Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Carolina in the News

Check out the recent media mentions of sustainability-related programs, practices, and people at UNC:

Students Want UNC to Drop Coal Investments 
The Herald-Sun (Durham) 
A student group at UNC is calling on the university to divest its $2.1 billion endowment from the coal industry over the next five years. The UNC Sierra Student Coalition is campaigning to convince the university to divest from what it calls the “Filthy Fifteen,” or the worst major coal mining and coal-fired utility companies in the U.S. “We [UNC] really pride ourselves on sustainability,” said Erin McAnulty, a sophomore from Charlotte and a spokesperson for the coalition. “Passing the resolution would send a real large message to the entire nation that climate change is the greatest threat we have in this generation.” The student coalition, like other such student groups that have launched similar efforts on campuses across America, is concerned about the environmental and public health impacts of burning coal. Read more »

Research to Examine Neighborhoods Still Dependent on Well Water 
The News and Observer (Raleigh) 
Rogers-Eubanks is a residential neighborhood surrounded by the thriving towns of Carrboro and Chapel Hill, yet residents there lack the most basic of services: public water and sewer. That these residents must rely on wells and septic tanks isn’t just an oversight of planning. It is part of a pattern that pops up repeatedly in poor and minority communities, said Jacqueline MacDonald Gibson, assistant professor and environmental scientist who studies disparities in access to public water and sanitation at UNC-Chapel Hill’s Gillings School of Global Public Health. Gibson recently received a $100,000 grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to examine public water access issues, health consequences, and potential links to race and socio-economic status in North Carolina neighborhoods. Some of the communities she will study have had problems with contaminated wells and failing septic tanks. Read more » 

Universities Team Up to Assess Health Impacts of Gas Drilling 
The New York Times 
A coalition of academic researchers in the United States is preparing to shine a rigorous scientific light on the polarized and often emotional debate over whether using hydraulic fracturing to drill for natural gas is hazardous to human health. ... The University of Pennsylvania’s Center of Excellence in Environmental Toxicology has organized a working group with researchers at other top universities including Columbia, Johns Hopkins and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to investigate and analyze reports of nausea, headaches, breathing difficulties and other ills from people who live near natural gas drilling sites, compressor stations or wastewater pits. Read more » 

Thanks to UNC News Services for finding these great stories AND compiling the summaries! You can find more UNC media coverage and stories online at