At Bowling Green State University, students are calling on their President, Dr. Mary Ellen Mazey, and their Board of Trustees to commit to transitioning BGSU to 100% clean energy such as wind, solar, and geothermal. BGSU currently gets most of its energy from coal and natural gas, which are not sustainable or healthy energy solutions that students want to see in their future. Environmental Action Group, a club at BGSU, launched its campaign “100% Clean Bowling Green” this August to make this dream a reality. Since the campaign’s launch, student activists have collected over 2,000 petitions from students, faculty, and community members. 9 other clubs/ organizations have signed onto a coalition letter addressed to President Mazey and the Board of Trustees supporting this campaign as well.
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:
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.
We’ve all begun to notice the weather turning colder, holiday music blaring from speakers in every public business, and felt an inexplicable urge to consume any and all peppermint flavored treats that cross our paths.
Let’s embrace the changing season and incorporate some of the more festive aspects of this time of year into our campaign work. With that said, this time of year is also incredibly stressful with classes winding down and finals approaching.
Why not spread your message across campus and bring a dose of levity into the lives of fellow students? One tactic you might consider to increase membership, build allies in the faculty and administration, and generate visuals for future media stories is planning a Campaign Cookie Party.
On Wednesday, over 30 people gathered in Helena, Montana’s Constitution Park to support the venerable US tradition of civil disobedience. Immediately before an omnibus court hearing for the 23 people arrested during last August’s peaceful protests against coal exports at the Montana Capitol, the group gathered with signs reading “Support the Coal Export Action 23,” and “No More Coal Exports.”
The rally in support of the Coal Export Action also coincided with an international week of climate solidarity, initiated by organizers of the Tar Sands Blockade in East Texas. It’s a good time to be organizing; as the Tar Sands Blockade puts it, “The aftershock of Sandy still being felt on the East Coast, it’s the hottest year on record, and families most affected by climate change are increasingly bearing the brunt of dirty extraction.”
“A Climate of Change” read the headline of the Huffington Post this past Saturday. The article read that a recent Rasmussen poll concluded that 68% of Americans recognize climate change as a “serious problem”. In the wake of Hurricane Sandy and after the climate silence controversy, I can’t help but get the sense there is a changing narrative about climate change in this country. Unfortunately it isn’t necessarily an uplifting narrative. The bottom line is people are concerned, they are concerned for their future and that of their children’s. People are beginning to realize the threat that a changing climate means to their livelihood.
So this isn’t the most uplifting way for the climate events of our time to unfold…but maybe there are some things to be learned and applied to our ongoing fight for the climate.
There are a few things we shouldn’t forget in order to ensure a better a future for ourselves, our family, and our world. First, we have to stay informed and stay involved. There are far too many people who would have you believe that caring about issues and exercising your rights to participate in decision making is a futile effort.
David Rickless, Coalition of Alabama Students for the Environment, Jacksonville State University
Election season is over, and organizers are finally seeing some blank spaces on their calendars. Even beyond the presidential race, the climate movement has made some real progress. Going forward, how can we convert our momentum into meaningful change? This is a great forum to generate new ideas, and I've got some thoughts to get us started.
First, let's look at where we stand now. As a group, young voters reasserted our power in this election. Despite some predictions, youth turnout was even higher than in 2008, swinging at least eighty electoral votes . Meanwhile, several states chose climate-friendly congresspeople over their anti-environmental opponents.
Hey there! This is University of Vermont activism coming at you under the organization name Vermont Student Climate Culture. You don’t often hear from us but we’re here getting work done on a fossil fuel divestment campaign. Last week our Trustees were holding public comment during one of their bi-annual meetings when we came in the door with forty to fifty students all carrying signs and banners. We were joined by part-time faculty who are asking for job security and health benefits, and Students Stand Up who are organizing for a tuition freeze.
The aftershock of Hurricane Sandy is still being felt on the East Coast, its the hottest year on record, and families most affected by climate change are increasingly bearing the brunt of dirty energy extraction.
The acceleration of tar sands exploitation from Keystone XL is dangerously hurdling us toward an unstable future. We need immediate action to address the climate crisis now.
TransCanada's construction crews are quickly clear-cutting through our homes and forests in East Texas and we must continue to rapidly escalate if we are going to stop this toxic pipeline. We invite you to join us in Nacogdoches, Texas on Monday, November 19th for our next mass action to stop Keystone XL.
I’d tell you where I went this weekend, but then I’d probably have to kill you or erase your mind or something. It’s not like I did anything illegal, but to the people who have large stakes in the coal industry, the things that my friends and I did were shit list-worthy.
Our plan to leave by noon on Friday was thwarted, so by the time we were approaching our location, it was dark outside, and the coal processing plants we passed looked like lit-up roller coasters at Cedar Point.