Director

      • A felucca boat on the Nile River in Cairo city center; Photo credit: @Michael Mortimer
      • Dec 10, 2019 Global Study Series, Part 1: Egyptian Environmental Security: Old Wine in a New Bottle

        CLiGS faculty Bruce Hull and Michael Mortimer have recently spent three weeks in Egypt exploring Cairo and traveling upstream along the Nile River to the Aswan High Dam. Sharing experiences and reflections on the past and future of a country astride some of the most pressing environmental challenges of the 21st Century. This series of posts distills some of their thoughts on those challenges.

      • Airplane
      • Oct 23, 2019 ‘Cause I’m Leavin’ on a Jet Plane: Offsetting the Environmental Cost of Air Travel

        Fall semester 2019, the Virginia Tech Center for Leadership in Global Sustainability (CLiGS) will begin mitigating the carbon emissions from the air travel of both its students and faculty. Working with the company Terrapass, CLiGS will contribute to a portfolio that invests in renewable energy and methane recapture. CLiGS is the first group within Virginia Tech to launch this kind of climate action initiative.

      • Cape Town Intersection (Photo: Michael Mortimer)
      • Sep 19, 2019 Environmental Security is a Matter of Equity

        South African director Neill Blomkamp’s science fiction social commentary film Elysium sees wealthy elites in the near future removing themselves from planetary resource scarcity... literally. By abandoning a wrecked Earth for a utopian existence in an orbital space habitat, these elites effectively shield themselves from the shortages of water, energy, healthcare, housing, and other human necessities on the Earth below.

      • art installation of hands holding a building
      • Aug 12, 2019 Sustainability Professionals and the World Around Them

        In 2014, through its core course Global Issues in Environmental Sustainability, CLiGS began providing international experiences for all of its students. Starting with its first program in China, CLiGS now offers study opportunities in China, Morocco, India, South Africa, Croatia, and Cuba. In 2020, Argentina, Iceland, and Spain will be joining the roster. Because CLiGS’s students are so often working professionals, our study experiences are designed to accommodate their schedules—they run from 10 to 12 days, and tie directly to the semester-long course content.

      • glacier
      • Aug 09, 2019 Climate change: a new twist on a very old story

        More than 80 percent of adults in the United States now believe that climate change (i.e, global warming) is happening. However, only slightly more than 50 percent believe that humans are responsible (Pew 2018). Despite the established scientific consensus that our current climate crisis is the result of human activity, nearly half of the adult U.S. population still don’t believe it! And yet, there is more to this story; much more. I suspect that only a very small percentage of people know that humans have been contributing to climate change in significant (and positive) ways for thousands of years.

      • Oct 11, 2018 Identity. Hah! What is it Good For? Absolutely Something.

        I, like many others I know, are struggling to make sense of the what appears to be an inexorable slide towards a viciously divided USA, driven, it seems, in large part by identity politics pitting a version of ethnonationalism against a version of cosmopolitanism. This USA is not only increasingly politically hamstrung, where even minor policy decisions warrant a full-throated war and where every sword is worth falling on, the rancor trickles down to friends and family, who a decade or so ago were just that—friends and family. Now many of them look like the “other.” Like the enemy.

      • Oct 09, 2017 Islands in the Anthropocene

        Photography Trip to Iceland and Cuba - May 2018 What do Iceland and Cuba have in common? Besides the fact that they are islands struggling for survival in the midst of rising seas and climate changes, they are both destinations for Dr. Michael Mortimer, and an intrepid group of photographers traveling with Photo Workshop Adventures in May 2018. Do you have a camera? Do you like to travel? Can you imagine experiencing these two polar opposite environments, back to back…

      • Nov 30, 2016 More in Morroco

        Being in Morocco this week for the United Nations COP22 climate conference is an opportunity to witness a coming together of people from all over the world, all concerned with climate change. Individuals, NGOs, governments, and the private sector. That last group is one of the most interesting. Companies and start-ups are here to demonstrate and develop the value propositions that exist in solvingclimate change. Let that sink in—there is money to be made in addressing the most daunting global challenge of our era.

      • Nov 15, 2016 Despair and Inspiration

        [The following remarks were delivered at the November 2016 XMNR X17-Cohort meeting.] I wanted to share a few words with all of you following the results of the presidential election just two days ago. I imagine that sounds a bit funereal, a bit maudlin. I struggled with what to say, given that there are people in this room that I’m sure voted on opposing sides. But I thought it important, as Center Director, that I say my piece. It appears from the…

      • Nov 07, 2016 XMNR Alumni Peter Burke Leads ISO Environmental Standards Course with QMII

        We are pleased to announce that one of our XMNR Alumni, Peter Burke, has developed in partnership with on-line learning site, QMII University (QMII) an Introduction to ISO Environmental Standards web course. This new course, Introduction to ISO Environmental Standards, is offered on the QMII website and covers new ISO standards, ISO 14001:2015 and ISO 9001:2015 and the application of those requirements to environmental management. The International Standards Organization (ISO) system is used to set requirements for standards used in the…

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