Dr. Cameron Wake - Profile in Sustainability
Why should we in New England worry about climate change?
The very notion of the Northeast is at stake; the near-term greenhouse gas emission choices we make in New England and throughout the world will determine the climate and quality of life our children and grandchildren experience. The climate future is in our hands: what is it we want the climate to look like in New England? If we want there to be seasons, with our iconic pleasant summers, fall foliage, winter snow, and the sugaring-off of maples in the spring, then we need to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions.
Why is UNH’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory so important?
It’s important for two reasons. First, it provides a quantitative measure of the energy we use and the greenhouse gases we emit so that we can track our progress over time, both for using energy more efficiently as well as for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Second, we were the first university in the country to develop a detailed greenhouse gas inventory, so we can serve as a model for other campuses across the nation.
What motivates you personally to be involved in sustainability?
Climate change is such a wonderfully complex topic that really takes a lifetime of research to understand. Much of my drive in my early career came from my understanding of how much human activities are causing the climate to change. In that sense, I wanted to help society make informed choices about reducing the negative impact of climate change. My teaching activities flow from that: by teaching graduate classes and working with graduate students in detailed research I’m training the next generation of climate scientists, and by teaching a general education undergraduate class I’m helping students become better citizens.
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