by Wendy Gabriel
Glenn Fay is an educator, active outdoor-lover and crusader for the common good of humans and nature. He is founder of OakleighVermont.com . Glenn’s educational background stretches from science (biology, chemistry, earth science), to college administration and Ed Leadership and Policy Studies.
How do you make your day-to-day life a little greener?
Each of us is here for only a short moment in geologic time. My hope is to leave behind a world that is better off because of my actions. As part of an ecosystem, we are all connected with each other and all of the moving parts and concepts of our world. The challenge is to focus on my actions that can make the most difference.
I live a relatively low-impact existence, with a modest lifestyle, conservative spending and active participation in sustainable and renewable energy leadership activities.
As a frequent visitor to your blog, I am extremely fond of the No Congressman Left Behind Series. What was the reason behind launching this series?
Initially I had a visceral reaction to a U.S. Senator declaring that “CO2 is not a carcinogen and since we all exhale CO2 we might as well give up”, as a way of confusing the climate change issue. Americans want leaders who are educated and lead the way on positive change, especially since the independent climate data is so compelling. It occurred to me that a lot of our congressmen perhaps don’t like or understand the science. My Wednesday ‘No Congressman Left Behind‘ blog series is a respectful attempt to unravel the complex data from unbiased sources such as NOAA and NASA in order to educate our leaders. I hope that if they put aside their political biases, and gain the knowledge, then they will make decisions for our common good based on facts, not under pressure and influence from corporate special interests.
As an educator, do you believe that our public school system is adequately teaching our children about global warming and climate change?
Schools do not adequately address and assess climate change knowledge. Our science standards and assessments have not kept pace with the data and even excellent schools are not providing students with knowledge and skills in this area. I am one of the few chemistry teachers that I know who do energy and climate units that unravel these processes. And global warming is all about chemistry that is quite interesting and understandable.
One of the things I really enjoy about your site is that I learn so much about renewable energy. You are able to disseminate the information in a way that makes it very understandable. That said, could you explain why nuclear energy is not renewable even though it is frequently called a renewable energy?
Nuclear energy has become a “hot” alternative (excuse the pun) since there are no carbon emissions involved. The nuclear industry would like you to think it is renewable in spite of the astronomical costs for construction and decommissioning, safety, unsolvable disposal problems (for thousands of years) and security risks. The fact is that nuclear fuel is mined and refined from ores that are not naturally replenished; therefore it is not renewable like the sun, wind, hydropower and a few other sources.