, Executive Director, Energy Action Coalition
In the spring of 2006, when I was a student at Penn State University, there was a drought in Central Pennsylvania that was so severe that the mountain near the college campus caught fire. It was literally on fire; an early indication of the changes in our climate that have now become daily occurrences -- fires, blizzards, droughts and superstorms.
As student activists at Penn State, we took it very seriously. It was the height of the Bush Administration, so national action on climate change seemed completely out of the question. We decided that we wanted to fight for real, meaningful, climate action locally, and that meant getting Penn State to commit to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions and scaling up clean energy.
We ran a very strong campaign. We collected 10,000 petition signatures — 20% of our student body. The student government endorsed us. The faculty senate endorsed us. The student paper wrote an editorial in our favor. We hosted event after event, using our petitions to bring out more people each time to demand Penn State be a leader in the fight against global warming.
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