April 22, 2019

Earth Day Hero? This Guy Won’t Unsubscribe From the Oceanography Newsletter

While most people don’t seem to give two shits about climate change, one courageous student has proven his dedication to environmental activism by continuing to not unsubscribe from the Oceanography Newsletter.

Does he care that his email inbox is already crowded as is? Sure he does. But to Alexander Xiao ‘21, champion of the planet, knowing all the most up-to-date information about unsustainable fishing practices and plastic debris in the Pacific Ocean is all the reason he needs to stay subscribed.

“Sometimes I see emails with the subject line ‘Ocean-L’ and wonder if subscribing to this chain is even worth it,” Alexander said, “but I won’t unsubscribe and be like all those students okay with the prospect of ice-free Arctic summers by the year 2035.”

Nevertheless, he persisted. No matter the political, economic, and social obstacles that might lead someone to abandon their civic duty and remove themselves from the oceanography mailing list, Alexander remains committed to allowing undergraduate TAs to send him an email once or twice a week.

“What’s important is that everyone knows that I am a great person, and that I’m doing a big favor to the planet by sometimes skimming over this stuff. I’m not saying I deserve an award, but I’m also not saying I don’t deserve one,” concluded Alexander.

Cornell is lucky to have an environmental fighter like Alexander, and we hope one day his sacrifice of inbox cleanliness might even balance out the plastic water bottles he throws into the landfill trash can at Trillium every weekday.

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