by Maria Rosales, University of Tennessee at Knoxville, Knoxville, TN
Earlier this month, a group of climate deniers called CFACT staged a “conference” as a direct response to the “radical and alarmist agenda of the leftist PowerShift movement” Featured speakers included Lord Monckton, Marc Morano, clean coal reps, energy lobbyists, etc. They claim that the conference was a huge success with less than a couple dozen people in attendance. CFATC writes, “The CFACT conference stands as the kickoff to our direct response to the dangerous agenda of PowerShift 2011…they want to return America to the standard of living we enjoyed in 1882. PowerShift’s platform is frightening. America cannot function on just wind, solar, and geothermal. The world economy will come crashing to its knees, and life as we know it will come to a screeching, green halt.”
The also write, “There is no doubt that these student activists are armed with false information and ready to infiltrate our college campuses, to affect elections and to corrupt hearts and minds….CFACT and its activists will engage these dangerous ideas on dozens of campuses that will serve as the battleground for the energy policies that will define our future…” You can read the whole story here if you have some time to waste.
Sometimes it can be easy to get discouraged when faced with all this opposition: family and friends tell you to get a real major/job, neighbors call you a tree hugger, our government is controlled by Big Oil and Coal companies, and climate denier groups like these are twisting the facts in their favor. CFACT and our adversaries may accuse students like you and me of being “armed with false information” but we know what’s at stake here. We know the effects of using dirty energy to power our over-consuming lifestyles. We know that there are people who suffer because of our addiction to cheap and dirty energy, whether on the Mountain Top Removal sites in West Virginia or the oil spill found this week. Alternatives to dirty oil and coal exist: they’re real and they’re here to stay. From solar to geothermal, these clean and renewable sources have been used for decades and now is this the time to bring these technologies to the forefront of our energy policies.
This is more than just saving a few trees or recycling. This is about a system in crisis– an economic system who is ruled by dirty subsidies and a political system controlled by dirty campaign money. This is about taking back the power to the people. This is what Power Shift is!
So, here’s my challenge to you: let’s do what CFACT says we do. Let’s get “ready to infiltrate our college campuses, to affect elections and to corrupt hearts and minds” for nothing less than 100% clean energy. PowerShift doesn’t end in Washington DC, we can continue the movement here in Tennessee and the Southeast. If you’re distressed by the drought facing our area, if you remember the record floods of the Mississippi, if you were shocked by the tornadoes in the South, or if you know that we can’t let criminals like BP walk free after destroying the Gulf, then take action!
- Attend the Clean Energy Campout to see clean energy in action and how to bring it to Tennessee!
- Shadow your representative by attending a town hall meeting now that they’re in recess.
- Attend Moving Planet this fall in Nashville
- or stand in solidarity in the southeast with the Tar Sands action in Washington, DC to stop the pipeline.
The opportunities are endless. This is our future, our country, our time to act.
“I’m not saying any of this to ask you for mercy, but to ask you to join me…I want you to join me in standing up for the right and responsibility of citizens to challenge their government. I want you to join me in valuing this country’s rich history of nonviolent civil disobedience…In these times of a morally bankrupt government that has sold out its principles, this is what patriotism looks like. With countless lives on the line, this is what love looks like, and it will only grow. The choice you are making today is what side are you on.” — Tim DeChristopher, climate activist sentenced to 2 years in prison.
This post was written by Nick Alderson and Maria Rosales. They are students at the University of Tennessee, Interns with the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, and ready to take action.