The presidential election has left many of our heads spinning with the constant menagerie of pertinent issues and concerns. Lately the election has felt more like a circus than a democratic process. Many students feel that certain issues in particular are being overshadowed and ignored due to our current economic crisis. One group on campus H.O.P.E (Helping Our Planet Earth) is advocating having the issues of Energy and Environmental reform return to the political spotlight.
“Climate change and justice, the conversion to clean energy, promotion of Green Jobs, all of these issues directly affect our economic crisis,” says H.O.P.E member Andrew Bliss
“So therefore these issues are not solely based on saving the environment, they directly affect each individual’s lives in both economic and health related terms.”
H.O.P.E was first established in year 2000 by a small group of environmentally conscious students. Unfortunately the group disintegrated after lack of interest from the emerging Bloomsburg student body. However this year it was reestablished by an assembly of new and enthusiastic students that are hoping to spread the awareness of effectiveness of environmental protection and energy reform.
The environmental collaborate has launched several projects in the past months to reestablish themselves as a functional and effective group. Currently they are aiding in the campus’s Bio Diesel campaign run by Chemistry Professor Mark Tapsak as well as maintaining the campus’s recycling processes and the promotion to convert the campus’s facilities to clean energy.
Yet these starting actions of H.O.P.E are just the beginning of a much broader campaign. Power Vote is a national collaborative campaign established by environmental activists and concerned students to bring about fundamental changes in our society’s views on environmental issues. The campaign’s overall goal is to gain credible support from the college demographic to present to our next president and policy makers. H.O.P.E members are sending out simple petitions to gain support to show that Bloomsburg students truly care about the onset of climate change as well as the conversion to green, efficient energy.
Power Vote is such an influential movement that Senator Al Gore has agreed to speak personally through a webcast to all Power Vote constituents. H.O.P.E and Democracy Matters invites all environmental enthusiasts as well as those individuals concerned with the rise of energy costs to join them in watching the Al Gore webcast on Wednesday October 29 at 8 pm in Hartline, room 134.
H.O.P.E.’s main goal with the assistance of Democracy Matters and Power Vote is to set in motion the steps that must be taken to convert Bloomsburg University’s campus to a Green Campus. Across the country college campuses have converted to clean energy and in doing so, cut their energy costs. Experts have predicted that energy costs in the next year energy costs to increase by 50%. This energy increase will undoubtedly be seen in our tuition and living costs. H.O.P.E wants to see Bloomsburg University cut energy costs through the institution of green energy as well as erase its overall carbon footprint made on our planet earth.