The Oberlin Review

Editorial: In Our Backyard? No Fracking Way!

The Editorial Board

March 9, 2012

One thing is on some restless students’ minds as springtime rolls in. By most accounts, it’s a dirty business. It seems like everywhere around us people are doing it — right in our own muddy Ohio backyard. Let’s talk about fracking. The process of induced hydraulic fracturing is getting energy companies increasingly hot and bothered about the prospect of untapped natural gas reserves, particularly in the Marcellus Shale that extends across a large portion of New York, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and eastern Ohio. Despite what would seem like a love-at-first-sight relationship for anyone interested in cheap energy, questions about fracking’s safety, environmental impact and effect on the continuing U.S. reliance...

RCT Boosts Composting Efforts, Expects Further Progress

Joseph Dilworth

February 17, 2012

Waste not, want not. Thanks to student environmentalists, Oberlin’s emphasis on composting is increasing at an astonishing rate. Last semester, the Resource Conservation Team managed to divert over 704 pounds of food waste from going to landfills. Team members expect that figure to continue to rise this spring as the composting program grows and awareness spreads. “Eventually we hope to expand such that the entire campus could compost, with our current system being a stepping stone to that larger goal,” said several members of the RCT in an email. The fall compost initiative consisted of 14 pick-up systems in 12 dormitories. The pick-up system in Kahn Hall, an environmentally sustainable building, was...

City of Oberlin Develops Plan for a Greener Community

Sarah Washington

May 6, 2011

Oberlin College’s students, staff and faculty are dedicated to making the College a cleaner and greener place through projects such as the construction of the AJLC Environmental Studies building and OSCA’s composting program. Many people might not realize, however, that the town of Oberlin is taking its own steps to create a more eco-friendly community. The city is in the process of drafting its first Climate Action Plan with help from Steve Duppee, Electric Director of the Oberlin Municipal Light and Power System, and Energy Services and Sustainability Initiatives Manager Doug McMillan. Their goal is to create a clear set of green initiatives for the town of Oberlin. “The construction of the plan has included...

FEATURE: Bill McKibben: (Re)Connecting Globally and Locally

Carmelita Rosner

April 29, 2011

In 2010, The Boston Globe called him “probably the nation’s leading environmentalist.” Time Magazine described him as “the world’s best journalist.” Paul Sears Distinguished Professor of Environmental Studies and Politics, David Orr considers him a friend and many Oberlin students revere him as a principal player in the environmental movement. Bill McKibben, noted American environmentalist and writer, came to campus on Monday, April 25, to give a talk titled “Global and Local: On the Front Lines of the Climate Fight,” which was followed later that night by an informal discussion. The anchor of McKibben’s talk rested in his description of how he and others across the globe are collaboratively working...

Oberlin Student May Face Domestic Terrorism Charges

Oberlin Student May Face Domestic Terrorism Charges

February 11, 2011

College senior Isabelle Rozendaal and four others were arrested last January for protesting mountaintop removal mining at Coal River Mountain in Marfork, West Virginia. Though criminal charges against them have been dropped, the “Marfork Five” still face a civil suit that may require them to pay up to $75,000 in damages to Marfork Coal Co., a subsidiary of Massey Energy Co. According to legal support for the Five, Massey’s tactics in the case could also be a foreshadowing of a domestic terrorism...

Litoff Building Already Earns Award

Alexandria Cho, Staff Writer

December 11, 2009

The Litoff building — the newest addition to the Conservatory and soon-to-be-home of jazz studies, music history and music theory — is making fast progress in ways that transcend its construction schedule. The American Institute of Architects recently recognized the building and architect Westlake Reed Leskosky for excellence and sustainability, with the AIA Western Mountain Region 2009 Honor Award for Unbuilt Work. According to an Oberlin press release available online, students will have access to “a world-class recording studio; flexible rehearsal and performance spaces; teaching studios and practice rooms; a glass-enclosed social hub for interaction; and an archive for the largest private jazz recording...

