Friday, October 30, 2009

Stanford University's Carbon Footprint: Is Golf Causing Climate Change?

Tiger Woods needs to use some of his billions offsetting his carbon emissions. Trained for a little while at Stanford, he must have enjoyed playing on this miniature golf course. I know that Stanford has invested a fair bit of money to be a green campus but suppose all of the golf course were transformed into faculty housing? The carbon footprint from driving to Stanford would vanish and the water now being thrown away on all of that green grass would not be needed. Given that the land would be expensive --- so close to campus --- senior faculty would live in smaller homes than in they lived in sprawl housing nearby , this would reduce their residential electricity consumption. With access to the University pool, they wouldn't need their own pool (which raises electricity consumption by 30% --- see Costa and Kahn (2010)). I'm a fan of density. Are you?