In the Feb. 23, 1995 issue of Scholastic, environmental sciences and biology major Monique DiGiorgio penned an article about the environmental crisis called “Animal Kingdom, Human Arrogance.” She argued against the popular view of environmentalism as a passing “trend” and said that the movement was here to stay. Although some people believed that the world had more pressing issues than the environmental crisis — poverty and homelessness, for example — DiGiorgio countered that environmental and human issues are connected. “The Earth and all that it supports is one community and one being,” she wrote. “Destruction of its parts will eventually be detrimental to its whole existence, and consequently, our existence.”
Over 20 years later, it is indeed clear that environmentalism was not just a passing “trend.” The issue has become more and more urgent with time. On campus, students have seen several changes over the years. From reducing tray use in the dining halls to adding recycling bins to all of the dorm rooms, Notre Dame and the Office of Sustainability have successfully implemented environmentally-conscious initiatives.
The changes made so far, however, are not enough. The death of Sudan — the last male northern white rhino — on March 19, serves to remind us that we “have forced other species into extinction and continue to do so.” Even now, 23 years after DiGiorgio called her fellow students to action, there is much more that can and should be done.