But these young folks are so cool:
Last weekend, 1000 students convened in Austin Texas for the Clinton Global Initiative University for a conference geared towards solving the world’s big problems and empowering students to take action.
In 8 days, 10,000 young people will be in DC for Power Shift 2009 for a conference to demand action on climate change from our leaders and empowering students to push for change.
There is a fundamental difference between these two events:
At Power Shift we will hold our elected officials accountable to do their part in solving climate change. We know that we are all working together to solve one really big (and multi-faceted) problem. And we’re not leaving until they listen to us.
Clinton Global Initiative inspires individuals and small groups to solve a wide range of problems, and highlight the projects that are closest to a set of ideals: Do what you can to make the world a better place, and make this part of your life.’ CGI-U is top down, and Power Shift is bottom up.
They run around with some cool folks:
January 20, 2009
On December 24th, the College began the experiment of setting back temperatures and turning off equipment in many buildings until just before the beginning of Winter Study on January 5th. This effort appears to have saved nearly $90,000 and reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 287 metric tonnes, over 1 % of our annual total.
The financial savings were split evenly between electricity and heating oil. Fifty-five percent of the energy savings came from heating. We often think of electricity as having the most utilities impact, due to the visible lighting and plug load in a building. However, in colder climates like ours, heat energy accounts for a larger portion of both emissions and spending on energy.
We can’t report on heating savings per building due to a current lack of steam metering, but we do have real-time metering of electricity by building. From those meters, we learned, not surprisingly, that large, energy-intensive buildings saved the most electricity: Paresky (34,500 kWh), Sawyer (26,874 kWh), Chandler (20,274 kWh), Bronfman (15,124 kWh), Greylock Dining (15,124 kWh), and Jesup (14,202 kWh). On average building electricity use was down 40%; electricity use in dorms was down 47%.
Guest blogger Roman Krznaric argues for a revolution in empathy to tackle climate change.
‘We seem to be suffering from an empathy deficit – our ability to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes, to see the world through those who are different from us.’ – Barack Obama
Occasionally – just occasionally – a mainstream politician says something that is both original and useful. This is the case with Barack Obama’s views on empathy. In a thousand speeches, and in his book The Audacity of Hope, he has put cultivating empathy – learning to see the world from the perspective of others – at the centre of his moral and political vision.
I am inclined to praise him because I believe we should view the problem of tackling climate change not as an environmental issue, or one concerning technology or social justice or markets, but primarily as a problem of empathy. We must learn to see the individuals behind the newspaper headlines about climate change, and imagine ourselves into the uniqueness of their lives, developing an understanding of their most important experiences, beliefs, fears and hopes.Sound far-fetched, wishy-washy or a little too sandals-and-carrot-juice for your liking? Let me explain myself.
The big question facing us is this: How can we close the gap between knowledge and action on climate change? Millions of people in rich countries know about the damaging effects of climate change and their own greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, yet relatively few are willing to make substantive changes to how they live. They might change a few light bulbs but they do not cut back on flying abroad for their holidays nor do they want to pay higher taxes to confront global warming.
So far economic, moral or other arguments have not been enough to spur sufficient action. This is because a fundamental approach has been missing: empathy.
New Video of Noted Scientist Call for Join Capitol Climate Action
18 Feb 09
Dr. James Hansen, the internationally recoginized climatologist has released a public service announcment, calling on all of us to join the Capitol Climate Action, the largest civil disobedience against global warming in U.S. history.
18 February 09
This full page ad by the grassroots group Avaaz appeared on page A3 of the Washington Post today in advance of Obama’s trip to Canada scheduled for tomorrow. (click to enlarge)