Environment – Politics – Civic Engagement
Julia Walsh is a community organizer, motivational speaker and political strategist who has worked on progressive issues and campaigns since 2001. In 2010, Julia started Frack Action in response to the immediate threat that fracking would start in New York State. Soon after its founding, Frack Action played a pivotal role in the New York State legislature’s passage of a fracking moratorium which has halted fracking in NY thus far. Prior to starting Frack Action, Julia served as an elected official on the Village Board of New Paltz, NY from ’03-’07. During her time in office she was instrumental in passing environmental legislation, as well as organizing New Paltz’s high-profile, politically charged same-sex marriages in Feb.’04. For the past nine years, Julia has been an NGO Representative to the United Nations on behalf of children’s rights and indigenous rights organizations.
Confronting Climate Change with Real Solutions
Climate change is happening at a faster rate than scientists once expected, with extreme weather patterns wreaking havoc across the country. Americans are experiencing the destruction of climate change first-hand. This past year, New York City’s streets were filled with submerged yellow taxis, New Jersey’s boardwalk was dragged out to sea, wildfires in Yosemite and throughout the country flare uncontrollably while record-breaking heat-waves, and hurricanes, droughts, floods, tornadoes and storms are more frequent and more damaging. In April 2013, in one of the most important moments of all time, the federal government reported that atmospheric carbon dioxide levels surpassed 400 ppm. We are now in a critical window when the next few years of US energy policy will either allow catastrophic climate change to proceed unchecked or create renewable solutions that can reduce the impacts and simultaneously create good jobs for young Americans.
This multimedia lecture will explain the current climate crisis and examine a number of critical scientific, social and political factors behind the crisis including:
– President Trumps energy policy, and his recent decision to leave the Paris Climate Accord
– Role of the fossil fuel industry’s political influence and public relations campaigns in thwarting renewable energy solutions
– Impact and potential influence of environmental social movements including the anti-fracking and anti-Keystone XL movements on U.S. energy policy
– Economic potential of a renewable energy economy and green jobs
– How students can get involved in creating a Renewable Revolution
What the Frack?!? – How Students Can Stop the Biggest Environmental Disaster of Our Time and Turn It into a Positive Demand for a Renewable Energy Future
In 2005, the Bush-Cheney Administration stripped the federal government of its’ ability to regulate hydraulic fracturing or fracking for oil and gas. The Safe Drinking Water Act, Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, and many other important laws were in essence discarded, leaving states to regulate this dangerous form of oil and gas extraction. Fracking involves taking millions of gallons of freshwater from our public water supply, spiking it with hundreds of pounds of the highly toxic chemicals and forcing it underground at high pressures to blow up shale rock to extract bubbles of oil and gas. Since 2005, fracking has been used on over one million drilling operations in 34 states and the result has been disastrous, leaving many without clean water to drink and clean air to breathe.
This lecture will explain to participants what fracking is, why this happened from a political and economic perspective, how fracking impacts the potential for a renewable energy future, and how students can get involved in the Frack Action campaign.
Battleground Campus – How Students Participation in Democracy can Change the Future of this Country
On the night of the Presidential election in 2008, campuses were alive with dancing and celebrations as Barack Obama became the President of the United States. The college campuses were revved up and 66% of young voters cast their vote for Barack. Four years later, youth voters on college campuses in battleground states again helped determine the outcome of the Presidential election. This time, however, they faced many obstacles to their participation in our democracy, including new voter ID laws.
This lecture will explore, inspire and challenge participants to take action on their campus. Students will be asked to question what kind of country, world and future they want to live in and what they are willing to do to create it.