Guest column: Focusing our energy
I am part of a phenomenon. My generation is one of the most politically active and powerful in history. My generation takes part in an unprecedented level of activism, and it is gaining traction and power as it goes. One of the things that can make us stronger as this generation reaches its peak of political activism is if we can all come together to define our goals for the next decade. Right now, it’s being defined for us.
We came together and voted for change in 2008 at every level of politics. Right now, one of the major issues that we concentrated on is being ignored. Instead of the clean energy we asked for in 2008, the United States is following a costly path that still includes nuclear and coal energy, costly to our pocketbooks, our health and our future.
If we can convince our political leaders to focus on clean energy policy, we can create significant positive change. Clean energy policies will let this country break free of its dependence on foreign oil, which could be phenomenal for our national security. Not only will it allow us to stop polluting our country and preserve it for future generations, it will also help us slow the rate of global climate change and even avert some of the consequences that come with it.
We need to make sure our generation is not only heard, but also listened to. The Democrats in office owe their positions in large part to us, and it is time our ideas are taken into account. This is why student leaders at this university have launched a campaign to collect the views and opinions of this region’s students and to show them to the leaders who we helped vote in.
This next week, you will see student leaders all across the campus asking you to fill out two quick questions about your opinions on clean energy, one of the most important issues facing our nation in years. When you take three minutes out of your day to fill it out, remember you are making your voice heard and are adding strength to our campaign to affect some real change on energy policy. After the surveys have been filled out, leaders from this university will join with leaders from across the state to deliver the results to our representatives in Washington.
This will be one of many movements that are taking place across the nation in the coming week, movements that will be noticed by lawmakers and that will ensure our voice is heard.
Schools across the country are voting this week and delivering the results to local elected officials. Add your voice! Vote online now at energyactioncoalition.org/define, stop at a table this week and come have fun at our open-mic night on Thursday at 7 p.m. in the Baltimore Room at Stamp Student Union. There are still spots available for performers. If you would like to perform, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The time to make your voice heard is now. Join us and help to define our decade.
Jacob Dinerman is a senior economics major. He can be reached at jdin at umd dot edu