Posts filed under ‘tennessee’

Arjun Makhijani

On Tuesday, September 23rd, Arjun Makhijani spoke at the University of Tennessee. President of the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research (IEER), Makhijani holds a Ph.D. in engineering (specialization: nuclear fusion) from the University of California at Berkeley. He has produced many studies and articles on nuclear fuel cycle related issues, including weapons production, testing, and nuclear waste, over the past twenty years. He is the principal author of the first study ever done (completed in 1971) on energy conservation potential in the U.S. economy. Most recently, Dr. Makhijani has authored Carbon-Free and Nuclear-Free: A Roadmap for U.S. Energy Policy (RDR Books and IEER Press, 2007), the first analysis of a transition to a U.S. economy based completely on renewable energy, without any use of fossil fuels or nuclear power. He has been touring universities across the United States in order to promote Carbon-Free and Nuclear-Free and spread the facts that renewable energy sources are completely possible and economical.

Makhijani was also a speaker at a rally at Dragon Park in Nashville, Tennesee during the 2008 presidential debate this past week on Tuesday, October 7th, in which he also spoke about his book and encouraged the present youth to continue the struggle against dirty energy. Many youth for clean energy, including the University of Tennessee’s environmental group SPEAK, were present. You can visit his own blog through the IEER.


October 14, 2008 at 5:42 pm 1 comment

Ride for a Sustainable Tennessee

Ride for a Sustainable Tennessee

Like bikes? Want to raise money for the TN network of student activists? At the end of the summer, in the first two weeks of August, there is a bike ride through Eastern and Middle Tennessee. The ride is a fundraiser and outreach tool for Tennessee Alumni and Students for Sustainable Campuses (TASSC). This is the most awesome state network of student environmental groups this side of the Mississippi, and this is the perfect opportunity for you to get involved and ride your bike for a week. As we pass through major cities (Nashville, Knoxville, Chattanooga, Johnson City, and more) the riders will meet on a central campus with student activists from the area. My goal is to end the ride critical mass style up to the legislature and lobby for clean energy legislation and alternative forms of transportation. If you are interested in joining the adventure in its entirety, spots are limited. However, we need as many people as possible on bikes for rides through major cities and especially through Nashville. There is the possibility of organizing a one day fundraising ride that can join up with the main group as we ride through, if you are interested. If you have any desire to make Tennessee more sustainable and ride bicycles, email me at This ride could be the best experience of your summer! Yours truly, Sam Jordan

June 16, 2008 at 1:07 pm Leave a comment

UT-Knoxville Energy Ethics Conference bridges debates

Last weekend, a team of students and I volunteered at the first-ever Energy Ethics Conference in Knoxville, “Energy & Responsibility: A Conference on Ethics and the Environment” presented by the UT Philosophy Department.  The planning committee for this conference featured some of the most experienced and dedicated leaders in our area’s environmental community, and I had a great time taking in the discussions from world-renowned scholars, analysts, and researchers.  You can find a full list of the papers that were discussed with abstracts and credentials on the conference website.

By far the highlight of the weekend for me was the chance to participate in the Student Caucus on the last day of the conference, where a handful of young people were given the opportunity to prepare a Youth Statement that would be published in the book that’s coming out of the conference, as well as a number of journals and websites.  It was an honor to work as an editor for this statement, and a challenge to carry out a consensus writing project on a two-hour deadline.  While I was listening to the statement being read and watching the audience reactions, I got the distinct feeling that my citizenship began there and then.  Now I gotta go parse out the meaning of sustainable citizenship…

Anyway, reproduced here in full just for you, the Youth Statement of the Student Caucus at the 2008 Energy & Responsibility Conference:

The youth of the world have inherited a transformative mandate from the generations that have come before us. Deprived of the luxury to treat the future as a landfill, the unprecedented urgency of this mandate compels us to build a radically new world of healthy, just, and sustainable communities within our lifetimes. We are genuinely angered by the wasteful economy we were born into and we are committed to intergenerational dialogue with those who all their lives have fought the struggle we now take on. Amid uncertainty, we find hope; and in the long shadow of the challenges that loom on our horizons, we have no choice but to seek the light of opportunity.

