Today, thousands of youth activists participating in Power Shift ’09 are descending on the U.S. Capitol to demand Congress take action to fight climate change. While students from South Dakota to North Carolina lobby their elected officials, others will be engaging in mass civil disobedience to protest the United States’ continued use of coal.
They will be in the halls of Congress and surrounding the coal-fired Capitol Power Plant despite a wicked snowstorm that is ensnarling the East Coast — or, in many ways, because of it. In a basic sense, what these activists are trying to do is save our weather, growing out of control.
As predicted by models of climate change, the South and West is increasingly gripped by extreme storms and extreme drought: California is in its third consecutive year of drought conditions and now in a state of emergency. Drought conditions in Oklahoma are “terrible.” Despite the triple storms of Dolly, Gustav and Ike in 2008, nearly 97 percent of Texas is in drought — already this year, “about 3,400 wildfires have been reported across the state, scorching nearly 105,000 acres.”
The youth activists are trying to keep it snowing in the Northeast, raining in Texas, cold in the Rockies, and sunny in Florida. They’re trying to prevent California from burning up, Iowa from being flooded out, and Alaska from melting away. They’re trying to get our elected leaders to take action to put an end to the destabilization of our climate. Droughts are increasing. Hurricanes are stronger. Floods and storms are more intense. And it will only get worse.
Stories on Power Shift from Brown University,
SUNY Fredonia Hamilton College, Central Michigan University Northern Michigan University, South Dakota State University University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Stockton College of New Jersey, College of St. Scholastica, Ohio State University, Oberlin College, Appalachian State University, University of Kentucky in Lexington, Cornell University, James Madison University, Connecticut College.
,At 538.com, Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) weighs in on global boiling:
The climate instability factor right now is a big issue. I mean, it’s a big issue. We had a great December, and it’s been dry ever since then at the farm. Weather’s unpredictable in Montana anyway but it’s really unpredictable now.