By Jenna A. Robinson
Many American universities are now “going green.” To some extent, this makes sense. Universities are huge enterprises that stand to save hundred of thousands of dollars by cutting down on waste, using energy more wisely, and making better use of the resources they already have instead of always insisting on new, better, and more of everything. When green is frugal, it should be welcomed on campus.
But in many cases campus greening, now called “sustainability,” goes far beyond smart moves to use resources more wisely. It has become a matter of religion.
Jesse Saffron catalogs one North Carolina school’s foray into sustainability in today’s article for the Pope Center. He writes:
“North Carolina State University (NCSU) provides an illustration of the problem. An especially pernicious brand of environmentalism—‘sustainability’—is on the verge of becoming an unstated, but very real, part of the school’s mission. University leaders are developing an aggressive public relations campaign and curriculum change that could create a system in which students are inculcated in social justice, environmental justice, and progressivism—all of which are tenets of sustainability.”
In short, the campus “Sustainability Council” seeks to replace debate with dogma, making sustainability a part of everything the school does.
Saffron warns, “Left unchecked, this seemingly harmless movement (which has a strong presence at other North Carolina universities, too) could sow the seeds of social upheaval by turning hearts and minds away from the principles of a free society.”
Read the whole article here.
Jenna A. Robinson is president of the John W. Pope Center for Higher Education Policy.