Joining the fight against climate change


 Photo from Canva by Niomi Nunez

As the climate crisis worsens, college campuses are urging students to lead eco-friendly lifestyles.  

Niomi Nunez, Staff Writer

You may live in a house made of brick and your friend may live in a house made of wood, but we all live in a home that is made of rainforests and deserts, mountains and glaciers, and oceans and flatlands; and our home is dying. So, brick or wood, the climate crisis will huff and puff and blow our house down.  

According to NASA, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) “forecasts a temperature rise of 2.5 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit over the next century.” The IPCC also predicts that “the Artic will likely be free of ice before the mid-century” and that “sea level will rise 1-8 feet by 2100.” This means U.S. regions—including the Northeast—will be more prone to dangerous flooding during “storm surges and high tides.”  

For years now many people have chosen to ignore the facts of the climate crisis but despite people’s negligence, the expanding and abundant evidence of climate change is everywhere. Temperatures are soaring, glaciers are melting, the sea level is rising, and extreme storms are always brewing. People must acknowledge that the climate crisis does not discriminate against anyone or anything; finding a solution to this issue will require participation from everyone – including you.   

Because younger generations have been at the forefront of battling climate change, many college campuses offer programs and co-circular activities to raise awareness for the climate crisis. At Iona College, the Committee on Environmental Sustainability has been in effect since the 1990s. On the Iona College webpage the committee released their mission statement: “The Committee on Environmental Sustainability acts to address environmental challenges by facilitating connections among academic programs, research initiatives, administration, student organizations, facilities management, and community partners to enhance Iona’s education of global ecological citizens.” Anyone is welcome to join the Committee in their fight against the climate crisis.  

This committee is not the only way students can get involved. Iona College has partnered with Cenergistic—an energy conservation firm—to create a set of guidelines promoting a more environment-friendly campus. Some guidelines include, “Ensure instruction room doors remain closed when the air conditioning or heat is operating;” “All unnecessary lighting in unoccupied areas will be turned off,” and “All plumbing fixtures in residence halls, locker rooms and other public areas should be turned off immediately following use and not left running.” These guidelines are not enforced, but students and faculty members can decide whether to adhere to these guidelines to help better the climate in subtle ways. The list of ways students can help make Iona College greener is endless. More information is available on the Iona College website.   

Scientists and activists are not asking much of you—they are not asking for you to somehow absorb the rising sea level magically or install the best air conditioning unit in the Arctic to prevent melting ice. All they are asking is for you to flip a light switch to “off” in an empty room and to shut off taps that are unnecessarily running water. Whether or not you choose to make a substantial change is up to you. The earth is pleading out for help, are you just going to ignore its cries?