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SEA Change: Support MAPS, fight climate change

Published: September 26, 2008
Section: Opinions


With the upcoming 2008 presidential election being less than two months away, Brandeis students are seeking ways to make sure that the next president and other politicians address the issues that matter most to them. With our climate facing increasing challenges and crises, the environment has become a forefront concern that students want addressed by the next wave of American politicians. But, some students at Brandeis may not know how to have their views heard. Several student-based campaigns in Massachusetts are currently active to help the voices of the American youth be heard.

Massachusetts Power Shift (MAPS) is a youth-run organization of students from Massachusetts schools committed to raising awareness of climate change and creating a new generation of environmentalists. MAPS meets monthly and as many as 13 schools, including Brandeis, are present at each meeting. Last spring, hundreds of students, community members, and politicians collected in Boston to push legislation on the Global Warming Solutions Act, and raised awareness of the current growing climate justice movement. At this past Saturday’s MAPS meeting, members got together for their first meeting to discuss ways in which college students can help spread environmental awareness, and empower them to be active combatants of our worlds’ growing environmental crises. Some topics discussed included the energy crisis, climate change, and how students can promote environmentalism on their campuses. Brandeis students can become involved with MAPS at www.masspowershift.org.

This year, MAPS major goals are to promote the PowerVote and WE campaigns. PowerVote is an online campaign in which Massachusetts youth sign a pledge to vote for candidates in the upcoming elections who put the environment at the front of their agendas. The six platforms of PowerVote are to create green jobs now, invest in a green energy economy, cut global warming pollution, end our dependence on dirty energy, re-engage America as an international leaders, and take dirty money out of politics. PowerVote’s goal is to have one million signatures by the time of the election, which creates a mass of voters that no politician can ignore. This age group of voters (18-31) comprises 25% of the American electorate, which gives a solid base for the campaign. For more information on PowerVote and to sign your pledge, visit www.powervote.org.

MAPS other platform is to promote the WE campaign. Founded by former Vice President Al Gore, WE also involves an online commitment signature. To this date, the WE campaign comprises approximately 1,570,000 Americans determined to solve the climate crisis and repower America with 100% clean electricity within 10 years. America can run on 100% clean energy through creating a clean energy economy, by making personal choices that help the environment, adapting renewable resources and fuels, enhancing energy efficiency, and through innovative leadership by politicians. In order for Earth to face to least harmful impact of climate change, America must reduce its carbon emissions by 80% by 2050. WE believes that because this goal is on such a long-term scale, our next president will not work hard enough to accomplish this. By creating a goal on a 10-year scale, our president will have to make this a priority of his agenda in order to achieve this task. To become part of the WE campaign, visit www.wecansolveit.org.

While combating climate change may be out of reach for people on an individual level, joining the Massachusetts Power Shift and their campaigns is a simple way for students to help push for environmental action. If every student at Brandeis signed these campaigns, we could help convince Massachusetts politicians to act now and put our environment at the forefront of their campaigns.