Tuesday, April 26, 2011

D.C. Green Student Organization Forum

Tuesday night’s D.C. Green Student Organization Forum was a success! Organized by Scott Breen (COL ’11), Claire Austin (SFS ’12), and Betina Bergoo (SFS ’11), the forum brought students from environmental groups at George Washington Unversity, American University, Catholic University, Georgetown Law School, and the University of the District of Columbia together for a night of discussion in the Leonard conference room in Reynolds Hall. We ate some free Chipotle burritos and had a great talk about the successes and struggles of environmental organizing on campus.

Sarah Murphy, who works with Weatherize DC and is a former employee of the Sierra Student Coalition, gave a great talk about how she got started as an organizer. She told a story we can all identify with: as an undergraduate, she exhausted herself trying to put together a great Earth Day event all by herself and practically failed a class in the process.

This experience inspired her to learn more about grassroots organizing, and taught her that you need a team of dedicated individuals to help make change happen. She quoted Margaret Mead: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has”; and Antoine de Saint Exupéry’s Little Prince: ‘“If you want to build a ship, don't drum up people together to collect wood and don't assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.”

Murphy encouraged those looking for green opportunities in DC this summer to check out Weatherize DC’s fellowship programs. They’re currently seeking applicants, and some of the fellowships may even pay. Murphy also had great thing to say about the Sierra Student Coalition Summer Training Program (known as “Sprog,” but don’t use that word in Australia). These are week-long, intensive training programs in grassroots organizing, and there’s one just forty-five minutes south of DC this summer.

Read about the student groups after the jump...

Monday, April 25, 2011

Upcoming EcoAction Events

The semester is winding down, but EcoAction still has a variety of events to tell you about!

First of all, like us on Facebook!

Our last meeting for the semester will be next Monday, May 2 from 8:15-9:15 in ICC 102. Be there to learn about what we've done this semester and what we're hoping to work on for next year!

The DC Green Student Organization Forum is TOMORROW, Tuesday, April 26, at 7:00 PM. This is a forum where representatives from green organizations at the various DC universities will come together to learn from each other and learn how we can better engage the students on our campuses. The forum is in the Leonards Seminar Room in Reynolds Hall. There will be a guest speaker and free food! All are welcome, but please RSVP. Check out the Facebook event for more information.

Sign up to TABLE! From April 27 to 28, from 11 AM to 3 PM, we will be handing out free eco-friendly compact fluorescent light bulbs in exchange for not so friendly incandescent ones. This is a great chance to help out for however long you're free, and to spend some time outdoors. Sign up here, and read the blog post about CFLs from when we did similar tabling last semester.

On Thursday at 6:30, the Garden Club is holding a Vegan Dinner at the Magis Row Green House.

On Tuesday, May 3, EcoAction will be having a study break picnic at lunch time. Come eat delicious organic food with EcoAction and take a break from studying! Respond to the Facebook event here.

Off-campus events after the jump...

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and the Environment

This past Wednesday night, Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut came to campus to speak to Georgetown students. As a Democrat and a Connecticut resident, I was eager to hear him speak. After a short delay, he arrived in the White Gravenor classroom where we were waiting. He gave some opening remarks about his recent campaign, the budget, and issues specific to Connecticut before opening the floor for questions.

I was eager to ask a question about energy and the environment, but before I knew it, Blumenthal’s aide signaled that he would take only one more question. Luckily, the final question—by a student named Richard—was a great environmental question. In fact, it was directly related to the question that I brought up in my earlier post about Obama’s speech on energy policy. Richard asked if Blumenthal could address the impact that environmentalism has on areas other than the economic and sociopolitical.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Calling all photographers!

EPA is launching a State of the Environment Photo Project!

"In the spirit of Earth Day, help us capture images of the state of the environment today. Submit your best photo of the environment you experience: where you live or where you travel. While there is much cause for celebration, there is still work to do and what better way to show it than through all of our lenses? What makes this year stand out for such a project?

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Georgetown Energy: Rooftop Solar Panel Petition

The following post is by Michele Jaeger from Georgetown Energy.

“And you also happen to go to a school [in a town] that for a long time has suffered from a chronic unwillingness to come together and make tough choices.” President Obama’s recent slip-of-the-tongue in reference to energy policy, in our very own McDonough Gymnasium, has stimulated more conversation about its validity than error.

One of the more enlightening (literally) proposals circulating for the highly anticipated allocation of the Student Activities Fee Endowment (SAFE) is Georgetown Energy’s idea to install solar panels on 43 townhouses. If this passes, the university will throw its name into the vastly and exponentially growing pool of universities prioritizing sustainability on their campuses, yes, but the real light at the end of the tunnel for part of the $3.4 million is the student benefit.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Obama's Speech

This article was cross-posted on the Georgetown Progressive.
I’m not going to lie—I was thrilled to see President Obama speak here at Georgetown last week. I took a gleeful picture of my ticket; I sent excited voicemails and texts to my family and friends; I skipped class to wait outside McDonough for two hours. I was freezing and hungry, but I hardly noticed. I was going to see President Obama for the first time.

At the same time, I wasn’t naïve about the speech he would give. I didn’t expect him to declare an all-out ban on oil imports, to call for the shutting down of all the nuclear power plants in the United States, or even to announce a new comprehensive climate-change bill. Not only did I understand that such demands would be unprecedented for Obama, for whom environmental issues have never been first priority, but I also acknowledged to myself that those demands would be unrealistic given the current legislature. So while I was thrilled at the chance to see Obama, I wasn’t idealistic about what he would say.

Yet I found the speech disappointing. I jumped to my feet like everyone else, cheering and clapping, when Obama walked onstage, but as he spoke, my excitement ebbed and was slowly replaced by frustration and ennui.