Today, the Senate failed yet again to bring forward a comprehensive climate and clean energy bill. Could what’s missing be a healthy sense of competition?
350.org just released a new video to jump-start the Great Power Race, a clean energy competition between students in China, India and the US. The campaign’s goal is to push all three nations to start racing towards climate solutions.
Al Gore offered his endorsement of the competition: “I'll be keeping a close eye on the outcome of the Great Power Race, because it's exactly the kind of competition we need –a friendly contest to create a vision for our collective future, one where we don't cling to the past but instead strike out boldly in a new direction.
Almost 500 campuses have already registered at GreatPowerRace.org, with India leading the Race with 215 campuses signed up, China in second place with 173, and the US trailing with 102.
“We think a little healthy competition may be what’s needed to finally get some progress in the US,” said May Boeve, 350.org US Coordinator. “Low carbon technologies will drive job creation for the coming decades and the US can’t afford to fall behind. We need to be competing and, better yet, working with other countries to build this new economy.”
Students in each country are racing to sign up as many campuses as possible before the competition officially launches in September. Then, campus groups in America, China, and India will compete to implement their clean energy projects.
Projects are likely to include light bulb exchanges, lowering thermostats, education events, installing solar panels on campus, growing organic gardens, encouraging a campus president sign on to a climate pact, and more.
“Students are setting an example for our politicians,” said Whit Jones of the Energy Action Coalition, a youth climate campaign that’s leading the Great Power Race and Power Vote in the US. “This fall, we’re bringing clean energy to campuses, and mobilizing to make sure our politicians join us in the race.”
"Youth across India are already working on solutions to the climate crisis. The Great Power Race will be an opportunity for us to highlight and build on their efforts," explained Roselin Dey, an organizer with 350.org in India.
The video released today features an American, Chinese, and Indian student donning sports jerseys, stretching, and lining up at a starting line.
In the background, President Obama recites, “From China to India, from Japan to Germany, nations everywhere are racing to develop new ways to produce and use energy. The nation that wins this competition will be the nation that leads the global economy.”
The Great Power Race campaign will work to make sure politicians get the message by keeping them updated on the Race standings and inviting them to come visit campus projects during the 10/10/10 Global Work Party, an international day of events focused on climate solutions.
"Every nation is not created equal in this climate crisis," explained 350.org Founder Bill McKibben. "If we can't get the biggest polluters and the biggest economies to change, then we'll never win. "