Thursday, April 27, 2006

Tales of Sustainable Activism

Came across a couple of items today dealing with activism on renewable energy and climate change:

From the Grand Forks Herald, news that an organization called Citizens for Affordable Renewable Energy is trying to get a measure on the November ballot:
The city of Grand Forks would be required to get 20 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020 under a ballot measure a group of residents is proposing. ...

Besides the 2020 goal, the measure would raise the requirement to 30 percent by 2030. Half of the renewable energy would have to be produced in North Dakota.

Renewable energy means energy that comes from wind turbines, solar panels and hydrogen, among other sources. CARE said it particularly favors wind energy because the state has an abundance of wind and there are companies here that make wind turbine components such as Grand Forks' LM Glasfiber and West Fargo's DMI Industries.

A related group is pushing for a similar ballot measure in Fargo. I like the idea of pushing this at the local level... it could create a showpiece to help motivate state legislatures that are moving slowly on these issues (like Missouri's...).

Another article tells about a classic piece of college student activism, with climate change and administrative inaction as the targets. From It's Getting Hot in Here:

By the time you read this, several members of the Penn State Kyoto Now! campaign will have sat down inside the office of Penn State President Graham Spanier, refusing to leave until our requests are negotiated. We aren’t taking this step alone. At our backs are 4,500 Penn State students and faculty who, for two years have asked for the same thing: a commitment from our President to 7% reductions in greenhouse gas emissions below 1990 levels by 2012. Penn State can do this!

Please call President Spanier to ask him to support the Kyoto Now! goals for Penn State!

The group has been calling on President Spanier for two years for a meeting without results. Now, it looks like they've devoted the month of April to a range of activities: on April 6, for instance, they unrolled a 60-foot petition on the steps of the campus' Old Main building. More power to these students -- nicely done!

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