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Film of the September Global Warming Protest

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Greenpeace staged a protest against the Bush Administration’s meeting on Energy Security and Climate Change in late September.

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This and That From Here and There

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Author: the Inkslinger

It’s going to be a little quiet around here during the next couple of days as most of the staff heads to the hills outside Stowe for a two-day retreat. That makes it a perfect time to dump my virtual in-box out on the table and see what seems post-worthy.

A new survey finds that Americans are getting ahead of the political curve when it comes to the climate crisis. 62% think that we’re headed for major trouble if we don’t act decisively and soon. Encouragingly, 40% say a presidential candidates position on this burning issue will be extremely or very important to them. Still, we apparently aren’t quite ready to put our money where our viewpoints are. 67% are against carbon taxes on gasoline and 71% are against taxes on electricity. In other words, we don’t want to pay the price of global warming but we don’t want to pay the price of avoiding it either.

But here’s the thing: with a little investment, we could all cool out. According to a study released last week by the alarmingly named National Security Space Office, we have the technology necessary to build a bunch of giant solar space things that could collect enough energy from the sun every year to supply the entire world with all the power it could squander seven times over. The energy would be beamed back to earth via lasers or microwaves (will we also be able to set our bowls of ramen noodles outside for convenient heating?). Of course, we’d have to build these orbiting juicers and get them up there, but with crude oil closing in on $100 a barrel, giant solar space things are actually getting cost-competitive. Something tells me that if you (ahem) taxed petroleum and other energy sources to account for the environmental damage they cause, we’d be launching them even as I write.

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Change It 2007 VIDEO!

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Author: Lara Petersen

I know it's only just October, but it seems like ages since I was in DC this summer with Greenpeace and 200 inspired students who were fighting for their beliefs and for this precious earth that we all share.

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At the Intersection Of Montana and Wyoming

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At 10,000 feet, near the peak of Mt. Washburn, the snow leaves a soft dusting on the ground. The silence is totally enveloping. The calls of bear and elk periodically break the silence. Man is incidental to this endless wilderness. Life above the tree line is harshly peaceful.

This is my first adventure into Yellowstone National Park. From the highest peaks, the landscape seems to dwarf the vistas of my home in Vermont. Black bear and bison are hanging out by the roadside.

This was a long way to come for a Greenpeace board meeting, a lot of CO2 emissions to figure out how to slow the emissions of everyone else. But I’m grateful that I came. I had no idea how beautiful the country that often angers me so could be.

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Change It: You're on the Hot Seat Campaign

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Today the Change It program ran their "You're on the hot Seat" Global Warming campaign in Washington DC at

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Speechless in DC

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Author: Lara Petersen

Here's the first of the week's cross-posts from the Change It blog.

It’s here! It’s happening! And suddenly I’m at a loss for words – I’m not sure how to best share the Change It experience with those of you who aren’t with us in DC this week.

I so badly want to paint a picture with my words, so that the people who are not with us can almost imagine that they are. So that you can all feel the inspiration, become engaged by the teachings and dialog, lift your spirit with a new found hope, and maybe make some new friends along the way.

But then I realized, I’m not the one who should be telling this story! I’m just a lucky bystander. Who am I to recount to you what the 200 Change It 07 students are experiencing?

And so, instead, you’ll be getting the students’ stories. We have some great blogs already from enthusiastic Change It participants who sent us their entries before we were even ready to post them!

I’ll still be checking in of course, but for now it occurs to me – why paint a picture with words when you can just snap one? And so for this first “week-of” blog, I give you some photos from the first few days of Change It. I think that, for now, we’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.

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Changing It Even As We Speak

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So this is the big week for our Change It program. 200 participants are gathered in Washington to hear from some leading voices in the progressive community and learn how to organize, advocate, and agitate. For those of you unfamiliar with Change It, it’s an idea we cooked up with Greenpeace to help send ripples of action out into the world and plant seeds of change in cities and towns all over the country. Here’s how we described the whole thing on the Change It web site:

The Change It program is an all-expenses-paid week of grassroots educational training in Washington, D.C., July 20 to 26, led by the experts from Greenpeace and other progressive organizations. Building on last year's success, the program will teach 200 dedicated full- and part-time students, ages 18 to 24, how to take on the toughest global challenges of our time.

Change It provides an opportunity for student leaders already committed to protecting the environment, leading social change and taking action to learn the skills and tools they need to become effective leaders. Students will emerge from the program ready to engage in the efforts necessary to prevent global warming and address the most critical issues facing their generation.

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Change It Speakers Announced!

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Author: Lara Petersen

Here's a new cross-post from the Change It blog.

You heard it here first! Well, that is, unless you were checking the Change It Participant Info page earlier today. The speaker list for Change It 2007 has been posted!

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Patience is a Virtue

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Author: Lara Petersen

That’s a saying I heard a lot growing up – ever the eager child looking for immediate results. I always answered with the same smart-aleck response: “well, MY middle name is a virtue!” But at the time I didn’t really know what “Faith” meant either. I think eventually I grew to learn the meaning of my middle name, but like a lot of us I still struggle with practicing faith as well as having patience.

(Oh crap, she’s gotten preachy on us.) “WHO is going to Change It?! Blog about that!” you say. Nope, sorry, can’t. Not until the verdicts are all in. But let me tell you a bit more about the process so far, about patience and faith, and how it all relates to our current stage in the application process for the 2007 Change It program.

Memorial Day weekend was part of my ninety-hour work-week reading Change It applications. I was so committed to getting them done as quickly as I could (no patience) that I didn’t shower, barely slept, missed a few Red Sox games on the boob-tube and even skipped my own kickball game (we have an adult kickball league here in Burlington – although I think I’m worse at it now than I was in 2nd grade!).

The point is that I really felt as though I needed every minute I could find to finish reading the applications in time. I wouldn’t say I’m a slow reader, so much as conscientious…I agonized over every single essay answer – 10 per applicant. I kept second-guessing the scores I was giving (oh ME of little faith), and revisiting the acceptance criteria to be sure I was calculating correctly.

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1,200 Change It Applicants!

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Author: Lara Petersen

With less than 12 hours left until the application deadline for Change It 07 I am overwhelmed by the number of students who have already applied.

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