I was so pleased yesterday to see the eight top winners of National Wildlife Federation’s national Chill Out competition be honored in a first-of-its-kind webcast from George Washington Universitycampus in Washington, D.C. Over 18,000 students, faculty, and staff on 200 campuses tuned in to watch panelists from each winning campus answer questions and share about their projects.
The winning projects go well beyond the minimum 30 percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions scientists urge by 2030. Projects include installing energy saving software on computers (California State University– Chico), converting an electricity system to a biomass hydronic district heating system (Mount Wachusett Community College), and installing the largest solar installation east of the Mississippi (Monmouth University).
Combined, these winning projects reduce carbon dioxide emissions equivalent to planting 6,900 acres of trees, removing 4,600 cars from the road, or driving 60 million fewer miles. The Chill Out winners are showing by example how do exactly what the science says should be done.
My hat is off to them. If every campus, business and organization in the country followed the lead set by these schools and these energetic young leaders, global warming pollution could be significantly reduced in this country along with the environmental damage it is causing.
If you are someone you know on a campus want to do something more, go to www.presidentsclimatecommitment.org to ask your college administration to sign up for the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment. You can also host Focus the Nation on your campus on January 31, 2008. Go to www.focusthenation.org