Tuesday, November 11, 2008

National Teach In - Obama's First 100 Days

I just read through the following email that I received from Eban Goodstein and the National Teach In On Global Warming Solutions. This is a wonderfully inspiring effort focused on what we need to accomplish during President Obama's First 100 Days:

Dear Friends and Colleagues,
Here is a brief talk I gave this morning at the AASHE meeting in NC – with 1600 people attending, the sustainability movement is strong and growing, but we are in a race against time. Please pass this along to educators and others who should know about the Teach-In. Thanks for the work you are doing.

--Eban Goodstein
Professor, Lewis & Clark College
Director, National Teach-In

The Talk

“We played a game last Tuesday, where we took a drink every time the news anchors said the word “historic”. But it was no game when my sister wrote to me about what it meant to vote for an African American president in Tennessee. When we were growing up there, not so long ago, there were separate scenic stops on the road up the mountain to our town-- a “white view” and a “colored view”.

From 1960-1964, a powerful grassroots movement swept across this country, and with the Civil Rights and Voting Acts, changed America, and the future.

Five hundred years from now, historians will look back on these days—stretching from Obama’s election through the first years of his administration—and say that this was humanity’s finest hour. Because in 2009, America will pass sweeping legislation that initiates a clean energy revolution, inspires global cooperation, and stabilizes the global climate.

Or we won’t.

That decision rests in the hands of the people in this room.

We are alive at a truly extraordinary moment. I am here today asking you to join the The National Teach-In on Global Warming Solutions. Next February 5th we are engaging the nation around a vision of a sustainable future grounded in one over-arching goal for America:

Cut carbon 40% below current levels by 2020.

Can we do this? What will it take? And if not, how shall our children, and their children, live in this world?

Show of hands: How many of you participated in the national teach-in last January 31st—called Focus the Nation? Thank you—with your help, we created the biggest one-day mobilization around clean energy solutions the country has ever seen, engaging over a million people at 1900 colleges, universities and other institutions across the country.

Show of hands: How many of you think it is less important this year to involve our young people in a serious discussion of global warming solutions?

Here is what we are organizing now, for the teach-in on February 5th:
1. Launch Webcast: The First 100 Days. Co-produced with NWF, featuring David Orr, Hunter Lovins, Billy Parish and others--NOT LIVE, available for viewing and downloading the week before.

2. The Teach-In: Engage faculty and staff to engage the whole campus. At Lewis & Clark we have 25 faculty who will be sitting on a days' worth of panels—mostly people participating last year. Or you can follow the UNC or U of Michigan models and ask faculty to talk about global warming in their classrooms. This does not take long to organize—we just started last week.

3. Climate Dialogue: Work with us to invite your Congresspeople and Senators to engage with students in round table dialogue, via video-chat; invite mayors, governors and state representatives to talk with young people about their future.
The focus of the Teach-In this year is “Solutions for the First 100 Days”, and unlike last January, we are challenging the nation to debate a concrete set of policy proposals. These come from The Presidential Climate Action Project based out of the University of Colorado. In addition to the 40% carbon target, the recommendations include policies calling for Green Jobs; recapturing American leadership in renewables; and carbon neutral power.

A new President and congress make all this at least possible, but was built for gridlock. Without the voices of millions of Americans demanding solutions, next year, history will fail to be made, and we fail ten thousand generations to follow.

These AASHE summits have doubled in people power every two years— 1600 here today—amazing. And we have become an educational force big enough to change the future.

Since The National Teach-In launched in September, 300 schools have signed up— we have the power in this room to increase that number by tomorrow by a factor of 5. Open your laptop and plant a flag for your school—committing to holding an educational event on February 5th—at a minimum showing the launch webcast. You don’t need your President’s permission for this—just commit to do something educational through your department, office or school.

To learn more, I am holding a workshop on the Teach-In tomorrow, and will be out at the NWF booth during the day. Please sign up on our list-serv—the sheets are going around.

Last Tuesday, President–elect Obama called our earth a planet in peril. Top scientists at the IPCC and NASA have told us, clearly, that this is our defining moment. We must act next year or a window will close for our children, forever. Join us, and help rescue our future during the first 100 days.

Show of hands: How many of you are going to make sure that your school gets signed up?

Thank you.”

Books & Videos For the National Teach-In
With inspiring vision and a timely focus on the economic crisis, Van Jones' new book is a critical resource for global warming educators. The Green Collar Economy: How One Solution Can Fix Our Two Biggest Problems.
On video: Jon Isham and Eban Goodstein talk about their recent books on building the global warming solutions movement-- Fighting for Love in the Century of Extinction (Goodstein) and Ignition (Isham and Waage)
Other recent books of note: Gary Braasch’s Earth Under Fire; and Gary and Lynne Cherry’s How We Know What We Know About Our Changing Climate: Scientists and Kids Explore Global Warming, Laurie David’s Down to Earth Guide; Jay Inslee and Bracken Hendrick’s Apollo’s Fire and Fight Global Warming Now from Step it Up.
Global Warming Organizing Films: Everything’s Cool (Dan Gold and Judith Helfand); Revolution Green (Stephen Stout and Jessica Kelly)

Featured Sponsors:

The Clif Bar Foundation joins the National Teach-In as a partner. Forty Percent of Car Trips are within two miles of your home: Take Clif Bar’s Two-Mile Challenge and ride or walk instead!
Bon Appetit Management Company is helping educate students, staff and faculty across the country about food impacts on global warming with their LOW CARBON DIET.
Thanks for your support for the The National Teach-In on Global Warming Solutions.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous8:45 AM

    I just wanted to point out that this year's initiative lead by Dr. Goodstein is at www.nationalteachin.org