Rice University’s Student Newspaper — Since 1916

Wednesday, August 10, 2022 — Houston, TX

Environmental productivity key to future

By Shamsa Mangalji     3/31/11 7:00pm

Productivity. We all strive for it. Students inhale Red Bulls and lock themselves into their rooms to be productive. Athletes, doctors, lawyers, farmers, workers in every profession, you name it, want to be productive. And why not? In our society, productivity is rewarded handsomely. You can't get an A+ or a stack of Benjamins if you're not a productive worker.

Interestingly enough, it's that mindset which is stymieing us in our quest to stop environmental degradation. We prioritize productivity over environmental responsibility.  Put it this way – As much as I like to scream about our need to decrease demand for fossil fuels, I'll never ride my bike to my office 25 miles away. Because I know I won't be so productive during that day. Threatening my receiving of those aforementioned Benjamins.

EPA documents show that the only way we can make a dent in our greenhouse gas output is to decrease our demand for energy. But what does that mean? Right now, decreasing demand for energy will entail cutting our electricity usage, limiting our car and flight travel, and (alas) sacrificing purchases of those aluminum RedBull cans. Even the most eco-savvy working citizens will grudgingly admit the significant loss of profit/productivity of all sectors if we embark on these initiatives.



 Investing in renewable energy initiatives will not instantaneously fix all of our problems. Even if we proudly unveil our spanking-new wind-powered power plants, there's no guarantee that our energy supply will be perfect; mistakes are bound to happen, power's going to go out from time to time when these plants are first introduced, compromising productivity of every person in every professional sector.

In order to stop global warming, Americans need to chill out. We need to be willing to take some time to change our habits. We need to adjust our standards for ‘productivity' in a way that will help conserve our environment.

So let's start now. Next time your paper is docked off tell them you had to switch off your computer to save the world.

We need to take time to save the environment. Be OK with mistakes made in our quests to switch our gaskets.

We just keep trying to do things that will let us continue this cycle--carbon offsets and downcycling.

Everything's built to be trashed so people can consume more, where else could our productive time have gone? Into making a better society?

When we save something in already manufactured form, we conserve material and the energy it took to produce item.

We have to be more patient, and slow down a little, like other countries do. They may not be more productive, but they have the wherewithal to be more environmentally friendly. We have to redefine enviormental productivity.

Furthermore, we need to downsize our demand for energy, meat consumption, even if it's not convenient for us in our quest for productivity.

I'll only know that we're making steps when we shut off the air conditioning in a concerted effort to save energy, and no one

makes a peep.

We shouldn't think of enviroment conservation as a practice only for profit, but one for our future.

Shamsa Mangalji is a Martel College junior.



More from The Rice Thresher

OPINION 5/12/22 4:05pm
The Wellbeing Center should be transparent about its true confidentiality policies

Before you attend a counseling session at the Rice counseling center, you will be told that “the RCC maintains strict standards regarding privacy.” You will find statements from the university that your mental health record will not be shared with anyone outside of extreme situations of imminent harm, and only then that your information will be shared with only the necessary officials. This sounds great, except that these assurances bear no teeth whatsoever — no enforcement agency ensures that Rice follows its public confidentiality promises, and there are no penalties for Rice if they break them. The Wellbeing and Counseling Centers should more directly communicate the limits of their confidentiality policies when compared to unaffiliated counseling centers, and students in sensitive situations should take the necessary precautions to protect their information.

OPINION 4/19/22 11:11pm
We’re in student media to learn

This week marks the last issue of the Thresher for the year, and for the seniors like myself, our last issue ever. I have been a part of the Thresher since freshman year. And it would not be an exaggeration to say it has defined my Rice experience. As someone pursuing a career in journalism after graduation, there has been no better place to learn than at this paper.

OPINION 4/19/22 11:02pm
Philanthropy doesn’t excuse slavery

In January, the Rice Board of Trustees announced plans to move the Founder’s memorial to another area of the academic quad as part of a whole redesign, adding additional context of his “entanglement” with slavery. This comes despite continual calls from the student body to not have the enslaver displayed in the quad regardless of the context provided. It would be just for these calls to action and the majority of the Task Force Committee who voted to not keep it there that the Board of Trustees decide to not keep the memorial prominently displayed in the quad at all.


Comments

Please note All comments are eligible for publication by The Rice Thresher.