Climate Reality Project enacts initiative to make FIU utilize clean renewable energy by 2030

Fabienne Fleurantin/Staff Writer

 

The Climate Reality Project Campus Corps at Florida International University is working toward making FIU commit to 100 percent clean renewable electricity by 2030, according to their Facebook page.

The Climate Reality Project began as an effort by Nobel Laureate and former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, who spoke about the importance of climate change with his Academy Award-winning film “An Inconvenient Truth.” Gore founded the project “to move the conversation forward and turn awareness into action,” as stated on their website.

The FIU CRPCC, however, was not the group who thought of this initiative. The FIU chapter is only a part of the national movement to help cease climate change.

“The national chapter of Climate Reality Project Campus Corps’ initiative [is] for all campuses. [Their goal] is to switch true noble electricity,” Danielle Arnwine, former president of the FIU CRPCC, said.

Terry Munoz is the Lobby Coordinator of the FIU CRPCC and he explained the nature of what CRPCC does.

“The Climate Reality Project as you know is a NGO (Non Governmental Organization) . So, campus corps is an initiative they [Climate Reality Project] created to try to get campuses, school administrations and local student government involved in making their campuses more environmentally friendly and to recycle more,” Munoz said.

The FIU CRPCC received money from the Climate Reality Project for Earth day, as well as funding from the Council Society of Organizations at FIU to help them plan and execute events. Funding from the Climate Reality Project is used for activities during the year.

The chapter at FIU are making efforts to help the University’s environment and preserve vegetation, according to Munoz. So far, they have created petitions to get students signatures in the hopes of implementing the plan. All members of the FIU CRPCC canvas around campus, hoping to get students to support their policies.

“I remember last year when we first started petitioning. People would say to me ‘Hey, you’re the girl with the clipboard trying to save the environment,’” Arnwine said. “They never knew my name, which was okay to me because at least they knew what our campaign was. So, I would say the FIU CRPCC chapter has impacted FIU by raising awareness about Climate Change.”

Despite the CRPCC’s impact in raising awareness, not all of the interests of environmental preservation have been won out at FIU. The expansion of the FIU Wellness and Recreation Center decreased the size of the Nature Preserve.

“The Nature Preserve is or I should say was, full of trees deep rooted into the ground that were decades old and the ground it self is covered in a veins of a coral bedrock. These two pieces of nature, especially the trees, are significant to show what the environment looked before human interference and an excellent area for research,” Munoz said.  “Furthermore, to make matters worse, to remove these two natural occurrences would cost quite a bit of struggle to ensure a dead coral firm grass field. Now perhaps with the coral bedrock, the construction company can slab on dirt to cover it up bedrock, but as to whether or not this is the best way to make the field safe and firm. I do not know because I was not involved in the construction.”

Back in November, Trump decided to remove the United States from the Paris Climate Accord, an agreement that bands 195 nations together to help fight global carbon emissions, as stated by the Washington Post. The U.S. is now placed alongside Syria and Nicaragua as countries who have opposed the accord.

Fifty-seven percent of Floridians believe that climate change is happening, with the state being relatively split on the matter, according to the New York Times. Arnwine believes that people should do research and be more informed on the issue.

“Recycle. It is something everyone can do, especially if you live at home because it is just a matter of knowing the days truck pick recyclables and separating those recyclables,” Munoz said.

Arnwine echoed the same sentiments as Munoz. People are entitled to their own perspectives, she said, but there is a lot to be done in order to help reduce the risk of climate change.

“I am a firm believer in everyone being entitled to their own opinion and feeling empowered to voice that opinion. However, to those who don’t think it’s real, I respectfully say pay attention,” Arnwine said. “The influx of devastating storms, rising temperatures and sea levels, and the melting of permafrost is not coincidental. This is a man-made issue that can be rectified if we all do our part today, so join the fight.”

 

Featured image courtesy of Flickr

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