[SLIPPERY ROCK, PA] On Tuesday, November 27, 2012, Slippery Rock students and community members gathered to discuss Hydraulic Fracturing at Slippery Rock University, the new Senate Bill 367 which opened state owned land and public university land to drilling and associated processes, and the implications of these activities on the campus and community.  Efforts of the student group, SRU Students for Sustainability, supported by the Sierra Student Coalition led to the success of this event and a turnout of over 40 people. 

Student organizer, Alexandra Bowling, commented "This topic is sweeping the Pennsylvania nation. Everyone should be aware of the process and effects of Marcellus Shale drilling, including non-Pennsylvania residents. What first got me interested in Hydraulic Fracking was the idea that the process can harm the water quality around the affected area. People deserve the right to clean, drinking water."

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Written by: Fiona Gettinger, Fiona is a Sophmore at the Univerisity of New Hampshire majoring in Environmental Conservation Studies, she is also a campus coordinator with the Greenpeace Student Network and the President of the Student Environmental Action Coalition. This post was originally published as an Op-Ed in the "The New Hampshire"

Charles Dickens once described a future of contradictions, writing that, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us...” More than any other era, that time is now. We are off balance at a precipice of inevitable change; we have an ever expanding technological horizon, rapidly diminishing natural resources, an out of control global population and a planet at capacity.

Two months ago, five UNH students met with some of the most senior level administrators of our university to discuss the possibility of divesting the endowment from fossil fuel corporations, and reinvesting in socially and environmentally responsible companies. As we found out, investments are actually made by an external company, Prime Buchholz, and major decisions go through the Foundation’s Board of Directors, and the Investment and Finance Committee. They declined to provide a position or opinion on divestment at the time, however, last week the Student Environmental Action Coalition received the official statement of the UNH Foundation regarding its stance on divestment from fossil fuel companies.

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In Search of Water

November 19, 2012

Project Survival Media is a global youth media network producing short documentaries on climate change issues. We assemble media teams all over the world to document how people are being impacted by climate change and how people are responding to it. 

Our Team India produced a powerful film in the Thar Desert on water scarcity and security. The Thar Desert is one of the most water stressed areas of India and with climate change average rainfall is expected to be more erratic and irregular. Research shows that already every one in five years is a drought year.

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Yesterday at a well-attended energy forum hosted by Politico, I shed some light on the role of coal lobbyist Jeffrey Holmstead in blocking pollution reductions for his coal utility and mining clients after he said we can't "regulate our way to clean energy." Here's the video:

(Click for transcript of interruption)

greenpeace climate crimes unit jeff holmstead jack gerard wanted
Greenpeace's Climate Crimes Unit distributed WANTED posters of Jeff Holmstead.

As I waited inside for Mr. Holmstead to step on stage, members of Greenpeace's Climate Crime Unit stood outside handing out WANTED posters of both Holmstead and chief oil lobbyist Jack Gerard of the American Petroleum Institute, who was also present.

Jeff Holmstead, who is often quoted in newspapers as a former Air and Radiation Administrator for the George W. Bush Environmental Protection Agency or a "partner" (read: lobbyist) at Bracewell & Giuliani's corporate law firm here in DC, is rarely credited as an influence peddler for some of the most notorious polluters in the country.

Polluters like Duke Energy, Southern Company, and Arch coal are paying Holmstead's bills. These laggard coal-reliant companies are responsible for ecologically destructive coal mining and the carbon dioxide emissions that drive global climate change, not to mention a litany of dangerous pollutants.

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