We envision a just and sustainable world, a world of healthy communities living in harmony with their natural environment. Recognizing the solutions to global pollution and global poverty as inseparable, we are committed to opening spaces that transcend borders and disciplines for democratic, international conversation. To that end, we must address the threat of human development to the biodiversity of the planet and the threat of cultural dominance to the indigenous knowledge that must inform our global solutions. The privilege of leadership comes with the responsibility to defend the rights of all voices as we define a vision of the future.

In addition to empowering a planetarian imagination, we are committed to decentralized solutions on the grassroots level grounded in the principles of distributional equity and environmental justice. As we forge the policies and infrastructure of the future, we can no longer violate the self-determination of local communities around the world nor the intrinsic value of the biosphere that makes our lives possible. In our own communities, we are committed to nurturing future generations by actively promoting civic engagement and increased ecological awareness in our schools and in our homes. Building on the traditions of democracy and human rights, we must create an ecologically comprehensive definition of social justice embracing lifelong nutrition education, localized food security, and consideration of the long-term impacts of the choices we make as consumers and citizens every day of our lives. We sow the seeds of tomorrow in the soil of today.

We call upon all citizens, policymakers, and business leaders to implement the inexcusably neglected knowledge of solutions already in place for a renewed and equitable relationship with the planet. In addition, while we include advocacy and research in a diversity of tactics, we believe that global challenges call for local solutions from the inside out and the bottom up. It has fallen to our generation to cultivate healthy, sustainable communities across the planet. The work before us is large, but we are up to the task. We will bring upwardly mobile green-collar jobs into disenfranchised communities. We will advance access to environmental education to promote stewardship and sustainability in the lives of children. We will pursue technological innovations for climate-neutral production as we transition from where we are to where we have to go. And in our professions and amongst our peers, we will cultivate an ethic of democracy, compassion, and justice as practices necessary to the survival of the planet. The decisions we make today will have a greater impact on the future than at any other point in history. We call on you to be voices for the future in the lives you live today. The future simply cannot wait. The time to act is now.

University of Tennessee
April 12, 2008

April 16, 2008 at 4:34 pm Leave a comment

Bill to increase tax paid on coal in TN

Tenn. shouldn’t be a ‘cheap place to mine,’ Gov. Bredesen says of effort

By Tom Humphrey (Contact)
Wednesday, March 19, 2008

NASHVILLE – Plans for expanded coal mining in East Tennessee, much of it in the Sundquist Wildlife Management Area, would be jeopardized by a proposed increase in the state’s coal severance tax, National Coal Corp. officials said Tuesday.

The tax bill’s sponsor, Sen. Doug Jackson, D-Dickson, said the state shouldn’t make it easy to strip mine, however, and he has Gov. Phil Bredesen’s support.

“I think of mining as kind of a necessary evil,” Bredesen said, pointing out that after talking to Jackson, he understands the proposed tax rate would put Tennessee on par with other coal-mining states.

read more:

March 19, 2008 at 5:42 pm Leave a comment

Coal companies fight bill to ban mountaintop strip mining

March 2, 2008

Coal companies fight bill to ban mountaintop strip mining
Associated Press

A proposal to ban most mountaintop removal mining and to toughen other environmental standards for the coal industry in Tennessee is running into stiff opposition from state coal producers.

National Coal Corp. President Dan Roling told the state Senate Environment and Conservation Committee last week that passing the measure would have dire effects on the industry in the state.

“Prohibiting mining above 2,000 feet elevation in the case of National Coal alone would basically force us — or almost force us — to close our doors,” Roling told the committee.

Roling said about 28 million tons of the company’s coal reserves worth about $700 million would be affected by the measure.

Knoxville-based National Coal currently produces about 1.4 million tons of coal a year, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

March 3, 2008 at 1:28 am 2 comments

Photos from Feb12 minesite scouting

from United Mountain Defense (

February 19, 2008 at 10:13 pm Leave a comment

Flickr Photos