The Oberlin Review

Wildfires Highlight Inequity in Environmental, Climate Crises

Nathan Carpenter and Jackie Brant

November 16, 2018

Filed under Columns, OPINIONS

In recent weeks, footage of the fires currently raging through the state of California has appeared in the news and on social media. We have seen houses destroyed, communities devastated, and families left without clear options. As of Nov. 11, more than 1.5 million acres had burned — the most ever recorded in a single fire season — which has caused nearly $3 billion in damages and control operations and has killed more than 50 people and left more than 130 people missing. Even as firefighters across the state are working overtime to get the blazes under control, communities and neighborhoods continue to be overwhelmed. The threat has caused some wealthy homeowners to take matters into their own hands by hiring...

Students Should Attend Eliza Griswold’s Fossil Fuel Presentation

John Elder, OC ’53, Member of the First Church Green Team

September 21, 2018

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS

Combining a poet’s artistry, a translator’s empathy, and an investigative journalist’s persistence, Eliza Griswold makes the deeply divisive issue of fossil fuel extraction grippingly real. We are very fortunate that the recipient of many prestigious awards is including Oberlin on her tour to talk about her rave-reviewed new book Amity and Prosperity: One Family and the Fracturing of America. National Book Award winner George Packer calls it “a morally complex and beautifully written story … about what binds and tears apart a community and a country.” The Green Team of The First Church in Oberlin United Church of Christ invites you to attend her presentation this Sunday at 4 p.m. in the First Church Meeti...

Oberlin Students’ Volunteering Crucial for Environmental Success

Kate Pilacky, Associate Field Director, Western Reserve Land Conservancy Oberlin Field Office

September 14, 2018

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS

I want to express my sincere thanks to the Bonner Center for Service and Learning, Oberlin College Grounds, and the first-year students and their supervisors for the hard work they put forth for the Day of Service on Sept. 1. Western Reserve Land Conservancy, with assistance from Oberlin College, has been working on the Kahn Woods and, more recently, the Keep Cottage Meadow for several years, restoring and enhancing wildlife habitat and creating an area for students to observe and enjoy nature on campus grounds. On Sept. 1, students and community members planted over 70 native flowering plants to provide habitat for pollinators and add beauty. If you are looking for a nice place to enjoy nature on campus, I encourage y...

In The Locker Room with Dana Rae Goldstein, Softball Player, Environmentalist

In The Locker Room with Dana Rae Goldstein, Softball Player, Environmentalist

March 30, 2018

College senior Dana Rae Goldstein is a key player on the softball team. As a junior, she started all 40 games in the outfield and hit a team second-best of .368. She led the team with 49 hits and collected 27 runs and 23 RBI. However, she does plenty outside of the athletic community at Oberlin. As an Environmental Studies and Psychology double major, Goldstein has served as a mentor for the Office of Disability Resources and engages in several projects to help her fellow students use resources mor...

“Voice of the Lake” Highlights Musicianship, Environmental Advocacy

Kate Fishman, Staff Writer

November 17, 2017

Filed under ARTS, Music

Voice of the Lake, an oratorio for Lake Erie composed by former Director of the Composition Department at the Cleveland Institute of Music Margaret Brouwer, OC ’62, exists at the intersection of environmentalism, musicality, technology, and community. The piece, written in collaboration with poet and Cleveland native David Adams, highlights both the beauty and the problematic nature of living in concert with Lake Erie. “Voice of the Lake … brings to life the struggle between the recreational and natural joys of Lake Erie and the commercial, agricultural, and political issues that threaten its ecological health,” Brouwer writes on her website. For the premiere performance, which took place Sunday afternoon at ...

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...

Keystone XL Debate Prioritizes Politics over Economic, Environmental Realities

Chloe Vassot, Contributing Writer

December 5, 2014

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

In navigating the political obstacle course necessary for its approval, the Keystone XL pipeline has all but proved itself “the little pipeline that could.” At this point, the pipeline’s creation seems almost inevitable. Though a bill to approve the construction of the pipeline was defeated in the Senate on Nov. 18, Republicans have vowed to revive it when they take control of the Senate in January. The New York Times called the Keystone XL controversy “one of the most fractious and expensive battles of the Obama presidency,” and now there is speculation that the president may not veto the bill if — or when — it passes in 2015. It’s been a long road for the proposed pipeline, which almost quietly gained...

