Friday, the environmental activist community received a boon when leaders in climate change, former vice president Al Gore and the UN-appointed Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, received a joint Nobel Peace Prize. This award solidifies the legitimacy of climate change alongside such corporeal threats as nuclear weapons, landmines and terrorism in the Middle East. The research took place over nearly a decade by more than 2,000 scientists from more than 130 countries. When delivered by one of the most powerful men in the world, the message of climate change is difficult to ignore.
Although Americans are only 4 percent of the world population, we contribute a quarter of global carbon dioxide emissions. While it may be too late to stop this excess from causing the continued melting of the Greenland ice sheet and from raising sea levels an estimated 21 feet, we can still take strong action to prevent further environmental degradation. The American College and University Presidents Climate Protection Commitment is a long-term commitment calling for carbon neutrality on college campuses across the United States, an even firmer step than recommended by the newly laurelled IPCC. At this late hour, polite suggestions will not fix the problem but strong policy can – and must – be enacted to mitigate the worst effects of climate change.
President McRobbie should consider Indiana University’s duty to its students for generations to come by signing this agreement.
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IU has been fortunate to have McRobbie for 13 years.
It takes no more than three seconds to put on a mask.
We are sacrificing while those who make the most get raises.