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Youth And The Climate Movement


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Presentation given to climate change seminar at Cornell.

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Youth And The Climate Movement

  1. 1. Carlos Rymer Youth Organizer, Energy Action Coalition November 16, 2007 Cornell University
  2. 2. <ul><li>“ There is no evidence that CO2 has ever ‘driven’ the climate in the past, nor is there any compelling evidence that it is doing so now.” </li></ul><ul><li>- - Great Global Warming Swindle </li></ul>Youth and the climate movement
  3. 3. <ul><li>WHAT DO WE WANT? </li></ul>Youth and the climate movement
  4. 4. <ul><li>Arctic Summer Sea Ice could be completely lost as early as 2020. </li></ul>Youth and the climate movement
  5. 5. <ul><li>&quot;[Climate] change is progressing much faster than I had thought.” </li></ul><ul><li>-- Ban Ki-moon , UN Secretary-General </li></ul>Youth and the climate movement Source: National Snow and Ice Data Center
  6. 6. <ul><li>“ One of the most eminent scientists of our time says that global warming is irreversible — and that more than 6 billion people will perish by the end of the century.” </li></ul><ul><li>- - Rolling Stone </li></ul>Youth and the climate movement
  7. 7. <ul><li>Global Warming Is The Opportunity of Our Generation… to give the World a New Dream </li></ul>Youth and the climate movement
  8. 8. <ul><li>A Global Movement Has Been Building Rapidly Over The Last Few Years </li></ul>Youth and the climate movement
  9. 9. <ul><li>We’ve Moved From Denial To Bold Political Action </li></ul>Youth and the climate movement <ul><li>Germany Commits to 40% Cuts by 2020 </li></ul><ul><li>China Passes Renewable Energy Law, To Invest Over $250 Billion </li></ul><ul><li>Costa Rica, Norway To Go Carbon Neutral </li></ul><ul><li>India To Slash Emissions 25% By 2020 </li></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>And Businesses and Venture Capitalists Are Seeing Big Profits in Renewables </li></ul>Youth and the climate movement <ul><li>Renewables Fastest Growing Energy Sector </li></ul><ul><li>Wind To Grow Over 60% in 2007 </li></ul><ul><li>Surge in Solar Investments Bringing Down Costs </li></ul><ul><li>Oil and Natural Gas Prices Going Up, Coal Losing Interested Investors </li></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>Our Movement’s Strength and Reach Will Depend on Our Vision for a Better Future For All </li></ul>Youth and the climate movement “ A powerful climate movement — one capable of capturing the public imagination, defining new political identities and fully unleashing our economy — should put forth an even stronger vision of American greatness than the neoconservatives once offered. It must tap the optimism and can-do spirit embedded in our nation’s history that has driven us to overcome the daunting crises of the past. … The opportunity for such a resounding vision couldn’t be greater. The failure of the Iraq War and the collapse of the Bush presidency have left the American public hungry for an inspiring message that gives us new direction. Redefining American greatness around our inventiveness can unite us behind a common purpose, invigorating us to unleash our forces of innovation .” -- Teryn Norris
  12. 12. <ul><li>The Broader Climate Movement </li></ul><ul><li>The Role of Youth </li></ul><ul><li>The Campus Climate Challenge </li></ul><ul><li>Community and State Efforts </li></ul><ul><li>The Blogosphere and The Media </li></ul><ul><li>Youth in International Negotiations </li></ul><ul><li>Taking It Into Your Hands: Beyond Personal Changes </li></ul>
  13. 13. According to Wikipedia : “Social movements… are large informal groups of individuals and/or organizations focused on specific social or political issues; in other words, on carrying out, resisting, or undoing a social change.” According to young people : “We have approximately 180 members, and we are excited to help cut carbon! We wanted to show that it's not just hippies who care about global warming! We all care!!&quot; - One of over 1000 Step It Up Events last April.
  14. 14. <ul><li>Almost every sector of the economy is interested in some part: </li></ul><ul><li>- Businesses - People of Faith </li></ul><ul><li>- Developers - Policymakers </li></ul><ul><li>- Educators - Scientists </li></ul><ul><li>- Farmers - Workers </li></ul><ul><li>- Insurers - Youth </li></ul><ul><li>- Investors - The White House? </li></ul><ul><li>The movement has grown incredibly in only two years. </li></ul>
  15. 17. <ul><li>Diverse </li></ul><ul><li>Creative </li></ul><ul><li>Action-Based </li></ul><ul><li>Visionary </li></ul><ul><li>Visible </li></ul>
  16. 18. <ul><li>Over 40 youth organizations in North America </li></ul><ul><li>Over 500 campuses running clean energy campaigns </li></ul><ul><li>Passed hundreds of campus, community, and state policies </li></ul><ul><li>PLUS lots of new initiatives coming soon! </li></ul>
  17. 20. <ul><li>KyotoNOW! collected over 5,000 student signatures </li></ul><ul><li>Students and staff met with President Skorton to commit to Climate Neutrality </li></ul><ul><li>And now, over 400 colleges and universities are committed to becoming Climate Neutral! </li></ul>
  18. 21. <ul><li> </li></ul>
  19. 22. <ul><li>State Networks </li></ul><ul><li>Anti-Coal Work </li></ul><ul><li>National Days of Local Actions </li></ul><ul><li>Lobby Days </li></ul><ul><li>Climate Marches </li></ul><ul><li>Regional/State Summits </li></ul>
  20. 25. <ul><li>“ But Generation Q may be too quiet, too online, for its own good, and for the country’s own good.” –Thomas Friedman </li></ul><ul><li>Today’s Youth spend a lot of time on Facebook, blogs, websites, conference calls, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>But why? </li></ul>
  21. 27. <ul><li>Americans spend up to 9 hours per day, on average, on computers, TV, and their cellphones. </li></ul><ul><li>If they have no clue what global warming is and read misinformation, you’ve got another climate skeptic. </li></ul><ul><li>The internet and the media is a great way to change public opinion. </li></ul>
  22. 31. <ul><li>You now know enough to take the next step: REAL ACTION </li></ul><ul><li>Join the Campus Climate Challenge and the work of the Energy Action Coalition </li></ul><ul><li>Get involved with campus student groups and learn what youth are doing in your community or state </li></ul><ul><li>Join Your State Network </li></ul>
  23. 34. <ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Soon to be available: NY Student Sustainability Coalition Website </li></ul><ul><li>Questions? </li></ul>