When I heard about how the Pacific University golf team travels to and from their away tournaments, I was appalled. There are a mere six to 11 people in 50-person bus eating up rubber, road and resources for hundreds of miles? I thought it was a sick joke. Not only is it disgusting from an environmental standpoint (think 4 to 6 miles per gallon), but from a cold-hearted and calculated economic point of view, it is ghastly. For $3,000 or more the team gets to “ride in style,” leaving a nasty streak of burned fossil fuels and pollutants trailing behind.
When I saw that the article written in the last issue of the Index applauded this occurrence and offered it up as a perk, I was shocked. Perhaps it’s a recruiting ploy for the golf team?
It does not take too much basic math or even alarm for environmental degradation to see that chartering of this bus for the golf team makes absolutely zero sense. Students should be outraged that our university with part of its mission to “embrace sustainability and use the university as a learning laboratory for sustainable practices” is permitting a nearly-empty gas-guzzling giant to roam the road for miles and miles.
Perhaps I have misinterpreted this mission statement and by “use the university as a learning laboratory for sustainable practices” it means that the experiment is to see how much we can degrade and destroy before there is nothing left. Sounds like a good experiment, I mean it would be useful to know exactly how much irresponsibility we can get away with before the system collapses. I guess I am just seeing it as a fine line that I would rather not toe and test. I would hope the public at large would like to see the benefits of staying away from tipping this fine balance. Riding in an under-occupied gas-hog should not been seen as stylish. It is time we realize the ripples our actions leave. It is time conservation and real environmental responsibility make their way from the fringes of society to the mainstream, not just play as a marketing gimmick. The science is well-founded, this is an educational institution, we should be leading by example.