Editorial: Get on the green train

Joel Linde, Opinions Editor

Few would disagree that our way of living consumes a lot of resources. We like big cars, big houses, big everything. But what does it really matter?

Data shows that if we keep living the way we do, we’ll need about another half globe to sustain our consumption.

That’s counting seven billion individuals from Seattle to Madagascar, including those who are using far less than their fair share of resources.

However, if everyone were to live as the average American does, an additional half globe wouldn’t even be enough for General Motors Co. We would have to find not one, but four new Earths to stay on track.

Whether you‘re Republican or Democrat, Christian or Muslim, American or European, this ought to concern you.

Our massive demand for more, bigger or better is showing its ugly backside and we all need to realize that our ecological credit card is maxed out.

One institution that’s made that realization is the Center for Sustainability at City College.

For some years, the center has worked to integrate their agenda into the college curriculum and to get classes in other departments to use sustainability as part of their course material when applicable.

It also runs a number of its own classes such as Permaculture Design and Projects in Sustainability, alongside the many classes in environmental studies.

In addition to providing opportunities for green education, the center has also driven several campus-wide projects to lessen the school’s energy consumption and waste. One example is the set of solar panels that cover three rows of parking spaces on West Campus. They save the college 3.6 million kilowatt-hours annually, which equals out to about $650,000.

The center also organizes many events, fundraisers, speeches and workshops for anyone who’s willing to get on the green train.

Unfortunately, there are many who don’t want to do that. Too many people need too much for any real change to be made.

But necessities are luxuries once enjoyed.

Maybe you don’t actually need a car that fits an entire football team. And maybe you could take the bus sometimes, take the train or walk.

Perhaps you could choose not to contribute to the U.S.’s daily pile of 60 million plastic water bottles and bring your own reusable one.

When you shop for groceries, bring your own bag. And check out the farmers market. The Santa Barbara vegetables should taste just as good as those from Australia.

It’s really a lie to say “it’s time” to make a change. It’s been time for a long time. The point is you need to bang your head in the mirror and face the bloody truth.

What are you doing to reduce your impact on our Mother Earth? Are you doing any of the above, or are your needs just too important?