The Review Ineffectively Addresses AMP

David R. Ashenhurst

December 11, 2009

To the Editors: You could knock me over with a feather: The Oberlin News-Tribune, with far less time to put it together, actually presented the American Municipal Power Generating Station story better than The Oberlin Review did. That’s almost the first time in my memory, and certainly the first on a story with a significant environmental and policy dimension. Consider first that American Municipal Power issued a press release and held a press conference (though there is very little evidence the latter was anything more than the distribution of the press release) at noon the day before Thanksgiving. The hope is presumably that news coverage will be limited to a passing mention on the 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. Wedne...

Green Referendum Falls Short of Quorum After Seven Weeks

Fajer Saeed

December 11, 2009

Each year, Oberlin’s Student Senate is required to put together a referendum to gather student opinions and amend the Student Constitution if necessary. Although the Student Senate has tried unsuccessfully to reach quorum for its Green Referendum since mid-October, the student body appears uninterested in voting. According to former Student Finance Committee Co-Chair and College sophomore Reshard el-Shair, this year’s referendum is different from previous referendums in that it is the first to specifically address environmental concerns, such as the green theme and mandatory Sustainability Pledge of the new first-year dorm on North Professor Street, the movement away from disposable take-out containers in Dascomb...

Explaining Oberlin Earth First

Kalan Sherrard

December 4, 2009

Two weeks ago, when one of the premier global warming skeptics, Richard Lindzen, came to speak, several of us in and outside of Earth First! got together and decided we needed to emphasize the danger of posing such views as an authentic or credible discourse. We came to this decision guided by our consideration of climate change and sustained environmental destruction as one of the most pressing matters the world faces today. It needs to be made clear that it is hugely dangerous to suggest that global climate change is not a serious or pressing concern, to trivialize the massive environmental destruction by leading corporations, or to condescend to popular outcry as a naive religiosity — and that to do so before the...

Green Energy Forum

Sam Szabo, Holly Roney, and Elise Shulman-Reed

December 4, 2009

When College President Marvin Krislov signed off on Oberlin College’s Climate Action Plan this fall, he committed the school to achieving carbon emission neutrality by the year 2025. Although the plan is technically unofficial and nonbinding, on Wednesday, faculty and commu- nity members engaged in a green energy forum to talk about how to make it happen. Students filled West Lecture Hall to listen to a panel composed of environmental studies professors, a former Oberlin City Council member, Oberlin’s director of facilities planning and construction, and the manager of the Lorain County landfill discuss Oberlin’s unprecedented goal. First to speak was Rumi Shammin, assistant professor of environmental studies....

Gas to Power New AMP Plant

Holly Roney and Elise Shulman-Reed

December 4, 2009

The lights in Ohio might soon start to get a little greener. On Nov. 25, American Municipal Power announced that it would be converting its American Municipal Power Generating Station project from a pulverized coal facility to a natural gas combined-cycle facility. As stated in AMP’s press release, the project, which involved 81 communities in Michigan, Ohio, Virginia and West Virginia, was terminated after November cal- culations found that the project would see a 37 percent increase in price. Although environmental activists have been against the coal plant since the project was first announced six years ago, AMP executives have said this was not the cause of its decision. The AMPGS project would have been the...

Get the College Off Coal Power

Phoebe Flaherty

December 4, 2009

To the Editors: In addition to being known as a progressive, socially liberal school, Oberlin College finds itself with a green reputation; the integration of the co-op system, sustainable buildings such as the AJLC and residences such as SEED House demonstrate ways in which the College and students have made significant efforts to increase our sustainability and lower our carbon footprint. However, our so-called green school has a big, dirty secret: a significant portion of our energy comes from burning coal. Oberlin College is responsible for the release of approximately 52,000 tons of CO2 per year — the equivalent of 17.77 tons of CO2 per student per year. Seventy-six percent of total emissions come from purchased...

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