So on February 12th I attend the Youth Climate Action Summit at the State House in Montpelier. During the day, I testified to the Vermont SenateGovernment Operations Committee about divesting the state employee's pension fund from all fossil fuels. It was such a wonderful opportunity. Of course I was extremely nervous, but I think I did pretty well. Here is the Link to me speaking. Another student spoke, as well as some investment folks from Boston and Vermont. The President of Goddard College also spoke. This was part of a coordinated effort by Climate Change Activists internationally to pressure schools, universities and other non-profit organizations to divest to save the planet.
I attended the workshop/action day in hopes of networking with other climate change activist students but that didn't really happen as much as I had hoped but I did some a few fantastic connections which I hope will help me move my project forward. I have been in touch with a few climate change gurus about ways to move my project forward. Unfortunately the Republican majority in Washington will make it very difficult. BUT I think if I can just get people interested and aware of the bill, that might be a goal.
Looking forward toward next steps I am hoping to create a video that I can spread, through the wonderful networking oppurtunities 350.org has provided me with. I am planning of having it be a short video that just has me speaking about the Bill and why it is important. That is another thing I have taken away from my time at the State House, how vital it is that we pass this kind of legislation, on a state level, yes, but even more so on a federal level. We simply don't have the time to avoid this issue any more. I personally feel invigorated by being able to make my own contribution, but there is still so much more work to be done. The divestment movement is a great one -- very similar, my mom says to that of the apartheid one that many students took part in in the 80s. I feel really lucky I got to participate in this -- even in a small way.