How to Join the Fight For Carbon Neutrality

Cindy Frantz, Department of Psychology Chair, Committee on Environmental Sustainability

To the Editors:

Oberlin College is about to shut down its coal plant after 65 years. This, in combination with the city of Oberlin’s 90 percent renewable electricity portfolio, will get us 50 percent of the way to our goal of carbon neutrality by 2015. Wow! That’s an accomplishment to be proud of. I applaud the commitment of the trustees and the city of Oberlin — in the face of resistance, criticism and short term financial cost — for taking these huge steps forward.

But that’s the easy 50 percent of our carbon footprint. The next 50 percent will take more effort and more planning. It will come in bits and pieces from a variety of strategies strategies and will occur in what will feel like frustratingly small incremental improvements. It’s time to get started. Now.

This is where you come in. Please join me for the From Coal to Carbon Neutrality Community Workshop, an all-campus event for brainstorming solutions to making our campus carbon neutral: Saturday, Nov. 2, 1–4 p.m., in the Science Center.

This event will be fun. In true Oberlin fashion, the arts will be well represented. We will have Dance Diaspora start things off, a locally grown afternoon snack with live jazz in the background and lots of thoughtful, interactive conversation. The improv groups Primitive Streak and Kid Business will cap off the day by reporting back small group results via improv comedy skits.

But it will also be useful. Students, faculty and staff will have the opportunity to identify options for moving us toward climate neutrality and make sure their voices get heard in the process. This event is not just for those who are concerned about climate change: It’s also for people who like their hot showers and electronic devices.

This event is sponsored by the Office of the President, the Committee on Environmental Sustainability, Student Senate and the Office of Environmental Sustainability.