A haze of smoke lingers over Beebe Lake on Tuesday. Smoke from devastating West Coast wild fires, a sign of the escalating climate crisis,  brought hazy Ithaca skies during the first half of the week.

Smoke From West Coast Fires Reaches Ithaca Campus

Smoke from the West Coast’s devastating fires stretched across the nation, from sea to shining sea, to reach Ithaca this week. “I wouldn’t have even thought,” said Claire Stein ’24. “It brings out the gravity of the situation: Climate change is very real and affects everyone.”

Professor Robert Howarth, ecology and evolutionary biology, presents on divestment during the Faculty Senate meeting at Schwartz Auditorium on Feb. 12, 2020.

Following Divestment Success in Ithaca, Cornellians Look Statewide

Following success in pushing Cornell University to divest from fossil fuels in May, Prof. Robert Howarth, ecology and evolutionary biology, and Climate Justice Cornell activist Katie Sims ’20 joined other climate experts from across the state on a virtual panel hosted by 350.org to push for New York’s Common Retirement Fund to divest from fossil fuels.

Quote Block Templates (54)

GUEST ROOM | Cornell, COVID and Climate Change; Take the Bus.

When asked about the plan for Cornell’s reopening during an interview with Scot Vanderpool, General Manager of Tompkins Consolidated Area Transit, I shrugged and gave him the same answer that Cornell students have had to repeat to family members and friends: “We still don’t know.” It is daunting for students to think about this semester’s empty lecture halls and the absence of the usual morning hustle to get to class.  However, for TCAT, a business whose financial stability relies on students using bus transportation to and from class, will also suffer from this restructured semester. Public transportation throughout New York State has undoubtedly been impacted by COVID-19. Even with extreme safety precautions in place and free bus fares in some areas (such as Tompkins County), public transit ridership in major cities has gone down by 50 to 90 percent since the pandemic started. However, even before the pandemic, public transportation only accounted for 8 percent of passenger-miles in the U.S. So, why should we care about taking public transportation now, in a time when people are concerned with the spread of COVID-19? The answer is simple: Sustainability and equitability.

Pg-6-Science-via-NYTimes

The Carbon Footprint of Your February Break Travels

Every year, Cornellians travel around the country and world to get away from the cold of Ithaca for a couple days during February break. Unfortunately, by emitting greenhouse gases, traveling by car, plane or bus can contribute to climate change — with America’s transportation alone responsible for almost 30 percent of all global warming emissions in the US.

As students flock back to campus from various destinations, Prof. Danielle Eiseman, communication, weighed in on the most sustainable methods for traveling.