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LETTER: The value of carrying climate change advocacy beyond campus walls

As students and faculty leave Grounds for the summer, they can continue taking action wherever they are

<p>Calling or writing to your members of Congress takes just a few moments, and it’s one of the most important and empowering choices you can make to create robust climate solutions.</p>

Calling or writing to your members of Congress takes just a few moments, and it’s one of the most important and empowering choices you can make to create robust climate solutions.

I was inspired by the Editorial Board’s column urging the University to take greater institutional action in the struggle against climate change. The Board rightly points out that while individual action is meaningful, “it is institutions that are capable of making the changes we desperately need.” The University is indeed a significant institution whose actions can help create the economic and political will that we undoubtedly need on this issue.

In addition, as students and faculty leave Grounds for the summer, it’s valuable to remember other institutional leaders whom they can influence whether they’re on campus or not — their members of Congress.

Just like the University’s leaders, politicians are influenced by those they serve. Calling or writing to your members of Congress takes just a few moments, and it’s one of the most important and empowering choices you can make to create robust climate solutions. If you’re nervous or unsure where to start, like I was, organizations like Citizens’ Climate Lobby provide extremely helpful resources regardless of your political experience or location. And for such an effective action, it doesn’t take much time. Committing just one hour of your summer break to calling or writing — that’s just 20 minutes a month — can have a significant impact.

One of the first steps you can take to combating climate change is to speak to those with the power to craft solutions. As the Board points out, institutions can make the biggest difference, but they’re most likely to act when they hear from the people they serve. This summer, make yourself heard.

Sincerely,      

Catherine Epstein

Catherine Epstein is a writer and educator, and she volunteers with Citizens’ Climate Lobby.

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