Posts filed under ‘fun’

GA YES! Says “NO!” to Coal

by Brittany Forrestal – Southern Energy Network Activist and Intern

When it comes toIMG_2536 climate issues in the state of Georgia, there’s a lot of work to be done. I know this, you know this, and, as it turns out, we’re definitely not alone.

Last weekend, Georgia Youth for Energy Solutions (YES!), the new youth-organized Georgia branch of the Southern Energy Network, joined more than sixteen student organizers from across the state in Milledgeville, Ga, to launch a student organization dedicated to creating a coal-free Georgia. Students from Georgia Perimeter College, Oglethorpe University, Emory University, Mercer University, and the University of Georgia all showed up to represent their campuses and collaborate with other students to create a coal-free Georgia.

After hours of recruitment calls, a night of lunch-packing, and an early-morning drive to Georgia College and State University, we found ourselves exhilarated by everyone’s shared enthusiasm. Every single person present showed genuine interest and genuine excitement about the opportunity we have. We can stop coal in Georgia. We have great resources, we’re intelligent, and we’re passionate about our fight.IMG_2540

We spent the morning talking about the dangers of coal, discussing Georgia’s current coal situation, and brainstorming strategies and tactics to end coal in Georgia. The real highlight of the day, however, came after lunch, when we all loaded up and drove to Sandersville, Ga, which is the proposed home of coal-fired Plant Washington. We went to the local Kaolin festival in downtown Sandersville, where we handed out flyers and talked to locals about the dangers of coal. It was a soaring success; we were able to meet dozens of residents and find out where they stand and give them really important information about the plant, while enjoying the atmosphere of the festival and the beautiful weather.

After our Sandersville adventure, we wound up at a beautiful cabin in the woods, only a few miles from where Plant Washington is proposed to be constructed. There, we discussed final plans, formulated an action timeline for the next few weeks, and we agreed to continue working on this campaign both collaboratively and on our home campuses. It was an amazing day filled with amazing brainstorming by amazing students. Needless to say, I had a great time.

IMG_2552There is one thing in particular, however, that I’d like to mention. I think it’s safe to say that after visiting Sandersville and talking to its residents, we all felt a renewed obligation to fight this coal plant. I’ve known about this plant for a long time now and I’ve known about how dangerous and detrimental it will be if it is built, but it all seemed so abstract to me. I realized that this plant would affect me and millions of other Georgians, but I suppose I never felt personally connected to it. This weekend, that all changed. I saw the city, I saw the beautiful countryside where the plant is supposed to be built, and I felt a new urge to end coal in Georgia.

So now, I’m asking that you all help in the fight. On October 20, the Environmental Protection Division will have a hearing to give citizens an opportunity to voice their views on the coal plant. It’s open to the public and we need to get as many people as possible to show up and express opposition to the plant. The hearing is in Sandersville and it starts at 6pm, with a 5pm information session from residents and field experts. Please register here to attend the meeting. Bring friends! Bring family! Bring posters and t-shirts and an opinion. We’ll be there in all our anti-coal glory. Will you?


October 16, 2009 at 9:50 pm Leave a comment

Florida is Power Shifting Away from Nukes and Drilling!

Now, more than ever, Floridians need to stand up and show we are ready to usher in a brighter energy future. An energy future that is just and safe for all and uses truly renewable sources. An energy future that neither relies on fossil fuels nor creates a legacy of radioactive waste for tens of thousands of years. Want solar in the Sunshine State? Florida needs a POWER SHIFT!

Right now, Washington is leading us in the wrong direction. Check out what Senators John Kerry and Lindsey Graham have to say in their  NY Times Op Ed yesterday.

The emphasis Kerry and Graham place on expensive risky nuclear, the mythical “clean coal,” and coastal drilling leaves Florida wondering when the sun will shine on our economy? The United States as a whole needs bold action to protect our climate and secure our energy. Drilling does neither–instead it maintains our dependence on dirty oil, and it does little to reduce our need for foreign oil. Nuclear is the ‘thirstiest‘ energy out there, requiring millions of gallons of water per day. These technologies do not bring the jobs we need, but renewables will!

Florida has a lot to lose in the face climate change, but so much to gain from real solutions. We need solutions that are safe, clean, renewable, and create jobs! Join hundreds of other engaged and passionate young people as we demand a Power Shift in Orlando, FL Oct 23-25 at University of Central Florida campus Arena.

Have 15 minutes? Here are 2 things you can do Right Now:

Attend Florida Power Shift! We were 6,000 strong in DC back in 2007. In March of this year, we doubled that number and really showed our legislators that young people in our country are serious about climate change and are here to support strong action toward real solutions. Now, we are bringing it home to Florida to demand safe and renewable energy. Don’t miss the early Registration Friday 10/16!

Contact the Florida Public Service Commission and tell them you won’t pay for their nuclear reactors! Email and Reference Docket # 090009. Progress Energy and Florida Power and Light want to charge you now for reactors that may never be built. Please contact them today! Need talking points? Check this out.

Please contact me with any questions!

Hope to see you next weekend in Orlando!

Mandy Hancock
Florida Organizer, Southern Energy Network

October 15, 2009 at 3:22 pm Leave a comment

UGA students join global wake-up call

Eric Cohen and Stephen Feinberg demand real climate legislation from US leaders.

Eric Cohen and Stephen Feinberg demand real climate legislation from US leaders.

Yesterday at 12:18pm, UGA students gathered on campus for a fun, peaceful, “flash mob”. As synchronized phone alarms sounded, people held their phones in the air joining other groups around the globe in sending a flood of phone calls to world leaders urging climate action.

Why 12:18pm? The 18th day of the 12th month (December) is the final day of the UN climate meeting in Copenhagen where the world leaders must agree to an ambitious fair and binding treaty to avert a climate catastrophe.

Over 1000 similar events were held in more than 88 countries to deliver a resounding wake-up call to world leaders before they meet today in New York for critical climate talks.

Polls show 90% of people worldwide see climate change as a serious problem. Experts say a UN climate pact in Copenhagen in December risks failure unless world leaders revive bogged-down negotiations this week.

“The idea of a global climate wake-up call got going just a few weeks ago, and it’s snowballing into a massive mobilization of millions around the world who want leaders to do more to stop runaway climate change,” said Kelsea Norris, a member of the Southern Energy Network.

Cristina DuQue and Maura Friedman give their senators a wake-up call.

Cristina DuQue and Maura Friedman give their senators a wake-up call.

“UGA students are taking part to help show the huge level of public concern that climate talks move far and fast enough to deliver a deal that will avert climate catastrophe and unleash a new green economy.”

A broad coalition of major environmental and anti-poverty organisations as well as faith, civic and youth networks – called the TCKTCKTCK campaign for the ticking-clock urgency of climate change – is backing the campaign effort.

Film and photographs from the day’s event will be compiled and shown to world leaders and at theUS premiere of climate film Age of Stupid, to be shown in 400+ theatres simultaneously. Audiences will also take part in flooding their government with calls to get climate talks on track and deliver a “fair, ambitious, and binding” new climate treaty.

Students from the Southern Energy Network will continue to put on events like this to push for climate legislation federally and right here in Georgia. Their next meeting will be on Oct 10th. To find out more or get involved, contact SEN Georgia Organizer Rebecca Van Damm at .

September 22, 2009 at 7:40 pm Leave a comment

Youth Summit brings large next steps for NC

ncyess-imageClick here to read the whole story

This year’s conference included 2 and a half days of speakers, panels, and workshops that addressed the issues of energy, climate change, and environmental justice. Throughout the weekend all participants discussed topics or importance and attended hands on workshops that empowered and inspired them to return to their communities and campuses ready to implement the changes necessary to build a just and sustainable energy future. Conference speakers include inspiring leaders from throughout the southeast who’s work is making this future a reality.

Very Special Thanks goes to our Asheville conference sponsors:Buddha Bagels , Rosettas, Greenlife, The Hop ice cream parlor, Amazing Savings, Over Easy, and French Broad Food Co-op. Your donations of foods and goodies went a long way and everyone really apprecaited the donations. Thank you for supporting sustainability efforts and this generatiosn endeavors to create a just and sustained future!!

Thanks also to our on-site support team, AASHE students, UNC Asheville, HighSmith Student Union personnel.

November 25, 2008 at 6:00 pm 1 comment

South Carolina Youth Question King Coal

look at all those people!!

look at all those people: we extend to the green hard hats on the other end!!

Three students from Coastal Carolina University sat in the bleachers Thursday night overwhelmed by the 80 some Santee Cooper employees staring at them from across the gym, by the others paid by or associated with the utility who were out “on their own time” to show their support for a proposed coal plant in the Pee Dee region of South Carolina.

These hearings before the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control aren’t usually well attended by anyone below the age of 30 and it seemed that the future of South Carolina would let another hearing about DHEC’s draft Maximum Achievable Control Technology permit for Santee Cooper pass unchallenged.  But a couple minutes past 6pm, after the hearing had officially begun, another fifty young people from across the state filed into the gym in green hard hats with “No Coal” stickers on them and filled the bleachers next to the sea of green t-shirt clad Santee Cooper employees.  Those being paid to be there shot dirty looks at those of us who were in Pamplico on Thursday because we knew we must be, because we knew Santee Cooper would be manipulating the crowd and trying to drown out the voice of the real citizens making public comment.

But they couldn’t stop us.  The hearing lasted five long hours, until 11pm, and in the last set of five speakers, three were young people.  As the night wore on, more and more people left, more and more people weren’t there to make their comments, but South Carolina youth with anywhere from a two to three hours drive ahead of them remained and waited for their turn to stand up and speak out against a new 600 MW coal plant that would emit 93 lbs of mercury into the environment a year, that would emit even more CO2 and perpetuate a legacy of dirty energy.  As one of the last speakers Thursday night, a grad student from the College of Charleston asked everyone 25 and under to stand up (almost half the room remaining stood), she then asked anyone in that age group who supported the coal plant to please sit down.  No one sat down.

The future of South Carolina has spoken, articulately and overwhelmingly: we will not allow Santee Cooper to build another dirty and archaic energy facility in our state!  It’s time for change and it is obvious that it is up to our generation to fight for the future we all deserve and know we can create together.

October 25, 2008 at 9:48 pm 1 comment

Houston RAN and Southern Energy Network Stage Die-In at Dynegy AGM

Environmental activists from six states -Michigan, Nevada, Georgia, Texas, Iowa, and Illinois – converged today to urge the Houston-based Dynegy corporation to halt construction on its six proposed coal plants.

Outside the meeting 100 activists rallied to speak truth to Dynegy’s power.

40 activists from Georgia, Texas and Alabama staged a “die-in” inside the Westin where the meeting was being held. They held space until police and security got them out of the building.

Video here
More pix here

die in

From their press release:

“Coal is a ticking time bomb for investors and the climate. From the destruction of Appalachian mountaintops to the millions of tons of carbon dioxide, mercury and other toxic pollutants emitted from power plants, coal plants are the country’s top source of global warming and mercury pollution. Yet Houston-based Dynegy plans to build six new coal-fired plants—more than any other company in the country.”

di in

May 16, 2008 at 4:31 pm 1 comment

Here’s to the Long Haul @ SSREC

Here’s to the Long Haul get rowdy with “Dancing on the Ruins of Multinational Corporations” in the streets of Valdosta, Ga., during the Downtown Getdown for SSREC 2008!

February 19, 2008 at 11:15 pm Leave a comment

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