The Universitys recent announcement that it will purchase wind-powered energy credits for the undergraduate residence halls bodes well for its long-standing commitment to the environment.
At $160,000 a year, the money spent on the energy contract hardly strains a campus energy bill that already totals $1,990,000. On top of that, we applaud the fact that the University has chosen energy-efficient meansdecreasing dorm heating and replacing lighting with energy-saving fluorescent lights in the residence hallsto fund this change.
But while the price tag is not hefty, we should not allow ourselves to believe that this alone will make any tangible difference. It is a step in the right direction, but our commitment, without that of other institutions, businesses, and households, will not result in the capital necessary for energy sources like wind power to become realistic alternatives to fuel.
While on one level this can be seen as a worthwhile gesture, we hope that it will also be a sign that the University will continue to commit to its environmental obligations. The coming years will bring enormous levels of development to the campus. As plans are finalized, the significance of being environmentally contentious will become increasingly central.
In order to retain the Universitys well deserved reputation the University should continue to use its clout and capital for the creation of sustainable methods of conservation for the city of Chicago and the planet Earth.