By Sass Linneken, Environmental Writing & Media student at Unity College
(This article appears in the March, 2013 issue of The ACUPCC Implementer)
What a feeling it is to be a student at Unity College, the first college to divest from dirty fossil fuels, and the type of college where over 30 students are joined by their faculty and President (Stephen Mulkey) to walk the talk at the Forward on Climate rally in Washington, D.C. National Academy of Sciences worldwide agree that climate change is happening and that it's a result of human consumption - going to D.C. to oppose the climate-killing Keystone XL tar sands project was probably one of the most memorable experiences I'll ever have as a college student, and as an American citizen. I went to Washington D.C. because I have children and want them to experience a livable world, a world that can only exist with a stable climate. Extraction of tar sands oil emits three times as many greenhouse gases as extraction of conventional crude, this would tip our climate system past the point of no return. I also went because if my college can do its part to try and break the cycle of dirty energy by sustainable financial investments, I can certainly do mine by investing my time into doing what is right for future generations.
That so many of my fellow students were willing to ride on an uncomfortable charter bus for 24 hours back and forth in less than a 36-hour span so we could try and make a difference in what President Mulkey has aptly dubbed, “the biggest thing humanity has ever faced”, makes me feel not only proud to be a student at Unity College but it helped to strengthen my resolve in fighting for a sustainable future. That so many of my fellow American citizens, tens of thousands, also made the trek alongside us, well, I really can't think of a more empowering experience.