Students rally to raise awareness of climate change
Members of NJPIRG hold protest for Stop Global Warming campaign
Members of New Jersey Public Interest Research Group protested yesterday to end global warming outside Brower Commons on the College Avenue campus and spread awareness of environmental issues relating to climate change.
More than 12 percent of students at the University signed petitions to call on President Barack Obama to take action on global warming, said Christi Capazzo, co-coordinator of NJPIRG’s Stop Global Warming campaign.
Capazzo recounted the importance of getting involved in the initiatives to help end global warming to students.
“We need to take action against global warming in New Jersey,” said Capazzo, a School of Arts and Sciences sophomore. “If we don’t act now, the consequences will be devastating. We have the solutions, we just need to apply them.”
Melanie McDermott, a professor in the Department of Human Ecology, said Obama promised to bring reform concerning environmental issues in his second inaugural address. She said he addressed climate change, the benefits of power plants and the importance of looking for ways to improve environmental conditions.
“Obama promised in his inauguration that he would do everything in his authority. He promised there would be a regulation of carbon plants. If there aren’t carbon plants already available, then he needs to get them because that just shows what a devastating state our nation is in,” she said.
Despite the rainy weather, students came to show their support with handmade signs and banners, advocating an end to global warming and other environmental issues such as pollution.
Phineas Lezuabah, co-coordinator of the campaign, said he believes global warming is real and that it is happening now.
“Students need to educate themselves about the issue and learn about it, because in 20 years, it’s us who are going to be dealing with it,” said Lezuabah, a School of Arts and Sciences first-year student.
Justin Habler, general chapter chair of NJPIRG at the University, spoke about the different ways students can directly get involved to end global warming.
“They can make an impact by getting involved in signing petitions and by contacting their local politicians and legislators so they also know that we are serious about this and want them to help us,” said Habler, a School of Arts and Sciences junior. “If we show them that we are serious, maybe they’ll want to help.”
Habler said a response from the student body is important because individuals are starting to realize that the environmental issues directly concern young generations. The Stop Global Warming campaign was designed to inform students at the University and bring about change.
“We want our voices to be heard because this is such a pressing issue. Let’s open our eyes and realize that there is a problem here,” Habler said. “Global warming is an issue now, not an issue of the future.”