Posts Tagged ‘MSU’

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!


Screening Carbon Nation on Valentines Day

At our weekly meeting this Tuesday, February 14th at 7  p.m. on Natural Sciences we will be screening the documentary “Carbon Nation”. This is an excellent opportunity for you to learn what you can do personally, and what we can do on a global scale, to combat climate change. Carbon Nation is a documentary anyone will benefit from because it does not care whether you believe climate change is happening or not – the ideas that it describes to fight climate change would, and already are, benefitting other social issues.

So, invite your friends to movie night! All of us will come away with new ideas and inspiration, and we will also get in some high quality bonding time! Plus, there will be some free snacks . . . you can’t say no!

Additionally we will be wrapping up last week’s Media focus and discussing this week’s focus – Faculty Coalitions.

Come out, eat some food, and get inspired! See you there on Tuesday from 7 to 9 pm in 304 Natural Sciences.


We’re Back! Come Join Us!

Welcome Back Spartans!

The MSU Beyond Coal campaign is back on campus and in full force! Just in the time we have been back on campus we have gotten close to 1,800 new petitions signed! THAT’S CRAZY!

Let’s start with some facts:

  • Michigan State University hosts’ the nation’s largest on campus coal plant.
  • Coal is single-handedly the most destructive industrial process being employed in the US. From mining to burning to disposing of the coal ash, coal is dirty, dangerous, and outdated.
  • On average we burn around 250,000 tons of coal every year.
  • That means a little more than 600 tons a day.
  • To give you a visual, that is about the weight of 125,000 average sized cars.

This is where our campaign comes in! We have been working almost non-stop since we got back on campus to get a commitment from the administration for a 100% clean energy future. Even though the administration did their best to ignore us last year, we are disappointed but far from defeated. Last fall, a committee was formed to flesh out a plan for MSUs’ energy future. Unfortunately, no strong decisions have been made.

This is why we are still fighting, because there is no reason MSU shouldn’t be guaranteed a 100% CLEAN energy future. Not a future that is a 100 years down the road, not 40 years, but a future that starts NOW.

Our campaign is being watched all over the country. Just in the last week, 5 coal fired power plants in the heart of coal country have announced that they will be closing their doors as a direct result of national beyond coal campaigns.

Think about this: If we here at Michigan State can continue the good fight and close the nation’s largest on campus coal plant what excuse would there be for any other hold outs of America’s dirty energy past?

This is why we need you! The administration has shown us already that having 1 out of every 10 student’s signature is not enough to convince them it’s time to make a commitment. Everyone can make a difference, no matter what kind of time you can give. This semester is going to be HUGE and we need your help!

Our Kick Off Meeting is Tuesday September 27th, at 7:00 PM in 105 South Kedzie Hall. Just in case you need even more incentives to come out, and bring everyone you know, we’ll have free chipotle! So get there early, and get ready to be a part of one of our generations’ most important fights.

Want more info RIGHT NOW? Check us out in the main lounge of the union every day at 10, 2:30 or 5:00, or check us out on Facebook and Twitter!

-Mollie VanOrsdal

March 1st, On Coal River movie screening with MSU Beyond Coal, MSSC, and Greenpeace

Come join MSU Beyond Coal and Greenpeace for a screening of On Coal River!

On Coal River is a documentary that deals with the serious and negative impacts of coal mining, specifically mountaintop removal mining, in the Coal River Valley of West Virginia. It follows the story of four individuals whose families, friends, and neighbors have all suffered greatly from the coal mining operations in the area.

Who: MSU Beyond Coal, MSSC, and MSU Greenpeace

What: On Coal River movie screening followed by Q&A with the producers!

When: Tuesday March 1st, 6:30-9:30 pm

Where: Room 228, Erikson Hall.

This movie screening, which presents the problem of coal, will be followed by a Clean Energy Forum on March 31st that will focus on the solutions here at MSU!

So come on out, bring your friends, and get inspired to make the change to clean energy!
RSVP on our Facebook event page!

Come to Our Spring Kick Off Meeting!

Next Tuesday, join the Sierra Student Coalition for the MSU Beyond Coal Spring Kick Off Meeting!

Coal is dirty, dangerous, and outdated.  As a leading academic and research institution, we have a responsibility to be leaders in the transition to a clean energy future by moving Beyond Coal here at MSU.

TUESDAY, January 25th at 7:00pm in Erickson Hall 224, the Sierra Student Coalition’s MSU Beyond Coal Campaign is having a Kick-Off Meeting for all students, staff, faculty, alumni, and other campus and community members interested in working to make MSU a coal-free campus. We hope to see you there!

