Thursday, November 5, 2009

WashU Students Stand Up for Their Energy Future

A little background to the story. On Monday, Washington University hosted an "America's Energy Future" conference on the Danforth Campus. No doubt strongly influenced by the huge donations they've received from coal companies and the fact that the CEOs from Peabody and Arch Coal are on their Board of Trustees, they focused much of the discussion on "clean coal" as an environmentally friendly way to meet all of our energy needs. The only problems: "clean coal" is nothing more than a marketing term, as truly clean ways to use coal have yet to be developed. And even if carbon can be sequestered efficiently, coal still has a number of problems such as devastating extraction techniques and problems with storing the highly toxic biproducts.

But as you can see below, the students at WashU were not about to let coal CEOs (who, BTW, have been at the forefront of denying climate change over the past twenty years) tell them what future environmentalism should look like:

I'm really proud to say I know many of the students involved in planning this action. As should be obvious, I love all kinds of progressive activism. But I especially love events where intelligent newcomers stand up to crusty old ideas that hide behind the veil of "seriousness" and the status quo. These students made a powerful statement, and did so in a very thoughtful way, and I really hope they can inspire others to fight against the inertia that keeps holding our country back.

UPDATE: Here's a list of all of the press coverage from @Neutralized :

Missouri Power Shift

National Power Shift

River Front Times
Sierra Student Coalition

It's Getting Hot In Here

Campus Progress
Student Life

Student Union
Earth Stream

STL Today
Rainforest Action Network

Earth Blips

Business Week

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