Be the Change You Want to See!

Sue Hall
#SeizetheGrid: How young people will lead the nation to 100% clean energy

As students gather in #cleanenergyu conversations this Earth Month to post their vision and actions towards a clean energy future by 2025, Sierra Club’s Anastasia Schemkes demonstrates how one young student’s bold vision can dramatically be realized through her actions. By inspiring so many Sierra Student Coalition members to emulate her own original direct actions, they’ve already secured retirement dates for 34 of the US’s 60 campus-based coal plants.

Anastasia’s story calls students to, like her, “be the change they want to see”– so that their visions and actions can fuse to become the new clean energy reality, now.

As she embarks on a new quest to seize the electricity grid to deliver 100% clean energy through direct student action, she also has the tactics that she believes will empower students to again successfully realize this next clean energy vision.

Wondering how she’ll pull off this vision?

Read on …

And join Anastasia live in conversation at #cleanenergyu’s tweetathon, April 22 to ask how students on your campuses can best join her #seizethegrid campaign to deliver 100% clean energy.

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As a junior in college, I helped write the Sierra Student Coalition’s Campuses Beyond Coal Campaign to retire the 60 remaining on-campus coal plants on universities nationwide.

Students and campuses had the opportunity to lead the nation in moving beyond coal. Today the grassroots power of thousands of students has successfully secured retirement dates for 34 of the 60 on campus coal plants in the nation.

I tell this story because today students nationwide are embracing another incredible opportunity to #SeizetheGrid: a campaign to leverage their campus’ energy purchasing power to transform the energy market for clean energy.

My vision for clean energy by 2025 is that we move to a locally-owned, decentralized electricity grid entirely powered by renewable energy; one in which campuses nationwide are leading communities and the nation in making the transition to 100% clean energy.

Although incredible organizing has been done to retire on campus coal plants, many of the 4,000 colleges and universities in the United States still rely on outdated, polluting fossil fuels to power their campuses. And that’s mostly due to the fact that utility companies are still consistently providing dirty energy and actively refusing or standing in the way of progress to a more localized, clean energy grid.

To get to a clean and just energy future it is imperative that we start to shift ownership of our energy out of the hands of investor-owned and self-interested utility companies and into the hands of communities.

Students can take action now by calling on their campus administrators to lead in the transition to 100% clean energy through demanding 100% clean energy from their energy providers and by directly pursuing clean energy projects to power campus.

When a major energy user like a college or university, or even a school district, commits to 100% renewable energy and pursues that goal, the demand for clean wind and solar power increases.

Through the Sierra Student Coalition’s #SeizetheGrid Campaign, young people across the country are creating the demand for local clean energy opportunities that work for their campuses, their communities, and their states.

This Earth Week I invite students to post pictures to Twitter from Earth Day events, tag #cleanenergyu and #seizethegrid to be part of a national dialogue and engage your administration by tagging your campus (ie. #MSU or @MSU).

Share with your photo:

  • What is your vision for a clean energy future by 2025? AND
  • What actions are you taking to build that clean energy future?

-Anastasia Schemkes

myvisionisSo join Anastasia by posting your #cleanenergyu selfie vision statement – as “MyVision: ….” – and include your campus twitter tag to form a photo-petition that will take over the campus twitter account for a day!

Join other #cleanenergyu students in their creative actions on campus to drive towards a clean energy future.

And learn from Valencia College how they will now use their recently posted #cleanenergyu vision/action ideas to drive their campus to an even cleaner energy future!


Sue Hall
CEO, Climate Neutral Business Network