In the U.S., transportation is climate enemy number one. America’s transportation system produces more greenhouse gas emissions than any other sector of our economy and, on its own, is responsible for 4 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions – more than the entire economies of France and the United Kingdom combined.
Recently, I had lunch with a friend who is an energy consultant working on utility issues. As we got chatting, he mentioned that street lamps were among the biggest energy users in cities around the country. Even as someone who spends most of his day thinking about energy issues, that was surprising. When I think of energy efficiency and conservation, I have to admit street lamps aren’t at the top of my list of concerns. But after learning this interesting fact, I decided to do some research.
As students across the country begin a new semester, Environment America Research & Policy Center is launching a campaign on dozens of campuses, pressing colleges and universities to generate 100 percent of their energy from renewable sources. The initiative aims to get 150 schools to commit by 2021 to exclusively using renewable energy.
As part of my job, I interview a few candidates each week for Environment America’s year-long fellowship program. Generally speaking, I’m talking to college seniors, who are figuring out the very first step in their post-graduation careers. In those conversations, I invariably end up spending some time discussing why I do what I do. Last week, an interviewee asked point-blank how I first got my start in environmental advocacy, and I surprised myself by having to stop and think about it.
I have spent much of my life around the water. Many of my best childhood memories are closely tied to the lakes around my house in Michigan. I grew up in West Bloomfield Township, which is known for its many lakes, where I spent hours and hours each summer canoeing with my friends. My collection of memorable moments grew during my time at Kalamazoo College.
For the past few years I’ve worked on Environment America’s national Go Solar campaign. My job was to push for strong solar policies in cities and states across the country. But I recently took the reins of our 100% Renewable Campaign. Today marks my one-month anniversary since stepping into this new and exciting role, and I can already tell it’s going to be a wild ride.
Environment America Research & Policy Center
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Ph: (303) 801-0581
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Ph: (202) 683-1250
Environment America Research and Policy Center is part of The Public Interest Network, which operates and supports organizations committed to a shared vision of a better world and a strategic approach to getting things done.