Off the Cuff: Shazeen Attari, expert on the psychology of resource consumption

Maddie Stocker, News Editor

February 28, 2014

Filed under NEWS, Off the Cuff

Shahzeen Attari, assistant professor at the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University Bloomington, sat down with the Review this week to talk about energy consumption, motivations in social dilemmas, and the paper she will publish on Monday. Attari visited Oberlin to give a talk titled ‘Public Perceptions of Electricity and Water Use.’  How did you become interested in energy policy and efficiency? I actually started off as a Physics and Math major at [University of Illinois at] Urbana-Champaign, and I volunteered for nature conservancy one spring break as an undergrad, and I realized that [there were] many interesting questions about the environment. I actually grew up in the Mid...

Benefits of Transition to Natural Gas Questioned

Rachel Weinstein, Staff Writer

October 11, 2013

Filed under Campus News, Community News, NEWS

Oberlin College is currently gearing up for a new sustainable installment — the replacement of the central heating plant’s coal boilers with new natural gas-fueled tanks. For years, the College has been dependent on a central coal burning plant to heat academic and residential buildings on campus — a solution that only some find acceptable. Separated into multiple zones, buildings on the northeast side of campus will be the first to utilize the new natural gas energy. The initiative will officially break ground next Monday, beginning with the construction of the site for the new boilers. “[Rob Lampaa, director of sustainability] put forward a plan in the last year and the Board of Trustees voted to approve...

Report Lists Ohio as Top Polluter

Madeline Stocker, News Editor

September 20, 2013

Filed under Campus News, Community News, Features, NEWS

Environment Ohio, a statewide, citizen-based environmental advocacy organization, recently released a report detailing Ohio’s power plants as the second most polluting in the country. The plants are Ohio’s largest source of carbon pollution, and are responsible for 48 percent of statewide emissions each year — the same amount of carbon as emitted by 2.5 million cars. The report, titled “America’s Dirtiest Power Plants: Their Oversized Contribution to Global Warming and What We Can Do About It,” is a large step in environmentalists’ efforts to create a cleaner and more sustainable Ohio. Members of Environment Ohio, hope that this report will provide an aspect of transparency on environmental issues that...

Berry, Jackson Team Up to Tackle Sustainable Agriculture, Assert Importance of Liberal Arts

Nora Kipnis

September 13, 2013

Filed under ARTS, Literature & Poetry

To kick off this year’s Convocation series, author Wendell Berry and acclaimed scientist Wes Jackson met in Finney Chapel on Tuesday, Sept. 10 to discuss environmentalism, sustainable agriculture and the role of a liberal arts education. Professor of Environmental Studies and Politics David Orr moderated the conversation, though he started out by saying that moderating a conversation between Berry and Jackson is “like choreographing a buffalo stampede.” The conversation was indeed forceful, with a level of connection and deep understanding between the two that was unstoppable. They frequently left the original topic of conversation behind to launch into a riff of inside jokes and passionate speeches on the environmental...

Potential Pipeline Promises Economic Growth Amid Environmental Concerns

Rachel Weinstein

September 6, 2013

Filed under Campus News, Community News, NEWS

College and community members face environmental risks as plans of hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, continue to move forward. For over a year, talk of a 250-mile natural gas pipeline between Hamilton Road and Route 20 has triggered a variety of responses from the Oberlin town and College community. In Ohio, legislatures passed a law allowing urban drilling in 2014, stripping communities of local control. Because of such legislation, cities and towns throughout the state carry little weight in decisions on installations of drilling sites.  Since the enactment of the law, over 90 wells have been cropped up throughout in the state. Despite its environmental implications, the prospect of fracking in Lorain...

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