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Western Michigan University wins 2014 Climate Leadership Award

by: memiller

Tue Jun 03, 2014 at 18:07:29 PM EDT

(From the diaries! - promoted by Eric B.)

Here is my chance to brag a bit about the place I teach -- WMU has won the 2014 Climate Leadership Award, given by Second Nature.

The awards are presented annually to signatory institutions of the  American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment  (ACUPCC) that demonstrate innovative and advanced leadership in  education for sustainability and climate mitigation and adaptation.

Western has shown leadership in making sure that all recent building projects meet the highest standards of energy conservation. WMU has a plan to reach carbon neutrality in all its operations by mid-century. It has also been a leader in climate education, hosting a large number of talks, forums, even an art show, culminating in a campus visit by Bill McKibben last fall.

memiller :: Western Michigan University wins 2014 Climate Leadership Award

We are seeing progressively more signs that more and more of our fellow citizens are waking up to the seriousness of the climate crisis. This by itself is no guarantee that we will act with sufficient intensity to save ourselves from the worst effects of cliamte change -- there are still very powerful forces arrayed which seem intent on kicking new holes in the lifeboat while the rest of us are trying to bail it out.

But while I do what I can in my own life, and research, encourage, and educate others, I can also take some pride in Western for being on the side of our students' having a viable planet to use their degrees in.

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Coming a day after our President said this:
As a President, and as a parent, I refuse to condemn our children to a planet that is beyond fixing.

...I am feeling pretty good right now.

fixed the first link
to the mlive article.

Student leadership
Mark, from your perspective, has student leadership played a big role in making that happen?

During my years at CMU, a lot of students took a very proactive role in many of the green projects and programs - for instance, my friend Robert helped get recycling bins in the residence halls.

Now on Great Lakes, Great Times, Great Scott: Cotter vs. Jesus and Reagan

Students are an integral part of the Sustainability Center, which acts as an on-campus resource center for sustainable living. They have regular bike workshops, where you can learn how to maintain your own bike.

A group of students has been working this spring to get Western to commit to divest from fossil fuels. A committee of three students was invited to present to the WMU Foundation Investment Committee just a few weeks ago. They've been invited back for a follow-up meeting.

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