The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

Write for Us
Want your voice to be heard? Submit a letter to the editor, send us an op-ed pitch or check out our open positions for the chance to be published by the Daily Utah Chronicle.
@TheChrony
Print Issues
Write for Us
Want your voice to be heard? Submit a letter to the editor, send us an op-ed pitch or check out our open positions for the chance to be published by the Daily Utah Chronicle.
@TheChrony
Print Issues

Taking care of Earth not up for debate

By Matt Plummer

Global warming is a topic of wide debate on campus. My approach to saving the planet is this: I think as responsible people, we need to do our part to reduce waste and abuse of resources. I do what I can to reduce my impact on the planet, but it still seems everywhere I look, people are to blame for global warming8212;or are we?
Richard Lindzen, a professor at MIT, refutes the theory that humans are to blame for global warming as well as that global warming exists. In the July 2009 edition of the Science and Public Policy Institute’s CO2 report, Lindzen wrote: “The global surface temperature record, which we update and publish every month, has shown no statistically significant “global warming’ for almost 15 years.” He continued, “statistically significant global cooling has now persisted for very nearly eight years.”
It is nice to see someone credibly disagree with the arsenal of scientists who generally accept global warming as our fault. But I am not here to rant in support or opposition of Lindzen or global warming, I am afraid this might hinder the sustainability debate. The real goal either way is to take care of the planet.
Many people see sustainability as a way to combat global warming. I see sustainability in a different light. We are trying to take steps to solve climate troubles when we need to be looking at this as a way to solve resource and waste troubles.
We do have some sustainability programs on campus. We have a great recycling program, the Farmers Market that promotes buying locally and a donation fund to buy wind power for the U. But the steps for sustainability are endless. We are making headway, but we can do bigger and better.
Yale University has numerous programs that, if adopted, could influence what we do. Yale converted its power plant, which produces heat and electricity, into a cogeneration plant that produces heat and electricity from a single fuel source, reducing emissions and increasing efficiency. A class of 1954 gift to the school was a hydrogen cell that produces almost half of the energy required by the science center. They have solar panels for one building that provides 17 percent of the electricity demand and Yale’s installation of many small windmills affixed to a roof parapet captures wind energy.
The Sustainable Campus Initiative has laid out goals that can be found on the Office of Sustainability website. ASUU passed a $5 fee increase to undertake large-scale sustainability goals. In its proposal, 70 percent of the funds will be allocated toward financial return funds that reduce energy consumption and expenditure, while 30 percent goes to “quantifiable environmental impact reduction” projects.
My support of sustainability is not influenced by global warming. It comes from a responsible approach of using natural resources. Resources are finite and I believe there is a lot of waste on campus and abroad.
Associate professor Julie Stewart of the sociology department said, “I’m not sure what the best tactic is vis-a-vis focus on climate change or focus on finite energy sources. In some respects, more consensus could be built around the idea that we need to reduce our energy use and look for alternative energy sources, because I think most people agree/understand that nonrenewable resources are just that: finite.”
Outside of global warming, sustainability can lead to a smaller financial burden, a better public view of the U, an initiative that can spread across Salt Lake City and beyond and a smaller impact on the planet.
Getting stuck in a debate to solve climate change just leads to more trouble. Just as Lindzen said, there might not even be a climate problem. But there is a resource and waste problem. A sustainable campus is a step toward a better future. Even if Lindzen is wrong, sustainability still achieves the same goal.

Leave a Comment

Comments (0)

The Daily Utah Chronicle welcomes comments from our community. However, the Daily Utah Chronicle reserves the right to accept or deny user comments. A comment may be denied or removed if any of its content meets one or more of the following criteria: obscenity, profanity, racism, sexism, or hateful content; threats or encouragement of violent or illegal behavior; excessively long, off-topic or repetitive content; the use of threatening language or personal attacks against Chronicle members; posts violating copyright or trademark law; and advertisement or promotion of products, services, entities or individuals. Users who habitually post comments that must be removed may be blocked from commenting. In the case of duplicate or near-identical comments by the same user, only the first submission will be accepted. This includes comments posted across multiple articles. You can read more about our comment policy at https://dailyutahchronicle.com/comment-faqs/.
All The Daily Utah Chronicle Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *