By KAITLIN MAYHEW
According to powervote.org, the youth of the world may be the first generation to have to cope with a lower standard of living than their parents.
This and other recent statistics are motivating a revolution run by the nation’s young people. Many organizations such as Powervote, Greenpeace, and the Chesapeake Climate Action Network (CCAN) have members of today’s youth dedicated to two things, politics and the environment, and why it’s necessary that these go hand-in-hand. Tuesday, a guest speaker from the CCAN came to speak at UMW’s Ecology Club meeting.
“I thought the speaker was great because he was so enthusiastic about the cause and really got everyone excited about Powershift,” said junior Cassie Kollman, an Ecology Club officer.
Powershift is a conference held at Virginia Tech Oct. 10-12, where thousands of students from hundreds of universities will meet to share ideas, attend events such as career fairs, and see presentations. They will also have the opportunity to participate in panels and lobbying visits.
“The Powervote Campaign represents a sweeping change among the youth of our nation. As a movement it shows a vested concern with the future sustainability of this planet,” said Nathaniel Delano, UMW Junior and Ecology Club officer. “As a symbol it represents the growing idea that young voters actually can, and do, matter.”
25 percent of the voters in America are between 18 and 31 years old, according to the Powervote website, and that number is growing every day. Powervote said the environment and the search for “clean energy” should be at the forefront of the upcoming election.
The CCAN, Greenpeace, Powervote, and many other organizations affiliated with Powershift and its cause are actively recruiting “climate voters,” as they are called, or young, environmentally- minded people of voting age.
Powershift’s website wrote that these organizations, although environmental, are fighting for more than just recycling. They are also very invested in the improvement of the economy. Rampant unemployment is facing the nation’s youth. A future that includes “clean energy” can provide millions of jobs and industries.
“I feel that the Powervote cause is a sign that our generation is doing something right,” Kollman said. “It’s really impressive to see so many young people taking so much initiative, especially in such an important time in our history. I really hope to see everyone at Mary Washington get involved and take the advantage of this opportunity.”
The campus Ecology club has a facebook website where students can find more information about the club, as well as a detailed schedule of upcoming events, guest speakers, and other projects going on around campus.