BYU hosted a national climate change campaign, known as RepublicEn, on campus Nov. 2. Former congressman Bob Inglis, who said he was voted out of office for his stance on the reality of climate change, was the main speaker. BYU students gave Provo mayor John Curtis a giant purple Y to show their appreciation for what he’s done to help improve Provo’s air quality following the event.
“For my first 6 years in congress I said that climate change was nonsense — I didn’t know anything about it except that Al Gore was for it. Now I understand that if you object to climate change you should get an ‘F’ in chemistry,” Inglis said.
Inglis’ address, hosted at The Wall restaurant on campus, focused on uniting people, understanding the costs of pollution, and overcoming the idea climate change is unbeatable.
Members of the BYU Climate Change Club and the Climate Campaign went to Curtis’ office to personally deliver a him a giant purple Y following Inglis’ address.
The purple coloring of the Y is symbolic of a unified front against climate change. The mixing of BYU and University of Utah school colors as well as the red and blue colors of Republicans and Democrats yield the purple color used to paint the Y.
BYU senior and president of the Climate Campaign Nicholas Huey said Curtis has done a lot for the air quality in Provo.
“He’s established Provo’s Clean Air Toolkit, encouraged mass transit in the city, and made it possible for residents to buy renewable energy for cheap,” Huey said. “All these things clean up our air, and they also help to mitigate climate change.”
Club members thanked Curtis for his work to clean the town’s air after presenting him with the purple Y.
“A ton of this is just education. As mayor, that’s the majority of what I’ve done,” Curtis said. “I provide education and I offer solutions, and people make the best choices on their own.”
Seth Nelson, a BYU student and member of the Climate Change Club, said one person driving an electric car won’t make a big difference in cleaning up the air, but one person voting for a candidate who will help clean up a city can make a significant impact. He said those interested in helping clean up the air should look for political candidates who are willing to do something about climate change.
The Municipal General Election will take place on November 7, 2017. The polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Those interested in getting more involved with the RepublicEn program can head to the group’s website.