Students, Gore ‘Chill Out’

Two students came to the New Library auditorium last Wednesday to watch “Chill Out: Campus Solutions to Global Warming,” a live video broadcast over the Internet by the National Wildlife Federation. The video included a message from former Vice President Al Gore, a panel discussion with scientists and global warming experts, and the announcement of the eight schools that won “Chill Out,” a contest between 182 colleges and universities.

“We are beginning to turn a corner of global warming,” Gore said.

The grand prize winner of the contest was California State University at Chico. A 300 kilowatt-hour solar array was installed on two campus rooftops, and programs such as installing energy saving software on computers have been adopted there.

“It was encouraging to see that three of the eight winners of the Chill Out competition were New Jersey schools: Monmouth University, Richard Stockton College of New Jersey and the Lawrenceville School just down the road from us,” Andrew Mathe, publicity coordinator for Water Watch, said. “I was especially thrilled to see what Stockton has done, as a fellow state institution. We should begin conferring with the facilities directors to see whether (the College) can also install photovoltaic cells throughout our campus.”

The live video included a panel of representatives from some of the winning schools as well as scientists and experts on global warming.

Mathe said if the College implemented some of the programs other schools have, it would save money.

“It was emphasized in the program that each school saved a significant amount of money by going green – a reality that is seldom acknowledged,” Mathe said.

Although only two students came to watch the live video, Mathe said he does not think the campus is apathetic about global warming.

“I believe that once we bring our campus community to realize that environmentalism is no longer some far-left, ‘artsy-fartsy’ pipe dream, but a crucial new way of perceiving the world, students will begin to warm up to attending the various programs Water Watch and the new Realistic Individuals Saving the Environment are putting on,” he said. “True activism is hard to find.”