Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Shifting the Power

The first weekend of March in Washington D.C. was really cold, like face masks and long underwear cold, but that didn't stop thousands of fired up young people from gathering for the second Power Shift Conference, which brought youth from all over the country together to "hold our elected officials accountable for rebuilding our economy and reclaiming our future through bold climate and clean energy policy."

Guest blogger and high school freshman Amelia Schwalb recounts her experience here:

On February 27, 12,000 young adults ventured to our nation’s capitol in order to change the world. They traveled 28 hours through blizzards and braved long flight delays, but all eventually arrived at the Washington Convention Center for Power Shift 2009.

They were greeted with keynotes by environmental leaders such as Van Jones (Green for All) and Majora Carter and left with the sounds of Santogold and the So So Glows in their ears. These young people went on to spent their weekend attending workshops, panels, caucuses, trainings, keynotes, and concerts with a common goal: repairing our world. They learned that climate change does not only affect nature, but all human kind. They learned that through climate injustice and environmental racism, climate change affects those who cause it the least the most.

Most of all, they learned that climate change is an urgent issue that we must tackle if our species is to survive. Along with regional planning, the Power Shifters’ newfound knowledge culminated in a lobby day in which they asked their representatives to enact aggressive climate legislation adhering to the principles of cutting carbon, investing in a green economy, using renewable energy, and being eco-equitable.

After the lobbying was complete, the younglings headed to the West Lawn for a rally, clad in green hard hats and green t-shirts. Most of the Power Shifters then headed home to start their own mini-Power Shifts in communities all over the country. Memories of Saturday night’s impromptu rally echoed in their minds; “What is it that democracy looks like? This is what democracy looks like!”

1969 : Tree hugger :: 2009 : Recyclable-cardboard-and-mixed-paper-hugger. The more things change...

No comments: