Student and administrative efforts lead the charge in sustainability

I enjoyed reading last week’s editorial entitled ‘A greener bar” for the message it delivered. It urged the administration to keep moving on its sustainability efforts so as not to let the progress we’ve made become a historical side note for the University. Grassroots is always forced into hesitant excitement when we see progress at UR, fearing it will be a solitary effort.

But, in recent years, Facilities, Dining Services and the University at large have made an impressive showing. Of course, there is still much to be done, but complaints supported by facts and research hold more water.

One section in ‘A greener bar” in particular struck me as strange. You refer to the Recyclemania event that has been run by Grassroots for the past two years. Recyclemania is a 10-week national competition, with more than 300 competing schools last year. After 10-weeks of flyering and campaigning, the absence of Recyclemania is palpable. But in my experience student energy doesn’t so much dissipate after Recyclemania as the issue steps back from the forefront.

The problem with upholding a ‘heightened awareness” about recycling is that it has to be heightened in comparison to something. I don’t think anyone has the energy for a 52-week Recyclemania. What has impressed me is the administration’s response to Recyclemania. What started as a pet-project has been welcomed by the University as a part of our identity.

Last year we worked closely with Facilities to work out all the kinks. We look forward to continuing that relationship this year with what we hope will be an even more successful Recyclemania.

I agree with the end of your piece. The Sustainability Council must hold itself to a high standard. However, no matter what the Sustainability Council is doing, students have a responsibility to be environmentally conscientious. This issue is too important to blame the other guy. Everyone needs to play his or her part. Everyone is responsible.

Daniel Grenell
Class of 2010
Co-President of Grassroots

Judgments of Palin are exceedingly harsh check the facts

In the limited space I have here, I seek to shed light on some issues that were addressed in a previous Campus Times article, particularly those attacking Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.

First off, support for the Iraqi War is not an ‘extreme position.” ‘God’s task” is not a ‘crusade.” It should be taken in the context of meaning that all people are ‘endowed by their creator with inalienable rights”; ahem, freedom from terrorism.

If Palin’s pockets are lined with oil, why did she take $1,200 in surplus money from Alaskan oil revenues in addition to the Permanent Fund Dividend and give it back to the Alaskan people? By the way, don’t confuse BP with their slogan ‘Beyond Petroleum.”

You also shouldn’t downplay her trips to Canada. Alaska has some of the largest natural gas reserves in the world. Palin is fighting to run a pipeline from the North Slope through Canada so that you can stay warm while you wait for mystical renewable sources of energy to spring up. If the other half of Alaska had its way, the natural gas would go to South Central Alaska and then be shipped to international markets where it would fetch a much higher price. In short, her foreign policy as governor of Alaska has been to come to the rescue of America at a monetary cost to her own state, and you criticize her for it. How petty.

And what difference does it make if Palin sees climate change as manmade or not? The United States already has some of the strictest emissions standards in the world, as opposed to China. What would you have her do? Enact stricter emissions standards that drive the rest of our industry to China?

Palin bans books? Perhaps elementary schoolers shouldn’t be allowed to read porn.
No, my good sir, the only radical I see here is you. I consider your proud arrogance and the emotional zeal with which you display it to be an insult. Perhaps next time you will research your article better, knowing that an Alaskan citizen will call you on your misinformation.

Trevor Pollock
Class of 2011

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