MEDIA CONTACT: Terry Gearing
FAU Students Attend First-Ever National Youth Summit on Global Warming
JUPITER, FL (November 8, 2007) – On November 2, 22 of Florida Atlantic University’s students joined thousands of other young people as they converged on the nation’s capital for Power Shift, the first-ever national youth summit to solve the climate crisis. The conference engaged high school and college students from all 50 states about solutions to global warming and how they can put those solutions into practice on their campuses, in their communities and in the political arena.
At Power Shift, young leaders from all backgrounds shared ideas, learned new skills, made connections and ultimately used their collective experience to create a fresh, inspiring vision of the future; one focused on America’s potential to build a clean energy economy, achieve energy independence, create millions of green jobs, increase global equity and revitalize the economy. Power Shift’s agenda included issue briefings from the nation’s leading scientists and policy experts, training sessions on organizing, advocacy and direct action, an “opportunities fair” featuring some of the country’s leading environmental employers, and special guest speakers and musical acts.
On the final day of Power Shift, thousands of participants converged on Capitol Hill to show Congress and the candidates that a growing movement led by the youth of America is looking for bold political leadership on the issue of climate change. Energy Action Coalition, which organized the event, reported that young people from all 50 states lobbied their Congressional representatives and their staff to begin working toward bold solutions on climate issues to overcome the challenges of the 21st century. Students from FAU met with U.S. Senators Mel Martinez and Bill Nelson, and Representative Ron Klein.
Since August, FAU Jupiter’s Enviro Club raised more than $3,000 to send all twenty-two students to Washington, D.C. for the conference. The Enviro Club credits a majority of the fundraising came from the Jupiter Lifelong Learning Society, another branch of the FAU learning community. During this fundraising process, students connected with Lifelong Learners about FAU’s increasing commitment to university sustainability.
“FAU President Brogan has recently signed on to the President’s Climate Commitment, and as student leaders it’s our job to make sure we have the skills and knowledge necessary to help FAU with that initiative,” said Sarah Fannin, president of the Enviro Club. "While our leaders have been telling us what they can’t do about climate change, a youth movement has grown to show this country exactly how much we can do. From our college campuses to Capitol Hill, we are demanding that bold and immediate action be taken to avoid a climate crisis.”
“All students need to get involved in campaigns like this one," said Kyle Ashby, a student at FAU Jupiter. “While not everyone will be able to address the needs and impact of climate change in our generation, we all need to learn how to get involved and see direct change happening because of our commitments."