By Vanessa Wright
We all know that global warming is a huge problem. Every year we watch as the polar ice caps melt at a faster and faster rate. Annually we loose miles of our shorelines to rising sea levels right here in Massachusetts. But there is some good news too; we have the solutions at our fingertips to solve it. If we just put solar panels on just 7% of the homes in America we could power the entire country. On top of that we finally have a president and a Congress who believe that global warming exists and are interested in taking action.
I think that we can all agree that there is a renewed sense of hope sweeping across America. We are at a pivotal point in our history to take this hope, interest, and responsibility and turn into real tangible change.
This past year Massachusetts showed America that we are committed to making the necessary changes to fight the worst effects of global warming by passing the Global Warming Solutions Act, the boldest piece of climate change in the country. It mandates an 80% cut in carbon emission below 1990 levels by 2050. Sadly it is not enough to just pass this legislation in Massachusetts and we need to take it to the next level.
This semester the UMass Dartmouth Massachusetts Public Interest Research Group (MASSPIRG) chapter is working with PIRG chapters across the state and the country to push Congress and President Obama to support legislation to fight climate change before it is too late.
So far this semester MASSPIRG students have held call in days to Congress, which resulted in a $3 billion increase in public transit spending through the Nadler amendment in the House version of the stimulus package. In the end of February MASSPIRG students plan to attend Power Shift, a global warming conference in DC with an expected attendance of 10,000 people, as an opportunity to thank Congressman Frank for his support of clean energy and ask him to be a champion on clean energy legislation.
Unfortunately there is still opposition out there, big coal and big oil still have a lot of money and a lot of power and they are not going away. We need show Congress and President Obama that we share their hope for a cleaner future.
Historically we have seen the power of grassroots organizing from the civil rights movement to President Obama's campaign. That is why MASSPIRG is working to show Representative Barney Frank that students at UMass Dartmouth are invested in a cleaner America, and that they are asking him to keep fighting for bold solutions. We know that the problems are huge, but the solutions are out there. We have never been more ready to do what it takes to solve these problems.
Interested in getting involved with MASSPIRG's global warming group? Check out the website, www.masspirgstudents.org/dartmouth or join us on Wednesday night at 5pm in the Commuter Café.