I was reading this article:
and this one about Pepperdine, how it is handling the fires:
where scientists are struggling to maintain cell lines where the college is almost totally cut off
In the first article, the students at Berkley and at U of C Davis have had to petition to get classes cancelled due to air quality. At first U of C said they were going to go on with classes, but they had to reverse their position in the face of the opposition presented by the students. And it got me thinking about the future of universities, and what their responsibilities are to their students and how the future of climate change is going to effect the university system. And also about how the students had to fight to get classes cancelled, I wonder if we’ll see more and more of this where the students have to fight for environmental rights. I think about this myself in terms of building materials and off gassing, so many university buildings that I’m in are new and often I can smell or feel the effects of the off-gassing, so I wonder what students can demand in terms of environmental protections and how universities are going to have to adapt and respond to changing climate circumstances.
I think about this in terms of NYU, where much of the student housing is in areas that are predicted to be underwater in the not too distant future. I wonder how much the future of university success is going to be determined by location. I wonder if being located in areas of lower environmental pollution and risk, will eventually be part of what determines good universities, and I would think that if I were a parent in the future as it has been suggested it will be, I would want to send my kids to universities where there aren’t risks of fire, earthquake or toxic exposure. I wonder if the future of education will look like this photo below:
I would think that universities like Virginia Tech, or JMU would have an advantage in the future because they are in areas that are probably safer from climate change than universities on the coasts. I wonder if in the near future student demands for environmental protection will become an increasingly common event. And what responsibilities does the university have, there is limited control they have over things like the smoke from these fires, or environmental pollution, are they going to be able to respond to student demands for environmental protection? And what if there was an event that caused a non-transient environmental situation, something that wouldn’t clear up on its own life smoke, what responsibility does the university have then? Would the university have an obligation to the students health to take extraordinary steps to provide for them, or would it have to move? I wonder if there are universities that are considering shifting to more online classes for just this reason? In relation to blog post 5, I wonder how much climate change is going to dictate the future of the university? I imagine it will actually have a greater impact on the future of education than we might now imagine. This situation in California might be the first instance of students demanding environmental protection, but I don’t think it will be the last.