Save the Brewskies

On Friday, November 28, Colgate students gathered in Donovan’s Pub to support Save the Ales, Colgate’s annual effort to save hops and prevent extreme climate change.? In the sparsely lit pub, students tucked into benches and crowded by a small stage as they waited for Danger Boy-the main act-to perform.?As the group began to play, electrified students continued to gather to listen and dance, all in support of obliterating climate change and ensuring the future of beer production.

Save the Ales derives its name from recent research indicating that the climate change has detrimental effects on the growth of hops, a necessary ingredient for beer.? Program Assistant for the Environmental Studies Department Rachel Surprenant explained that the event’s quirky name is part of its attraction.

” ‘Save the Ales’ is thus a catchy phrase, similar to the popular ‘Save the Whales’ campaign begun in the late ’70s, that gets students interested because it involves beer,”?Surprenant said.

Under these auspices, the event aims to raise funds for Native Energy, an organization that focuses on supporting alternative energy sources and development, specifically in regards to renewable wind energy.?

Climate change has certainly come into the spotlight recently. Scores of newspaper articles and former Vice President Al Gore’s documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, have helped to publicize the issue. However, event organizers believe more awareness is still necessary.?

President of Colgate’s environmental group Students for Environmental Awareness (SEA) senior Gavin Leighton reiterated the need to continue to press the issue of climate change.

“Despite the headlines climate change has garnered in recent years, we feel it is important to keep the issue at the fore,” Leighton said.

Leighton sees the purposes of Save the Ales as part of a larger effort to alert students to the problem of climate change and to find solutions for it.?Humble goals define the impetus behind SEA’s work on campus.?

“I wouldn’t say our goal is to convert other people into environmental activists, rather, we are hoping to spread the word about sustainable practices and choices,” Leighton said.

The necessity to raise awareness was clearly an impetus for organizers.?Surprenant reiterated this point.

“I think any event that aims to engage students in environmental discourse is a positive one,” Surprenant said.

This goal drives the group’s work in other events that they sponsor and partake in. Recently, SEA held a sustainable dinner at the Edge to promote environmentalism in eating habits.?SEA also joined in Colgate’s annual Green Summit, which brings faculty, students and the Hamilton community together to discuss the importance of “being green.”?

Surprenant also noted that recent discussion on campus touched on a variety issues.

“This fall we have been discussing the various student initiatives, such as biofuels for the Cruiser, composting, organic farming, planning for the 8th Green Summit, the hiring of the sustainability coordinator and what it may mean for Colgate’s environmental efforts,” Surprenant stated.

While SEA works for environmental progress year-round, their sponsorship of Save the Ales helped to provide the campus with a renewed consciousness about the importance of halting climate change.?In the midst of the dim pub lights and charging music of Danger Boy, SEA hopefully endowed students with an appreciation, an awareness of and involvement in environmental causes.