By: Natalie House
This past Monday, Bill McKibben spoke on campus about the climate crisis. Directing his advice towards an audience of college students, he said that there is no time to waste in taking action. Individual actions don't matter anymore – instead, organizing is the most crucial thing anyone can do to help push political power forward.
Activism Club members did just that at yesterday's rally in Montpelier, Vermont's capitol. The rally, titled “Time's Up, Rise Up! Rally and Sit-In for Climate Justice,” was hosted by 350 Vermont, Rising Tide Vermont, and the Vermont Workers' Center. Vermonters from all over the state gathered on the Statehouse lawn and then inched their way towards the building. While many remained outside of the building, some were able to enter Governor Shumlin's office.
Despite the ban against fracking passed in 2012 for the state of Vermont, the Shumlin administration is in favor of the fracked gas pipeline, which will bring tar sands from Alberta through Addison county. Both fracking and fracked gas pipelines have been proven to leak toxins into watersheds and cause serious health consequences for humans and wildlife. The rally was a stand against this proposition, and a push for healthy communities and hope for future generations.
As students at an environmental liberal arts school, it is vital that we be leaders in the energy crisis. The only means of action that are going to change the power dynamics of the oil industry and our government are ones that demand physical presence and numbers. We can all contribute a powerful voice to the climate movement in Vermont and beyond – the first step is to organize within our community. Activism Club is one of the most popular and growing clubs on campus, and is giving students a voice to do just that.