Like it or not, grades are a way by which society evaluates us, but Princeton can alleviate the burden in this unusual semester by giving us the full ability, through an extended PDF deadline, to choose which grades we reveal while navigating the challenges of online learning.
This is the life that we are going to increasingly have to live if we want a shot at limiting global warming to two degrees Celsius, a threshold that climate scientists believe marks the difference between manageable and catastrophic global change.
The ultimate goal of all of these initiatives should not be alienation of our planet. Rather, it should be to promote a culture and global worldview that sees humans and nature as inextricably linked and that recognizes the need to preserve one, nature, in order to keep the other, human, healthy.
The practices which Princeton employs currently — to make every service free, regardless of the resources used — are cultivating a wasteful mindset among us undergraduates which will end up costing us and the Earth more after graduation. Instead of allowing its students to be willfully ignorant within the Orange Bubble, the University should begin charging us on a usage basis, teaching us to be more conscientious and responsible citizens of this planet while helping us to save money in the long run.
Recycling allows us to get there, but only if we all participate willingly and enthusiastically. It’s not that difficult to take five minutes to familiarize yourself with Princeton’s recycling guidelines and then change your daily routine to make sure you’re tossing things away correctly.
There are certainly benefits to statistics and dollar amounts – they help us make quick assessments of the worth of a project or the costs of certain actions. Yet it is also up to us to constantly remember what is lost in the quantification process and to learn to recognize and communicate those losses when we can.