This week’s Record might as well be dubbed “The Environmental Issue,” (yes, its a pun), with all the coverage we have of and other environmental awareness projects occurring around campus.  Since there won’t be a Record out next week because of fall break, we had to really squeeze stuff in and preview as many upcoming events as possible, and it turns out that Goshen College students have been and continue to be participating in environmental movements in a big way.

I am inspired when I see the number of students from GC who, in spite of their busy class schedules and loads of extracurriculars, have decided to take extra time out of their day or weekend to learn more about the climate change crisis, or to do the extra work to recycle stuff rather than throw it away (thanks EcoPax).  It’s even nice to see students riding bikes everywhere, though as the cold winter months approach, the environment may take a back seat to comfort as people begin driving to Thursday night bowling instead of cycling.

Ultimately though, change on a much more massive level is the only thing that can preserve this planet for future generations.  If Ryan Sensenig, assistant professor of biology and teacher of many environmental science classes, has convinced me of anything, it is this one fact:  scale matters.

Even if the entire Goshen College campus stopped consuming energy at all, we wouldn’t really make a dent in the overall emissions problem that will lead to increasing global temperatures, erratic weather patterns and the eventual flooding of coastal areas.

It is still important to make personal choices like recycling and riding a bike.  This is how we form an individual connection with the changes needed to keep total environmental crisis at bay.

Equally important, however, is political involvement.  Writing to senators and congresspeople, and doing anything possible to influence national policy decisions, should be a big part of a conscientious environmentalist’s action plan.