Making a Difference
Anyone who has seen the movie Avatar by James Cameron would remember the fight of the Na'vi indigenous people of Pandora to save their environment from the destructive "Sky People." Another aspect that stands out in this movie is the immensely important leadership role of Jake Sully in rallying and organising the Na'vi to the eventual successful routing of their enemies.
Leaders are extremely important in a world where human brains comprehend through categorisation. John C. Maxwell notes in his book, Developing the Leader Within You, that leadership traits can be learned, and that, ultimately, leadership is rooted in how much one influences others.
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UTT can accomplish this by exposing all its students to a manner of living that ingrains the habits and concepts of protecting the environment deep within the student psyche. The second approach builds on the first to create a next level of future society leaders: the government ministers and managers who direct the country's policies, especially with respect to the environment and sustainable development, and the people who influence public perceptions, such as journalists and vocal, independent academics.
The first approach depends on changing the infrastructure, decreasing energy and waste requirements, incorporating green principles into the UTT syllabi, and promoting mentorship programs.
Changing the infrastructure of UTT involves replacing most of the petroleum-fuel-dependent electronics to becoming solar-dependent. UTT is situated in the country of Trinidad and Tobago, which is approximately ten degrees north of the equator. Its vibrant tropical climate ensures that solar energy is a dependable and renewable source of energy.
Apart from installing solar panels for energy, UTT can also decrease its energy needs by opting to use one day in the week for on-line lectures, tutorials or study sessions, where students and teachers are not required to be at the campus. On that day, the campus utilises only the most essential energy and the students do not utilise any transportation fuel.
UTT possesses a research center for renewable energy. With some time and sufficient investment, as well as encouragement for research students, UTT could produce high quality biofuel made completely from renewable energy. Solar energy can be used to power small scale biodiesel production, with feedstock being obtained from the agricultural centers in UTT. This biodiesel can in turn be used to power the transport for students to the campuses from their homes or from transportation centres such as bus stops. This decreases the need for students to use petroleum fuel in their vehicles to attend classes. This should be with the understanding that biodiesel is a temporary solution to liquid fuel energy for transport, since there are disadvantages to biodiesel such as its high nitrogen oxide emission content, and its perceived competition with vegetable food supplies. Long term...