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At the Center

Capturing the lively discussions, presentations, and other events that make up the daily activities of the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University.

The following postings have been filtered by category Environmental Ethics. clear filter
  •  How Ethical Is Climate Neutrality?

    Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2015 2:40 PM

    Santa Clara University is on the path to emitting net zero carbon dioxide. Why should we strive for climate neutrality and how are we going about it? Find out the answers and bring your own questions to this fascinating panel discussion with the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics Enivironmental Ethics Fellows, Hannah Maryanski and Kate Cooper.

    "Like many universities, Santa Clara University has a 'carbon neutral by the end of 2015' goal, but is meeting the goal enough?" writes Maryanski in a new article on our website, The Ethics of Carbon Offsets. As a Jesuit institution, we are called to examine the ethics of the neutrality commitment, and our impressive sustainability goals give us the unique opportunity to influence how other Jesuit and Catholic schools take action on climate change. Carbon offsetting, a common aspect of many carbon neutrality commitments, presents us with an ethical dilemma: Can we pay others to forgive our pollution? As SCU moves forward in our commitment, we must ask ourselves two questions: first, whether we should purchase carbon offsets, and second, what type of offsetting techniques we should fund.

  •  Environmental Ethics Fellows Named

    Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2013 3:34 PM
    L-R: Javen Kizzart and Sulaiman Shelton

    SCU seniors Javen Kizzart and Sulaiman Shelton have been awarded 2013-14 Environmental Ethics Fellowships at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics.  Both Kizzart and Shelton are environmental studies majors.  They will work on exploring ethical issues in organic farming in conjunction with SCU's organic garden, the Forge.  The Environmental Ethics Fellowship is made possible by a gift from John and Joan Casey.

  •  Solar House Competition

    Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2013 4:32 PM

    As Santa Clara University competes this week in the 2013 Solar Decathlon, the U.S. Department of Energy's contest to build solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient, and attractive, the University's team distinguishes itself by the attention it pays to the ethical issues behind creating a sustainable home.

    The ethics analysis was spurred by two Environmental Ethics Fellows from the Ethics Center.  Allie Sibole, now a junior, broke down the ethical issues in the use of all the major materials, from aluminum to steel, chosen by the team to build the house.  She also examined all of the categories used to judge the competition.

    Melissa Giorgi, who graduated in June, focused on the community outreach aspects of the project with a particular focus on how to extend the benefits of solar energy to low income communities.

    The Environmental Ethics Fellowship is made possible by a gift from John and Joan Casey. 

  •  Solar Decathlon Kick-Off Event Shines

    Thursday, Aug. 22, 2013 3:09 PM

          
                                                   The Solar Decathlon Team is
                                                   Ready for the Competition!

    Markkula Center for Applied Ethics Environmental Ethics Fellows Melissa Giorgi (top) and Allie Sibole

    The Solar Decathlon "Send Off" event held on Monday, August 19, was a great success, as Santa Clara University students involved in the construction of "Radiant House" gave tours of their nearly completed net-zero home, to staff, colleagues, press, and fellow students. The project, part of the U.S. Dept. of Energy's national Solar Decathlon Competition, has become one of the hallmark's of Santa Clara University's sustainability programs, and participation in recent years has produced impressive results, including placements in the top winner's group. Unique features of this year's home include innovative uses of bamboo, and the first-time use of Sunplanter, which eliminates separate solar racking and roof structure systems by combining them into one innovative technology. In two weeks, the home will be broken down into three sections and transported to The Great Park in Irvine, Orange County, CA, for the final competition.

    Two Markkula Center Environmental Ethics Fellows, Allie Sibole and Melissa Giorgi, played important roles in the evolution of the Solar Decathlon project this year. Sibole wrote a report, "Material Evaluation Sheets: Ethical Considerations for Selecting Building Materials," which explores the ethical implications of various building materials. In "The Sun and the City: Making Solar Power More Accessible," Melissa Giorgi explores making solar installations more affordable for low-income populations.

    New! SCU would love for Bill Nye to come check out Radiant House, and created a clever video explaining the reasons why...go team!

  •  Standing Together in the Sun

    Friday, Jul. 5, 2013 11:38 AM
    Melissa Giorgi

     A meditation on how to increase access to solar power by low income communities, Standing Together in the Sun details the efforts of Melissa Giorgi, a 2012-13 Environmental Ethics Fellow at the Center, to involve the city of San Jose in the University's Solar Decathlon project.  The Decathlon is a contest sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy in which teams from selected universities build a solar-powered house.