Welcome to the Solution Across Borders blog. Not only for members, this blog is a a Baruch-wide initiative to keep our campus involved in global affairs. Feel free to comment and participate in our discussions here or to come to our meetings on Tuesdays in at VC11-160.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Sustainability: Our Opportunity? Or Failure?

In the 1970's the United States had a crucial opportunity to set a new direction for modern civilization. Electric cars were being built, solar panels were being more widely publicized, environmentalism was making grounds and we had faced our first test to the dependency and chaos our addiction to oil causes. Yet, with all of these things in motion we failed to take advantage, and allowed our short-sightedness to prevail. It's March of 2009, two months shy of three years since the "Inconvenient Truth" by Al Gore first hit the world about our climate issues and how we are potentially at fault. I say potentially for as much as it has been proven to be humanities burning of fossil fuels as the main cause of global warming there are still some that believe that our climate issues are of a cyclical process that the Earth takes, coinciding with the Earth's shift in its axis known as the precession cycle which happens every 25,800 years, and other scientific phenomenons happening now and within the next few years.
On Friday March 20th, SAB members and guests attended the film screening, "A Crude Awakening: The Oil Crash". The movie seemed to portray our way of life as one which will not be around in the next Thirty or so years. Where our grandchildren may not know what it is like to fly on an airplane. A gloomy prediction of our world and the capabilities of civilization without enough energy and subsequently enough food and other resources. Where wars, famine, disease are inevitable outcomes. However, I am not as cynical, but it is clear that actions must be taken now.
As I look around me I see an increased awareness for the environment. Architects are building and retrofitting structures to conserve and use less energy. Inventions for cars that emit little to no pollution are being created, and have been created. Businesses and Schools such as Baruch College are taking steps to become greener and reduce their carbon footprint as well as encourage their communities and (in Baruch's case) their students to be aware and take action as well. The government in parallel with the current recession is taking the opportunity to put money (about 150 Billion over the next ten years) to create and spur growth in a "Green Economy" with "Green collared jobs". It will be hard but the more we change our psychology as a society and use our innovative and hard working American values, I can't foresee this gloomy prediction of the world as we know it coming to an end.
Sustainability; a greener less pollutant impact-ful society is our opportunity. Our opportunity as a nation to spur job growth, new industry. A motivator that could force our whole system of how we do things to change. Encouraging our student to learn the sciences and mathematics, fields that we rank poorly in as an industrialized nation. A motivator to make the United States become a leader again in the world, making us stronger safer, and potentially more peaceful with our brothers and sisters of the world. Helping them reach new heights in their societies and making our world better , safer and more enjoyable. Sustainability is an opportunity for the world to come together as one for a common purpose, something that has never happened before, where we unite as a species to protect our home and define a new era where inventions, success, wealth is driven not by the desire to conquer and make war, or consume, but by the desire to clean, protect and increase or wealth and prosperity as a whole and to protect even augment our way of life in comfortability and health. We have to leave the short-sighted goals of the past at the door, and embark on a new process of thought, a thought where the more we do for each other and our planet, the better off we all are.
However the failure to do or see this potential, this opportunity, maybe our downfall as a global society. History in hundreds of years may look back at what should have been, what could've been, but what ultimately we failed to become. I don't think we want this legacy.
Participation starts now, whether you're at home or somewhere else. Baruch college has a sustainability task force, found at the following website: http://www.baruch.cuny.edu/sustainability/ . Here the students have an opportunity to contribute in a positive and innovative way to our communities, our peers, our school and our world. March 30th to April 2nd, Solutions Across Borders, The Undergraduate Student Government (USG), Sigma Alpha Delta honor society and Net Impact, will each be participating and aiding the Sustainability effort, an effort that is CUNY and city wide. This first mission is called Green Week. Monday March 30th will have a host of tables for the education of sustainability and some of the leading industries. Tuesday March 31st will consist of a movie and discussion, presenting "Who Killed the Electric Car", and Thursday April 2nd will be a day where panelist from leading companies and organizations will discuss the value and actions of participating, being involved and aware of sustainability efforts and our environment. For more information pay attention to the flyers or contact SAB at SolutionsAcrossBorders@gmail.com.

-Kadri Augustin
SAB Member


  1. Upcoming events

    Saturday, March 28th (Due Date!!)

    Theme: "Going Green"
    All CUNY students, staff, faculty and alumni are invited to submit a video entry that is no more than 2 minutes in length to the Sustainable CUNY Shorts You Tube Group. Submissions can be funny or serious and in the form of a skit, demonstration project or song, with a goal of inspiring others to live sustainably. The winner will be selected by students and Sustainable CUNY leaders, based on both content and public viewership, so encourage your family and friends to view your selection.
    For a List of Sustainable Events: http://web.cuny.edu/about/sustainable/events.html . Sustainable CUNY Shorts Youtube Group: http://www.youtube.com/group/sustainablecunyshort
    Stacey knows someone who could make a video, so all we need to do is to brainstorm and actually get together and make a video. The due date is THIS SATURDAY, so if you have an idea, spit it out, let's not waste time.
    Possible prize: $500 cash prize sponsored by Sustainable CUNY (The winner will be announced Earth Day, April 22nd, 2009)

    Tuesday, March 31st

    What: A viewing of "Who killed the electric car?", followed by a very exciting discussion on what the Baruch community can do to help in the efforts.
    Where: NVC 2-215

    Saturday, April 18, 2009 (Time: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.)

    What: Join Earth Day New York's Nurturing Nature Program for a tree planting as part of our Take Action for the Earth Campaign! (Planting Trees and Greening Pomonok Houses)
    Registration is limited; sign up now at: http://www.jetblue.com./green/trees.asp --->RSVP: By April 3, 2009
    Where: Pomonok Houses
    Meet at the Pomonok Playground
    Corner of Kissena Blvd. and 65th Ave.
    Rain or Shine
    Possible prize: You will need to register on the Jet Blue site; they're raffling off a pair of roundtrip flights to any of the 50-plus cities JetBlue Airways serves nonstop from New York City.

    Wednesday, Aprill 22nd

    What: Earth Day (Green Farmer's Market)---> not exactly sure what it is going to be like
    Where: Multipurpose 1-107, Cafeteria ( a subject to change)

    -Olga Skakunova
    SAB Member

  2. Donations for the American Cancer Society

    Hey guys, as you know this past Friday was the Relay for Life. This event was aimed at raising funds for the American Cancer Society. The donations go to fund research for better forms of detection and treatment of malignancies. Proceeds will also fund support groups and other programs offered by the American Cancer Society for both survivors and their families. Stacy, Rataan, and Keiko did a great job representing Solutions Across borders on Friday. Though Relay for Life has passed, there is still a wonderful opportunity to contribute to the efforts for conquering cancer. If you are interested in donating to the cause, simply bring whatever you can to the meeting tomorrow. Your donation will be collected and then turned into the American Cancer Society. We may not be able to directly cure cancer ourselves, but we can provide the resources to those that can….