Across campus Tuesday, students, faculty, and President Tiefenthaler quelled their grumbling stomachs to raise awareness for the increase in severity and frequency of extreme weather due to global climate change.
EnAct, a student group on campus that aims to raise environmental and social awareness at CC and in the surrounding community, launched this campus-wide fast in response to Super Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines on Nov. 7, 2013.
Haiyan was the largest typhoon to hit land ever recorded. As of Wednesday, the death toll had reached 5,719 according to Time.com.
Across the world, colleges, universities and other organizations have adopted this fast in support of Mr. Yep Sano of the Philippines.
“The fast was inspired by Mr. Yeb Sano, the delegate from the Philippines for the COP 19 Climate Summit in Warsaw, Poland, in November,” EnAct member Erica Jamieson said. “He spoke at the opening ceremony of the talks and pledged to fast in solidarity with his countrymen until some meaningful resolution to the talks was made.”
Mr. Sano fasted for all 12 days of the COP talks.
For freshman Colin Griffith, who admittedly “eats a lot of food” and has only 187 Tiger Bucks left on his meal plan, fasting for the entirety of Tuesday was a formidable challenge.
“This was the first time I had purposefully not eaten food in my entire life,” said Griffith, “As the day went on, I progressively became more out of sorts. I forgot to go to a meeting and replaced my water bottle about six times.”
This typhoon is a perfect example of the result of the world’s mass overconsumption of fossil fuels. This overconsumption leads to increased amounts of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, thus leading to a general warming of the Earth.
“Catastrophes such as Super Tyhoon Haiyan are not ‘natural disasters,” Jamieson said. “They are disasters directly connected to human activity.”
In addition to fasting, students could also donate meal plan money that would be used to buy food for the victims of the Boulder flooding earlier this year. Although not directly related to the Typhoon Haiyan, this effort is similarly aimed toward bolstering food security in areas disrupted by unprecedented natural disasters.
At 8:30 p.m., the fast culminated with a brief overview on these climate issues by members of EnAct, a summary of CC’s sustainability initiative by President Tiefenthaler, and a potluck.
“I was slightly dizzy as I loaded my plate with food,” said Griffith. “But I was content. By fasting, we were raising awareness of how global climate change is manifesting itself in extreme weather like Typhoon Haiyan and the destruction and suffering it brought to the Filipino people.”