Debate over climate change needn't prevent Nebraskans from agreeing on exploring ideas to promote energy efficiency and sustainable use of water and agricultural resources.
Those are common-sense goals, and it's good to see that Nebraska institutions of higher learning are taking impressive steps to promote educational innovation on the issue.
World-Herald staff writer Leslie Reed recently reported that the Princeton Review has cited Creighton University as one of 322 campuses nationally that have demonstrated “a notable commitment to sustainability.” Creighton is the only Nebraska institution to make that list.
Only two other campuses in the country besides Creighton offer degree programs focusing specifically on sustainable energy.
The University of Nebraska at Omaha is taking notable strides on this issue, too. It has made sustainability one of its themes for long-term academic focus and is directing major resources toward its Center for Urban Sustainability to open next year.
Meanwhile, at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, enrollment in environmental studies is up 50 percent since 2008, buttressed in part by a $1 million donation in 2011 from Sidney, Neb.-based Cabela's to promote such study.
NU's recently created Daugherty Water for Food Institute is already internationally known for its work on resource sustainability, and the recently announced expansions in UNL's ag-sciences studies include sustainability as a key focus.
And don't forget Metropolitan Community College. It has made significant investments in recent years to bolster its training in sustainable technologies. Metro courses now include such fields as commercial building energy efficiency, solar energy design and installation, biofuels, and electric vehicles.
As Reed's report noted, sustainability means different things to different people: energy diversification; conservation; efficient agricultural practices.
All of these Nebraska institutions deserve congratulations as they prepare the next generation to embrace responsible stewardship of our natural resources.
Correction: An earlier version of this editorial gave an incorrect location for the University of Nebraska at Omaha's planned Center for Urban Sustainability.