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Opinion and Editorial

It’s Time: Powershift ’09 “H.O.P.E.s” to Recruit More Activists

By Zack Sterkenberg/”The Voice” Staff Writer 

Environmental activists and prospective lobbyist unite!

A global environmental protection and energy conservation initiative is storming Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. to put some warranted pressure on our elected officials.  The event, suitably named “Powershift ’09,” intends to impose the will of the organized youth on our freshly composed government.

The brains behind the operation, Energy Action Coalition, is calling for 10,000 students and environmental advocates to protest in a friendly but direct manner to the highest ranks of our Federal government.  

Bloomsburg’s own Helping Our Planet Earth (H.O.P.E.) club banded together with the Campus Green Initiative offer the university students an opportunity to take part in the movement scheduled for Feb. 27 through Mar. 2.  Saving the planet kicks off with a conference-benefits show from 7 to 10:30 p.m. this Friday at OYED in downtown Bloomsburg.  

The fundraising event costs $5 per person at the door, or $4 if a can of food is brought along to be donated.  

A free ticket is automatically rewarded after admission to have a shot to win a $50 gift certificate to Totem Tattoos. The ambitious clubs hope to recruit 50 individuals to partake in the week-long event in D.C.  Anyone motivated to rescue the planet can sign up, or request more information on the conference, by contacting H.O.P.E. Powershift organizer Erin Coffey at elcoffey@bloomu.edu.

The march on Capitol Hill marks only the beginning of a week’s worth of exhilarating workshops and achievable reform goals.  The announcement flyers that can be seen hanging around campus illustrate the goals and guaranteed opportunities that the conference offers.

The foundations of the global initiative will be cultivated and spread from the knowledge gained there.  There will be opportunities to attend workshops to learn how to become a better grassroots organizer and lectures from experts in the field. Where will also be a Lobby Day when students will speak directly to the lawmakers.

According to the Powershift website Powershift09.org, the first 100 days of a newly elected government are the most influential, and thus when the most progress from the movement can be gained.  The organization planned this event advantageously within the first two months of President Obama’s term to hopefully achieve the most promising impact.  

Numerous studies and documentaries have been made to persuade not only lawmakers, but students and other citizens to get the point across that action must be taken immediately.  

As a speaker for the Powershift movement and producer of the controversial documentary “An Inconvenient Truth,” Al Gore knows a thing or two about the current crisis affecting our planet.  Gore, along with other activists, recognize that for the sake of future generations things need to turn around soon.“Future generations may well have occasion to ask themselves, ‘What were our parents thinking? Why didn’t they wake up when they had a chance?’ We have to hear that question from them, now,” stated Gore in his documentary. (Check out the film trailer here!)

Environmentalists and protection groups like the Energy Action Coalition have presented some staggering facts related to the growing climate crisis.  National Geographic found that average temperatures have climbed 1.4 degrees since 1880, and have reached the highest temperatures the earth has seen in what could be a millennia. Another distinct sign of global climate change is the rapidly disappearing arctic glaciers.  The glaciers are melting and causing sea levels to rise which could leave cities like Venice submerged in the near future.

Our generation could be defined by this opportunity to get Obama’s term and 2009 started off in the right direction.  The earth provides everything for us, it’s time we do our part and save it.