Campus groups unite against coal

Recently a campus trend toward sustainability swept coolly through the early semester air. Several different groups are focusing on issues surrounding energy use, community and personal sustainability, and social justice.

Whether or not those groups will coalesce into a major force on campus remains to be seen. But what these groups have demonstrated is a commitment to their principles and a proclivity for events.

The Greenthumb Environmental Club recently invited Dave Cooper of Mountain Justice to campus and had him sort through the subtleties and stark images of mountaintop removal coal mining.  But if blasting off the tops of mountains wasn’t your thing, Greenthumb also hosted a pioneering platform last week in which 13 clubs participated.

Finally, the Office of Sustainability organized a poster conference titled “Big Blue Goes Green 2011.”

Now, as UK promotes its “Make an Impact!” week (its name was changed away from Colin Beavan’s “No Impact” title to this safer slogan), we need to talk about what the phrase means. “Make an Impact!” is literally opposed to No Impact.  That’s not to suggest any hidden intent for the UK administration that thankfully organized this experience.

Still, UK Kentuckians for the Commonwealth is adding its voice to the forceful fray. This Wednesday, the 21st, UK KFTC is screening Deep Down, a documentary film about people who live in Eastern Kentucky. This short film will be shown at 6 p.m. in the Worsham Theater.

And as part of the discussion on coal in general, UK KFTC is also screening “Dirty Business” on Friday at the same time. This film offers a more detailed analysis of “clean” coal. This film will also be shown in the Worsham Theater. I think the entire campus community should eagerly seek out the next vocal contribution to the democratic culture of campus activism.