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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Earth week invades campus

Free the Planet (FTP) ushered in Earth Week with events designed around the issues of Iowa local food, and water and energy conservation.

“We hope to offer both local and global perspectives of the relationships humans have with their environment,” said Savannah Duby ’13, one of the main organizers of the events.

The week kicked off with a visit from local farmers in Noyce explaining the current state of food in Iowa. The farmers touched upon the unfair competition with grocery stores, and year-round growing,

“Theoretically, you can almost make a 12 months calendar for eating local, eating fresh, along with preserving things to benefit you,” one farmer said at the Noyce event. “The nutrient content is going to be better and if you get them fresh, they are going to taste better.”

On Tuesday, Chris Bair, the Environmental & Safety Coordinator of Grinnell College, held a community forum to discuss carbon emissions in the Grinnell community. Currently, two thirds of carbon emissions of Grinnell College come from electricity, and about one third from natural gas. Economics professor Mark Montgomery sparked a debate over the College’s effectiveness at reducing emissions.

“We can double our emissions or cut our emissions to one tenth, and the impact of global temperature would be undetectable over 100 years,” he said. “If the price of fossil fuels does not go up and the price of new energy does not go down, people will still use fossil fuels as energy source.”
The following evening, a movie called “Eating Alaska” was shown in JRC 101.

“It’s a serious and humorous film. It is about what we eat and how that relates to the way we live,” said Ellen Frankenstein, the director of the movie. “It’s set in Alaska, but I would like people to use it in a way that is related to their options in daily life.”

The movie featured a woman who is constantly searching for a sustainable, healthy and ethical meal in a very humorous way, and there were laughers among the audience occasionally. Discussion came afterwards; people talked about serious issues related to the film.

“It is educational,” Duby said. “It is great to get people thinking and these events show people that Free The Planet is still active.”

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