The World War II battle of Iwo Jima ended with an epic photograph of US forces raising the American flag atop Mount Suribachi, known as “Raising the Flag.” This photograph represented the end of a battle and signified the struggle and triumph of that battle with Japan. Over the years, this image has been recreated again and again. Years later, the Energy Action Coalition replaced the American flag with a wind turbine to symbolize the peaceful struggle and the much-needed triumph we can achieve with a clean, renewable energy future. This is ONLY energy future we can accept if we want to stop destroying our people, planet, and climate for dirty energy.
This week in the snow-covered, frigid land of East Lansing, Michigan State University students brought a call to action, recreating this iconic image all across campus. Why? Because in a far off corner of south campus at Michigan State lurks the LARGEST campus coal-fired steam plant in the nation, burning 250,000 tons of dirty, dangerous coal every year. A dirty coal plant that was fined last year for violating emissions standards set by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment - awesome, right?
Not exactly. That's why students sprung to action!
MSU Greenpeace joined forces with MSU Beyond Coal and MSU Eco, calling for an end to all dirty energy on campus and to usher in a clean, renewable energy future with sources like wind and solar power. “Raising the Turbine” has taken campus by storm! This week of action has brought students and campus community members out to participate in raising the turbine, calling on Michigan State’s President Lou Anna K. Simon and Board of Trustees to heed the call of students and switch to 100 percent renewable energy.
"MSU has the opportunity to commit to such a transition and truly lead the green movement - the clean energy revolution," said MSU Greenpeace President Tabitha Skervin, speaking while the turbine was erected at Brody Square on Tuesday. "There is no question that this movement will happen, and MSU has the unique opportunity to be at the forefront of this movement!"