On Monday night, a new EFR committee established itself with a documentary night in the Thiel building. The documentary, which was followed by a guest lecture from Professor of Ecological Philosophy Henk Oosterling, kicked off the first of a series of lectures and debates that the Sustainability Committee will put on throughout the rest of the school year.
The inauguration of the committee comes at a good time. In the recent elections, two of the top three parties at the campus polling station were climate-orientated. Those who voted made it known that addressing climate change is top priority on the political level, and now the committee hopes to rally these people together to create a sense of urgency about climate change at the local level.
Other than the Erasmus Sustainability Hub, which has created a number of sustainable initiatives, little is being done to address the many things on campus that are not so friendly for the environment, such as the fact that a plastic spoon at SPAR always comes with a napkin encased in another layer of plastic. That’s why for the first time ever, a new committee has been formed within EFR to target local issues surrounding sustainability.
An Open Platform
“We want to create a platform that gives students the chance to individually contribute towards making this university and society as a whole more sustainable”, said Justus Murke, who was the presenter of the evening. “The faculties within our university are quite divided. It’s not always easy to meet people outside your study, but with this committee, we want to get people from different studies with different skills and knowledge to unite in fighting climate change. After all, its something that will affect all of us in the future.”
As their first order of business, the committee hosted an event highlighting the real purpose of sustainability where the documentary Racing Extinction was shown to a couple dozen students. Following the film, Professor Oosterling offered some advice for those on hand on how to successfully combat climate change as a unit.
“You don’t have to reinvent the wheel,” said Oosterling, who has taken part in climate change politics for nearly fifty years. “Take me for example. I’m not the savior of the world. I’m just a guy who makes some small decisions, but if everyone thinks this way, then collectively, it will be a very big decision. Climate change is too big of an issue for us to comprehend, so work together to fix the small elements that you can control and move forward from there.”
The EFR Sustainability Committee is set to announce their next event in the near future. For more information or to get involved, check out the committee’s page here.