This blog was written by Zachary Jarjoura, Southern Energy Network Media Action Team Leader and Communications Fellowship Coordinator
For more information about the SEN Communications Fellowship, email Zach at email@example.com.
Today's political landscape is plagued by corruption and influence from special interests who use their deep pockets to push for legislation that benefits them. But over the past few years environmental organizations, specifically those of us who rally around the crisis of climate change, have begun to call attention to the powerful influence of the fossil fuel industry on our political system and law making bodies. With the 2012 presidential and congressional elections just a week away and the climate silence deafening we are cranking up the pressure politicians and making sure that voters consider the environment when they go to the polls! We are doing this in a variety of ways including social media campaigns, research, petition drives, protests, and direct action.
Recently the National Wildlife Federation's Campus Ecology program released some useful research in a report entitled "A Student’s Guide to How Corporate Oil, Gas and Coal Money Influences U.S. Energy Policy". The report details the fossil fuel industry's political contributions and found that "Since 1999, oil, gas, and coal companies have contributed nearly $1 billion dollars to members of Congress." It goes on to include statistics on the top contributors and receivers of that nearly $1,000,000,000 and also gives students 7 ways to make our voices heard and ensure our elected officials are doing their part tomove us toward climate solutions. The guide is really awesome thanks to its authors and all those who worked on it! Be sure to check it out here!
Hey all! Andrew here, with the California Student Sustainability Coalition. In the last few years, we've heard about, seen, and fought the influence of dirty money in our political system in collaboration with student leaders all over the map.
Jeff Mann, Online Director, Energy Action Coalition
It’s official: this was the first series of presidential debates to not address climate change since 1988. But the climate silence doesn’t mean it’s time to give up hope, it means it’s time to get to work.
With under 12 days to go, young people across the country are gearing up to make sure our demands for climate action are heard on Election Day.
We need hundreds of volunteers to help with this massive Get Out The Vote effort.
Emma Newman, Former Co-Director, Cascade Climate Network
Defend Our Coast, Victoria B.C.
On Sunday, I headed up to Victoria, B.C. with two other activists from the Cascade Climate Network. Little did I know that participating in a 5,000 person action to Defend the Coast from tar sands pipelines and oil tankers would continue to build momentum over the following days in many different capacities. I am truly inspired by my experiences of the past few days and wish to share them with you.
In the weeks leading up to the Defend Our Coast action on the BC legislature lawn, I kept checking the website. Originally the organizers set the participant goal at 2,000. Soon the numbers of people who pledged to participate exceeded 2,000 and new goals of 3,000 and 5,000 had to be made. The day before the action, more than 4,500 people had signed up to participate in the action in some way. Many people pledged to participate in civil disobedience by staking a 235 meter (770 feet) black banner, which symbolized the length of an oil tanker, into the lawn of the legislature. The Monday Defend Our Coast rally was by far the largest action against tar sands ever in Canada's history.
My dad calls it the Magic Trail. It is a short, winding path through a thin forest where the birds, so trusting of humans, will land on seeded hands to grab a snack. Embedded in the safety of a state park, the Magic Trail is as much mine as it is the birds, the rocks, the trees, the deer.
But yesterday, a part of this trail became the property of a new owner, the oil and gas industry. At the hands of our own Department of Natural Resources, the mineral rights of 195,000 acres of our public land was sold to the highest oil and gas industry bidder in the fall edition of a biannual land auction, some for as little as $2/acre.
Sold is one way to describe what happened to the land and water in that grim, austere auction room, but as a citizen of Michigan, a more appropriate word would be stolen. Our land was stolen from us by Big Oil and Gas with the consent of a department whose mission is to conserve and protect.
Want to change the world? Don't know where to start? It's ok, we've all been there before. Personally, I felt that way for most of my life until just a few months ago. I discovered a program called the Greenpeace Semester, applied, got accepted, and headed out to Washington D.C for nearly six weeks this past summer. Truthfully, I had little idea of what to expect. As a student interested in environmental policy, the buzz words Greenpeace and Washington D.C. initially lured me into what was the best experience of my life.
Hey Everyone! It is Serafina again, here to announce the next C2C Fellows event! We are bringing the program to Bard College from November 30th-December 2nd. Recent graduates and graduate and undergraduate students from the New York and New England area are invited to attend this workshop event to develop sustainability leadership skills under the direction of Dr. Goodstein, Director of the Bard College Center for Environmental Policy, Dean of the Bard College MBA in Sustainability, economist, and scholar. Accompanying Dr.