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Letter to the Editor

BY DI READERS | APRIL 26, 2012 6:30 AM

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Down with coal

At Old Brick on April 18, the Beehive Design Collective opened my eyes to the true cost of coal. Never before did I pay any mind to the correlations between our everyday lives and the externalized costs of coal. What an awful legacy of Americans' deprivation behind the evolution of our nation: It's as if businessmen are developing our country and economy without regard to the commons of our planet or public health. The connections are plenty between the government and industry, but we the people share this world, too. 

Compared with proven innovations in sustainable development, coal is needlessly on life support — and we are paying the bill. It's time to reinvest in our people and let our people invest in the future. The most convenient place to start is here in our towns, in our state, at our institutions of higher education.

UI, and other public universities alike, should stand up with us and stop prolonging the coal industry's wreckage of our communities. 

To Iowa's regent university Presidents Sally Mason, Steven Leath, and Benjamin Allen: Please stand with our people's dream now, and make proactive commitments to move our campuses beyond coal in this decade. 

And to Iowa's Board of Regents and Gov. Terry Branstad: please support and encourage our universities' progress toward a safer, healthier, more sustainable, and just future without the countless disparities associated with coal. 

For our grandchildren and theirs: thank you. 

Zach Carter
UI mechanical engineering undergrad


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