Posted on March 25, 2011 Nicole Cairns, Online Deputy Director, Power Shift, Washington, DC
Day in and day out the energy at Power Shift HQ is growing. Deadlines are coming and going faster than we can imagine and, every time we look up, another day has come to an end and we're one step closer to Power Shift 2011. Each and every one of us is reeling with excitement about what's about to happen in just 21 days as we take part in the largest environmental organizing training in history.
It's amazing to see that this energy isn't just in our offices. Power Shift attendees are finding incredibly creative ways to share their stories, take action in their communities, and… to simply get here.
The USF Power Shift team rallying to being an end to dirty coal! Florida carried the THIRD largest state convergence at PS 2013.
As an National Wildlife Federation (NWF) Campus Ecology Fellow at the University of South Florida in Tampa, my campaign aimed to bring the Divestment/Reinvestment Movement to the “Dirty South” in order to end the expansion of unjust and polluting energy utilities. As all campaign do, mine grew and developed over time, and I realized that what my campus needed was the sound leadership skills and organizing training necessary for a long term and sustainable Divestment Campaign. I was a senior leader on campus and thought this would be a plausible and useful expenditure of my time.
Last Friday night I went to the supermarket to buy several five gallon jugs of water. Being a longtime environmental advocate, it felt wrong to be buying bottled water. But more than that, it felt strange to be buying water to meet the drinking needs of fellow Americans. Many assume that in the wealthiest country in the world, everyone has access to all of the potable water they could ever need. But that’s not necessarily true for many people living in shale country. The next day, I and 30 New York college students would be visiting Pennsylvania to see how fracking is threatening American communities and, more immediately, to deliver clean drinking water to people that have been living without it for some time.
Carbon pollution is the main contributor to climate disruption, at high environmental and economic cost to Americans, and it is not going away. Last year alone, Americans spent over $140 billion as a result of devastating droughts, raging wildfires, tragic floods, record heat and powerful storms.
On Monday, seven Duke students took a stand against Bank of America. We were quite the motley crew, half of whom had been recruited earlier that day. However, we all knew why we were there, ready to tell Bank of America to stop financing coal and climate change, and especially to stop investing in mountain top removal which destroys mountains and poisons people in Appalachia. It’s past time for Bank of America to invest in renewable energy that doesn’t jeopardize our collective future.
The week of Powershift 2013 is finally upon us and UIUC Beyond Coal could not be more excited. At 6:00 AM on Friday, 39 UIUC students and activists will embark on the 7-hour journey to Pittsburgh for the youth convergence. Powershift is not the only source of excitement within the campaign this semester though.
These two projects are examples of how the students at the University of Tennessee are fighting the effects of climate change and how we are working to create a healthy environment for people today and for generations to come.
The University has chosen to halt the fracking research proposal because there were no companies interested in the agreement. There will more than likely be a revision to the proposal to make it more appealing and economically beneficial to the oil and gas industry.
Inspired by the Power Shift movement, Rachel Stevens and Anthony Paz have dedicated their efforts to bring students from Florida International University in Miami to Pittsburgh this October. Anthony has written some powerful spoken word which speaks to the heart of our youth fighting to make our communities, our states, our country and our planet a cleaner, greener, and more sustainable place to call home.
"Why pay to destroy our planet, when we can save it for free? Just look how She provides for you and for me." - Anthony Paz