Friday, November 11, 2011

The Benefits and Limits of Carbon Footprints in Teaching and Encouraging Action

My climate change and clean energy students calculated their carbon footprints this week as part of our discussion of the role of individuals in addressing climate change.  While we acknowledged the limits of and differences among some of the calculators, we found them helpful for targeting the places where we could make the most difference in our individual emissions profiles.  We also had a good time brainstorming ways to encourage behavior change, including through specific behavior initiatives during Earth Day or getting some broader segment of the law school to engage in this carbon footprint exercise.  It was one of the more positive and empowering moments in the class so far (though it was great taking the field trip to MISO and seeing the increasing role that wind energy is playing there).  

Given our experiences, I'd be interested in your comments on what you think of carbon footprint exercises and whether you use them in your own teaching or advocacy work.

Hari Osofsky 

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/environmental_law/2011/11/the-benefits-and-limits-of-carbon-footprints-in-teaching-and-encouraging-action.html

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