What: MSU Beyond Coal Kickoff Meeting

When: Tuesday January 25th


Where: Erickson Hall 224

Arrive early for free veggie and chicken Chipotle burritos!

Special Guest: Dianne Byrum, trustee of Michigan State University

RSVP here!

As students, faculty, and staff here at Michigan State we have an incredible opportunity to demand that MSU become a truly healthy and sustainable place to live, work, and study!  So, we will kick the semester off with our guest speaker Dianne Byrum, one of the Michigan State University trustees, free food, and exciting updates this January 25th at 7:00pm in Erickson Hall 224.  This is THE event to attend to hear more about plans for a 100% clean energy MSU, and to find out how you can get involved.

Let’s have a strong showing for a Coal-Free Campus and clean energy here at MSU!   Thanks, and we hope to see you this Tuesday, January 25th at 7:00pm in Erickson 224! Don’t forget to RSVP here!

See you soon,

The MSU Beyond Coal Team

PS join the MSU Beyond Coal Facebook Fan Page online here and then make sure to invite/bring a friend to the Kick off meeting:!/pages/MSU-Beyond-Coal/181844538509958

Follow us on Twitter at!/MSUBeyondCoal

Don’t know where Erickson is? Check out this map at:

Find Out All About MSU Beyond Coal!

Hey guys!

I hope you all had a great winter break, and that your first week back hasn’t been too painful!

I’m writing to let you guys know about our Information Sessions for the MSU Beyond Coal Campaign this January. We’re starting up the campaign again this semester, and we’ve got some BIG things planned.

The Administration recently announced the formation of a Steering Committee, which will create the energy transition plan for MSU. Not only is this incredible news, but MSU Beyond Coal will actually be a part of this committee! However, the goals of this committee have not yet been established, so this is a critical time for the campaign. This is the perfect opportunity for us to push the Administration and the Committee to create the goals that we, as students, think is the right path for MSU. We want the committee to make a commitment to transition MSU beyond coal and move towards 100% renewable energy, before the committee works through the process. This can happen guys, but the only way we can ensure our clean energy future, is if we can show the Administration and the Steering Committee that students across campus are passionate and committed to this change.

So, in order to ensure this success, we’re having Informational Sessions everyday to talk with you guys about how you can get involved! Check out the details below, and make sure to RSVP when you plan on coming.

Who: MSU Beyond Coal Campaign with the Sierra Student Coalition

What: Info Sessions for Volunteer and Internship Opportunities this Spring!

When: Mon- Fri, Jan 10th– Jan 25th 2:30pm and 5:30pm (we will be having both on MLK day: Monday, Jan 17th)

Where: Cyber Café in the main library

**RSVP Here**

We’re holding info sessions Mon- Fri Jan 10th, 2011 through Tuesday Jan 25th, 2011 at 2:30pm and 5:30pm about the Beyond Coal campaign.   Hope to see you there if you’re interested in hearing more about the campaign, or are interested in an on-campus internship.  Feel free to respond to me at if you have any questions!

RSVP for an information session at
Thanks so much guys, and I can’t wait to see you at our upcoming info sessions!
Happy MLK weekend,

PS- Save the date! Our Kick-Off meeting is going to be on January 25th (time tbd), we’re going to have some incredible speakers, and free Chipotle!


Find Out How to Get Involved This Semester!

Hey guys!!

I hope everyone had a spectacularly restful break 🙂

It’s crazy that we’re starting classes again today, but there are so many exciting things that are happening on campus now, that it would be a shame to miss it!

For starters, MSU Beyond Coal has made a new Facebook page…so switch on over to that one! This will probably be the last time I send a message through this group. The URL is

Secondly, today we’re starting to have our informational sessions EVERYDAY at 2:30 and 5:30 in the Cyber Cafe in the Main Library (the area next to Sparty’s). So if you want to come and learn more about the situation going on at State, ways you can get a hold of some great volunteer/leadership opportunities, or even learn about the kick-ass internships that we have, then please fill out this quick form to RSVP
….or just show up 🙂

This semester, the Administration is going to be announcing the formation of a steering committee, which is incredible news!!! This committee will eventually form the goals regarding MSU’s energy future. And not only are they asking for students from Beyond Coal to be a part of the actual committee, they want us to help out with all other aspects of moving MSU to 100% clean energy too!

This is happening guys, and it’s students who are making this happen. This is the most exciting semester to start getting involved, because we could actually achieve our goal by the end of the semester!!

So, I really hope to see you guys at our information sessions everyday starting TODAY at either 2:30 or 5:30 (but I mean, if you’re of the real eager sort, we wouldn’t deny you from coming to both! ;)) in the Cyber Cafe of the Main Library!

Thanks so much guys, I hope you all have an AMAZING semester!

ps-don’t forget to switch groups!