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University Students Make Bold Policy Move Against Governor: ‘We Are An Institution Backed By Science’

Source: 6 South Florida/Jeffrey Greenberg

Climate change has been a big problem for decades, with supporters arguing that it spells the end of humanity, deniers say it’s an exaggerated issue. Amongst these supporters are students at the University of Florida.

The student body agreed together on a new policy to reduce the University’s carbon footprint by limiting its dependence on “dirty energy.” This deliberate defiance sends a message that UF prioritizes the Science of pressure from the status quo or politics.

Understanding The Climate Change Debate

It’s difficult to understand the significance of these students’ defiance without first understanding the climate change debate. Experts and scientists point to an increase in Earth’s temperature as the ice sheets are shrinking, sea levels are rising, and the Arctic sea is declining.

Soure: Daily Mail/Paul Souders

On the other hand, Climate change deniers claim that the news is a mere political hoax and the evidence is inconsistent. As for noticed changes in climate, these occur naturally and will happen regardless of human activity.

The Government Won’t Take Climate Change Seriously

According to experts, climate change is an extinction-level threat. It already affects crucial parts of the world, like the Amazon rainforest, which has dried up and killed hundreds of rare pink dolphins. Sadly, Governments all over the world aren’t taking the matter seriously.

Source: X/cosmichodler

Multiple sources show that the government rarely allocates funds to further research alternatives to fossil fuels. Even the few times they plan to do something for the climate, they fail to follow through. The Biden administration is an excellent example as he came into office promising a cleaner future by 2050 but has made little to no progress.

The University Of Florida Is Fed Up

The Government’s lack of action on such a pressing issue seemed to upset the students at the University of Florida. Therefore, the entire student body and senate agreed to pass a new policy on February 20.

Source: X/AIMprojectng

This new rule aims to reduce the school’s consumption of dirty energy sources. Dirty energy is another term for any power source derived from methods that promote global warming or harm the Earth.

The Green New Deal

The students call the new policy the “Green New Deal,” inspired by a similar bill suggested by the U.S. Senate in 2019. This resolution aims to achieve net-zero greenhouse emissions and create more jobs. Sadly, it was never passed as it received a vote of 0-57.

Source: X/MidAm_EnergyCo

The UF’s new policy draws inspiration from this piece of history. They aim to reduce or even cut off research funding sent to the university by fossil fuel companies. At the same time, they aim to slowly divest from dirty energy into greener ones.

How Does This ‘Defy” The Government?

Some internet users applaud the effort of UF students but wonder how this “defies” the government. Based on our research, Florida’s Governor, Ron DeSantis, isn’t very fond of students protesting.

Source: X/owengladwyn

He has also previously shown support for fossil fuel and is currently sitting on a Bill that experts say could “delete the majority of references to climate change in state law.” Therefore, the unanimous policy from the University of Florida will catch the governor’s attention.

UF Started First But Won’t Be The Last

Currently, UF is the only public university to pass this climate change policy, but it won’t be the last. Some students believe other schools will join in the movement, and one of these optimistic people is Cameron Driggers, the executive director of the Youth Action Fund and a first-year business administration student.

Source: X/DouglasSoule

According to Driggers: “Seeing a huge campus in a red state adopt a ‘green new deal’ is hopefully a sign that this movement is spreading to other universities around the country, and start treating this climate crisis like a crisis that it is.”

‘We Are An Institution Backed By Science’

Other students are vocal about Florida’s mishandling of the climate change issue and their support for the new policy. One student and sponsor of the bill, Sofia Aviles, commented on the situation.

Source: Wikimedia Commons/Ernie Stephens

She said: “We are trying to show the Florida government that despite their efforts, we are an institution backed by science.” In other words, Aviles follows the science and acknowledges climate change as an impending doom that UF will not ignore.

Some Of The State’s Government Is Onboard

For now, it seems as if most political figures and government officials couldn’t care less about climate change. But in reality, some people leading Florida acknowledge climate change and support UF’s protest.

Source: X/@orlandosentinel

One such person is Florida State Representative Anna Eskamani. She expressed her support for the policy that students of the University of Florida agreed upon. Some argue that her input may make this protest worthwhile.

There’s Still More To Do

Currently, the policy set by the University of Florida hasn’t received approval yet. It still needs to pass through the school’s board of trustees. This assessment will happen on March 7 as the members debate the bill and its effectiveness.

Source: Wikimedia Commons/Wally Rhines

However, even if it doesn’t get the board’s approval, the students have already “sounded the alarm”. Their defiance could start a revolution as others join the fight against dirty energy.

Arguments Against The Bill

The government has received similar bills and suggestions from people asking for it to switch to cleaner energy. Most counter-arguments mainly focus on the suggestion’s feasibility.

Source: Shutterstock/Waleeds

Experts argue that succumbing to these requests for cleaner energy will cause the government to overreach and spend too much money on the changes. Such drastic alterations will cause economic shrinkage, resulting in bigger issues.

Lack Of Specific Suggestions

Other critics complain that climate change supporters beg for government intervention but don’t give specifics on what they need. This cycle feels like a child tugging on their parent’s shirt, asking for something but never giving details.

Source: Flickr/Valerio Donfrancesco

Therefore, these critics claim that UF students can only be taken seriously if they provide straightforward answers to the problem they protest.

Specific Suggestions Already Exist

Climate change supporters already proposed some solutions to the climate change issue. Some suggestions include protecting and restoring forests and wetlands that balance the presence of carbon.

Source: X/EUAmbPH

They also recommend shifting to solar, wind, and geothermal energy as a substitute for dirty energy. Lastly, experts propose laws that support climate change development like the Montreal Protocol in 1987 that cut CFC production to fix the ozone layer.

It Might Just Work

Some consider the policy by UF to be counterproductive as the school may suffer from a lack of financing from these big fossil fuel companies. However, this result aligns with the student’s goals.

Source: X/zesty_politics

Florida’s governor will have to issue a statement as the school’s educational value declines, or he gets pressured by the press. Therefore, UF may have made a pivotal move in the battle against dirty energy.

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Mary Scrantin

Written by Mary Scrantin

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