Carbon Nation Puts Renewable Energy in Perspective

As you might have known from firsthand experience, we watched a documentary by the name of Carbon Nation at our Tuesday meeting. If you weren’t there, you missed out on a great night—the only thing better than the pizza and desserts was the feature presentation!

Whereas some other documentaries look at the problems surrounding fossil fuels, Carbon Nation takes the opposite approach. It looks at the alternatives to fossil fuels, and how moving toward those alternatives does more than just help the environment and public health, but can also strengthen national security, boost the economy, and do so much more to help this nation and the world. It took us from coal plants in China to the frontlines with our soldiers to Washington D.C.! This movie not only gave everyone a reason to transition to clean energy, it gave us all a few good laughs along the way.

But it wasn’t all comedy and free chocolate (how better to spend Valentine’s Day, though?). This movie said a lot about our campaign, both the positives and the negatives. We all want Michigan State to move off of coal and onto cleaner, more efficient, and safer energy sources like solar and wind power. The documentary showed us how it can, and is being done. According to Carbon Nation, civilization requires 16 terawatts of energy to run. The documentary then goes into the potential of each source of alternative energy, where it’s already being implemented, and what it could mean for the future.

The documentary didn’t just talk in the abstract, it gave us solid statistics every step of the way. From efficiency percentages to how much oil was spent on air conditioning for troops in Iraq to how many terawatts of energy of solar power hit the earth. Having those numbers put many of these solutions into perspective.

The documentary reminded us of all of the reasons we got involved in the first place. We all have seen some sort of problem and wanted to fix that problem.  We knew that we couldn’t just sit and snack and enjoy an amazing movie: thanks to Carbon Nation, we found ourselves more fired up than ever. We want to thank all of you for showing up. We hope you learned a few things, and had as much fun as we did! Now that we know what can be done, it’s time to push the university to get it done!

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