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"The 800 Pound Gorilla: The Threat and Taming of Global Climate Change"
Author: Hansen, Jim,
Published In: Facilities Manager
Date: March/April 2008

This article provides two case studies that examine the current and future consequences of continued global warming at the current business-as-usual pace and at a decreased (new alternative forms of energy) level. Cause and effect relationships, such as the varying levels of CO[subscript 2] (carbon dioxide) emissions and the effect it has on melting ice, higher sea levels, and the extinction of species, are explored. Potential policy solutions such as a carbon tax and renewable energies are addressed as well as the critical role that colleges and universities can play by committing to achieve climate neutrality. By demonstrating that their campuses can operate effectively while curtailing greenhouse gas emissions, institutions of higher learning can show what is possible and point the way for others. The American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment is a particularly hopeful development. By committing to achieve climate neutrality at the earliest possible date, signatories to the pledge are recognizing the urgency of the problem, not waiting for government to take actions.

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