Complacency Killed the Polar Bears

It’s not easy being green, which is why we are so proud of Seattle University for besting out the University of Washington and winning the Green Washington Award in the Government/Academia category.

It is so easy to be tempted to do the wrong thing at the detriment of the planet, for instance we are surrounded by cheap gas and coal and oil, the exploitation of which can bring jobs and security to our nation—though continued harvest of these resources could make much of our land unlivable. We possess the technology to soar through the air and explore the galaxy, but these luxuries come with a cost.

We should be proud to be members of one of the greenest communities in one of the greenest cities in one of the greenest corners of the world. We should be proud that there are those loud voices among us with the courage and the foresight to occasionally say “no thank you” when faced with one of these choices.

That said, there is still much work to be done if we want to continue the proud environmental legacy of our institution and its namesake. Seattle U may have been able to eke out a victory this time, but our Office of Sustainability has a small budget and is comprised of only one person—the talented and diligent Karen Price.

As the university grows, it is important that sustainability is not sidelined. Price’s department should have the support it needs from the university and its students to accomplish all of her goals and more.

Seattle U has tasked itself with “empowering leaders for a just and humane world,” but this effort will be for naught if we one day find ourselves without much of a world left to lead.

So while we’re ahead, let’s challenge ourselves to do better.

In the end, complacency—not coal—is what will kill the polar bears.