This blog was written by Emily Blase, a Greenpeace Semester student with the spring 2013 class.
I’m walking away from the Greenpeace Semester program saddened to say goodbye, but empowered by all the skills now under my belt. The program aims at giving students an in-depth understanding of environmental campaigning and strategy, organizing, messaging, and non-violent direct action, a peaceful tactic to protect our natural ecosystems.. Through the course of this program, we’ve had the chance to talk to many of the people at Greenpeace working directly on environmental issues. In March, our class traveled to Raleigh, North Carolina to help with a campaign that Greenpeace is running against Duke Energy, the nation’s largest utility company and gobbler of dirty energy including coal and nukes. You can see all the action from our trip on our Tumblr.Continue reading →
Rarely do we meet those who have made careers selling us lies. Consider the oddball doctors who took tobacco money to deny a link between cigarette smoking and cancer, or the handful of scientists who take oil and coal money to discredit global warming science, or the people who have done both.
Willie Soon in a heated moment. Madison, WI (click to watch)
Last week, students in Wisconsin and Michigan stepped up to such an opportunity when CFACT Campus, the student arm of a well-known cabal of fossil fuel apologists, hosted climate change denier Willie Soon at several campus events around the country. Continue reading →
A Greenpeace Semester participant reaches the end of her rope during the climb training, which is part of Actions Week.
Greenpeace’s long history of direct action – indeed, a pillar of our philosophy – sometimes involves climbing in order to get to a place in plain view from which we can send a message or stop an environmentally destructive activity from continuing. During Actions Week in the Greenpeace Semester, participants first gain an understanding of non-violent direct action as a core of our philosophy, then spend a day learning some basics of technical climbing as it applies to activism.
The Greenpeace Semester is currently accepting applications for the summer and fall term. Apply online here.
Greenpeace organizer Becky Ceartas speaks to a crowd in Raleigh, NC protesting Duke Energy's proposed rate increases that would go toward more dirty energy like coal and nuclear power.
Last week the students of the Greenpeace Semester listened to residents of Raleigh, NC as they testified to their Public Utilities Commission about the rate increases that Duke Energy – the electricity company in North Carolina as well as 5 other states – is trying to make them pay on their monthly electric bills. One woman said that she pays as much as $500 every month to make sure that her family’s lights stay on. That means that if Duke Energy gets the increases it wants, her bill will go up by over $50, which she simply can’t afford. Continue reading →
Greenpeace participants Devin and Heather paint banners as part of the preparation for their trip to Raleigh, NC.
This past week, Greenpeace Semester participants spent most of their time preparing to go to Raleigh, North Carolina. Why? They are spending the next two weeks there for what is called the Greenpeace Semester Campaign Trip, which is a chance to put the skills they’ve learned into practice. They’ll be talking to residents about the impact of Duke Energy’s dirty energy policy on North Carolinians and helping out at a public hearing. They’ll also join the students at NC State to advocate for divestment from dirty energy.
Stay tuned for more updates on their adventures!
The Greenpeace Semester is now accepting applications for the spring and fall term – apply here.
Hip Hop Caucus CEO Reverand Yearwood compared the environmental movement to the civil rights movement. The difference he said, was that they were fighting for their rights, and we are fighting for our existence.
As I stood next to 45,000 other people all lost in thought I was finally able to formulate the words that have hung on the tip of my tongue for so long. The reason I am fighting for clean energy, the reason I am in and out of meetings with staff and faculty, the reason I am empowering individuals, the reason I am making sacrifices everyday is because the actions we take as a university directly impact those living next to a pipeline, drinking contaminated ground water, breathing in the ashes of our mistakes. The money our university gives to big coal companies directly affects the communities that struggle every day, often times forcing themselves to work in the same coal plants that are giving their families cancer. The reason I am fighting against dirty energy and dirty money is because my family was victim to this climate oppression. As we breathed the industrial fumes of our fate we were the victims of the decisions of the people with opportunity and privilege. Continue reading →
There is something about Valentine’s Day that always leaves me pondering the BIG existential question “What does love mean in my life these days”? Cliché I know, but I would wager most of us share this train of thought at some point as the red roses and candy flutter around us mid- February.
This year my answer came to me as I was delivering the news to a young college student that she was accepted to the next Greenpeace Semester. Almost in tears, she thanked me and told me how excited she was as she never thought she would get in. Though I hear similar stories from applicants often, I am always stuck by the raw emotion in their voices. In that moment I get to witness a unique side of love- someone who loved themselves so much they were willing to do something they never thought they could to fulfill a dream.
As we talked I told her more about how most alumni from the program go off to begin environmental or social justice organizing careers. In essence I was welcoming her to the metaphoric “family” of hundred of thousands of activists bound together around the globe by our love for protecting this planet.
Over the next few weeks she will be reaching out to her family and friends to tell them the good news. With their help she will save money and prepare herself for the program. With the help of her professors she hopefully secure college credit.
So what does this have to do with cupid and Valentine ’s Day you ask? In my opinion there is something profoundly beautiful about the love a person can have for the work they do. It helps define us, give us purpose, heals us, and gives us another “family”. So in honor if V-day I am sending my gratitude to all those who spread love through activism, and to those people who helped them get there. Much love to you all!
“I want to know that what I am doing now is benefiting my entire generation and those to come.”
“This is the field that I am studying in school and to have the experience of hands-on field training would make me a stronger activist. There is so much more that I can learn and this is the perfect program for that.” Continue reading →
Hear from Sophie Korn who attended the Greenpeace Action Camp last year. Sophie has spoken to nearly 100,000 students about the science behind climate change and teaches sixth grade at Environmental Charter Middle School in Inglewood, CA.
Sophie Korn, participant in 2012 Greenpeace Action Camp, during a boat training
I’ve been a Greenpeace groupie from way back and have always admired the thoughtful, creative, independent and impactful work they do around the world. When the chance came to strengthen my skills and deepen my relationships with allies from across the country last year at the Manatee Action Camp – I jumped! Continue reading →
Written by: Fiona Gettinger, Fiona is a Sophmore at the Univerisity of New Hampshire majoring in Environmental Conservation Studies, she is also a campus coordinator with the Greenpeace Student Network and the President of the Student Environmental Action Coalition.
It’s been a rough week for University of New Hampshire President Mark Huddleston, and the UNH Student Environmental Action Coalition could be to blame for that. Three months into our campaign to get our institution to divest from fossil fuel companies, we received an official statement from the administration saying that divestment isn’t a “practical or feasible option”. Two weeks ago, we decided it was time for action. So, this past week we’ve been turning up the heat, starting with this opinion piece released on Tuesday. On Thursday, forty of us marched into the President’s office to deliver over a thousand petition signatures from the student body in support of our campaign. Continue reading →