U.S. Concedes Anti-Warming Measures
by James L. Morrison

[Note: This is a re-formatted manuscript that was originally published in On the Horizon, 1992, Summer, 8. It is posted here with permission from Jossey Bass Publishers.]

The United States recently agreed to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions and donate $75 million to help developing countries do the same. These concessions are part of negotiations toward an international agreement to help stall global warming, held at the United Nations in February of this year. It is hoped that the U.S. will join other nations in signing an international agreement in June at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, to be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Particularly, the U.S. agreed to reduce its own emissions of greenhouse gases by:
  1. Improving energy efficiency by raising standards for buildings and appliances.
  2. Encouraging the use of vehicles that run on alternative fuels, the use of public transportation, and research on electric cars.
  3. Supporting research on more efficient aircraft and trains, new methods of energy generation, and encouraging industrial waste reduction and recycling.


Updated environmental measures will affect colleges and universities most directly through their physical plants and equipment holdings. New standards for buildings and appliances will be costly as administrators work toward compliance. Recycling, which has begun in many pilot programs on campuses, will most likely be institutionalized, coordinated, and regulated. On the horizon, institutions of higher education will be hiring officers to oversee environmental affairs.

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