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Green IQ

SU students show their (lack of) knowledge about environmental issues.

Imagine Syracuse University 50 years from now, under 10 feet of water — waves sloshing up the sides of the Carrier Dome, desk chairs and tables rushing past E.S. Bird Library, students backstroking down Marshall Street.  It’s a nightmarishly wet future for SU. But one that will become increasingly real if unmitigated global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions continue to rise over the next half century, bringing the planet closer and closer to the point of irreversible change.  

Colleges and universities are not the only ones who have to worry about the future impact of global warming. Millions of people around the world will be affected if sea levels rise at the rate scientists predict over the next 100 years. But the world’s academic institutions have an extra burden: to equip today’s students — tomorrow’s political leaders, energy strategists, and policy makers — with the knowledge and skills to address climate challenge. 

So the question is: how engaged in environmental matters are students today? Will they be ready to fight the apocalypse when it comes? I hit the sidewalks of Syracuse University, as representative of a large university population, to find out.


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