Health and the Environment: Personal Courage and Community Activism

The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us, the less taste we shall have for the destruction of our race. Wonder and humility are wholesome emotions, and they do not exist side by side with a lust for destruction.
Rachel Carson (Speech accepting the John Burroughs Medal)

This year's campus theme celebrates the relationship between a healthy environment and human health. It will defineCampus Theme Logo ways that we as individuals and through community action can connect with each other and the earth, to protect and preserve both.

It seems we hear more and more about environmental calamities-Deep Water Horizon, Fukushima, Hurricane Sandy, chemicals, oil, and coal ash spilling into rivers and oceans. We expect that changing weather conditions will make these problems worse. We also hear about how even tiny concentrations of some of the materials released into our environment can make us ill, cause birth defects, and even change the way we think. Yet as a culture we are often ineffective at assessing risk and implementing preventative measures. Our challenge is to find strategies to resolve these issues. And we can! This year's theme will reach across the disciplines to develop among ourselves the expertise to understand and preserve a safe and healthy living space in which future generations can flourish.

For more information on the 2014-2015 campus theme, or to get involved, email campustheme@hartwick.edu.