GA Students Armed and Ready for Action

September 3, 2009 at 4:53 pm 3 comments

UGA Student Organizer Cristina DuQue, Class of '13, facilitates a strategy session for the new Georgia group.

UGA Student Organizer Cristina DuQue, Class of '13, facilitates a strategy session for the new Georgia group.

Over a dozen students representing four campuses around the state gathered this weekend to start a new organization dedicated to creating a coal-free Georgia and pushing for federal policy to back it up. Students and young organizers want a strong climate movement right here in the South and are banding together to build a powerful organization to make it happen.

After twenty hours of brainstorming, strategizing, and organizing, Georgia student and youth activists hashed out a robust plan to put the kibosh on coal once and for all. Their first line of business: formally create the structure, mission, and long-term vision for a new student organization. From there, students and youth activists will design a student-run campaign to stop coal-fired Plant Washington from being built in south Georgia, bring energy to the forefront of the gubernatorial discussion in 2010, push Obama to go to the UN Climate Conference in Copenhagen, engage students from a broad range of campuses all over the state, and develop student leaders through campaign related skills trainings.

Students are a critical force in the environmental movement. Everyone is and will be affected by global warming, but no one will feel the impact more than our generation.  And more than any other group, students have the time, the energy, the intelligence, the resources and the idealism to help solve the biggest challenge the world has ever faced. Unfortunately, here in the Southeast we face more political opposition to smart climate solutions than anywhere. That’s why passionate, smart, and visionary young people are essential to this fight. Students are the ones who will push conversation forward and set the tone for clean energy campaigns in Georgia.

(from left to right) UGA Students Maura Friedman, Linzi Machini, and Ian Karra

SEN’s Georgia Chapter is currently working with hundreds of students across the state, which is why a statewide student organization solely focused on the coal fight with trainings and resources available to students right here in

(from left to right) UGA Student Organizers Maura Friedman, Linzi Machini, and Ian Karra

Georgia is so crucial.

So, Georgia’s Environmental Protection Division approved a $2 billion, 850-megawatt coal-fired power plant in Washington County. So, we’ve already got 12 candidates’ hats in the ring for the Georgia’s governor’s race of 2010 and none of them have a single blip about energy issues on their websites. So, Obama won’t give us a straight answer on whether or not he’ll represent the United States at the UN Climate Conference in Copenhagen this December.

So, what?

Georgia climate activists are taking the climate movement by the horns and rising up one student at a time.  Say goodbye to Plant Washington, hello to a gubernatorial climate debate, and bon voyage to President Obama as he crosses the ocean and takes a seat at the international climate negotiation table. Buckle your seatbelts! It’s gonna be one heck of a fight.

Stay tuned for the unveiling of the SEN Georgia Chapter’s name and mission statement and email Rebecca to get involved at rebecca@climateaction.net.

From left to right: Student Organizers Stephen Pettigrew, Curtis McLeod, Cristina DuQue, Maura Friedman, Ian Karra, Tyler McBrien, and Ashley Williams

From left to right: Student Organizers Stephen Pettigrew, Curtis McLeod, Cristina DuQue, Maura Friedman, Ian Karra, Tyler McBrien, and Ashley Williams

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Entry filed under: southern energy network.

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Sierra Barnes  |  September 3, 2009 at 5:21 pm

    Yo! Way to rock out folks! Can’t wait to see what comes next!

    Reply
  • 2. michael  |  September 3, 2009 at 5:59 pm

    Great to hear that there is mobilization for these obviously important issues. Despite being in the Northeast, coal powered plants in the Southeast are definitely something of import, since pollution affects us all. Also, President Obama’s reluctance to attend the conference in Copenhagen is somewhat shameful; he needs to be reminded of who his base is and who elected him, go get him!

    What efforts is SEN taking in the press? Are you organizing letter writing campaigns to local papers? What about creating a primer for ‘ordinary citizens’ on ways to participate? Outreach to relevant bloggers? Anything I can do to help further the press offensive let me know!

    -m

    Reply
  • 3. Katherine Cummings  |  September 3, 2009 at 11:32 pm

    The people fighting Plant Washington really appreciate your enthusiasm about helping put an end to coal burning plants in our state. We need your ideas, input, and presence as we develop and carry out the work. Please contact me if you need any information on how you can be part of the work we are doing. In turn, we need to know how we can help you going forward.

    It isn’t on his web site yet, but DuBose Porter has said more than once that he opposes more coal in Georgia. He has sites on the web, Twitter, and Face Book, so check there as the sites develop.

    Reply

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