Opinion: Environmental sympathy from students shouldn't be a radical notion - Purdue Exponent: Opinions

Opinion: Environmental sympathy from students shouldn't be a radical notion

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Posted: Friday, February 21, 2014 10:00 am | Updated: 6:21 pm, Mon Mar 3, 2014.

Apparently, the desire to “go green” secretly means you’re a terrorist.

Or at least it is if you’re listening to Fox News, which had the audacity to compare college students from 256 campuses nationwide to “radical Islamists,” claiming both held “the goal [...] to force existence back to a time when Mohammed walked the earth. The only difference between them and the divestors is the radical Islamists cut to the chase.” These words of wisdom were spoken by Fox News host Greg Gutfeld, who probably also believes in America having an official language and that Jesus was a white man.

People who ridicule student activists are obviously blind to the actual situation the students are facing, and if they were able to look at the situation objectively, they would see a breed of the younger generation taking responsibility for their actions and for the world we are to inherit. I wholeheartedly support this cause and will willingly be called any sort of name to bring about change.

We as a generation cannot let the decision about using fossil fuels be dictated by the older generation. Our elders laugh at the idea of climate change when the entire nation has suffered the effects of a polar vortex. If we let people such as Gutfeld run the show, we’ll be left without the means to continue inhabiting this planet; therefore, it falls to us to take up the burden of preserving our environment.

Don’t think it’ll happen during our lifetime? According to a report released in March 2012, the National Intelligence Council stated, “The report concludes that several regions of the world such as North Africa, the Middle East and South Asia, will face major challenges coping with water problems. And that during the next 10 years, many countries important to the United States will experience water problems that will increase the risk of instability and state failure, exacerbate regional tensions and distract them from working with the United States on important policy objectives.”

We’re already seeing the effects of our natural resources being drained and affected by our consumption and indifference. The current California drought is the worst the state has seen in decades. The water year, which began in October 2013, is thus far the driest in the past 90 years.

We’re slowly but surely losing our precious natural resources, and if anyone dares to think students should simply sit by and let it happen, they are sorely mistaken.

As for fossil fuels, the main point the students are protesting and the concern regarding their consumption rises chiefly from the fact that we have come to rely on fossil fuels heavily in the past few hundred years. Everything seems to be driven by this incredibly limited resource, which we are consuming at an increasingly rapid rate. And even if we don’t run out of fossil fuels, how long will it be before the earth can no longer withstand the harmful effects of fossil fuel combustion?

So yes, college students don’t want their colleges tied with big oil companies because we are looking at yet another problem that will fall on our shoulders: repairing the damage previous generations have done to our earth.

Considering all the other things we’ll have to fix (the economy, amount of debt, political parties, et al) please, don’t mind us while we try and get a head start on fixing this issue. And if that makes us radical, by golly, let’s all be radical.

Bekah Ticen is a senior in the College of Liberal Arts. She can be reached at opinions@purdueexponent.org.

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