The Rapidian

Moral Ground 2010: An Interview with GRCC Student Teresa Kokx

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The Moral Ground Town Hall Meeting

Date: Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2010
Time: 7 pm
Location: Spectrum Theater, 160 Fountain NE
This event is free and open to the public.
The evening will include live music from local folk/rock band Big Dudee Roo, brief readings from "Moral Ground" editors Moore and Nelson, and an open discussion with the audience. A reception and book signing will follow.

Event sponsors: GRCC, GVSU, and the City of Grand Rapids.
Visit: for more information.

Find other responses to the "Moral Ground" question from local leaders here.

"A lot of animals in the arctic, like the polar bear, are going extinct or being harmed. Actually, they say in a few decades the polar ice caps will be melted.” 
~ Teresa Kokx, GRCC Student 


Across the country and particularly in Grand Rapids this week, people are asking, “Do we have a moral or ethical responsibility to preserve the planet for the future?” This is the theme for a new book, “ Moral Ground: Ethical Action for a Planet in Peril,”  edited  by Kathleen Dean Moore and Michael P. Nelson.   Grand Rapids Community College’s own Spectrum Theatre will host a Town Hall Meeting this Tuesday the 26th at 7:00 pm, where local citizens will discuss the 'Moral Ground' question.

Teresa Kokx, a fellow GRCC student and former art club member is a daily Rapid Bus Rider. She's also a self-described hippie and artist who highly enjoys the (low cost) local life here in Grand Rapids, such as Rosa Parks dancing nights, local festivals, and shows at the Intersection.  Her reaction to the topic at hand is energetic. "Yes!" she says. "We do, absolutely” have a moral and ethical responsibility to take care of the planet.  Teresa explains: “Well if it wasn’t for people being irresponsible we wouldn’t  have global warming. All these companies, like BP, are spilling oil into the oceans. They killed a lot of fish and ducks. A lot of animals in the arctic, like the polar bear, are going extinct or being harmed. Actually, they say in a few decades the polar ice caps will be melted.”

We went on to discuss global warming and its effect on the polar bear. We discussed trends such as carbon dioxide and other pollutants collecting in the earth’s atmosphere due to coal burning power plants and excessive automobile use.

Teresa cites overdependence on cars as one of our local problems. “I’d say a lot of people and companies aren’t responsible. A lot of people rely heavily on their own cars or trucks, don’t carpool or take the bus, don’t recycle, or are just ignorant about how to make positive changes to the environment.”   

She discusses our local public transportation system, the rapid, which she uses every day. "Times are tough right now so I can’t afford a car or payments. I feel happy about not polluting the earth but sometimes its frustrating since the bus near my house doesn’t run on Sundays and I have to get a ride from my roommate.” 

It’s a familiar topic for many students and professionals these days.  Teresa suggests filling out one of the surveys about public transportation on The Rapid's website.   She also suggests that we ask Mayor George Heartwell about city dollars going to support the city's public transportation.

Hopefully we'll get the chance to address these issues at the Moral Ground Town Hall Meeting at Spectrum Theatre this Tuesday, October 26th at 7pm. The event begins with live music from Big Dudee Roo, a local progressive band. 

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