The Washington Post reported that the nominations of two of President Obama's top science advisers have stalled in the Senate, posing a challenge to the administration as it seeks to frame new policies on climate change and other environmental issues.
We just wrapped up a work shop here at Power Shift called "Propel Your Community's Energy with a Town Hall Forum." The workshop, moderated by Focus the Nation's Alex Tinker and featuring FTN's Garrett Brennan, Brian Wagner and our own Adi Nochur, walked participants through the ins and outs of organizing a successful town hall meeting.
It's relatively quiet now here at t 2nd floor lobby of the DC Convention Center, but 15 mins. ago it was controlled chaos. At tabling central, dozens and dozens of climate activists young and old(er) swarmed tables from all kinds of organizations: We Campaign, Green for All, Sierra--and of course 1Sky.
I'd been led to expect big things from my first night at a Power Shift conference--and I gotta say, it didn't disappoint! Having been to my share of progressive conferences in the past, I can say that this was an entirely different animal. Thanks to the sheer size of the crowd and its energy, the excitement in the air was contagious. (Check out the slide show at the end of this post!)
This week, President Obama presented his budgetary plan for the United States stating that our government must “invest in the three areas that are absolutely critical to our economic future: energy, health care, and education." Obama's energy policy marks a sea change away from the archaic energy regulations of George W. Bush. Think Progress' Wonk Room reports on the details of Obama's energy plan:
I can’t believe this weekend is already here! We’ve been talking about it for weeks, and now, in a matter of HOURS, 11,000 people are descending upon Washington, D.C. for Power Shift '09 to unite the movement and make our voices heard in Congress .
The website’s core is a list of lies propagated by the coal industry, including the dirtiest lie of all: that coal can ever be clean. The site exposes the lies through scientific studies, legal facts, videos, and graphics, revealing the shocking truths about the destructiveness of the entire coal life cycle.
The site's videos are especially compelling. "The Miraculous Mercury Baby, Parts 1, 2, and 3" in particular grabbed my attention. The series weaves together the story of coal's toxic effects on the food chain with the story of Lucy, a young mother from Williamsburg, New York trying to find out if her son Freddy has high levels of mercury (a by-product of coal mining) in his body. While waiting for her and her son's mercury test results (which she has to pay out of pocket because her insurance won't pay for them unless she already shows symptoms of mercury poisoning), Lucy talks about the high levels of toxic substances contained in fish due to coal pollution of our waterways, and the hard choices coal pollution poses for a young mother of two.