The Climate Reality Project, a group that only became a recognized student organization at the end of last semester, held its first meeting of the calendar year on Tuesday, Jan. 31 in room 327 of Dimond Library.
One of the biggest projects the group completed was during the fall of 2015, when members handed out petitions for students to sign showing support for the Paris climate talks. The signatures were eventually delivered to the talks, along with petitions from all over the country showing support for a global initiative on climate change.
According to Climate Reality Project President Nicole Williamson, the group received a letter from President Obama thanking them for their support
The club is open to all students, and though many of the members are studying fields related to environmental science, there is no lack of diversity in the studies of those attending the meetings.
Junior zoology major Tess Olson, a scuba diver of five years, found a passion for conservation when noticing the effects of climate change on coral reefs.
“I’m a scuba diver, so anything that has to do with changing the oceans and affecting the reefs is really important to me,” Olson said.
When speaking on the difference between Climate Reality and other environmental organizations on campus, sophomore mechanical engineering major Sean McLoud said that Climate Reality isn’t as political as other groups, such as NextGen.
“We’re more student-based. We’re targeting the students and [telling] them what they can do to help out,” McLoud said.
Every semester, members participate in a different event and create a new goal for students to accomplish regarding positive environmental change.
“We want to start educating students. We want the students to be the ones making the change,” Williams said about plans for the upcoming semester.
The Climate Reality Project plans on getting students more involved by attempting to take the challenge of environmental efficiency to the dorms. The organization is currently planning a competition between dorms to see which hall reduces, or changes energy use for the greener good.
Williams stressed the importance of working with the university as well as the students to create a more environmentally friendly campus.
“We’re focusing less on demonizing UNH for not doing things that we want them to do and [instead] acknowledging what they have done. We want to do more, but we want to work with [UNH]. They’re a lot of help,” Williamson said.
“It’s good to hear that there are a lot of people trying to make a change. There are so many organizations on campus [and] we have different goals, but we’re for the same cause,” Olson added.
Education is also a big part of the club’s platform, as is remaining positive about the future in regard to climate change,
“Especially with our current political status, it’s really important to not be discouraged and to fight back even harder,” Williams said.
The Climate Reality Project meets every Tuesday at 8 p.m. in Dimond Library. On Feb. 7 the club will meet in room 352, and on Feb. 14 the club will meet in room 343. For more information on the meeting places and the club, visit the Climate Reality Project Facebook page or email President Nicole Williamson at firstname.lastname@example.org