To the Students of the University of Arkansas,

As college students we have all made commitments we regret, and we either follow through or binge-watch Netflix instead. Some commitments we make are worth keeping. As we go through the Spring semester, making memories and enjoying the beauty that Fayetteville provides, everyone needs to be aware of a big commitment that we have made for future generations.

 At the end of last semester, the University of Arkansas renewed our commitment to reduce our contribution to climate change, which means every person at the University has a part to play. Unlike commitments we make that we wish could be ignored, this is one that will not go away.

 The bottom line is that our world is changing as a result of activities we do every day and it poses a considerable threat to our way of life. Most people think climate change is scientifically complex, so they choose to ignore it or deny it. In reality, climate change is really easy to understand.

 Here it is: we need power to do things such as drive cars and turn on lights. To get this power, we burn coal and oil which releases carbon dioxide into the air. This carbon dioxide absorbs more energy than the air in the atmosphere. So, when sunlight hits our earth, some of the heat that normally is emitted back into space is trapped in the atmosphere, resulting in more energy to create storms, disrupt weather patterns we depend on for agriculture, and in some cases change weather patterns altogether.

 That is climate change, and there is nothing controversial or political about it. You have an opportunity to support our commitment to help solve this problem.

 You can do a few things that take just a little bit more effort, but make a big impact. First, never throw anything away if it can be recycled. Second, turn things off if you are not using them. Third, consider alternative transportation methods. Most importantly, be aware of how your actions impact the world around us. These are very easy things to do and they are the right thing to do, so please join the University of Arkansas in exploring ways to be better stewards of this Earth.

 Sincerely,

Grant James

Intern at the Office for Sustainability

Email: grjames@uark.edu

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