Category Archives: Environment
In his State of the Union address Tuesday President Obama tugged at our
heartstrings when speaking of our most precious resource: our children. President
Obama was talking about children in the context of gun control and the recent
tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary. But guns are not the only things threatening
future generations. As Obama explained, the effects of climate change are already
impacting us. Superstorms, droughts, bizarre weather patterns – these are not
mere coincidences. They are the consequences of our energy use and consumption
Undoubtedly, gun control must be addressed, but the threats of climate
change will be far wider reaching to many more people, both in our nation and
others. Every second that passes without meaningful action to mitigate climate
change puts our descendants in greater jeopardy. Obama alluded to taking action
to react to climate change – and we will certainly have to do many things to adapt
to our changing Earth. But we need to mitigate it as much as possible. Moreover,
Obama’s discussion of climate change was puny in comparison to his vision of
energy independence. Energy is obviously an important component of climate
change action, but it is just one component. So many different things need to be
done. It’s daunting, it’s challenging. But opening up new oil drilling operations
won’t do anything to mitigate climate change. Energy independence does not equal
sustainable energy policy.
We need jobs in the here and now. We need stricter gun control. Many want
immigration reform, debt reduction, tax reform, etc. But we are ignoring the biggest
threat to our nation’s most valuable resources. Energy independence is important,
but the United States needs to do so much more, and waiting is only making the
situation worse. If Congress does not act soon and in an appropriate measure,
President Obama simply must take executive action. He needs to put the “greatest
nation on Earth” on the path to helping save said Earth.
The 2012 State of the Union was yet another eloquently delivered speech by our president, Barack Obama. While talking to a buddy of mine who isn’t entirely on the progressive side of things, he admitted that “it’s good to have a President that doesn’t make up words and sayings.” My sentiments entirely. Far gone are the Bush days of “misunderestimating,” “Axes of Evil,” and being the laughingstock of the world. Our President also showed his bipartisan nature by highlighting many things the two sides agree on, including merging six government agencies into one, cutting out needless bureaucracy, rewarding teachers for doing a good job and inspiring their students, strengthening the border, and cutting taxes for companies that keep jobs here in America. He then essentially threw the ball in the Congressional court, telling them that if they pass bills with the above ideas that both sides agree on, he will “sign them right away.”
He additionally gave progressives a lot to be happy about, with his statements on asking the Top 2% of Americans to pay their fair share, citing Mitt Romney’s insanely low tax percentage as evidence that the richest Americans are getting away with paying the same percentage of taxes as the bus driver or coal miner barely making ends meet. He highlighted the need for environmental change, citing what he’s already done and what he plans to do with increasing funding for natural gas, wind, solar, and biofuel research. He also showed the three million job increase that has occured in the last 22 months, a revolutionary increase in jobs. Finally, he said that enough was enough with Congresspeople engaging in insider trading, and requesting a fair playing field for all people living in this country.
Whether or not you support progressivism (although if you’re reading this you probably do), it’s hard to deny Barack Obama’s still got game. It’s time for Washington embrace the no-drama attitude Obama has embodied for years, and get things done in this country. I’m proud Obama is the leader of my party, and am beyond honored that he’s coming to U of M to speak at the Al Glick Field House on Friday (get your tickets at the Michigan Union Ticket Office tomorrow morning at 9 am!). Seeing the man in person will certainly be an honor.
As the Washington Post reported today, the National Park Service (NPS) has decided that the Solar Decathlon, an international collegiate competition to design and build solar powered houses, will no longer take place on the National Mall due to the amount of damage the event causes to the grass. Forget that hundreds of thousands of people attend the biennial event and learn how to incorporate solar energy into normal American homes. Or that it stimulates competition to develop energy efficient technologies at our country’s top engineering schools. It seems that the Solar Decathlon is the epitome of President Obama’s call for a “Sputnik moment” and that it represents everything that our country should be doing for environmental sustainability, technical innovation, and economic expansion.
But we all know how we want future generations to remember us: the people that saved the grass on the National Mall.
On February 19th, EnviroDems and the Michigan Sustainable Foods Initiative are hosting the Know Your Foodshed conference, which will focus specifically on local food. By attending the day-long event, students will understand food’s centrality to environmental issues and social justice. Today, a preview of one of our guests, the Fair Food Network:
The Fair Food Network is a national nonprofit dedicated to fostering a more sustainable and just food system. Their work is rooted in transforming America’s ‘broken’ food system, which has the following effects on society:
- limits access to healthy, locally-grown food to low-income families
- allows for under-served communities to become more susceptible to diet-related illnesses
- increases the number of people reliant upon government food assistance
- normalizes unsustainable agricultural practices
This current food system is both unethical and unjust.
What is the Fair Food Network doing to reverse it? (more…)
Disclaimer: This does not represent the views of the DNC, MDP, MFCD, UMCD, or any other organization or individual other than myself.
+ The University is beginning an e-textbooks pilot program. I can only assume that Ulrichs will use this as an opportunity to charge us all more money.
