Faculty Discuss Sustainability at Andover

The lead author of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize-winning U.N. committee spoke to the faculty on Saturday, November 17 about the dangers of global warming. William R. Moomaw of Tufts University, the lead author of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize winning committee Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (I.P.C.C.), said that climate change, if it continues at its current rate, will cause more severe disasters in the next 50 years. Thomas Hodgson, Instructor in Religion and Philosophy, and Becky Bogdanovitch, Sustainability Coordinator, spoke about plans for Andover’s sustainability efforts. “The day was absolutely amazing and very well received. It was very captivating,” said nutritionist Aggie Kip. Sustainability is a major goal that Phillips is currently striving toward. With Trayless Tuesdays, distribution to all students of compact fluorescent light bulbs and a recent greener hockey rink, the community has already made great strides towards change, but there is still much more that can be done, the speakers said. This past week’s faculty meeting was meant to share information and introduce new ideas as to what Andover can do further as a community. According to recent I.P.C.C. predictions, in 50 years or fewer, Earth could find itself on the brink of an irreversible disaster. Global temperatures could rise by as much as 6.4 degrees Celsius. Sea levels are expected to rise drastically and climate to change radically. In such critical times, it is essential to increase efforts toward sustainability. “My purpose this morning is to convey a sense of urgency here on the Andover campus… We, as a community, should recognize the environmental impact of every decision we make,” Bogdanovitch said. Some ideas Bogdanovitch presented for sustainable solutions included buying more food from local farmers, a comprehensive waste analysis and greenhouse gas reduction programs. The spirit of sustainability was present even in the food at the development day. It was created through the help of John Turenne and Aramark, the corporation that runs Andover’s food service. Turenne is Andover’s new sustainable food consultant who has extensive experience working with sustainable food projects at Yale University and other organizations. The largest event of the sustainability talks was Moomaw’s speech. Having worked as part of the I.P.C.C., he discussed the major problems that global warming presents and some of the harmful effects that it could have. Moomaw believes that today’s students can be educated in this matter so that tomorrow’s leaders can be aware and proactive towards this issue. After the presentations, faculty members talked in small groups about sustainability and what more Andover could do to reduce its impact on the global warming phenomenon. In these small groups, the faculty members were encouraged to express their thoughts for improvement and comments on how the school was doing. According to Hodgson, if Andover truly wants to expand its sustainability efforts, the teachers must play a major role. “In the end, we are the ones who have to make it happen for our students, and without our commitment, the Academy can only move so far,” he said on Saturday. Faculty also shared ideas about ways to educate Andover students about sustainability. According to Bogdanovitch, Andover’s three primary goals include “educating about sustainability, creating a culture that values conservation and working toward institutional leadership that encourages responsible resource use.”