Today I attended a somewhat emergency environmental meeting with people from a variety of clubs and organizations. This meeting was called in order to plan and create action in response to President Garrett’s statement that the 2035 goal for carbon neutrality is not a priority for the university. This announcement of hers made a lot of people very angry and this meeting was to capitalize on this “anger” and turn it into action.
Just some background on what is going on. Just before leaving office, Former President Skorton created a plan that would drive Cornell towards a much more sustainable future. This plan was called the Climate Action Plan. One of the main goals of this plan is for Cornell to be carbon neutral by 2035. But as stated earlier, President Garrett does not see this as a priority.
A decent amount of people (around 40) showed up to this meeting and a lot of good ideas about how to draw attention to this pressing issue were all thrown out and discussed. Our ultimate goal was to create some sort of build up events and actions to the climax event that is going to occur later this month where a panel is going to address the issue of the climate action plan.
We split ourselves up into four different groups, the policy group, logistics, direct action and general PR and outreach. I went to be part of the policy group and we discussed about how policy wise we could be able to urge the administration into taking action. Our ultimate result was to write a resolution that would somewhat make the university commit to the climate action plan formally so that if a change of admiration does occur, then the plan would not be ignored. Next if the resolution passes, a town hall style meeting should be organized with the higher level administrators so students would be able to ask questions regarding the climate action plan. By doing this, it would not only place pressure on these administrators but also shows that the Cornell community cares about this issue.
Although it was a short meeting, but we got a lot of ideas and actions planned. Hopefully these ideas would turn into action and able to make change happen!