+ Since 2005 a program called MI-LSAMP has increased the number of minority students receiving bachelors degrees in math and science by 28% at UofM and 3 other universities. Last week, colleges from around the state recommitted themselves to doubling the number of minority graduates by 2015.
+ University dining halls and coffee shops are expanding their composting programs. Will this be discussed at the EnviroDems Conference? Go to find out.
+ The Daily hates another movie. To be fair to them, “Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader” is probably a terrible, terrible movie. “Absolute atrocity” does seem a little harsh though.
+ MSA approved its Winter 2011 budget of $341,406 this week. No, that’s not a typo, they allocate more than a half million dollars each year. I’ve been trying to work “small tangibles” into this, but couldn’t figure out how.
+ Michigan Men’s Basketball gave up another lead against a top-ranked opponent in the second half. The entire season can be summed up by that sentence.
+ Coach Hoke has had a really good recruiting season considering he only had three weeks to hire an entire coaching staff and recruit before signing day. The latest addition to the team is Texas four-star tight end Chris Barnett! All 20 recruits were announced at a press conference last week.
The obligatory disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein reflect only the views of the author and don’t represent the opinions of any organization with “D” in it. Be thankful, organizations with “D”, you are guaranteed to be much more witty than I could ever muster.
-President Obama delivered his State of the Union address last night and gave a very centrist speech, with a few bones to progressives (high speed rail, DREAM act) and the right (spending freeze, regulation reform). Meanwhile, Charles Bogren was listening to a different speech, and when asked his thoughts he responded with a drooling word salad of “liberals liberals liberals Communism evil aliens.”
-WolvPAC wants the University to start an Israel program since apparently the students have the option of studying abroad in every other country ever, except Israel. Because the University has always been keen on sending its undergraduates to the lands of Fidel Castro and Kim Jong-il.
-The Michigan Daily Editorial: Banish the smoking ban!! Have cigarette smoke fill the University forevermore! Huzzah!
-Lighting is causing all the crime in Ann Arbor. Too bad Michele Bachmann just started leading a crusade in her State of the Union rebuttal against lightbulbs.
-Yay for Sundance short films coming to Michigan! The pinnacle of cinematography, the festival includes “Mr. Okra,” a story about a man who sells fruits and vegetables from his truth in New Orleans, singing about his vegetables. Finally, a movie geared to the small, but vibrant druggie culture in Ann Arbor.
-Rich Rod is joining CBS as a guest analyst. Funny, I had seen him working at the Bursley Dining Hall on occasion the past few weeks. Looks like he’s moving on up.
-According to the Random Pointless Student Interview, North Campus sucks. Kudos to the Michigan Daily esteemed newspaper for day in, day out, telling us things we knew the first day of setting foot on Ann Arbor soil.
For all who read through the whole thing, thank you.
I saw this picture (click to enlarge) over the summer during casual browsings of the internet. It frankly illustrates ‘a’ big root of the world’s current problems, and more accessibly, why our economy is having a little trouble getting kick started again.
This November, we need to sustain our Democratic majorities who are most inclined to push for alternative energy legislation, and policies that guide society into a more sustainable way of living, as there is no real permanent future with our current petroleum based way of life and economy (fuels cars, fertilizes industrially grown food, transports said food, there’s more).
So, get out there, and push for the Democrats, on the streets, in the phone banks, and if you cannot there (i.e. you’ve got critical work to do), the web is another place to push. Tweet, Facebook, blog, write editorials, etc. Whatever little helps, especially if canvassers knock on a door of or phone bankers call someone recently convinced online that they should vote Dem again, as it makes their job a lot easier and gives them time to call more people/knock more doors.
Best of luck to all Democratic candidates. Let’s do it again in 2010!
Our friendly neighbors to the northwest are trying hard to pass the Silver Line Millage on Tuesday. The millage is necessary to bring stimulus money to the Grand Rapids area, where they’re trying to build an incredible new bus line that’s fashioned more like a light rail system. Here’s how such a line would work:
But they need our help. For one thing, they are canvassing on Saturday, and if anyone is in the Grand Rapids area, or can make it there, they would love your help. For more information, head over to the RapidYES website.
Secondly, the opposition is doing well on jumping in on all online media posts with their message. Below is a list of media links that we should be going to. When you get there, search for “Silver Line”. At the end of each story, there is a comments area. Please talk up the millage – information you may need can also be found on the RapidYES website.
Thanks for all your help in getting this necessary millage passed!
At long last, allow me to present A Place To Stay: Combatting Michigan’s Brain Drain with Sustainable Communities. This short documentary was created entirely by Michigan students, in particular the Environmenal Committee of our very own organization. It presentsÂ one solutionÂ to the brain drain and suffering economy of Michigan, namely creating attractive communities where young educated people want to live, create, and consume. In it, we hear from experts on urban planning and tallent retention, as well as fellowÂ Michigan students. Perhaps you will recognize a face or two. So without any further ado, enjoy!
Tonight at long last the Enviro Dems documentary A Place to Stay will be revealed. Come hear from experts in urban planning and design about what makes a community attractive, particularly to college-educated young people (like us). Come be a part of the discussion!