MSU Today

MSU Today | April 30, 2017

Apr 30, 2017

It’s Commencement Week at Michigan State University.  In honor of the occasion, we hear three recent classic MSU commencement addresses from Magic Johnson, Mitch Albom, and Berry Gordy.  And Russ White introduces you to Joshua Davis.  See the making of Joshua's MSU Shadows here, and see the full music video here.

Russ White

“The Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council (MiEIBC) is nearly 100 businesses, large and small, engaged in advanced energy here in Michigan, and we cut across the advanced energy spectrum,” Liesl Clark tells Kirk Heinze on Greening of the Great Lakes. “We seek to bring together different perspectives and give all of them more weight.

4th annual Casual Commute Day challenges commuters to come clean for a day

Governor Snyder has proclaimed Friday, May 5, 2017, as Casual Commute Day. The day raises awareness about how our transportation choices impact the air we breathe, specifically that ozone pollution is caused by vehicle emissions. The rideshare offices in Lansing, Grand Rapids and Southeast Michigan are celebrating with a friendly competition, hoping to claim the title of “cleanest-commuting community.”

Sally St. Johns is on a mission--to save the planet from global warming and to clear her name.  Implicated in a terrorist plot to control all sources of energy, Sally draws on her colorful past, an idealistic attorney, and an aging mother to bring the real terrorist to justice.  

City of Grand Rapids

Despite a well-earned reputation as one of America’s “greenest” cities, Grand Rapids still has much work ahead on the sustainability front, especially in the area of racial equity says Mayor Rosalynn Bliss.  

One major take away from the 2017 Energy Summit in Grand Rapids is increased optimism about Michigan’s energy future.  A summit feature is recognizing the winners of the Michigan Battle of the Buildings ‘Biggest Loser’ competition—building owners and operators who achieved significant energy reduction in 2016.  The competition is organized and hosted by the U.S. Green Building Council-West Michigan Chapter.

I recently caught up with Michigan State University President Lou Anna K. Simon. She says MSU continues to work on travel, study, and research issues for its faculty and staff.

“Some of the logistics are being worked out,” she says. “And I think that we’re getting a little bit of smoothness in the entire system so that people feel some consistency. I think we’re in a calming period.”

Russ White

“Forty-seven years ago, on April 22, 1970, we celebrated the inaugural Earth Day, and the New York Times cover read:  “Millions Join Earth Day Observances Across the Nation.”  Closing in on five decades later, Earth Day is an international observance and global sustainability issues are constantly in the news,” Kirk Heinze says on Greening of the Great Lakes as he convenes his annual Earth Day panel discussion.

Russ White

Back at the helm of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources after a demanding tenure leading the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, Director Keith Creagh and Kirk Heinze resumed their annual conversation on a variety of salient natural resources-related topics.  And as our conversation unfolded, I got the distinct impression he is very pleased to be back ‘home’ at the DNR.

Russ White

Food for Thought is a show about starting or changing the conversation about hunger and food security within the state of Michigan,” Phillip Knight tells Kirk Heinze on Greening of the Great Lakes. “We believe we can be the first state in the entire U.S. to solve hunger.”

Russ White

Michigan State University has launched a “MSU Mobility” initiative which has a number of components but an overarching goal of safety.

Russ White

“Supply chain, particularly from a Michigan State perspective, means the end to end movement of product from the raw material from a mine or the ocean, through all the production processes, and to the consumer,” Professor David Closs tells Kirk Heinze on Greening of the Great Lakes. “And increasingly today with the greening of the economy, we also deal with recycling and returning those products.

Russ White

The Michigan potato industry accounts for about 3,400 jobs and an approximately $550 million annual contribution to the state’s economy.  And, according to Mike Wenkel, manager of the Potato Growers of Michigan, producers are increasingly committed to wise water management and soil health to ensure the long-term vitality of the industry.

Recommendations show the way to more recycling

Apr 3, 2017

Two recent reports have major implications for increasing Michigan’s recycling rate while decreasing solid waste in our landfills.  Kirk Heinze discusses these reports, recommendations and key next steps with Kerrin O’Brien, executive director of the Michigan Recycling Coalition, on Greening of the Great Lakes.

Over the eight years Greening of the Great Lakes has aired, we have remained largely steadfast in our efforts to educate, not advocate.  However, controversies occasionally arise which are so fundamentally deleterious to our sustainability ethos that it is morally imperative we take a strong position.  Such is the case with the Trump administration’s 2018 budget proposal calling for the elimination of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI).