Cornell Film Screening Shows the True Power of Renewable Energy

Reposted from, Written by Rebecca Macies.

Ithaca is not known for its abundant sunshine. Situated in the beautiful Finger Lakes region of New York, Ithaca’s typical weather is usually summed up by fellow Cornell students as very rarely nice. Coupled with the large coal plant that supplies much of the area’s energy, Ithaca hardly seems like a renewable energy hub. However, despite our seeming lack of natural capital, Ithaca is proving that evenwe can go green.

KyotoNOW! co-sponsored a screening of Empowered: Power from the People, locally produced and directed by Cornell alumna Shira Evergreen. The documentary explores the efforts of individuals in the energy independence revolution. From wind and solar to biodiesel and geothermal, Tompkins County residents are using it all and proving that it is possible to produce our own renewable energy and get ourselves off of fossil fuels. They are proving that the most important source of power doesn’t just come from coal and oil, it comes from people and their desire for a just and sustainable future.

Students from Engineers for a Sustainable World also attended the event, along with a number of other students and many community members. During the Q&A session after the film with the director and two of the speakers from the film, the amount of interest and positivity for renewable energy from students and community members alike was incredible. Hearing students talking about wanting sustainable jobs, not just any job after college, is the push the world needs to bring to a more sustainable future.

The screening of the film was also done in solidarity with campuses across the country who are united with us in our fight to divest from coal and all fossil fuels. Here at Cornell, KyotoNOW! is working to reinvest 30% of our endowment into positively screened funds and divest from fossil fuels. We believe that it is time that our endowment, our lifeblood, reflects the ideals upon which our university was founded.


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