Carrot & Stick: February 2009

The U.S. Department of Energy's Wind for Schools Project, for bringing wind energy to rural schools in Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, Montana, Idaho, and Colorado

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The U.S. Department of

Energy’s Wind for

Schools Project
, for

bringing wind energy to

rural schools in Kansas,

Nebraska, South Dakota,

Montana, Idaho, and

Colorado. The program

helps schools partner

with nearby universities

to install wind turbines and collect data

from them, providing students with

hands-on lessons in renewable energy.

Wind for Schools has been operating for

just under two years, but coordinator Ian

Baring-Gould says response has been

fabulous. Based on the current federal

budget, the program is not due to expand,

but Baring-Gould hopes that might

change if the funding situation changes.

For now, Wind for Schools is working to

launch an affi liates program open to any

state, school, or organization wanting to

implement a wind-energy project.

New York state legislators John

DeFrancisco and Brian Kavanagh
, for

sponsoring bills to make punishment

more severe for dog fight spectators in

the Empire State. Under the new

legislation, just being present at a

dogfi ght is a violation—subject to a fi ne

of up to $500—on the first offense, and a

misdemeanor—subject to a fine of up to

$1,000 and/or up to one year in jail—on

the second. Attending a dog fight is a

felony in 24 states, a misdemeanor in 24,

and legal in two, Montana and Hawaii.

According to the Humane Society of the

United States, more than 250,000 dogs

are forced into fighting each year.

eBay, for banning ivory sales on its

auctioneering Web sites worldwide. The

ban, which went into effect in January,

was announced just ahead of the release

of “Killing with Keystrokes, “a report

about the harm Internet trade has caused

endangered animals, produced by the

International Fund for Animal Welfare.

The 38—page report cites eBay numerous

times—and with good reason, as the

company facilitated “almost two-thirds of

the online trade in wildlife products

worldwide,” according to an IFAW press

release. Some 73 percent of that commerce

was in elephant ivory. Now, IFAW

congratulates eBay on its ban, a very

important step to protect elephants.


Bryant University, Hillsdale

College, Brigham Young

University, and Howard

, all of which

received failing grades on

the College Sustainability

Report Card published by

the Sustainable Endowments

Institute, a special

project of Rockefeller

Philanthropy Advisors. The

report card, now in its third year, reviews

schools’ policies in nine categories:

administration; climate change and

energy; food and recycling; green

building; student involvement; transportation;

endowment transparency;

investment priorities; and shareholder

engagement. The study looked at the

300 schools in the United States and

Canada with the largest endowments.

The U.S. Supreme Court, for striking

down two rulings intended to protect

marine mammals from the harmful

effects of sonar. Used by the U.S. Navy

to detect enemy vessels, sonar injures the

creatures, which rely on sound to

navigate. Ruling that national security

interests outweigh any harm inflicted on

the animals, the high court removed two

restrictions: The first stipulated that

sonar be halted when a marine mammal

is within 2,200 yards of a Navy vessel.

The second required that the sound be

turned down in the presence of “surface

ducting,” temperature differences in

adjacent layers of water that allow sound

to travel farther. Siding with the Navy,

Chief Justice John G. Roberts wrote for

the majority, “the determination of

where the public interest lies in this case

does not strike the Court as a close

question.” Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg,

in a dissenting opinion, wrote that the

potential harm to the animals “cannot

be lightly dismissed.”

Fort Irwin, a military training center

in California’s Mojave desert, for

encroaching on prime habitat for the

desert tortoise, an endangered species

that has survived since the Pleistocene

and is the offi cial reptile of California.

In preparation for the fort’s expansion,

some 770 tortoises were moved to

existing habitats off base. According to

the Center for Biological Diversity, this

maneuver was disastrous. “More than

90 relocated and resident tortoises have

perished, primarily killed by predators,

and more losses are expected,” the CBD

reports. The relocation was halted

when the CBD and Desert Survivors,

a nonprofit desert conservation group,

sued to stop it.