Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 70.76
Liaison Richard Johnson
Submission Date Oct. 13, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Rice University
IN-27: Innovation D

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Name or title of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:
Center for Energy and Environmental Research in the Human Sciences at Rice (CENHS) Podcasts

A brief description of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome that outlines how credit criteria are met and any positive measurable outcomes associated with the innovation:

The Center for Energy and Environmental Research in the Human Sciences at Rice (CENHS) releases a weekly Culture of Energy Podcast which informs the campus and the public on a wide range of topics related to energy and the environment. CENHS launched its first podcast on December 23, 2015, and as of December 29, 2016, there were 50 episodes. Each podcast encourages listeners to think more critically and form their own opinions about issues related to energy and the environment.

For example, in “Greening Campus Life” (Episode 32), Rice's Director of Sustainability discusses the history of the campus sustainability movement and highlights the importance of rethinking building design, improving power purchase agreement, and getting students engaged in changing the carbon footprint of their campus.

In Episode 50, three-term former Houston Mayor Annise Parker talks about the important role cities are playing in the fight against climate change, including making markets for renewable energy and pursuing their own “para-diplomacy” with other cities to advance initiatives stalled at other levels of government. She explains why making the economic argument for renewables has been so important in Houston and why she doesn’t view Houston’s oil and gas industry as an impediment to forward progress.

In Episode 41, novelist Fred Stenson talks about the complex legacy of wealth, toxicity and precarity that oil and gas extraction has left in his native Alberta. Fred explains how fossil fueled progress has often been bought at the expense of rural people. He also discusses the codependence of government and industry in energy development and compare the dynamics of early oil and gas production with today’s fracking and tar sands production.

In Episode 38, atmospheric scientist Professor Katharine Hayhoe of Texas Tech University describes how climate change became such a highly polarizing political issue in the United States. Katharine talks about climate change as a tragedy of the commons, her insights into the schizophrenic character of oil companies, and about corporate cultures that lose sight of our collective responsibility to each other and to the planet. Katherine compares climate denialism and evolution denialism and tells us why, contrary to the misconception that climate science is anti-Christian, anyone who reads the Bible carefully would be at the front of the climate change movement.

These podcasts, individually and collectively, provide in-depth conversations and explorations with leading thinkers and practitioners about a broad range of environmental topics, and the podcasts are available to anyone across the globe for free.

Which of the following impact areas does the innovation most closely relate to? (select up to three):
Public Engagement
Air & Climate

A letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise or a press release or publication featuring the innovation :

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

Links to episodes described above:

Episode 32: Greening Campus Life, http://culturesofenergy.com/ep-32-greening-campus-life-feat-richard-r-johnson/

Episode 50: Annise Parker, http://culturesofenergy.com/ep-50-annise-parker/

Episode 41: Fred Stenson, http://culturesofenergy.com/ep-41-fred-stenson/

Episode 38: Katharine Hayhoe, http://culturesofenergy.com/ep-38-katharine-hayhoe/

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.