UF's green pledge

Published: Friday, January 5, 2007 at 9:48 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 5, 2007 at 9:48 a.m.

Since his arrival on campus, President Bernie Machen has been clear about his commitment to make the University of Florida "green." The word "sustainable" became coin of the realm, as the university stepped up efforts to be more energy efficient and less wasteful of finite resources.

Given what's already happened on campus the purchase of fuel-efficient vehicles, the construction of energy saving buildings, even attempts to buy more food locally to cut down on fuel-consuming transportation costs it is no surprise that Machen would now be in the vanguard of presidents who are pledging to pursue the goal of "zero" greenhouse gas emissions on their campuses. Cynics might say such a goal is impossible, so why bother? But universities are the very institutions where ambitious goals ought to routinely exceed immediate grasp. From lofty ambition comes great leaps of progress.

Machen is one of a dozen campus leaders from around the nation to sign the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment. "Global warming is one of the great challenges to our time, and UF needs to help address the problem before it seriously impacts the lives of future generations," Machen said this week.

We are proud that Machen has put UF in the forefront of what we hope will be a national green movement in academia. It isn't enough that higher education produce the research and science necessary to combat global warming. Great universities must also lead by example.

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