Greetings from East Lansing, MI, home of Michigan State University and Sparty the Spartan - their mascot. Also home of the motto: "Be Spartan Green." As Michigan State students are beginning to learn, the Spartans aren't really that green. Why? Well, because they have a campus coal plant burning 75,000 tons of dirty coal each year.
I am here this week visiting Michigan State students in the organization MSU Greenpeace, a group whose sole mission is to transition away from burning dirty, dangerous coal on campus and get with the 21st century times - aka, transition to clean, renewable energy like wind and solar. Last night students hosted a screening of the film Dirty Business: Clean Coal and the Battle for Our Energy Future, narrated by Rolling Stone Magazine's contributing editor and renowned author Jeff Goodell. Mr. Goodell is joined us following the film for a Skype video Q&A. Speaking with students for about 30 minutes, Mr. Goodell addressed the hilarity of clean coal - hilarious because it does not exist! He also commended the students for standing up and challenging their administration to power past coal.
It was an incredible evening. Students ended the night with an inspirational speech by student leader Tabitha Skervin. She called on students to mobilize for their planet, and join a march from the campus coal plant to administration building this coming Sunday on 10/10/10.
Michigan State's 10/10/10 march to quit coal comes at a crucial time. The university is failing to disclose vital information about its plans to address energy needs on campus, including how to transition past coal on campus. Why is Michigan State keeping students in the dark? Why does the university not want student input regarding the dirty campus coal plant?
Whether you're at Michigan State or whether your university is great a greenwashing and tells you that they are doing a lot for the planet - the bottom line is this: If you have a coal plant burning dirty coal on campus, it is your obligation to your student community, this generation, future generations, and our planet Earth to do everything possible to make some noise and call for the renewable energy future you desperately deserve.
On 10/10/10, Michigan State students will demand transparency from their administration, and show overwhelming support to quit coal and transition to 100% renewable energy on campus. Will you join Michigan State in the fight to quit dirty coal?
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