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Posts Tagged ‘Bill McKibben’

By Bill McKibben, Schumann Distinguished Scholar at Middlebury College & Founder of 350.ORG
(This article appears in the July, 2012 issue of The ACUPCC Implementer)

The ACUPCC

Bill McKibben Addresses 2012 Climate Leadership Summit from RIO+20

Young people were the only real leaders at the Rio+20 confab–and they led by walking out. On the day before the conclave ground to its final, pointless conclusion, many of the college students on hand staged a sit-down protest along one of the walkways between the various plenary halls. Even though they were unfailingly polite, the head of UN security told them that if they didn’t cease their ‘unsanctioned activity,’ they would ‘lose their credentials.’  At which point one of the young people remarked: “Why would we care? The credentials just get us in the door of a process that isn’t working.”

For those of us who remember the first Rio conference that was a particularly poignant realization. In place of the real hope that had marked that gathering, there was now just a sense of people going through the motions. The final text had 99 sentences promising that governments would “support” things, and 50 insisting that they would “encourage” them, but only on three minor matters did leaders find it possible to say “we will” actually, you know, act.

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By Sarah Brylinsky, Program Associate, Second Nature
(This article appears in the July, 2012 issue of The ACUPCC Implementer)

The ACUPCC

Download the 2012 Climate Leadership Highlights PDF

Signatory Presidents at the 2012 Summit

Signatory presidents of the ACUPCC pose for a photograph during the opening reception

The 6th Annual American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) Climate Leadership Summit took place June 21st-22nd in Washington, DC at American University. 53 signatory presidents and senior staff from over 65 institutions gathered to celebrate the first five years of the ACUPCC and to respond to the summit theme of Economic Renewal: jump-starting a sustainable economy through the ACUPCC.  The attendees discussed ways for advancing peer-to-peer learning and support across the ACUPCC, and identified next steps to foster the ongoing sustainability transformation of higher education by preparing students for the 21st century economy, increasing affordability and access through cost savings, and advancing innovation through research, experimentation, and role-modeling solutions in campus operations.

Special Report: Celebrating Five Years of Climate Leadership

Five Year Report

The ACUPCC released a special report: Celebrating Five Years of Climate Leadership | The Progress and Promise of the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment

A special report, Celebrating Five Years of Climate Leadership: The Progress and Promise of the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment, was released at the Summit, detailing successes from signatory campuses across the country and innovation in education, emissions reductions, financing, and more.

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By Vanessa Santos, Advancing Green Building Intern, Second Nature

Last Tuesday evening at Old South Church in Boston, MA, you couldn’t turn around without seeing bright white signs that read “Put Solar on the White House!”

This is Bill McKibben’s clear and simple message. Mr. McKibben, with the support of 350.org, the students of Unity College, as well as many local and national environmental groups, has successfully brought this message from Maine to Boston, judging by the crowd of people that was present at the church to support the movement on September 7, 2010. The team then continued this ”Solar Road Trip” to disseminate this same message to New York City and eventually to Washington D.C. Hopefully this message will prompt President Obama to take action on 10/10/10, the day when organizations, politicians and people around the world will get to work to mitigate climate change.

Traveling with one of the very solar panels that President Carter put on the White House in 1979 (which Reagan removed during his presidency), Bill McKibben and some Unity College students made their first stop in Boston, as they rallied to get President Barack Obama to return this solar panel, and other donated solar panels, to the roof of the White House.

After some live music from the Boston-based band, Melodeego, and introductions from local groups and organizations, such as Students for a Just and Sustainable Future that are actively involved in this campaign, Second Nature President Dr. Anthony Cortese preceded Bill McKibben with a speech that stressed on the need for higher education institutions to be the leaders in this movement toward a sustainable future and climate neutrality. Dr. Cortese also discussed the momentum that has been created within the higher education sector through the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) for last few years. Second Nature is the lead coordinator of this initiative that has brought more than 670 institutions of higher learning to commit to climate neutrality!

Photos from the event:

Dr. Cortese speaking:

Unity College President Mitch Thomashow and the Solar Song:

Videos courtesy of Melodeego.

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On this Tuesday night (Sept. 7, 2010), the Solar Road Trip will stop in Boston at the Old South Church in Copley Square, starting at 5:30pm.  Second Nature has teamed up with Unity College, 350.org, Students for a Just and Stable Future, and others to help promote this exciting trip.

Jesse Pyles, Sustainability Coordinator at Unity, gets one of the Carter solar panels ready to hit the road back to DC

Author Bill McKibben and a team of students from Unity College in Maine travel to Washington D.C. to deliver one of the original Carter panels to President Obama, asking him to reinstall solar on the White House on 10/10/10, and to follow this symbolic gesture with substantial legislative action.

Second Nature President Tony Cortese will speak, along with Bill McKibben and other leaders, about the importance of taking action on climate and energy.  This should be a major press event, and a strong showing of supporters will go along way to raise the profile of these efforts – please join us on Tuesday night at the Old South Church in Copley Square!

Here are the details of the event:

Please forward to anyone in the Boston area who might be interested.

And if you didn’t catch Bill McKibben on Letterman Tuesday night, watch the clip here.

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