The Daily Planet – Taking Action Against Climate Change

Katelyn Ciolino

We have all heard that global warming is a huge problem, but few of us have taken the initiative to act. Without its effects being thrown in our faces, few recognize climate change as an imminent threat. However, many parts of the world are already feeling the devastating effects of climate change. Evidence of climate change is released each day. For example, the recent floods in North Korea, and the opening of the originally ice-covered ‘Northwest Passage’, linking the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. The United States, which is responsible for the most greenhouse gas emissions, has failed to make sufficient changes, despite the consequences of global warming being felt throughout the world. However, there are solutions to global warming, and students at Colgate are taking action.

This November 2nd to 5th, with the support of Students for Environmental Action (SEA) and Focus the Nation, a group of Colgate students is attending Power Shift 2007 at the University of Maryland in College Park. Power Shift 2007 is the first national youth conference on climate change. Thousands of students from across the country are coming together to learn about solutions to global warming from the nation’s leading scientists, advocates, and organizers, as well as how to put these solutions into practice on campus, in the community, and in the political arena. The conference concludes with a rally on Capitol Hill, where students will lobby the Senate and the House of Representatives for three goals: to create five million green jobs conserving 20 percent of our energy by 2015, to cut carbon 80 percent by 2050, and to enact an immediate moratorium on new coal-fired power plants. More information about the conference can be found at www.powershift07.org, (contact [email protected] to attend).

There are many opportunities for students to get involved on campus as well. On November 3, Colgate’s climate change awareness group, Focus the Nation, is sponsoring Step it Up. Step it Up takes place on the National Day of Climate Action, where hundreds of rallies will be held across the country. Focus the Nation has planned a rally, as well as a concert that night. Other ways that students can take action is to be more mindful of their environmental practices, and to become involved in groups on campus such as Students For Environmental Action, the Campus Ecology Group, and Colgate’s Green Summit. Climate change is a serious problem, and it is time for us, and our nation’s leaders to take action.