Archive for the ‘Activism’ Category

lightbulb.jpgCredit to Rebecca James in the Syracuse Post-Standard:

You can build a better light bulb – one that uses less electricity and saves money – but how do you get people to use it?

Environmentalists from Cornell University, Ithaca and the nearby town of Caroline are betting that if you deliver a free compact fluorescent bulb to each person’s door, tucked into a reusable fabric bag, people will see the light.

On April 19, a team of more than 100 volunteers on bikes, on foot and in cars plan to deliver the bulbs to all 1,400 households in the town of Caroline, a sprawling, rural community in Tompkins County.

<!– if (parseFloat(navigator.appVersion) == 0) { document.write(”); } –>”We’re trying to show how a small, rural town can take matters into our own hands and say: This is up to us. Our international leaders and national leaders are not moving fast enough to protect our future,” said Dominic Frongillo, a Caroline town board member.

A Cornell junior from Pompey, Shawn Lindabury, wrote a grant that helped fund the project, which is aimed at increasing awareness about how people can live greener lives.

“A lot of people aren’t aware of the benefits of these bulbs,” Lindabury said. “We’re saying, hey, you can save $55 over the course of the lifetime of the light bulb and help reduce energy use in Caroline.”



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Credit to Emily Cohn in the Cornell Daily Sun:

Yesterday at noon marked the end of a 40-hour fast for a group of local activists, including Fil Eden ’10, Carlos Rymer ’09, Stephanie Knight ’09 and Molly Bryson ’10, who participated in the event organized to advocate for local hotel workers’ rights. About 30 Ithaca residents gathered outside of the Hilton Garden Inn Hotel in Ithaca for the end of the fast, which coincided with the release of a settlement from the National Labor Relations Board regarding files charged against the hotel in defense of workers’ rights.

The settlement, released yesterday by the NLRB, upheld the charges of unfair labor practices filed by the Tompkins County Workers’ Center against the Hilton, which accused the hotel of violating federal labor law by disregarding workers’ freedom of association.

The charges were filed on behalf of Michelle Lopez, who was fired from her job as a housekeeper for the Hilton after advocating for the formation of a union. According to Pete Meyers, co-founder of the TCWC, which helped organize the fast, the hotel’s management threatened to fire workers who discussed Lopez’s dismissal.


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no_coal_200.pngAt the close of the Bali climate change negotiations, we are left again with the disappointment of the Bush administration and all the other climate criminals in Washington. These fossil-fuel-phillic people have slowed down negotiations, stripped key renewable energy provisions in the US energy bill, and pretty much told the rest of the world that they don’t care if global warming cripples their economies. Ted Glick, now in a climate emergency fast for over 100 days, recently said the truth about these climate criminals, and Gore made it clear at Bali that the world must move without the US for the moment. Of course, wonderful things are building on the ground in the US, but we’ll have to wait until 2009 to get seriously going on this issue in the US.

But we don’t have to stop here. We have to make 2008 bigger than 2007. So, to kickoff the year, I created a petition, with the help of peer organizers, for youth around the world to tell world leaders that we want, in 2008, mandates to get rid of coal use by 2020. Dr. James Hansen from the Goddard Institute for Space Studies has made it clear that we can’t continue burning coal if we can’t capture it, and that it must stop within the next decade, or else we risk runaway climate that will literally cook the planet. So, youth have to tell world leaders that we want exactly that. On January 1st, we need to send these leaders a strong message with international media on this Youth Call to End Coal by 2020!

To make this really big, we need 10,000-100,000 youth from around the world to sign the petition and get ready to do media work on January 1st about it in every major global warming polluter. So, what are you waiting for? Sign the petition now and tell your friends to do the same! Go!

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nycs-07-023.jpgFrom November 16-18, students from across the state of New York gathered at Cornell to launch the NY Student Sustainability Coalition (NYSSC, pronounced NISC). The New York Climate Summit ended with a structured coalition of campus student groups that will work from now on with the goal of getting climate legislation passed in Albany in 2008 that will require the state to reduce its emissions 80% by 2050.

The Summit included students from Cornell University, Fredonia College, Ithaca College, New Explorations High School, NYU, Plattsburgh University, St. Lawrence University, University of Rochester, Wells College, and Westchester Community College. It also included members of the Central NY Climate Change Action Group, Sustainable Tompkins, and Energy Independent Caroline.

Our strategic plan includes a push for New York to be a leader on global warming at the upcoming Presidential Debate on Global Warming in New Hampshire, a coordinated Focus The Nation event where we invite legislators and demand them to state their position on global warming and a bill to reduce emissions 80% by 2050 in the state, and a Lobby Day during St. Valentine’s Day (Date Your Elected Officials, Show Love For Warming Action).

Our website will soon be up at www.nyssc.org, but in the meantime people (especially NY students) can visit our google group.

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Credited to the Cornell Daily Sun

As Cornell decides whether or not to renew its contract with Starbucks, the Cornell Organization for Labor Action is putting student pressure on the administration to find an alternative coffee supplier, due to the accusations of Starbucks’s questionable labor practices.

In many cafés on campus, Cornell students drink Seattle’s Best Coffee, which is owned by Starbucks. While this may seem like a harmless activity, to some students, Cornell may actually be endorsing unfair labor practices.

Fil Eden ’10, member of COLA, believes there are dangerous unintended consequences of supporting Starbucks.

“The National Labor Relations Board is a government agency that investigates potential labor violations only if the accuser has a good case,” Eden said. “The NLRB has accused Starbucks of 38 labor violations. Some of the violation accusations include forbidding workers to talk about unionizing on the job or firing workers trying to start a union. Cornell should not renew the contract with Starbucks if they are being accused of potential labor violations.”


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Credited to Tim Ashmore from the Ithaca JournalITHACA — After two days of discussion and planning, Carlos Rymer and a group of Cornell students created a coalition of students from throughout the state that hope to push New York into becoming a leader on climate change.

The Student Sustainability Coalition drew students from the University of Rochester, Skidmore College, Clarkson University, the University at Buffalo and others to Cornell to meet and develop a coalition that will focus on pressuring lawmakers in Albany to pass legislation that restricts state carbon emissions.


Rymer is part of the Sierra Student Coalition — a group focused on national climate change — and used resources from the group to reach out to like-minded students in New York. Roughly 70 students showed up.

“Lots of people were surprised we organized a coalition in two days that feels really cohesive,” Rymer said.The Student Sustainability Coalition’s short-term goal is to lobby in favor of legislation currently in the state Assembly and Senate that would cut greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2050. Lowering carbon emissions so drastically would bring emissions to levels comparable to 1990.


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