Friday, October 16, 2009

We Never Talk About Global Warming Anymore

Yesterday was “Blog Action Day” for climate change topics, whatever that means…

So in the spirit of yesterday, let’s talk about student activism on climate change. Over my three-plus years in college, I’ve witnessed immense progress in how students view their impact on our world. When I came to Georgetown in 2006, global warming was still considered “global warming” for the mainstream folk. This was an age where we actually needed Al Gore to stand in front of a powerpoint in order to even begin considering how our personal, political, and economic choices impact our world. But like I said, that was sooo 2006.

Today, our campus – and I think all campuses – are alive with the spirit of sustainability, all driven by the presence of global warming. The beauty of this movement lies not in what EcoAction has become, but rather in how environmental sustainability has begun to leach into every aspect of life. The speakers that come here are environmental leaders; we have green architecture; we have an energy competition going on (admittedly, it’s woefully underpublicized); the SFS is switching Map of the Modern World to be based around geography more than political lines; the Sustainability Committee continues to make practical improvements to campus footprint; and every b-school student is trying to figure out exactly how to capitalize on all of this energy.

Over this time period, EcoAction has exploded. The organization takes on campaigns from all ranges of the environmentalist landscape, from sustainable food and park cleanups – central tenets for any tree-hugger – to carbon auditing and lobbying. I always expected this of EcoAction. I mean, it’s what we do. We’re an environmental group. But the broader things happening on campuses around the country are more exciting; the mainstream has finally gets it. And here’s where we’re at in terms of climate change activism on college campuses: the point at which it’s hardly anything you need to remind people about. But we still do, and we’re not stopping!

In line with not stopping reminding people about climate change, here’s a cheap, dirty plug for the raddest youth climate change summit this side of the Potomac. Virginia Power Shift is here! It’s happening at George Mason (so I guess it’s not exactly on this side of the Potomac, unless I don’t understand our local geography…) on Oct. 23-25, and Georgetown is sending a big group. Be there!

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