The following post is by Ty Eldridge from Georgetown Energy Coalition.
When Energy Action Coalition first conceived of Power Shift 2007, it was one year out from the historic 2008 election. When we set out again in 2009 to draw young leaders from across the country to DC, it was in the immediate aftermath of President Obama’s election, and our mission was clear – to hold the President we had just elected accountable to the promises of a clean energy future.
As we embark on Power Shift 2011, the stakes are even higher, the
political backdrop more divisive than ever, and the urgency for bold leadership and vision more critical than ever before. Gone are the illusions that any particular political party or leader can solve the crisis before us. We now know that it will take unparalleled will from the people of this country to push our broken political system, which is ruled by dirty energy interests, to move past the short-sightedness of our leaders--a short-sightedness that leaves our generation in peril.
PowerShift 2011 marks a turning point for the youth climate movement – a departure from a role in the chorus of advocates simply calling for change, and an emergence into a position of leadership; demanding real change on energy and climate and refusing to stop until it is achieved.
Plain and simple, Power Shift 2011 is a mission to recruit 10,000 youth leaders from every walk of life in America to be the front line warriors in the fight for a clean energy future. We are moving far beyond the pursuit of building a crowd for a weekend conference. Each participant will head to Power Shift not only as an individual committed to seeing political change, but as an activist and leader eager to build the specific skill set required to return and lead their
community towards tangible and visible change over the course of the next two years.
There is no question that the strategy to victory for a clean energy future and an end to global warming is trickier than it may have looked just a year ago at this time. The new congress has more climate-change deniers than ever before, leaving us feeling further behind in the ground war of public opinion. A federal climate bill seems impossible until at least 2013. Yet this generation has no choice but to commit to the fight in more tangible ways than ever before.
The collective consumer power, political power, and opinion power of this generation cannot be ignored long term for the success of any corporation, political figure, or media outlet. As the largest and most diverse generation in American History we don’t only have the ability to shift this entire conversation; we have the obligation to do so.
We will use Power Shift 2011 as an opportunity to issue a real challenge to the powers that decide the destiny of our nation. As part of this effort, Georgetown hopes to send 200 students to the conference in April. For four days--from April 15th to 18th--Hoyas will meet with thousands of their peers from universities across the country to demand nothing less than real solutions to our nation’s most pressing challenges. Together, we can usher in a new era of clean,
sustainable living and ensure a better future for ourselves and our children.
Are you ready to join the movement at this most critical hour?
To sign up, email your name and number to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information, visit our website.