Cornell Students Rally to Move Beyond Fossil Fuels

Reposted from WeArePowerShift blog

On September 23rd, in coordination with Moving Planet with 350.org, over 40 Cornell students were joined by Ithaca College students and community members for a flashmob and rally on Cornell’s campus to move beyond fossil fuels.

Through KyotoNOW and the Sustainability Hub, we called on Governor Cuomo to ban hydraulic fracturing in New York, in coordination with campuses across the state with the Green Umbrella: NY Youth for a Just and Sustainable Future.  Hydraulic fracturing poses a significant threat to local economies, to our climate, and to the health of millions of people- particularly in the Southern Tier region of New York, where Cornell’s campus is located.  Within just one week, we collected over 500 signatures at Cornell for a ban on fracking.  Cuomo must protect the health of all New Yorkers, invest in energy solutions that will create jobs for New York, and stand up to the special interests of big oil and gas corporations.

We also called on Cornell’s President to ensure that our university plays a leadership role in developing clean energy in the Southern Tier of New York through the Regional Economic Development Council.  Local solutions to the climate crisis are increasingly important, as we realize that the actions necessary to build the green economy will not be easily handed to us by our elected political leaders.  As our President is Co-Chair of the Council, Cornell is poised to create change well beyond our campus by supporting the creation of the Enfield Energy windfarm and wide-scale energy efficiency initiatives throughout the Southern Tier.  These clean energy efforts will generate jobs, reduce carbon emissions, and are the antidote to the threat of hydraulic fracturing.

We’re not just showing what we’re against, but what we’re for.  We’re for a thriving, just, sustainable economy that works for everyone.  We’re for sustainable communities in New York State, places where young people want to stay after graduation and can find meaningful work.  We’re for real clean energy that doesn’t jeopardize communities’ health or destabilize our climate.  We’re for true democracy, a system of, by, and for people, not profits.

Why did we flashmob and dance our way over to the President’s Office at Cornell on Moving Planet?  Because this is a movement about movement.  It’s not just about wind power or solar power, but it’s about people power.  Power Shift 2011 has ignited this movement of energized and inspired young people and has provided us with the tools to create real change in our communities.

At Cornell, we are redefining the borders of our campus, building lasting relationships with community members, and coming together to take a stand against dirty energy and to build a clean energy future.  Since our Moving Planet rally a few weeks ago, we have been meeting with key allies, attending public hearings for the Regional Economic Development Council, and ensuring that young people are given a proper voice in shaping the future.  Now, we are moving forward to find the best way for Cornell to support the creation of the Enfield Energy windfarm, which could be the largest community-run windfarm in the country.

This truly is a fall of action- and solutions.


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