School of Sustainability: Walden 101 Sweeps Campuses
Last month, Arizona State University (ASU) inaugurated the nation’s first School of Sustainability. Other universities also are pitting their formidable research talent toward solving global climate problems. On-campus green building initiatives exemplify sensitivity to resource use. “Climate neutral” operations are a buzzword in halls of higher education across the country. At minimum, schools are creating courses on the art of sustainable living in response to student interest in environmental and social responsibility.
ASU President Michael Crow, who helped found the Earth Institute, counts reading Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring as a young man as a landmark in his life. However, it wasn’t until he matured that he realized “these 70,000 chemicals and synthetics that we have put in the atmosphere and water were all derived mostly by universities with no thought given to what the other impacts may be to what they are doing.”
Now his university’s $6 million virtual Decision Theater shows leaders how their choices will play out in the environment now and into the future. “We have always looked to academia to think creatively about the larger problems of our day,” says Carter Roberts, president of the World Wildlife Fund. “There is not a more complicated problem than how to survive and flourish with a growing population and finite resources.”
Source: The Christian Science Monitor