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Unsustainable?

Last night we noted that Dartmouth College has hired its first “sustainability director,” Jim Merkel. The Dartmouth Daily story on Merkel’s hiring reported that Merkel — “who is currently bicycing through Spain to promote his book ‘Radical Simplicity’” — has lived “on only $5,000 a year — close to the global average income — for the past 14 years.” The article also notes the students instrumental in Merkel’s hiring, including Jessie Doyle ’05, co-chair of the Environmental Studies Division of the Dartmouth Outing Club.
Reader Michael Dudley has a few related questions:

Has Jessie Doyle volunteered to live on $5K per year, following in the footsteps of his hero?
If it is true (read on) that Professor Director Merkel lives on $5K/year, does he accept the Earned Income Credit when he files his tax return? (Would it not be a fascinating thing to actually look at his return?)
If he biked through several states, as he is now

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