As a community we ask, why not now? The Kyoto Protocol proved ineffective, and the next international meeting is not until late 2015. Best intentions locally translate to unacceptable institutional inertia. For five years we complained to Penn State’s Office of Physical Plants that a sink dripped one cup of water every two minutes, and in a year, 16,200 gallons!
The borough has many green initiatives proposed that could become law now. We should ban GMOs and “eat local and eat clean” all year round. We need to pass and enforce a no-idling ordinance for all vehicles, not only state law 944 for diesel trucks. We should ban use of petroleum plastics, styrene and formaldehyde, all known human carcinogens. Thyroid cancer has tripled in 30 years.
The relationship of power, pollution and the internet has to be challenged! The information industry uses vast amounts of electricity: One data center uses more power than a medium-size town. Pennsylvania generates more carbon dioxide than all of Peru! The Clean Water Act must be enforced. Billions of dollars go into cancer treatment instead of cancer prevention!
State College and Penn State should help the public become eco-literate. It’s time to accept the fact that we will need to go beyond our comfort zone if we intend to save our world. Bringing down the price of oil by going green will be our most successful strategy for global peace.
Micaela Amateau Amato and Don Schule