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#AASHE2011

Several Green Jack members will be attending the 2011 Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education conference in Pittsburgh, PA this coming week. This is a place for up to date info on the conference.

10/9/11

Just finished with the student summit. Bill McKibben kicked off the summit with a speech. I have video of his hour long talk that I will post when I can get it broken into bite size pieces. The summit brought together students from around the US and Canada to talk about what we are all working on, challenges we are facing, and the lessons learned along the way. This is my 2nd year attending and the energy is great!

We had a panel presentation on the lessons learned from the first year of the Green Fund that drew some great questions and discussion. Other schools are looking to NAU as a model for their own efforts. We also met the woman in charge of the UC Berkely Green Fund, which was cool because we used their bylaws as template for the NAU Green Fund.

Melody took notes during Bill’s talk and they are posted below:

Writer Activist and leader Bill McKibben
 
Just spoke to 1,000 people outside white house yesterday @ Washington Square Park for Occupy Wall Street
We (students) are more important than most others in this effort.
But is it all fast enough even if we start change (toward sustainability) now
We knew all we needed to know about climate change 22 years ago
His new book:  Eaarth – misspelled because we’ve changed the planet enough for it to deserve a new name
Since he wrote the book The End of Nature 30 years ago:
Oceans 30% more acidic
40% less summer sea ice in arctic
 
The single most important set of changes he will discuss today:
Hydrology – the way water moves around planet
Warm air holds more water vapor than cold
Water molecule stays in atmosphere 6-7 days
 
We need to see massive change on campuses = stop burning coal and oil
 
We students know enough about the world right now to recognize what is happening and how significant these environmental impacts are…
 
“We can’t let that world be.”
 
We students are in a really important place with enough leverage to make the change we need
Campuses and communities embedded in a system that is not changing
Carbon emissions increased 5% last year; “We are sprinting in the wrong direction” – the problem is who is in power
We thought science could inform leaders; he thought ‘read the book and they’ll change”
 
The push back from government powers is even more reason to continue our work on campuses
We are now beginning to see these changes become realities on campuses
 
How to build a global climate movement
language barriers
350.org provides cross-language understanding advantage
 
These worldwide displays (350.org for pics) show us our brothers/sisters in this fight – climate change mitigation/sustainability movement thought to be based in white middle class but most are poor dark young people all around the world
 
“The power of that day was palpable” (on worldwide 10/10/10 demonstrations)
Then 6 weeks later Copenhagen – 117 nations signed onto 350 ppm target but most nations were developing and none of major nations signed on to commit
 
Bicycles one of few tools used by rich and poor
 
We must attach a price to carbon for damage done to atmosphere
We have to be as strong as fossil fuel companies in order to do this
We must find other currencies in which to work
Usual currencies – passion creativity spirit
Now try using our bodies – engage deeply and powerfully
This has been the focus of his last 6 months of work
 
Keystone Pipeline  ​Tarsandsaction.org
Jim Hansen at NASA published paper – tons of carbon in those deposits
2nd biggest pool of carbon on earth next to Saudi Arabia
If we do this, (approve pipeline and engage in tar sands oil extraction,“Then we are idiots and worse.”
Burn all the carbon in that reserve and we will be at 550ppm
Pipeline needs a permit from president because it crosses an international border
Approval requires Presidential Certificate of National Interest
 
Protests in Washington, D.C. earlier this year – 1253 people arrested – largest use of civil disobedience in 35 years
Next opportunity for protest action regarding this:
11pm Tuesday 313 Oakland Ave.
Next:  Nov 6th in D.C. – exactly 1 year before election
People will be carrying signs with words spoken by President Obama from his last campaign – he has been lost to us since then – locked in a basement somewhere. We need to get him back.
 
This effort is “beautiful, powerful and connected”
 
We are engaged in a way we have never been before.

——————
Will post more as I can.

– Kevin

2 Comments leave one →
  1. October 9, 2011 7:09 am

  2. October 9, 2011 7:15 pm

    Thanks for these great notes! Glad that the student summit was useful to you! I found myself quite inspired.

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