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“In 39 years, I have never written these words in a movie review, but here they are: You owe it to yourself to see this film. If you do not, and you have grandchildren, you should explain to them why you decided not to.”

- Film critic Roger Ebert reviewing "An Inconvenient Truth"

Showing Thursday, December 14th, 7pm (details below)


Focus on Global Warming Solutions


Through the AU Sustainability Initiative, Auburn has signed on with the national Focus the Nation campaign, which will work over the next thirteen months to raise the profile of climate-change issues and potential solutions to the level of a national non-partisan discussion.

Several weeks ago, project director Dr. Eban Goodstein outlined the issues and described the Focus the Nation project to a standing-room-only crowd in Foy Union. Dr. Goodstein's talk was the first of many events we hope to bring you in the months leading up to the culminating Focus the Nation event on January 31, 2008.

Our goal by that date is to provide the local campus and Auburn communities with basic knowledge about climate change and the potential implications for Alabama so that a serious discussion can go forward.

If you would like to have a presentation on climate change made to a class or group, please let us know. The AU Sustainability Initiative offers presentations on climate change and the global, national, and local implications that range from 10 minutes to one hour.

If you would like to help with the Focus the Nation campaign here at Auburn, have a question, or would like to schedule a presentation, please email Matt Williams.

More Information: Climate Change and Auburn University


Who Turned On (and Off) the Lights?


With all of the discussion about renewable and alternative fuels and electricity sources, it's easy to forget that one of the fastest and easiest ways to lower energy costs and the associated environmental impact is to reduce electricity use in the first place. Energy-efficient upgrades can provide the university with long-term savings and make campus operations more sustainable.

One such upgrade that you may have noticed here on campus are occupancy motion sensors for lights in many campus buildings. Occupancy sensors have been installed in 23 buildings on campus, and campus energy manager Ken Martin has identified another 12 buildings for future installation. Occupancy sensors can be used in classrooms and offices and are especially effective in areas of short-term and inconsistent use, such as bathrooms, closets, hallways, and workrooms.

Buildings are considered on an individual basis to evaluate the potential payback from installing the sensors in appropriate areas. Auburn is doing pretty well, and there are some buildings that are already managed well enough so that they wouldn't benefit much from the sensors. However, for buildings that aren't already optimized for low electricity use, the U.S. EPA estimates that occupancy sensors can save as much as 30 to 50 cents for every square foot.

In addition to saving energy and money, motion sensors are effective for crime prevention. Individuals working inside campus buildings after hours can know when someone is coming as the occupancy sensors turn on lights in the hallways or vacant areas of the building. The sensors can also deter criminals when the building is vacant (as their movements trigger lights to go on, making their presence visible outside).

A common past complaint about sensors was that they turned off when people were still present in the room but not very active. New multi-technology occupancy sensors incorporate both passive infrared and ultrasonic sensors into one unit. This combination of the long-range detection capabilities of passive infrared sensors and the sensitivity to minor movements of ultrasonic sensors allows the units to do a much better job of deciding when to turn the lights on for you and when to turn them off when you're done.


Give Your Office Equipment a Break Too!


Leaving town for the break? Share the holidays with your office electronic equipment and save electricity for the university.

If you aren't going to be using them for several days, turn off your computer, monitor, printer, office copier, and lights.

We hope everyone has a good and sustainable holiday!




FILM: “An Inconvenient Truth"

Date: Thursday, Dec. 14
Time: 7pm.
Where: The Auburn Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 450 East Thach (the corner of Thach and Auburn Dr./Debardelaben)

Admission: FREE. Open to all!

This film only played in Auburn for a short time during it's initial run, so here is another chance to see the film that has generated national interest and discussion.

Film Critic Roger Ebert put it best:

“In 39 years, I have never written these words in a movie review, but here they are: You owe it to yourself to see this film. If you do not, and you have grandchildren, you should explain to them why you decided not to.”

Click here to read the full review

An Energized Design Competition

Metropolis magazine is taking entries for its 2007 Next Generation design competition, Channel Your Energy, with a $10,000 prize. Now in it's third year, the competition is open to design students or designers who have had 10 years of experience or less.

This year’s focus is on energy (energy use, reduction, consumption, efficiency, and alternatives). Entries are being accepted from any design discipline (architecture, interior design, urban planning, landscape design, product design, graphic design, communication design, furniture design, industrial design, and lighting design), and submissions can be anything the designer comes up with. Past entries have ranged from a building plan, to a new material, to a new product.

Entries are due January 5, 2007.

More information


Visit Auburn Sustainability Initiative for more information about Auburn's environmental stewardship efforts.
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