur in as few as 10. Regardless, the change puts our planet at risk. Entire ecosystems, in particular coral reefs, face the possibility of extinction should the ocean become even slightly warmer. Reefs house anywhere from hundreds to thousands of diverse species, providing them with all...

City Meets Target, Halves Carbon Emissions

City Meets Target, Halves Carbon Emissions

February 20, 2015

The city of Oberlin has met its target of cutting 2012 greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2015. Oberlin emitted 113,832 metric tons of greenhouse gases in 2012 and is projected to emit 56,866 metric tons in 2015, according to analysis done by the consulting firm Cameron-Cole. “In three years, we halved the entire city’s greenhouse gas emissions,” said Sean Hayes, the executive director of the Oberlin Project. The Oberlin Project is an organization that seeks to help Oberlin make progress...

Established 1874.