Centralized vs. Decentralized Green Initiatives

Centralized vs. Decentralized is a debate that has the pendulum swing from side to side. With Green's increased focus, the pendulum swings towards centralized and top down initiatives.  In Uptime Institute this was advocated as "Energy Czar" position.

Here is an example of something which may have seemed obvious on the surface, but ran into problems. University of Washington in Seattle has their #2 administrator, Provost Phyllis Wise, driving the creation of the College of Environment at UW.

To many people, the idea that the University of Washington would create a new College of the Environment seems a no-brainer: Some of the biggest issues facing humanity would get greater academic scrutiny in a city where people seem to care deeply about nature.

But within the UW, details of the plan are sparking intense debate. Many faculty who are in thriving programs have shown little interest in joining a new college. The vision publicly unveiled by Provost Phyllis Wise just three weeks ago — to create the world's largest environment college — appears to be running into serious problems.

Thanks to the college's democratic process, something most corporations do not have, the departments/colleges which would be centralized under the new school have rejected the idea.

Vote against college

In an advisory poll, the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences voted by an overwhelming 27-1 against joining the college. In another of the units — the Department of Earth and Space Sciences — the results were even more definitive: 29-0 against.

"Our mandate is to study things from the center of the Earth to the rim of the solar system," said Robert Winglee, who chairs Earth and Space Sciences. "The environment is that thin layer in which we live."

Winglee said faculty were concerned that elements of their study wouldn't fit in with the mandate of a new college. He informed Wise of the vote a month before she released her plan.

Was Winglee surprised, then, to see his department listed on the plan? "Yes," he replied simply, adding that he doesn't want to comment further for fear of becoming embroiled in academic politics.

One of the biggest problems with Green Initiatives and the people behind them is they get so passionate about their cause, they can't see the impact on others or understand why there would be opposition.  Sounds Ironic that a Green Initiative is not aware of the impact to others.