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ISSUE 121 VOL 11 PUBLISHED 2/22/2008

Green policy praises justice

By Monica Southworth
Staff Writer


Friday, February 22, 2008

Last November, a troop of nine St. Olaf students journeyed to College Park, Md. to join 6,000 other students from around the nation to partake in Powershift 2007. On Feb. 13, those students presented the information they gathered, calling it the "New Green Movement.

People from such diverse backgrounds were coming together and breaking boundaries, all for the same thing, Rebecca Carlson '11 said during the presentation.

Powershift intended to educate college students about the New Green Movement. The New Movement is based heavily on environmental justice. Kate Tecku '10 said that the new movement is different than the "original hippy movement." The new movement attacks the issue of global warming through policy and encouraging development of renewable energy sources.

"It's politically and economically minded. It's a practical way to approach the problem," Tecku said. "We want to let people know about the movement because it's o big and real."

The presentation covered an array of "green" ideas that are showing up around the country, from riding your bike to building green or eco-friendly roofs. The purpose of the presentation was to create awareness of the environmental policy activities.

Students were continuously encouraged to become involved anyway possible. For the past two years, St. Olaf has won the Minnesota Energy Awareness month competition. The energy conservation competition now includes colleges and universities from around the country and internationally.

Presenters also raised the idea of creating a "green economy." There would be jobs created through new technology and workers for "dirty jobs" would be trained. Currently, there is a Green Job bill going through Congress, which asks for government funding and support to get this program going. "If we can send a man to the moon, then we should be able to build ecologically sound cities," Balzer said. "It's good to see people concerned about their future and the future of the whole world," said a Northfield resident who attended the meeting, Greg Carlson. "It often takes young people's energy to get things done.

Of about 70 students from Minnesota, five were selected to talk to Senator Amy Klobuchar, including Tecku. During the time they spent with the senator, the group lobbied for the 1Sky Campaign.

1Sky is "dedicated to aggregating a massive nationwide movement by communicating a positive vision and a coherent set of national policies." The 1Sky solution is a three step process. The first is to "mobilize America" and have "5 million green jobs conserving 20 percent of our energy by 2015."

The second step, "secure our future," includes "freez[ing] climate pollution levels now and cut at least 80% by 2050 and 20% by 2020. The third step is to "transform our energy priorities" which would stop production of "coal plants that emit global warming pollution," and to "invest in renewable energy."

In light of the recent ads on TV during this political season about the new "Clean Coal" campaign, Balzer said, "It's a little less dirty. There is no such thing as clean coal. I used to think that the only way we would have peace on earth was if there was some sort of alien attack." He continued, "But maybe global warming is that alien." Balzer said the easiest way to become involved is by contacting representatives and senators.

For more information about 1Sky, visit www.1sky.org. Another recommended website for getting up-to-date on Global Warming issues is itsgettinghotinhere.org.





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