Building Political Power

As I stood ankle-deep in sea water on the corner of 10th and Alton Street, one of the busiest intersections in Miami Beach, I wondered what else it was going to take to get our candidates to recognize the urgency of climate change. When we say its the most important issue of our generation, we’re not kidding. Because of sea-level rise, Florida is already experiencing the effects on climate change in our coastal cities. Check out the new study done by the Union of Concerned Scientists with all the details here.

Together with Climate Parents, Union of Concerned Scientists, the CLEO Institute, and Urban Paradise Guild, we came together on Thursday to call on President Obama and Governor Romney to be leaders on climate change. We can no longer deny its existence or ignore it for the sake of political gain. We must take action now. Take a look at the video above, and spread the word.

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Last Thursday, October 11th, students from Florida International University made their way over to one of President Obama’s many campaign stops in Florida. The mission: shake the President’s hand, while asking him to support real clean energy solutions, and break the silence on climate change.

It was a tall order. Not only were there about 10,000 other people also trying to get into the campaign event, but trying to bird-dog the President was a mission in itself.

After waiting in line for nearly three hours under the blazing South Florida sun, student leaders Alexandra Colby and Javier Zapata were finally able to get through the airport-tight security and make it inside the Bank United Center, where they were determined to get close to Obama, who has been campaigning heavily in Florida over the past few months. By the time we got in, the event was nearly over, and we were ushered into a small room where the President would be greeting constituents right after his speech.

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Wow, what an incredible weekend.

Over 300 young people converged at Florida A&M University for the Southeast Student Renewable Energy Conference (SSREC) this weekend, coming together to learn the skills they need to fight big polluters and take action on climate change in their campuses and communities. Young clean energy activists from all over the southeast converged to learn from each other through a series of workshops, speakers, and trainings, and to share with their communities all over the region.

But it didn’t stop there.

We knew this year was a special year right away. Not only was SSREC being hosted in Tallahassee, Florida - the Capitol of a very important swing state - but this year’s SSREC had a renewed energy and spirit that you could feel in the air. With the help of the incredible FAMU Green Coalition, climate activists at SSREC organized an amazing march and rally to call on the candidates to break the silence on climate change and promote true clean energy solutions.

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Written by: Amanda Hill, Junior at North Carolina State University, majoring in Horticulture Science. Below Amanda describes her experience and involvement in The Sustainability Fund campaign at NC State. The campaign was organized by Greenpeace Student Board chair and Campus Coordinator Caroline Hansley

It’s funny how a single idea, a single movement can make waves at a University. Here at NC State in Raleigh NC, a recent addition has been made to the fees paid by students through tuition. I know, anytime there is mention of fees, spending or money when talking about students, people seem to get scared and nervous. However, this go around, there is excitement, joy, celebration and hope for a better future.

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by Shaza Hussein, University of South Florida

On Thursday, the Student Environmental Association (SEA) at the University of South Florida in Tampa joined campuses across the country in a National Day of Action to “Get Dirty Energy Money Out Of Politics.” The students stood – clipboards in hand, cellphones ready, and with plenty of pens – outside the USF Tampa campus’ Student Center urging their peers to make a pledge to the environment with Power Vote.

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