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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Earth Week at UMB

Sustainable power from a solar panel visits UMass. - Photo by DS Mangus
Sustainable power from a solar panel visits UMass. – Photo by DS Mangus

Earth Week events that took place around campus last week included a two-hour tour of Boston harbor, a speaker forum, a “green business fair” and a solar display trailer.

About seven people showed up and braved the cloudy, cool weather for the tour, given by Professor Gordon Wallace who spoke about the history and current and future concerns of environmental impacts on the harbor. He described everything from the storm drain discharge and under maintained tidal gates of Savin Hill cove, to the Deer Isle sewage treatment plant, one of the largest in the world, and the development of the inner harbor that today is contaminated mostly by the Charles River.

“Earth Week Speaker Forum” was held Wednesday in the Ryan Lounge and attracted about 25 people.

Professor John Warner gave a presentation about green chemistry, pointing out some shortfalls of traditional chemical research, saying, “Science has had tunnel vision.” Warner described many benefits of green chemistry and defined it as “pollution prevention at the molecular level.”

Speaking about environmental justice was Gina McCarthy, chief of policy for the Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs (EOEA) and a graduate of UMB. McCarthy described how the Environmental Justice many of the difficulties that were faced in creating the policy. “EOEA’s policy makes environmental justice an integral consideration the implementation of all state environmental programs.” More information about EOEA’s policy can be found at www.state.ma.us/envir/.

A “green business fair” was held in the McCormack lobby on Tuesday. Among the businesses present was Cape Wind, a company that has been strongly pushing their proposal for a wind farm on Horseshoe Shoal, a shallow area six miles of the shore of Cape Cod. Cape Wind claims that their proposed offshore wind farm would create jobs and reduce electric prices and carbon dioxide emissions.

A solar display trailer was set up in the courtyard next to Wheatley building on Thursday. The trailer displayed a solar hot water heater, solar electricity production and presentations about bio-diesel technology, global warming and other environmental technologies and issues.