|by James L.
[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
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:
- Improving energy efficiency by raising standards for buildings and appliances.
- Encouraging the use of vehicles that run on alternative fuels, the use of public
transportation, and research on electric cars.
- 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.