“Regress Energy” Greenwashing Action at UCF

October 27, 2008 at 9:17 pm 2 comments

Submitted by Kady Brotherton, UCF Eco-Advocate and Student

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When the Eco-Advocates at the University of Central Florida heard that our school would be hosting the “Campus and Community Sustainability Conference”, we were ecstatic.  Unfortunately, shortly after this wonderful news, we were informed that Progress Energy would be presenting the event.  We knew immediately that we had to do something.  Progress Energy has been involved in the nuclear energy  “green-washing” campaign for some time.

We had one of the most amazing meetings I have ever been involved in.  Avid anti-nuclear students were throwing ideas for a demonstration out left and right.  A meeting time was set the following weekend, in which we gathered to paint signs, make costumes, and continue planning our action.

On Monday, October 20, 2008, around 10 of us gathered in front of the Student Union, the building in which the conference was being held, to catch the attention of those leaving for their scheduled break.  Five students were quickly robed in their Haz-Mat (hazardous material) suits, made of garbage bags, along with safety goggles, gloves, and face masks.  It was quite a sight.  Onlookers began to gather, wondering what the heck those crazy “Eco-Kids” were up to.  A cardboard replica of a nuclear reactor was wheeled in and our signs, reading “No New Nukes”, “Support Renewable Energy”, and one listing the nuclear fuel stages involved with fossil fuels and CO2 emissions, among others, were strategically placed around it.  Safe T. Nukes, the spokesperson for “Regress Energy” did a fabulous job of rallying a crowd and those passing by, screaming the sustainability efforts of nuclear energy and the wonders of filling our Mother Earth with toxic waste.  The nuclear workers began spraying and “green-washing” the reactor with green liquids, titled “Toxic” and making a mockery of nuclear energy, screaming out “No Nukes, No Nukes, They Make Me Wanna Puke!”.

The rest of us manned ourselves with an informational handout we created explaining the truth behind nuclear energy and why it is not a real solution to climate change.  We passed out over 400 hundred to passing students, faculty, and visitors to the Conference.  We struck up quite a few conversations with curious passers-by and sent most of them away with new questions concerning nuclear energy.   In all, the demonstration went wonderfully.  We grabbed the attention of those around us with our street theater and spread the truth behind this false solution and the green-washing campaign behind nuclear energy.

What did we hope to get out of this?  It is in our hopes that we have educated UCF students and will gain more future support in our campaign against nuclear energy, in particular the new proposed plants and expansions in Levy County, FL and Turkey Point in South Florida.  We look forward to future demonstrations and actions concerning nuclear energy and other false solutions to climate change.


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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. sara tansey  |  October 29, 2008 at 2:53 pm

    awesome job UCF!! great video, great action!! it was totally inspiring and i’m sure yall made the 400 some people you flyered and talked to think. thanks for being there and raising cain!!

  • 2. Jhessye Moore-Thomas  |  December 12, 2008 at 4:26 pm

    Thank you! Safe T. Nukes, Regress energy executive at your service!


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